1. Want to have your TJ featured as the November 2018 "Ride of the Month"? The winner will receive a $200 gift card from Metalcloak! Click here to submit a photo of your TJ. Submissions are accepted until October 20th!
    Dismiss Notice

Death Wobble Survey

Discussion in 'TJ General Discussion' started by AndyG, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. AndyG

    AndyG TJ Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    682
    Likes Received:
    470
    Location:
    Alabama
    Knowing tire balance causes most death wobble ,or at least sets it off-

    How many forum members have experienced death wobble with oversized mud tires , versus all terrain and street tires?

    Personally I 've had it with all terrains on an F250 and it was track bar related .

    My Jeep with KO2's (12.5 x 33) hasn't had it .
     
  2. Jerry Bransford

    Jerry Bransford TJ Guru
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    7,583
    Likes Received:
    8,475
    Location:
    Escondido California
    In 22 years with a TJ, my rare DW cases with just one fully developed DW case have all been caused by bad tire balance. By itself, a loose passive component cannot be the root cause of DW, it can just make it easier for DW caused by a spinning unbalanced tire which is what provides the power behind DW's violence
     
    MaloStapalo and Daryl like this.
  3. Artemis

    Artemis TJ Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    New Madison, Ohio
    I had it with my AT tires, and I felt like an ass when I discovered what was causing it. I do a quick PMCS before I ever drive. Like look around and the body and tires, wipers, check fluids periodically. My tires "looked" good, but after I had the DW for a week, I was like wtf? I looked over everything to see if something was broken (and I am not mechanical inclined) so the last thing I did was check tire pressure. Front driver had 8 lbs. Yes, 8 lbs! The others had over 32 and I did just have an oil change so I figured someone didn't do something they said they did when they marked on the paper. Never any problem since. I just make sure to check tire pressures more often!
     
  4. Mr. Bills

    Mr. Bills TJ Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    651
    Location:
    Area Code 530
    Sorry, never had death wobble in any of the jeeps I have owned.
     
  5. Daryl

    Daryl Bumblebee
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    California, USA
    Well stated Jerry.
     
  6. JMT

    JMT The Jeep Guy
    Supporting Member Ride of the Month Winner

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    5,785
    Likes Received:
    5,367
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country, United States
    I had DW on 31x10.5r15 MT/R’s. I had them balanced and still had DW. Then I got a new trackbar, it was better there was still a shimmy and after about 2 months I was going into DW again. I replaced the tie rod ends (and ZJ tie rod and drag link at the same time) and it went back to a shimmy. I had the tires balanced again. It was better but still a shimmy. I got a set of new larger tires 33x12.5 MT/R’s and everything was perfect. I concluded that those tires were shot (I knew from the sidewall numbers they were almost 5 years old and my tread level was 5/32 so it was time anyway) and I had some components that were at or near the end of their life. Good thread...
     
    KCsTJ likes this.
  7. bobthetj03

    bobthetj03 TJ Guru
    Supporting Member Ride of the Month Winner

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Messages:
    6,366
    Likes Received:
    6,720
    Location:
    Gateway to the Redwoods, Northern California
    BFG KM's, Life is over DW. Balanced 3 times, better, but still onset. New TB, still there. ZJ tie rod, better, but shimmy, Currie Lower arms, cured.
     
  8. Chris

    Chris Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    28,596
    Likes Received:
    17,098
    Location:
    Salem, Oregon
    X2, and I’ve owned quite a few.

    I have however been in a friends Jeep when it happened. It’s scary as hell when it’s real death wobble.
     
    MaloStapalo likes this.
  9. JMT

    JMT The Jeep Guy
    Supporting Member Ride of the Month Winner

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    5,785
    Likes Received:
    5,367
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country, United States
    You guys must be babies. I read that guys sh—their pants when they get DW. It’s really not that bad (to me). And yes, I had it, like 50 times, and I always had to come to a complete stop or near complete stop to get it to stop shaking violently. Of course, I’m used to sitting passenger in my wife’s Yukon. That, in itself is so scary that my opinion may be skewed. :meparto:
     
    #9 JMT, Oct 10, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    Alex01 likes this.
  10. 02GreenTJ

    02GreenTJ TJ Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2017
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Burlingame, CA, United States
    I had it balanced tires cured it
     
  11. AndyG

    AndyG TJ Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    682
    Likes Received:
    470
    Location:
    Alabama
    Thanks guys I think the more we all know about this the better.
     
  12. tworley

    tworley TJ Enthusiast
    Supporting Member Ride of the Month Winner

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    689
    Location:
    Morrison, CO
    Had it once at about 40 mph, and it was truly death wobble. I had to come to a complete stop and it damn near jerked my hands off the wheel. I didnt spend any time looking for the cause because that very same weekend I installed adjustable control arms, trackbar, and zj steering that were already planned. Never had DW since.
     
  13. CodaMan

    CodaMan California Prisoner (for only a while longer)
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2017
    Messages:
    2,588
    Likes Received:
    2,526
    Location:
    California (for now)
    I had DW when I purchased my first TJ .. that was why I got it so cheap. The PO borrowed a friends tires and wheels but still had DW so he sold it cheap.

    When I bought it I replaced the tires, had a spot on balance and replaced a worn track bar ... the thing drove perfect.

    It is my theory that DW starts with bad tire balance and then VERY quickly destroys other parts. So the moral of the story is to keep your tires balanced and in good condition to save your front end components.
     
    #13 CodaMan, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    JMT and Chris like this.
  14. Liberated

    Liberated Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Northwest Ohio
    When I first bought my jeep, I had bad tie rod ends... Really bad. The thing drove great all the way home. It was stock, and on 215/70r15 ATs. I didn't get the death wobble until I hit a really rough bump on US6 doing 60. But it went all out. Happened several times in that same spot.

    I was in the midst of a whole house remodel, and not ready to do the lift, so I paid a shop to do the repairs and lift at the same time(worst decision ever, that place sucked). With 33s and new tre's the serious death wobble was over, but they balanced the tires like crap, and it wiggled constantly, until I got rebalanced by a better shop. Got new track bars and control arms at the same time, so I don't know if they had any effect, but now she rolls smooth.
     
  15. Imapepper

    Imapepper TJ Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN, United States
    DW is fine if no one is around you.In heavy traffic it gets a little frightening. Mine was caused by a foolish decision to buy used tires, they balanced OK but still had dw. After replacing steering components that were suspect and still having dw new tires were purchased and balanced... no DW or carrying around tp and replacement boxers.
     
    JMT likes this.
  16. JMT

    JMT The Jeep Guy
    Supporting Member Ride of the Month Winner

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    5,785
    Likes Received:
    5,367
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country, United States
    There seems to be a recurring theme here. Nearly everyone ultimately had some tire issue and replaced some steering components. I agree essentially with @CodaMan, that the DW gets started by something wrong with the tires, it could be that they are old and no longer round, or they are out of balance, or they have poor inflation. The DW then causes premature wearing of other components. So if you replace those components and get the tires right you're good to go.

    One more note: It doesn't help matters that we put larger tires on these Jeeps. They are a lot more rolling mass.
     
    CodaMan likes this.
  17. Longarmtj

    Longarmtj New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    mississippi
    Had it couple bad heim joints on steering arms and drop pitman arm teeth had worn causing a little play there. It was worse with super swampers but still had it with a new set of tires.
     
  18. 06TJ35's

    06TJ35's Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    I had DW with my previous all terrain tires fixed the trac bar tighten all bolts.Fixed. I decided to buy used 15wheels and with 35 mud tires. I immediately DW.First thing I did was balance tires. Same time I looked at my ball joints and they were shot and the new set up exposed them. I replaced ball joints. The death wobble is fixed. Forward maybe a year my death wobble is back.-.-
     

Share This Page