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Curing death wobble is defiantly a reality. Death wobble isn’t similar to a wobble from an unbalanced tire. It is by far worse. When death wobble hits you will know… it’s a violent shake form the front end that feels like the Jeep is about to fall apart. Usually when it happens the only thing you can do to stop it is slow down. The first steps to eliminate death wobble should be a visual inspection of each component, check the bushings, tire balance and an alignment. There are some common things you must check anytime you lift your Jeep. Death wobble is experienced mostly on lifter Jeeps, however it is not uncommon for someone without a lift to experience the dreaded DW. Listed below are a few things you can check.

Torque specs:

Item ........................................ Ft. lbs. ................... Nm

Lug nuts (1/2 X 20 w/ 60* cone) .... 85-115 .............. 115-150
All tie rod ends ............................ 55 ..................... 74
Steering (both ends) .................... 55 ..................... 74
Shock absorber upper nut .............. 16 ..................... 22
Shock absorber lower nuts ............. 17 ..................... 23
UCA frame end ............................. 66 ..................... 89
UCA axle end ............................... 55 ...................... 74
LCA frame end ............................. 85 ...................... 115
LCA axle end ............................... 85 ...................... 115
Track bar frame end ..................... 60 ...................... 81
Track bar axle end ....................... 40 ....................... 54
Track bar bracket bolts ................. 92 ....................... 125
Track bar bracket nut ................... 74 ....................... 100
Track bar bracket support bolts ...... 31 ....................... 42
Hub bolts (3) ............................... 75 ....................... 102
Hub- axle bolt .............................. 175 ..................... 237

Alingment specs (stock):

Angle ............. Preferred ........... Range ............. Max R/L diff.

Caster ............ +7.0* ........ +5.25* to +8.5* ......... 1.25*
Camber ........... -0.25* ....... -0.75* to +0.5 ........... 1.0*
Total Toe-in .... +0.25* ....... 0* to +0.45* ............. .05*
Thrust angle .... 0* to ± 0.15*



Check your Track Bar, play in this can cause the axle to shake.
1. Bushings - check to see that they are not worn. Looks for cracks, and excessive play)
2. Angles - this angle should be the same as your draglink. Use an angle finders you can get at sears to determine this, don’t just eye-ball it.
3. Bolts – Make sure all bolts are tightened down to spec (some lift components have a different torque spec then)

Check the Axle, your mounts may be worn
1. Check the axle mount. Here is a good write up on a wallowed out bolt hole
http://www.jeepin.com/features/trackbarfix/index.asp
2. Check your Universal joints, a binding or lose U-Joint can cause DW
3. On the frame end if you still use the conventional Tie Rod End or (TRE) make sure that there is no play in this, as play can cause DW.
4. Look/Check for worn/torn boots on ball joints/tie-rod ends.

Check your Tires
1. Out of balance tires can cause shaking in the front end, which can lead to death wobble.
2. Make sure all of your lug nuts are tight, (Sounds elementary but it happens to the best of us)

Check your Frame
1. Small cracks in the frame can cause the steering box to feel loose, Shaking from DW can only make this worse. 33’s and larger should have some form of Steering box brace, or frame brace in.
2. If you have upgraded your frame mount, make sure its cranked down nice and tight. (best to use an impact gun)
3. A busted Frame Mount can cause play in the front end causing DW (Keep a watchful eye on the welds as welds in sheer can break over time.

Make sure you have a good alignment
1. After you get an alignment done, have them print out the numbers for you. An XJ should have a 7* positive caster angle. A lifted XJ can’t always have that high of a number because the pinion would become out of alignment with the front driveshaft. Pinion angle takes precedence over caster.
2. Make you sure you go to a place that will adjust the caster if necessary (either by shims in the frame side of the LCAs, or adjustable LCAs).

The more adjustable parts the easier it is to tune in your suspension.
1. Adjustable Track Bar
2. Adjustable Upper and Lower Control Arms (upper ones above 4” of lift). Not only are they adjustable, but they are stronger.


Things to remember:
1. After any lift, get your Jeep professionally aligned, this is a REQUIREMENT, not a suggestion.
2. A Steering Stabilizer (SS) is not a quick fix for DW.
3. Make sure that the lift you purchase comes with all the required parts for a safe driving vehicle. (as long as its going to be a DD)
4. PLEASE ALWAYS DRIVE WITH YOUR FRONT SWAY BAR CONNECTED!

Entire list of everything that can cause death wobble:
-Front tires out of balance
-Front alignment out of spec
-Loose track bar
-Worn track bar bushings
-Worn track bar end
-Need adjustable track bar
-Bad bushings/joints in control arms
-Worn/damaged steering stabilizer
-Worn/damaged shocks
-Worn/damaged tie rod end
-Bad U Joint
-Bad ball joint
-Loose frame mount
-Steering box looseness
-Need drop pitman arm
-Driveshaft(s) not balanced
-Bad front hub assembly
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just trying to help out .All this is stuff I have acquired while researching things on various jeeps that I've had in the last few years
 

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good info. I can not count how many times I have seen that topic brought up.
 

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Excellent write up! I don't think I have seen such a comprehensive list in one location.

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I spent 4 mo trying to get rid of it on a 05 Rubicon and then on another xj I had at the same time after I lifted it
 

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I spent 4 mo trying to get rid of it on a 05 Rubicon and then on another xj I had at the same time after I lifted it
On an 05? what was the culprit?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
it was a mix of the tire being out of balance and the alignment being out.
 

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great write up im new the the xj world and i just lifted my jeep saturday and sunday when i left my buddys and got on the hyway i got the death wobble it scared the crap out of me. tomorrow im going to get a new steering stablizer hopefully that cures it
 

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usually that will "fix it" but thats just putting make up on a really ugly chick..trust me i will know...

about the stabalizer that is..
 

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great write up im new the the xj world and i just lifted my jeep saturday and sunday when i left my buddys and got on the hyway i got the death wobble it scared the crap out of me. tomorrow im going to get a new steering stablizer hopefully that cures it
Many run without a SS and have no problems to speak of. I would start looking elsewhere before putting money into a SS.
 

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Many run without a SS and have no problems to speak of. I would start looking elsewhere before putting money into a SS.
yep...

adj arms? could be the caster
 

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great write up im new the the xj world and i just lifted my jeep saturday and sunday when i left my buddys and got on the hyway i got the death wobble it scared the crap out of me. tomorrow im going to get a new steering stablizer hopefully that cures it
A steering stabilizer won't do anything to "cure" death wobble. It might mask it a bit, but it won't do anything to actually fix the root cause.

If you just lifted your Jeep then your alignment is off, that's what's causing your DW. Get the front end aligned, specifically have the toe set, and that should fix it.
 

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Would a bad transmission mount do this too? I replaced my front U-joint and that helped a little, but I was told my tranny mount is bad too. I will also get an alignment tomorrow. I really hope one of those fixes it because I need to drive 3 hours for a trip on thursday and obviously I will need to be able to go faster than 45. Ugh.
 

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My jeep experiences the DW occasionally when I hit big bumps/ potholes with a good amount of speed. I brought it to the mechanic and they said they don't know why it's doing that, but they also pointed out my jeep needed a new trac-bar, would getting a new trac-bar stop the DW? thanks.
 

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Awesome wright up... I've gained more knowledge and that's what counts.
I was booting down a paved road that turned to a gravel road & when I hit the gravel & had all I could do to control my rig. Since I recently had a bunch of front end work done the stabi turned out to be my fix.
 
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