Jeep Cherokee Talk banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I am very new and this lady has a question. 63 years old and always wanted an older Jeep. Well I bought a 1998 classic. The owner was very up front with me. Had a coolant leak so we replaced the radiator and now that's fine but it has the death wobble. I can only go 45 mph at the most. It runs and drives great four-wheel drive works I thought it was very well worth the $400. What do I do by the depth wobble. I've been trying to watch videos but being a woman I'd quite don't understand them lol. Could you put me in the right direction please please please. Thank you very much for accepting me into the group.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,379 Posts
You are right. There are hundreds of vids on death wobble. Getting rid of it is a matter of making everything tight. You need to test it to see what needs to be fixed before you do anything to it.
To test it, have someone saw the steering wheel back and forth while you look at all the joints in the steering system and suspension. If something moves at a joint and the affected part doesn't, that part needs to be fixed. Pay particular attention to the track bar joints and the bolt that is on the axle end.

One question. Is the Jeep lifted?
 
  • Like
Reactions: TgRamsey

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,627 Posts
Hello and welcome to the forum.
A few pics of your Jeep will be helpful. Especially the front end so we can see what your steering looks like.
$400.00 for an XJ is very cheap. And leads to many more questions about it. In good shape and running well will cost you about $2-3000 around here. I'm in SW Pennsylvania. The rust belt.
How many miles on it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You are right. There are hundreds of vids on death wobble. Getting rid of it is a matter of making everything tight. You need to test it to see what needs to be fixed before you do anything to it.
To test it, have someone saw the steering wheel back and forth while you look at all the joints in the steering system and suspension. If something moves at a joint and the affected part doesn't, that part needs to be fixed. Pay particular attention to the track bar joints and the bolt that is on the axle end.

One question. Is the Jeep lifted?
No it not lifted. This weekend were putting it up so I can get picks and amd video. Now when you say move the steering wheel back and forth as it supposed to be sitting on the ground or up on the lift? Also milage is 162052. I love driving this thing ( under 45 mph) I have not driven it rough but I had to go through our field to chase my dog. Wellll it was muddy and really got stuck. so I tried four-wheel drive for the first time. It just kind of lifted up and walked out of it just nicer than hell. So that works good too. And I don't know who the other one was that would ask but we're in Ohio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,189 Posts
Howdy from Iowa. Former Ohioan myself. Depending on where you're at, we have some active members over the boarder in PA. Yes, DW is terrible. First I should ask if its really DW or just a shimmy. DW is shit-your-pants, run-you-off-the-road, white-knuckles, no-fun-at-all. Sound like your jeep?

When wiggling the steering wheel, its best done on the ground so there's weight on everything, but up in the air can reveal other areas if you are lucky (or unlucky, however you want to look at it).
DW comes from all kinds of things.
-badly worn tires
-out of balance tires/wheels
-worn tracbar bolt holes or bushings
-control arm bushings
-poor alignment
-broken frame where steering box mounts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
When we brought it home my husband drove it and I followed behind him. Everything seemed to be okay until I hit a certain section of the highway and I honestly saw like each tire and the front go up and down and up and down and up and down I was so scared for him I couldn't stand it but he got it under control. Since then I normally drive 45 mph but I was having an airhead day and that thing started in on me and I looked and I was going a little over 55. I couldn't hardly control the steering wheel it was like the front was popping up and down and at my age I really thought I was going to have a heart attack. I never want to experience that again. I've watched some videos on the death wobble and it's exactly what I experienced but it's pretty cool from seeing the camera underneath to see the action.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,379 Posts
To answer your question, it needs to be on the ground so there is resistance on the tires
 
  • Like
Reactions: TgRamsey

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,627 Posts
This is what I consider death wobble to be

If your Jeep is jumping and getting air under the tires then that is something different.
Death wobble on stock tires and no lift is rare.
I would start with getting the tires balanced and rotated. Then check every steering component for tightness. XJ's are notorious for having the frame crack around the steering box. But this is normally due to a lift and larger tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Is it both tires up front, or does it favor a side? does it feel like a hard bouncing in the wheel and tire, but it holds straight? Does it happen at 45, but you can throttle out of it? I had a similar experience, was not death wobble, but a shot lower control arm on the passenger side, would start bouncing at 50, smooth out at 55. Was not tires in my case. At this time my Jeep was completely factory with standard wrangler tires (235/75/15). I'm sure it's a simple fix whatever the ordeal, good luck. Maybe a track bar, easy peasey, you'll figure it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
On a bone stock Jeep I've had Death Wobble and was attributed to broken belts in my tires. That is not to say something else wasn't up to snuff but the tires were the main culprit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TgRamsey

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I don't know if a '98 is the same, but on my stock '99 XJ, there is a 5th shock absorber, called a damper, attached between the center link and the frame (part of the steering linkage). If this shock absorber is worn out, the result will be "Death Wobble" whenever you hit a bump, especially if it's with only one tire. I'd probably recommend changing out all the shocks anyway, given the age of the car, but I'd definitely change out the steering damper.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,379 Posts
If the Jeep is set up with the proper geometry, and all the joints are tight, you don't need a steering damper. As stated above, it is a band aid and a little insurance if you have just a small amount of play in something that should be tight. But it won't mask it if things get too loose or the geometry gets messed up with some of the aftermarket parts available now. For instance, I have 8" of lift with all the geometry correct with no dampener and not even a hint of death wobble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
I have dual steering stabilizers and my WJ Death wobbled all over the place...the dont do anything for death wobble they are more for bump steer.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top