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Death wobble after installing a lift.

Discussion in 'Wrangler TJ (1996-2006)' started by TrapperJeep, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Sep 13, 2016 at 10:06 AM
    #1
    TrapperJeep

    TrapperJeep [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    Member:
    #209
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    First Name:
    John
    Vehicle:
    2005 jeep wrangler sport
    2 inch lift, aftermarket front and rear bumpers, KC Hi litesq
    I just installed a 2 in lift using Quadratec Hydro 7 shocks. I now have a serious death wobble when on the hiway and I hit a pothole or expansion joint. The wobble is so severe that I have to pull over and come to a complete stop. I installed a new steering stabilizer shock about 2 months back. Do I need to get a more heavy duty steering stabilizer to compliment the life? I also installed a new track bar as well when I installed the new lift and shocks. Any suggestions to fix this problem? My jeep is a daily driver and right now it's almost undrivable on the highway. It's a 2005 wrangler sport. Thanks
     
  2. Sep 13, 2016 at 11:45 AM
    #2
    C2T

    C2T Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Richard
    Helena, Montana
    Vehicle:
    Jeep
    2.5" AEV Dual Sport lift, 35" Treadwright Guard Dogs, Black Rock Wheels, AEV Front & Rear Bumpers with Tire Carrier, Fuel Caddy 10 gal. Aux. fuel tank, Warn 9.5ti, 125' synthetic winch line, front axle skid, 20" LED light bar , Bilstein Shocks, steel steering skidplate,
    John, the first thing we need to do is clear up what it is NOT. Do not let anyone (and there will likely be many) tell you that a steering stabilizer is a cause or a cure for DW. Yes, I know that is the standard answer for a dealer but it is not possible. It CAN mask the symptoms of DW if they are not too bad, but simply masking issues just let them get bigger before they show back up.

    If you got your system aligned properly after your lift, we will assume that is not the issue. If you did not do that, then you are wrong. :) Bad alignment WILL cause this. Also assuming your tires are properly balanced as that can cause DW type symptoms too. Again, if not, you are wrong.


    As a general statement, there is generally something either loose of worn in your steering or front axle control mechanisms. More often than not, it is more than one thing but it only takes one. It can be such a small amount of play in a few items you would not think it possible it could cause so much trouble (and you would be...well....wrong)...so if a ball joint has play, any play, it needs to be replaced.

    A loose bolt/nut can cause this condition so start there.

    then move to:
    • Tie Rod Ends (one of the most common causes)
    • Upper and lower Ball Joints
    • Track Bar mounting bracket bolts
    • Steering Box Brace
    • Track Bar Ends
    • Upper and lower control arms
    You will need to check both on the ground and also lift the front end (droop the axle) as you may not be able to feel some play with it on the ground (like ball joints)

    The picture may not be exactly like your rig but double check each of the colored/named things carefully.

    That is my 2 cents. Hope it helps.

    Good Luck!!

    death-wobble-alignment-01.jpg
     
  3. Sep 13, 2016 at 12:03 PM
    #3
    TrapperJeep

    TrapperJeep [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    Member:
    #209
    Messages:
    4
    First Name:
    John
    Vehicle:
    2005 jeep wrangler sport
    2 inch lift, aftermarket front and rear bumpers, KC Hi litesq
    Thanks for the reply. I did get a front end alignment after the lift was installed. I also replaced the track bar as well, since the bolt holding it to the axle broke while I was attempting to remove it. I had to drill the bolt out and I think I damaged the bushing. I checked for play in the ball joints and didn't notice any. I will start digging into the front end some more and see if I missed something. Once again, Thanks for the information. It gives me a starting point.
     
  4. Sep 13, 2016 at 12:24 PM
    #4
    C2T

    C2T Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Richard
    Helena, Montana
    Vehicle:
    Jeep
    2.5" AEV Dual Sport lift, 35" Treadwright Guard Dogs, Black Rock Wheels, AEV Front & Rear Bumpers with Tire Carrier, Fuel Caddy 10 gal. Aux. fuel tank, Warn 9.5ti, 125' synthetic winch line, front axle skid, 20" LED light bar , Bilstein Shocks, steel steering skidplate,
    To give you an idea (which may apply to you given your last post), on the JKs there is one bolt that Jeep decided to use which is smaller than the hole on the track bar. If not tightened to 125 ft lbs then you get some wobble. So if it is at 70 pounds, for example, you would still not feel any play by hand but it would be there when bouncing down the road. It can be that small of an issue.

    Again: Good luck!
     
    chris4x4 likes this.
  5. Sep 13, 2016 at 1:14 PM
    #5
    bostonbilly

    bostonbilly Well-Known Member

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    Boston
    Vehicle:
    2015 Sahara JKU
    Did you install yourself? Was everything tighten to proper torque specs? If so was it tightened while on the ground? I would start with loosening everything while under the weight of the jeep and tightening to spec.
     
  6. Sep 13, 2016 at 1:19 PM
    #6
    C2T

    C2T Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Member:
    #42
    Messages:
    759
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Richard
    Helena, Montana
    Vehicle:
    Jeep
    2.5" AEV Dual Sport lift, 35" Treadwright Guard Dogs, Black Rock Wheels, AEV Front & Rear Bumpers with Tire Carrier, Fuel Caddy 10 gal. Aux. fuel tank, Warn 9.5ti, 125' synthetic winch line, front axle skid, 20" LED light bar , Bilstein Shocks, steel steering skidplate,
    Good call....definitely a problem with newer JKs.
     
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