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Trying to cure a light case of death wobble

Discussion in 'Wrangler TJ (1996-2006)' started by SergeantYates, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Mar 9, 2019 at 7:02 AM
    #1
    SergeantYates

    SergeantYates [OP] Member

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    1997 forest green TJ 4.0
    Lift (don’t know how much), new 33in tires and wheels
    not real sure if this is exactly the right category to ask this, but I just got a 97 Wrangler sport edition, and after the first time I went 4-wheeling, I started getting the death wobble. I changed every u joint in the thing, even the front axle ones, and it made a big difference, but I still hear a rattle and the steering wheel wobbles a little bit every now and then at around 45-55 mph. At first I thought a wheel balancing might be the solution, but when inspecting the tie rod ends, I noticed that there was old grease all around a few of them. I shot new grease into all the boots, but while I was doing that I also noticed that I could wiggle the front track bar forward and backwards and made a rattle noise while doing it. And within a few minutes of pumping grease into the boots grease started coming out of all but 2 of the boots. So, I need confirmation, do I need a new track bar bushing? New tie rod ends? Or both? Let me know if more info is needed.
     
  2. Mar 9, 2019 at 7:23 AM
    #2
    aggrex

    aggrex Well-Known Member

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    Tuffy>AEV>TTO>JW>STech>EVOcage>MagnaFlow>SpiderTrax>RockHard>TF>SpringTail>67design>Bolt>GPCA>Curt>
    Welcome @SergeantYates replacing the loose trackbar would be a good first step.
    Inspect the frame mount for the TB for ovaling or bolt hole enlargement.
    xjeep-steering-diagram.jpg.pagespeed.ic.i2iql7up02.jpg

    IMG_20190309_102702_edit.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  3. Mar 9, 2019 at 8:26 AM
    #3
    SergeantYates

    SergeantYates [OP] Member

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    Noah
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    1997 forest green TJ 4.0
    Lift (don’t know how much), new 33in tires and wheels
    I’ll check when I can
     
  4. Mar 9, 2019 at 11:07 AM
    #4
    SergeantYates

    SergeantYates [OP] Member

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    Noah
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    1997 forest green TJ 4.0
    Lift (don’t know how much), new 33in tires and wheels
    Ok, so I took another look at the bolt holding in the tb to the axle and realized that it was just loose, and the bushing looks pretty decent. so I torqued it down to specs (125 pound feet) and I couldn’t move it at all after that, but when I drove it to see if I still experienced the rattle, I still heard it rattle when I start off in first. I have no idea what is causing the rattle. Anybody got any ideas?
     
  5. Mar 9, 2019 at 11:15 AM
    #5
    aggrex

    aggrex Well-Known Member

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    Tuffy>AEV>TTO>JW>STech>EVOcage>MagnaFlow>SpiderTrax>RockHard>TF>SpringTail>67design>Bolt>GPCA>Curt>
    Just like loose shock mounts the brackets can get twisted and mounting holes elongated. Extended periods driving the jeep with DW tend to compound suspension issues with other components having unusual wear.
     
    JKBob 25 likes this.
  6. Mar 16, 2019 at 5:06 PM
    #6
    SergeantYates

    SergeantYates [OP] Member

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    Noah
    Vehicle:
    1997 forest green TJ 4.0
    Lift (don’t know how much), new 33in tires and wheels
    I found the issue, it was a bad wheel bearing. I put the new one in and absolutely no wobble. That’s the good news. The bad news is that when I was test driving it, after installing the new wheel bearing, I noticed considerably more rattling noise at around 45-55 mph and when slowly accelerating and felt like it was doing it the entire time while driving down a rough road. I read in another thread that it could be some bearing in the transfer case. I’ll have to push down on the 4wd lever when it starts rattling and if it stops when I push down on the lever, that is the source. I’ll give it a try next time i’m out in the Jeep.
     
  7. Apr 21, 2019 at 9:36 AM
    #7
    Harleymick

    Harleymick Well-Known Member

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    1999 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
    6 inch lift, 35" tires, .488 gears and 4.7L Stroker pushing 300 HP
    With some valuable assistance from these guys you are teaching yourself an awful lot about TJ front suspensions and how to cure the death wobble. That is a good thing.
     
    TJ_abuser likes this.
  8. Apr 21, 2019 at 10:34 AM
    #8
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Houston
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    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    I'm having a little trouble following you, because I'm trying to narrow down when your feeling the symptoms. You might be having more than 1 issue. Have you ever felt full on death wobble? Everything in the seats will be on the floor and it wil scare the crap out of you even when you are expecting it to happen, this isn't to say that you are having early symptoms of it if you havent had full death wobble. DW is first felt in the steering wheel and then in the seat of your pants. Usually for a full cure of death wobble I completely rebuild the front suspension, because the I cant see any good components surviving the violence of a full death wobble, and since I'm already there I might as well replace it. My list is as follows: All tie rods and draglink ends, track bar, ball joints, and wheel bearing units, and control arm bushings if there are any play in them.

    I also hear you saying that you feel the vibration while excelerating. Are you feeling this vibration in the seat of your pants? How much lift do you have (looks like at least 3-4in)? Do you have a Slip Yoke Eliminator (SYE) or Transfercase drop kit. This vibration on exceleration is common on lifted YJs and TJs. The cheap fix is a Tcase drop. The correct and more expensive fix is the SYE. Probably not the output bearing, but rather the angle of the driveshaft is too great for the slip yoke found on the stock Tcase.

    Hope this helps.
     
    aggrex and Harleymick like this.
  9. Apr 21, 2019 at 2:16 PM
    #9
    Harleymick

    Harleymick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Member:
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    Messages:
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    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mick
    Vehicle:
    1999 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
    6 inch lift, 35" tires, .488 gears and 4.7L Stroker pushing 300 HP
    I agree with OFFGRID. For proper ride, handling and even safety, vehicles require a certain geometry in the suspension and drive train. Any substantial lift disrupts this and wherever it may be it must be corrected whether it is all at once or one part at a time as I had to including a SYE. One suggestion regarding the vibration in the seat of your pants. Jack it up in neutral and spin the rear drive shaft, it may be bent. If the angle causes it to hit the transmission crossover support it will be. That means a new telescoping drive shaft as well as a SYE for me.

    I'm no ASE certified mechanic but I have owned my TJ since 2005 when it was pure stock. The original lift I had done was to 3" along with 33" tires. I've done everything since with either the help of my mechanic brother or believe it or not by watching You Tube videos as I went. As stated elsewhere it now has a 6" lift and 35" tires on 15" wheels with 4.88 gears. I can't give you all of the analytical expertise that some others on here can, but I can damn sure vouch for a lot of what they are telling you. I love my TJ and wouldn't sell her at any price, but we have gone round and round several times over several issues. I may fight or deny the problems but she eventually wins. In return she gives me easy handling and a smooth ride up to at least 90 MPH. (I had to know)
     
    aggrex likes this.
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