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Old 04-20-2011, 04:31 PM   #1
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2007 Jeep Wrangler X Death Wobble

I would greatly appreciate any help or info I can get. Tonite on my way home I hit a small bump in the road. My Jeep started to violently shake, scared me to death. I had to come to a complete stop as I had no steering control. I got home safely and got on the internet to see what I could find. Found out it is referred to as the "Death Wobble" and many, many owners are experiencing the same issue. We are leaving for a trip tomorrow and just finished putting on our new blue ox towing system. Because so many of us tow jeeps has anyone else experienced this and found a solution? I am afraid to tow this now.

Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
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I assume you experienced "death wobble" when you were driving the Jeep as opposed to towing it. There are many possible causes, ranging from tire pressures and wear, worn components in the steering system or the Panhard rod, caster settings, etc. Your best bet is to take it to a good alignment shop that is experienced with solid axle 4WD vehicles and let them go through it.

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Old 04-20-2011, 05:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. My husband is out rotating the tires. I am just concerned what would happen if this starts while we are towing it. I will have it looked at ASAP, but from what I'm reading this is a major problem with Jeeps.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
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death wobble is simple harmonics. it can be either simple to fix or it can take some time. one of the biggest causes is loose trac arm bolts. The problem could be almost any where worn wheel bearing units, worn steering linkage(at any point in the system),..... the list goes on.
I look under it and see if you can findwhat it is, and if you are not able to, do like rusty said take it to a good shop. the Jeep's suspension are quite simple just the like these straight axle RVs. it does not take a genius to fix one so don't get ripped off.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:12 PM   #5
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Thanks Mekanic! Here's hoping it's the simple fix!
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:32 PM   #6
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I've owned too many Jeeps to remember including several 'rag tops' going back to 1978. On the simple side it can be worn steering damper(s), sways bar, track bar, etc. One of the most common causes is improper caster (part of alignment) due to changing the center-of-gravity (CG) due to raising the Jeep. Depending on the Jeep you can usually raise 3 - 4" safely w/o impacting the drivability.

If you've not done anything significant to the height I'd look at a couple of quick checks.....anything broken in the front end? did you throw a wheel weight (especially on front)? do you have mud in tire tread? You've added weight to the front and that has brought attention to any misalignment. Might want to look at that quickly.

Hope that helps some. Best thing I can provide at the moment. By the way, I've went through the death wobble myself so I know the feeling.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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They sell a steering stabilizer that goes from the axel to the tie rod. You can buy them at most automotive stores and they are reasonably priced. It is a shock absorber that has brackets and will cure your problem. Just make sure you dont have something loose that is causing your problem. No matter what, the stabilizer will stop the shimmying.

Try this for starters:
Steering stabilizer jeep - Shop sales, stores & prices at TheFind.com
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:37 PM   #8
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steering dampners are standard on the the wrangler going back to at least 1987?
One going bad does not cause death wobble neither does any kind of alignment adjustments. A dampner can make a death wobble feel better or keep at bay untill the parts are loose enough to overcome the dampner. all the newer wrangler since 1997 have coil spring suspension and the trac bars are CRITICAL to keeping one of these vehicles driving with good manners.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:00 PM   #9
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If the jeep has a lift on it depending on how high it could need longer upper and lower control arms and also a longer trac bar
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:28 PM   #10
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I had the same problem. I replaced my oem steering damper with 35k miles with a new one from 4wd Parts, $40. Seems to have cured it.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunnersmom View Post
I would greatly appreciate any help or info I can get. Tonite on my way home I hit a small bump in the road. My Jeep started to violently shake, scared me to death. I had to come to a complete stop as I had no steering control. I got home safely and got on the internet to see what I could find. Found out it is referred to as the "Death Wobble" and many, many owners are experiencing the same issue. We are leaving for a trip tomorrow and just finished putting on our new blue ox towing system. Because so many of us tow jeeps has anyone else experienced this and found a solution? I am afraid to tow this now.

Thanks in advance for any help
MY toad is an 07' Liberty sport 4x4. 3 weeks ago I noticed a bump when I turned the wheel L&R while sitting still. Also noticed an increase in road wander.

Took it straight to Jeep dealer. New rack & pinion + alignment. Now drives like it did when I drove it off the lot.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:41 PM   #12
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I don't know if the following link from the wrangler forum will work if you're not a member, but if not it would be worth registering as it is an excellent article on the death wobble problem.
Diagnosing Death Wobble and Fixing Non-DW Shimmies and Wobbles - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:48 AM   #13
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Thanks to all that replied. BobGed, that is a wonderful site and has a fountain of information! Thanks so much!! This was a very scarey event and anyone else that is concerned should go to this site.

On our way to the Casino! Gotta make a new batch to pay for Jeep repairs!
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:20 AM   #14
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Gunnersmom - look at Jeepforum.com also. Through my years living with Jeeps of the Wrangler type (which are most commly associated with death wobble), that site has been a wealth of information. Just do a search for 'death wobble' . Again, raising the Jeep up is the main root cause b/c it is changing the dynamics of the castor/camber, etc (alignment terms). Those who have dealt with it often will point you to that as the first important thing to look into. Of course you didn't raise yours so I'd look for bad steering damper (standard equip), thrown wheel balance, or something in tread. It's happen to me after coming back on road after trip off road. Seems I had piece of dried mud in the tread.....it hit at about 30mph and nearly made me lose the Jeep! So, unfortunately there's not a silver bullet that answers the question.
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