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Old 05-11-2017, 09:21 AM   #1
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Jeep GRAND Cherokee death wobble!

Well, it finally happened ... I experienced the dreaded "death wobble" towing our 2016 Grand Cherokee. Like the (only) other two incidents I've heard of involving GCs (as opposed to Cherokees), it happened under unusual circumstances -- I was making a hard right turn onto a highway, with a several-inch bump onto new pavement in my lane, which got the oscillation started. It was no big deal, as I was only going 5-10 mph and was able to pull off and stop immediately. I did a walk-around, found nothing amiss, and continued on the 2,000-mile-plus trip we were just beginning. The rest of the trip went without incident.

At this point, I see no need to seek a solution from Jeep. Frankly, I'd rather put up with this as a very occasional problem than have to install a new wiring harness and complicate my towing setup as the Cherokee owners have had to. Anyway, just reporting to add to the discussion.
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:35 PM   #2
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Haven't experienced any issues with our 2015 GC but thanks for the heads up.
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by britcon View Post
Haven't experienced any issues with our 2015 GC but thanks for the heads up.
You probably won't experience any issues. It wasn't until 2016 that the Grand Cherokee went to the Electric Power Steering.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabby Mike View Post
Well, it finally happened ... I experienced the dreaded "death wobble" towing our 2016 Grand Cherokee. Like the (only) other two incidents I've heard of involving GCs (as opposed to Cherokees), it happened under unusual circumstances -- I was making a hard right turn onto a highway, with a several-inch bump onto new pavement in my lane, which got the oscillation started. It was no big deal, as I was only going 5-10 mph and was able to pull off and stop immediately. I did a walk-around, found nothing amiss, and continued on the 2,000-mile-plus trip we were just beginning. The rest of the trip went without incident.

At this point, I see no need to seek a solution from Jeep. Frankly, I'd rather put up with this as a very occasional problem than have to install a new wiring harness and complicate my towing setup as the Cherokee owners have had to. Anyway, just reporting to add to the discussion.
It happened (death wobble) to me today leaving Sweet Home, Oregon. Turned hard left onto highway 228 from Hwy 20. Accelerated to about 20 mph and I thought I had a flat on the front tire. Began to slow looked in camera and the jeeps front wheels were going back and forth quickly. I was able to stop and safely pull over with no damage. I can't imagine what would happen at higher speeds. I continued about 300 miles through several mountain ranges with no problems.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:48 AM   #5
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So, once you experience the "death wobble" on the GC and stop. What do you do before proceeding again? Turn the GC key on or start up the vehicle to recenter the wheels? Or is simply stopping enough to get the GC straightened out again? We have a 2017 GC and I am holding up on getting the toad items installed until more is known about the death wobble on the electric steer GCs.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:06 AM   #6
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So, once you experience the "death wobble" on the GC and stop. What do you do before proceeding again? Turn the GC key on or start up the vehicle to recenter the wheels? Or is simply stopping enough to get the GC straightened out again? We have a 2017 GC and I am holding up on getting the toad items installed until more is known about the death wobble on the electric steer GCs.
For me, it was just a matter of stopping the coach, doing a quick walk-around to make sure all was OK, and starting back up again. Did not do anything to the Jeep -- wheels recenter as soon as you start moving. Probably won't even get out if/when it happens again. Every GC wobble incident I've heard of so far (less than 10 I'd say) has been similar -- low speed and involving a sharp turn and/or bump that starts the oscillation. No big deal to me (yet), and we've towed our GC cross-country, a total of 10k miles or more with only the one incident.
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:48 PM   #7
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We have the 2015 GC and have towed for about 15k miles and never experienced the wobble. Not saying it does not or cannot happen but with ours, the GC was a great choice for us.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:36 PM   #8
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I have to ask for all of you that have gotten the Death Wobble.
What tow bar setup are you using?
Have you verified that you are not lifting the front end of the Jeep up when
your rig is at ride height?
Have you removed all of the play in your tow setup by installing a Quiet Hitch?
I ask these questions because I am gathering enough information to see if it is not an actual car mfg problem but instead a Base Plate mfg problem along with the fact that the Tow Bar setup has not been tightened up.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:58 PM   #9
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Subscribed. I am trading our F-150 for a '17 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit this week. Towbar height should be level using the 4" drop adapter I've been using for the F-150, and I have quiet hitch clamps at both the drop adapter and towbar junctions. I wonder if the potential for this problem varies with GC model? For example, Quadra-Lift Air Suspension vs none?
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:14 PM   #10
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Subscribed. I am trading our F-150 for a '17 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit this week. Towbar height should be level using the 4" drop adapter I've been using for the F-150, and I have quiet hitch clamps at both the drop adapter and towbar junctions. I wonder if the potential for this problem varies with GC model? For example, Quadra-Lift Air Suspension vs none?

What brand Base plates and Tow Bar are you going to use?

Its not a GC or Cherokee issue it is any thing with a EPS if not setup correctly.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:45 PM   #11
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What brand Base plates and Tow Bar are you going to use?

Its not a GC or Cherokee issue it is any thing with a EPS if not setup correctly.
Blue Ox baseplate and Avail towbar. Post #3 indicates that the GC went to EPS in 2016. How does one know if this is set up correctly? I imagine that the death wobble oscillations are a result of numerous factors such as hitch free play, suspension compliance, steering component play, tire sidewall aspect ratio and flex, etc. At least the examples listed above occur at relatively slow speeds, and are not chronic or widespread.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:48 AM   #12
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I keep hearing people trying to lay this off on base plates, tow bars or the angle, and while I guess there could be some instances of wobble caused by some of those variables, it's the new setup of electric assisted steering that's causing the problem. The electric assisted steering doesn't keep enough tension on the steering components when the key is turned off. While the GC's larger tires and heavier weight may lessen the number of occurances, it is still possibe. I have towed our 2016 GC Limited for over 3,000 miles with no issues whatsoever. On our trip to Emerald Isle, NC this Spring, it happened twice within 15 minutes. Both cases were starting out and making a very hard LH turn. As soon as I stopped the coach and restarted problem went away. In both of our cases, there was no way you could miss it. It shook the back of the coach. I have NEVER heard of it occurring at highway speeds, and I'm not sure what would happen. The next time it happens (if it happens) I want to hit the toad brakes and see if it has any effect.

Love the GC. As long as it doesn't happen at highway speeds, I can live with it. If it ever happens at a faster speed, I may be looking for a new toad....again.
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:31 AM   #13
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I have a Demco tabless baseplate (9519291) and a Demco Excalibar II Tow bar (9511009). I have a quiet hitch (or a similar competitor) to tighten up the hitch. I don't do any fooling around with the ride height - I am pretty sure it is at normal ride height. From my hitch to the baseplate connectors is pretty level - within an inch.

I towed the GC more than 5000 miles so far, and have had the wobble twice. Both times were at low speed after a sharp turn with an uneven surface. All I did both times was bring the coach to a full stop and observe the GC in the backup camera when I got going again, and both times I observed it starting up straight and true with no problems.

I don't intend to do anything about it. Watch your backup camera on a turning startup. Even if you forget to do that, you'll feel something weird going on and then you'll see it.
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:54 PM   #14
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This is my third Grand Cherokee toad, previously had '08 and '11.
I'm using the same tow bar and similar base plate set up on this one. My Jeep has adjustable air suspension and I have been guilty of towing in lowered position. First 5 times towing, probably 2000 miles total, no problems. I have now experienced the death wobble 4 times. My toad is 8 months old. It only happens after a stop and a completed turn. It happens in both normal suspension height as well as lowered height. The last time it happened I drove in stop and go Southern California traffic on the freeway for 4 hours with no problems. When I exited on a downhill ramp and turned left after the light changed, it started. It always cures itself after I pull over and stop. I'm visiting my local Jeep dealer next week and expect them to not have a clue what I'm describing. Thanks to all participating here because my coach is at Cummins for routine maintenance and a thorough chassis inspection. I had no idea this issue applied to Grand Cherokees before finding this thread.
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