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Old 09-01-2015, 04:06 AM   #43
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death wobble

Now I am getting concerned! Perhaps it is because of the electric steering? I've searched around and no one makes a steering stabilizer for the Cherokee. I've set aside some heavy bungee cords to strap down the steering wheel if it should happen, but not be familiar with electric steering, I don't know if that would help. With electrical steering, if you turn the steering wheel while parked in say your garage, with engine off, would the wheels turn like the old mechanical steering?
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:19 PM   #44
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Death Wobble....Not.

I have viewed the video of the “hunting” Jeep and that does not have any relationship with the phenomena called death wobble that is so common with solid front axle vehicles. I have experienced that and corrected several cases of it.


I have also experienced a much less severe case of what the video shows. In my case, the cause was excessive lateral movement of the draw bar inside the hitch receiver. The force vectors and theory are complex, though not as much as in true death wobble, and may be a waste of time to explain.


The towed vehicle will hunt side to side as a normal function of forward travel. External forces from wind and road surface irregularities assure that the vehicle will explore the limits that the hitch system will permit. The greater the lateral distance limit, the more energy developed that will be dumped into the hitch and thus the frame of the towing vehicle. The hitch assembly is a long lever and the fulcrum is the rear axle(s) assembly. The forces developed are transmitted all the way to the front axle of the towing vehicle.


The lateral forces generated are stored and released in a natural resonance determined by the mass and resiliency of the combined system. A low frequency oscillation is the result.


In my instance, I only needed to remove the lateral movement from the hitch with a “Quiet Hitch” from Road Master. I was lucky. I expect that most cases will not respond so easily. One may need to modify the towing vehicle with the addition of a rear track bar (pan hard rod), and / or experiment with tire pressure changes to modify the native resonant frequency.

You must accept the possibility that the two vehicles are not compatible in this configuration.


If the towed vehicle does not exhibit any instability when driven in a normal manner, then there is zero chance of any remedial attention from Jeep, and certainly no legal recourse.


Phil
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:08 AM   #45
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death wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSOUZA View Post
I have viewed the video of the “hunting” Jeep and that does not have any relationship with the phenomena called death wobble that is so common with solid front axle vehicles. I have experienced that and corrected several cases of it.


I have also experienced a much less severe case of what the video shows. In my case, the cause was excessive lateral movement of the draw bar inside the hitch receiver. The force vectors and theory are complex, though not as much as in true death wobble, and may be a waste of time to explain.


The towed vehicle will hunt side to side as a normal function of forward travel. External forces from wind and road surface irregularities assure that the vehicle will explore the limits that the hitch system will permit. The greater the lateral distance limit, the more energy developed that will be dumped into the hitch and thus the frame of the towing vehicle. The hitch assembly is a long lever and the fulcrum is the rear axle(s) assembly. The forces developed are transmitted all the way to the front axle of the towing vehicle.


The lateral forces generated are stored and released in a natural resonance determined by the mass and resiliency of the combined system. A low frequency oscillation is the result.


In my instance, I only needed to remove the lateral movement from the hitch with a “Quiet Hitch” from Road Master. I was lucky. I expect that most cases will not respond so easily. One may need to modify the towing vehicle with the addition of a rear track bar (pan hard rod), and / or experiment with tire pressure changes to modify the native resonant frequency.

You must accept the possibility that the two vehicles are not compatible in this configuration.


If the towed vehicle does not exhibit any instability when driven in a normal manner, then there is zero chance of any remedial attention from Jeep, and certainly no legal recourse.


Phil
Reading your reply, it makes sence. I haven't had any problems, but I like to be on top of things just in case. My hitch and receiver are very tight, my tow bar is all steel and very tight, perhaps that is why I don't have any wobble.
Another way a person could take the "sloppyness" out of the hitch receiver is fabricate some shims out of brass shim stock. I'm not pointing any fingers but I would think that alumium towbars would twist and bend a lot more than heavy steel ones. Just my two cents input, trying to reason out the cause.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:38 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retiredblade View Post
Reading your reply, it makes sence. I haven't had any problems, but I like to be on top of things just in case. My hitch and receiver are very tight, my tow bar is all steel and very tight, perhaps that is why I don't have any wobble.
Another way a person could take the "sloppyness" out of the hitch receiver is fabricate some shims out of brass shim stock. I'm not pointing any fingers but I would think that alumium towbars would twist and bend a lot more than heavy steel ones. Just my two cents input, trying to reason out the cause.
I tried using shims as a temporary measure and found that flexing of the receiver would spit them out in minutes, no matter how tightly they were wedged. Very frustrating.

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Old 10-01-2015, 08:43 AM   #47
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One more update: The violent oscillation still occurs for me. Took it to a dealer again. They contacted Jeep and got a consult with a Jeep "Technician". This whizbang didn't even understand the purpose or need for a braking system on the toad No knowledge about towing the Jeep at all, obviously. Just his job to disclaim any responsibility. The net result was the claim "there's nothing wrong with our equipment, it must be what you've done to the Jeep". Note I now have documented twenty five vehicles which have REPORTED the problem. Who knows how many others out there. And that is with different motorhomes, different models, different tow bars, different years, and so on. I'm glad for those who have not had it happen, and hope their good fortune continues. My wife and I are no longer willing to risk towing this thing, and while we like the vehicle a lot in other aspects, I think I will join the others who have elected to dispose of it and select a different toad.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:45 PM   #48
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One more update: I think I will join the others who have elected to dispose of it and select a different toad.

I understand the frustration, but until you (we) understand the actual cause of the instability, you stand a very good chance of trading into the same or worse situation with another toad. There has been a distressing lack of critical reasoning and just plain wrong statement of opinion as fact on this issue in the current threads.

Even more frustrating, is the lack of expert mechanical experience for hire. This kind of instability, while not uncommon in our realm of experience, is sufficiently rare in the commercial repair market as to make corrections almost impossible unless one does the thought and work themselves.

Good luck in what ever you choose to do.

Phil
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:44 PM   #49
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Yea right 25
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:29 PM   #50
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I was reading on this site a couple of days ago that my Ford cmax could also get the "Death Wobble". There is a video on Youtube of it happening. Apparently the cars and trucks that have a camber that cannot be adjusted (as with the cmax and some trucks) suffer from this condition and Ford does not have a fix for it except to suggest you use a tow dolly for them. We just wired our car and sold our dolly because it became too much for my husband to push around so we are going to have to deal with it if it happens. If anybody can figure out how to make the steering not go crazy when you make a left hand turn (this is where it happens most, I am told) it would be a God send. One guy on a Ford truck forum said he use to put a bungee on his Jeep's steering wheel to help the wheel not over correct when he turned. What do you think about this possibility????
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:27 PM   #51
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There is a fix for the problem in the works from Chrysler. They know of the problem and their engineers believe they have it solved. (BTW, RREAM, my list is now over 40 owners - maybe not belittling others' posts would be a good idea.) I will post info about the fix as soon as I know more.
The oscillation has to do with the new electric steering power assist which provides no steering dampening when the vehicle is off (being towed). Not like the old hydraulic.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:39 PM   #52
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There is a fix for the problem in the works from Chrysler. They know of the problem and their engineers believe they have it solved. (BTW, RREAM, my list is now over 40 owners - maybe not belittling others' posts would be a good idea.) I will post info about the fix as soon as I know more.
The oscillation has to do with the new electric steering power assist which provides no steering dampening when the vehicle is off (being towed). Not like the old hydraulic.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:31 PM   #53
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We will all be waiting to hear from you again. Fortunately, we have not had this happen YET, but hope they find a solution before we go out again in the spring. Thanks for keeping us informed.
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:29 AM   #54
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I am fortunate in that I have another vehicle which can and now is, serving "toad-duty". Although I have not had the "death-wobble" experience I do not care to tempt fate at this time.

Meanwhile, for the past few months I have heard, from multiple sources, that FCA is working on the problem. However, is there any official announcement?... a service bulletin?... anything more than an unwritten statement from some unidentified individual at FCA?
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:53 AM   #55
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Twoflyrodders: If I am not on your list, please add me. It happened just the one time (as reported in this forum) but it is a frightening enough experience for me to remain concerned. I have since added a Quiet Hitch and not had a recurrence... But I have only pulled the Cherokee about 2000 miles since then. Thanks for your updates, /ken
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:37 AM   #56
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What is a quiet hitch?


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