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Old 08-30-2021, 12:45 PM   #1
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2021 CHEROKEE Limited

I have read a lot about the dreaded "Death Wobble" on Jeep vehicles. Most of the information for CHEROKEES relates either to OLDER Cherokees or GRAND Cherokees. Here are my questions:
1. A Steering Wiring Harness was available for older CHEROKEE models but I have seen no informed information as to whether the 2021 model need such a harness. Has this problem been engineered out of the 2021 models or is this "Death Wobble" still a problem in 2021?
2. If a wiring harness is available/required for the 2021 CHEROKEE, does anyone know the part number?
My local dealer is quite uninformed on this subject and I have not been able to get any reliable information on this problem.

Any informed information on this matter would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks so much
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Old 08-30-2021, 05:45 PM   #2
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The need for a harness went away when the Cherokee was refreshed for the 2019 model year. I have about 15k miles towing my 2020 Cherokee Limited and have never experienced any wobble.

BTW the baseplate and wiring install is more difficult on a Limited than a Trailhawk. You have to cut the lower plastic grille for the baseplate access, and running the wiring is a pain because of the moveable shutters behind the lower grille. You can’t remove the shutters either, that triggers the engine light.
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Old 08-31-2021, 05:36 AM   #3
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2021 CHEROKEE Limited

Thanks, Shadow5501. I have seen this general information posted on etrailer.com.



Coincidentally, yesterday afternoon I had a phone landline message on my message recorder from a person by the name of James from Stellantis Customer Assistance Center on this subject. He was responding to an email query I sent to Jeep Customer Care about 3 weeks ago. His response was, and I'm quoting:
"....while the component (Steering Wiring Harness) is not required, we do recommend it because it will prevent wobbling while towing a Cherokee behind an RV. The reason the part number is not showing up on the Mopar/Jeep website is that it can only be ordered and installed at an authorized Jeep dealership, so you'll have to go to your local dealer to get more information about this." Unfortunately he did not leave a call back phone number.
So I guess I'll head out to the dealer for clarification. Prior attempts at this have been unsuccessful and indeed frustrating.


So thanks again.



I absolutely welcome and additional information on this subject from you or anyone else who wishes to weigh in.


Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-31-2021, 07:45 AM   #4
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This link provides the FCA documentation that the flat tow harness is not required for 2019 Cherokees. Perhaps you could provide that to the Stellantis Customer Assistance Center to ensure it remains applicable to 2021 models. But the official flat tow requirements that should be followed are outlined in the owners manual.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/upda...ml#post4243680
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Old 09-03-2021, 01:35 PM   #5
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Bikinjim,


Jim, thank you so much for the screenshot of the Service Bulletin about this issue. I was able to go to my local dealer and he was able to pull up the appropriate information based on the details you provided. Very helpful.
I've been wrestling with this wobble issue for over a month and kept getting confusing, conflicting, half answers, and misinformation on this problem.
Thanks for taking the time to clue me in on this.
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:08 AM   #6
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I have the 2020 Cherokee Trailhawk and the dealer insisted on installing the "wiring harness" for $700. I used it twice and both times my battery was drained and I got a "Check Engine" light that required the dealership to clear. I have NOT used the wiring harness since and have had no problems with +12K miles towing. As noted, the death wobble appears to be fixed with the 2019 model and you should not need the wiring harness.
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Old 09-06-2021, 05:33 AM   #7
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Thanks, Gormleys. Very helpful to know that you've traveled that far without a problem. I suspect that you are correct about this being fixed permanently a few years ago. I assume that there was some kind of engineering/design change with the 2019 Cherokee that eliminated the need for the harness.
What got me running down this rabbit hole was two things:
1. The 2021 Jeep Cherokee (Official) Authentic Accessories brochure page 7 which shows/states: FLAT TOW WIRING HARNESS KIT P/N 68321424AC "prevents wobble in the steering system of your Cherokee when towing it behind a motor home., And
2. A voicemail from an Customer Assistance Center representative responding to my email request to Jeep about the need for such a harness. His voicemail said it was needed to avoid the wobble. (Apparently not accurate).
Anyway, I'm not installing the harness and praying I never experience this problem.


Thanks again for your information. I appreciate it!
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow5501 View Post
The need for a harness went away when the Cherokee was refreshed for the 2019 model year. I have about 15k miles towing my 2020 Cherokee Limited and have never experienced any wobble.

BTW the baseplate and wiring install is more difficult on a Limited than a Trailhawk. You have to cut the lower plastic grille for the baseplate access, and running the wiring is a pain because of the moveable shutters behind the lower grille. You can’t remove the shutters either, that triggers the engine light.
Are you happy with it? We are looking at a 19 Limited with AD2 and a 19 Trailhawk Elite. I think I like the Limited better, it seems to have more options as well. Are there any options that cause problems when flat towing?

Thanks
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Old 09-21-2021, 03:51 AM   #9
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lifguardct,
Afraid i can't help with any of your questions as this is my 1st Jeep and I just took delivery on Saturday 9/19. Have only driven it 10 miles to my home.


Good luck with your decision.



For anyone else reading this original post about "Wobble" and a "Harness" being referenced/recommended in the Official 2021 Cherokee Accessories Manual, that reference has just been electronically erased from their Accessories manual (so it really isn't needed and never was needed on the 2021 model). They just got sloppy about updating their manual year-to-year.
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by lifguardct View Post
Are you happy with it? We are looking at a 19 Limited with AD2 and a 19 Trailhawk Elite. I think I like the Limited better, it seems to have more options as well. Are there any options that cause problems when flat towing?

Thanks
Yes, it has been a good car and a good towed. I find it surprisingly comfortable with good seats, and it is very smooth and quiet at highway speeds. It’s a touch small for me at a lanky 6 feet plus, but works great as an everyday driver for the spouse. We have 15k miles on the odometer and about 15k towing it. It has been perfectly reliable, no return visits to the dealer for repair or recall. Two oil changes and tire rotations is the sum total maintenance so far. About the only complaint is that Chrysler’s 9 speed transmission sometimes shifts a bit abruptly. But overall two thumbs up for a good all around everyday car/tow car.
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Old 09-21-2021, 04:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow5501 View Post
Yes, it has been a good car and a good towed. I find it surprisingly comfortable with good seats, and it is very smooth and quiet at highway speeds. It’s a touch small for me at a lanky 6 feet plus, but works great as an everyday driver for the spouse. We have 15k miles on the odometer and about 15k towing it. It has been perfectly reliable, no return visits to the dealer for repair or recall. Two oil changes and tire rotations is the sum total maintenance so far. About the only complaint is that Chrysler’s 9 speed transmission sometimes shifts a bit abruptly. But overall two thumbs up for a good all around everyday car/tow car.
Thanks for the response.
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:21 AM   #12
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Cherokee Limited

I flat tow a 2018 Trailhawk 13,000 miles and never heard about a death wobble or the need for any harness. What is the death wobble?
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:19 AM   #13
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I flat tow a 2018 Trailhawk 13,000 miles and never heard about a death wobble or the need for any harness. What is the death wobble?
The death wobble is a dangerous wobble instability that results in the front wheels oscillating back and forth and severely shaking the car and the motorhome. The 2014 through 2018 Cherokees are susceptible to developing the wobble which may cause severe damage to the car. Your owner’s manual should include the requirement for the installation of the flat tow harness to power up the car’s electric steering system to mitigate wobbles as a requirement to flat tow the car. The wobble requires vehicle specific conditions to initiate and one condition most likely is wear in the steering/suspension system. Wobbles in the Cherokee can occur at both high and low speeds. I towed a 2015 Trailhawk before the wobble became evident and before the flat tow harness became available. It took more than 40K miles of towing before I had my first low speed wobble which was shortly followed by a high speed wobble. I installed the flat tow harness and never had another until I traded the car. You should research the wobble and then install the flat tow harness to prevent this dangerous condition. My high speed wobble was pretty dramatic and I for sure never wanted to have another and I feel very fortunate that severe damage didn’t occur to the car. It’s my opinion that it’s not a matter of if a wobble will occur but when unless that flat tow harness is installed and powering up your steering system when towing. I can assure you that you do not want to ever experience a high speed wobble.
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:59 PM   #14
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2021 Cherokee Limited

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikinjim View Post
The death wobble is a dangerous wobble instability that results in the front wheels oscillating back and forth and severely shaking the car and the motorhome. The 2014 through 2018 Cherokees are susceptible to developing the wobble which may cause severe damage to the car. Your owner’s manual should include the requirement for the installation of the flat tow harness to power up the car’s electric steering system to mitigate wobbles as a requirement to flat tow the car. The wobble requires vehicle specific conditions to initiate and one condition most likely is wear in the steering/suspension system. Wobbles in the Cherokee can occur at both high and low speeds. I towed a 2015 Trailhawk before the wobble became evident and before the flat tow harness became available. It took more than 40K miles of towing before I had my first low speed wobble which was shortly followed by a high speed wobble. I installed the flat tow harness and never had another until I traded the car. You should research the wobble and then install the flat tow harness to prevent this dangerous condition. My high speed wobble was pretty dramatic and I for sure never wanted to have another and I feel very fortunate that severe damage didn’t occur to the car. It’s my opinion that it’s not a matter of if a wobble will occur but when unless that flat tow harness is installed and powering up your steering system when towing. I can assure you that you do not want to ever experience a high speed wobble.
Thank you for the enlightenment. I was unaware of this issue. Is the harness something installed with the base plate or afterwards. If after can I get one from mopar and have it installed.
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