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Old 05-18-2017, 08:14 AM   #1
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Jeep cherokee question again

Ok new survey for Jeep CHEROKEE owners. Who has had the " death wobble"and who has not while towing and what kind of tow bar/ base plate are you using? Is your tow bar parallel or slanting up or down when attached?
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:09 AM   #2
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Tow bar should be like a trailer, flat, level.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:28 PM   #3
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I was told it is caused by the electronic power steering . Jeep has a kit to install to power up the steering when being towed
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:35 PM   #4
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Have towed our 2015 Cherokee over 6000 miles with no wobble problem. We use a Blue Ox towbar. Did have to purchase a drop-down hitch for the motorhome, so towbar is level, otherwise too much angle. I wonder if an improper towing angle would maybe create a wobble (??)
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:34 PM   #5
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Anyone that is towing a Cherokee KL (2014 & newer) without the Mopar tow wiring harness is playing with fire.

Take a look at the attached photo and imagine what might have happened if the remaining one tow bar attachment point had broken loose.

Yes I understand he didn't have a supplemental brake system and the base plate didn't have safety cables attached to the frame, but if the break away switch was attached to the base plate, it probably wouldn't have stopped the vehicle from becoming a free rolling disaster in the making.

Without the tow harness you're towing a dangerous vehicle to save about $500. Is it worth it?
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:22 AM   #6
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I've towed our 2015 Trailhawk 17,000 miles with a Blue Ox Alpha tow bar that is basically flat when hooked up. Also have an SMI Stay N Play brake system.

I did experience a wobble one time, but fully expected it to happen when it did, and my bet was almost any toad would not have not self centered. We made a very slow, very sharp turn through a very big dip in the road pulling into a gas station, and I immediately stopped and all was well (my wife said "what was that?" as I stopped, and said "that was the wobble").

I have to talked to Jeep and they have approved a complimentary install at our dealer if / when I decide to do so. In talking with the service manager at our dealer, he had little confidence in this "half baked" fix which he does not believe to be a 100%. And in reality, I'm don't have a high level of confidence in them (or any dealer) doing the install correctly either (hence, a false sense of security). I still contend that it's not just the steering but other factors that you either have or don't have (bar angles, braking system, play in the bar etc.), that trigger a wobble event.

It also seems fairly obvious that Trailhawks are significantly less susceptible which I beleive has to do with the larger tires that would have a greater tendency to self center. You also have a different ride height and hence steering geometry scenario with a Trailhawk. I've really never looked at how tow bar attachments may vary (or difference between Blue Ox and others) - my blue Ox plate uses the attachment points from the Trailhawk tow hooks which are removed......

One thing I've been trying to observe, is now many of the wobbles have occured to DPs vs. Gassers - it seems to me to be more DPs, but I certainly don't have any evidence to support that - could the rear engine heat have any effect on this? Hum..... Or maybe air suspension characteristics?

As for the picture above, and reading the owner's post on another forum, I think we are missing a chapter or two to the story as to what happened. I know Bob and I have followed this on here and another forum pretty much since the beginning and is is the only case of any damage that I recall seeing (hence my skepticism of the story).

I will say, that when I see / drive over uneven construction surfaces, bad road conditions, etc. I heighten my awareness to the potential of a wobble occurring, and I remind my wife when she is driving whenever I see unusual road conditions as well.......

BTW, this electric steering related wobble issue also seems to occur on other vehicles, again, with no constancy............

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Old 05-23-2017, 02:43 AM   #7
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The Death Wobble is caused partially by the type of tow system installed and because the operator has not taken care to rid the tow system of play.
If you grab the tow bar and move them up and down or side to side and they clunk and move in the receiver then you have play that needs to be stopped. Install a Quiet Hitch or two to fix this.
Next you also need to ensure that you are not unloading the front suspension of the Toad. To check this, with the Toad not connected measure the distance form ground to a set position on the front of the Toad.
Now connect the Toad to the MH and ensure the MH is at Ride Height( DP's need air bags inflated) and remeasure ground to exact same point as before, if number is larger then you are unloading suspension(lifting front end of TOAD)(Death Wobble here I come)
If you ensure all of these things are fixed/correct then you should not get the dreaded Death Wobble
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGewl View Post
The Death Wobble is caused partially by the type of tow system installed and because the operator has not taken care to rid the tow system of play.
If you grab the tow bar and move them up and down or side to side and they clunk and move in the receiver then you have play that needs to be stopped. Install a Quiet Hitch or two to fix this.
Next you also need to ensure that you are not unloading the front suspension of the Toad. To check this, with the Toad not connected measure the distance form ground to a set position on the front of the Toad.
Now connect the Toad to the MH and ensure the MH is at Ride Height( DP's need air bags inflated) and remeasure ground to exact same point as before, if number is larger then you are unloading suspension(lifting front end of TOAD)(Death Wobble here I come)
If you ensure all of these things are fixed/correct then you should not get the dreaded Death Wobble


since the tow bar is
designed to pivot up and down as well as sideways, how could it lift the toad? I understand the tow bar should be as flat as possible but lifting the toad I cant see how.
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:39 AM   #9
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As I've posted previously in this and other threads, I tend to agree with SuperGewl on a lot of interacting systems, forces, and random circumstances that can trigger a wobble.

The tow bar angle / dymanics is something I've tried to come up with some logical scenarios for a long time.

So, just this morning, I came up with this one.....

Assume tow bar is higher on the RV than the toad.
If the toad braking systems is more sensitive and / or slows the toad faster than the RV, it kind of becomes a sea anchor.
In that case, it would seem to me that the RV would to some degree be "dragging" the toad that is applying "too much" braking vs. the RV.
Would not tow bar naturally pull up on the front of the toad, and unload the front tires?

My other senario is actually opposite. Tow bar is lower on the RV than the toad. Toad is not slowing as fast as the RV under braking, and therefore the toad is "pushing" on the tow bar, which in this case would create a lift / unloading the front end of the toad.

And as for the "big dip" senario, I think that if the RV rear goes up quickly vs. the toad which may actually be going down, and or past the up / down limits of the bar, it's going to pull the front of the toad up. Depending on the severity of the dip, it could happen to any tow bar angle.

The other thing is simply a very tight turn, were the toad front tires simply do not self center quickly enough, which can be compounded particularly by the "big dip" senario (which is where I put my case). I would also tend to think this could happen to any toad to one degree or another.

Just some food for thought.............

BTW, my SMI Stay N Play is set on miminal braking application. In any case, your shouldn't be trying to stop your 10-25 ton RV by dragging your 2 ton toad.........
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:39 AM   #10
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More food for thought

More food for thought. While towing my 2016 trailhawk [ no wire harness] with a blue ox tow bar and a 4 inch drop down receiver adapter, misjudged a railroad crossing and went over way too fast. All kinds of noise but no wobble. When I stopped for fuel I checked the hitch and tow bar as I always do at fuel stops, saw that the drop down adapter was bent down probably close to 1 inch. just sayin???? Yes I did replace it and saw no further damage. By the way I bent an 8 inch drop down on my previous rig when I hit one of those famous frost heaves on the Alcan.
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