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Old 12-29-2021, 07:46 PM   #1
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Just picked up a new to me 2017 JKU Sahara

This will be the 3rd towed that I have set up. The 2016 Grand Cherokee Limited was at (or a little above) the max tow of our Bay Star. I know what needs to be done to set it up to tow, but is there anything else I need to know. Is the death wobble still a possibility (I remember reading about it many years ago). Is there anything I need to watch out for? I think it will be a solid 600lbs lighter, so thatís a start. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-29-2021, 09:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPoland View Post
This will be the 3rd towed that I have set up. The 2016 Grand Cherokee Limited was at (or a little above) the max tow of our Bay Star. I know what needs to be done to set it up to tow, but is there anything else I need to know. Is the death wobble still a possibility (I remember reading about it many years ago). Is there anything I need to watch out for? I think it will be a solid 600lbs lighter, so thatís a start. Any help would be appreciated.
"I know what needs to be done to set it up for two, but is there anything else I need to know?"
First off, we don't know what you know. So, how can we advise you on "anything else"? Second, as far as the infamous *Death wobble* is concerned, it doesn't happen on every vehicle, especially Jeeps. It does happen once in a while, on some. We've owned, modified and towed 9 different Jeep Wranglers over about a 30+ year period and have never, ever had any form of a death wobble, either towing or driving. As long as all your suspension components are in good shape, your Jeep is properly aligned, proper tire inflation, proper tire balancing, and no evidence of any damage of any component is obvious, you should not experience any death wobble.

Some later Jeeps, as in maybe the '18's and above, or some Grand Cherokees, utilize electronic assist power steering and, when towing those, there needs to be some addressing of that kind of steering to alleviate some death wobble.

And third, you say you "think it should be a solid 600 lbs. lighter". Well, the one thing you need to do is actually WEIGH your new '17 Jeep, to be sure of what you're actually towing. What's put on paper from a manufacturer and what an actual weight is, can be quite a bit different. We presently have a '15 Jeep JKUR and I did all the setup for towing, as I did with all our other Jeeps. For tow brackets, I simply changed from a stock front bumper to a Smittybilt XRC Mod and use the recovery brackets for tow bar attachment, DONE.

As for wiring, since the newer Jeeps are CAN-BUSS wiring, I didn't tie into the wiring like I did with all my other jeeps. I simply purchased a Hopkins adaptive wiring harness for towing, installed it all in the rear, and ran the four wires through the frame and up to the front bumper where I installed a 6 pin heavy duty metal plug for towing. Done. As for brakes, I'm on the way to purchase an M&G Braking system for it since we have a diesel with air brakes. The M&G is a simple system that does not, repeat, DOES NOT have anything INSIDE the tow vehicle. It's a great system if you have a diesel coach.

Anyway, hope some of this helps. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 12-30-2021, 08:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
"I know what needs to be done to set it up for tow, but is there anything else I need to know?" First off, we don't know what you know. So, how can we advise you on "anything else"?
Ok, so let’s get specific. This is my 3rd jeep. I had a 2015 Cherokee, I set up to tow. Experienced the death wobble 1 time, due to the change over to Electric Assist Power Steering (EAPS) . It spent more time in the shop than in my driveway. It was bought back by Jeep. I then got a 2016 Grand Cherokee. I also set that one up to tow (base plate, wiring and break-away switch, RVI2 Brake). I know it is right at the max tow limit for our coach. I have talked to other Grand Cherokee owners who have weighed theirs and was told weights between 4,935 and 5,085. Because of that, I knew I needed to find something lighter, even if I was under 5K, it was still too close. I also never towed it with over 1/2 tank of gas. The weight was the only reason that I picked up the JKU Sahara. The Grand Cherokee has been rock solid, and I still have it as a backup. I have experienced the death wobble 2 times in 5,000 miles of towing. The Grand Cherokee also has EAPS. So, I know about installing a base plates, and wiring the Wrangler. I have the RVI Brake that will transfer over, and my Tow Bar (Aventa LX) is rated for 10,000 lbs.

What I wanted to know was if there is anything specific to the Wrangler that I need to keep in mind. The Grand Cherokee has IFS and the JKU doesn’t. And yes, I plan to make the trip to the scales once the baseplate is on. I have only had this one for 8 days. I was looking at a 2018 JLU, but unfortunately, at 6’4”, my head doesn't clear the sound bar.

Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Old 12-30-2021, 09:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BPoland View Post
Ok, so letís get specific. This is my 3rd jeep. I had a 2015 Cherokee, I set up to tow. Experienced the death wobble 1 time, due to the change over to Electric Assist Power Steering (EAPS) . It spent more time in the shop than in my driveway. It was bought back by Jeep. I then got a 2016 Grand Cherokee. I also set that one up to tow (base plate, wiring and break-away switch, RVI2 Brake). I know it is right at the max tow limit for our coach. I have talked to other Grand Cherokee owners who have weighed theirs and was told weights between 4,935 and 5,085. Because of that, I knew I needed to find something lighter, even if I was under 5K, it was still too close. I also never towed it with over 1/2 tank of gas. The weight was the only reason that I picked up the JKU Sahara. The Grand Cherokee has been rock solid, and I still have it as a backup. I have experienced the death wobble 2 times in 5,000 miles of towing. The Grand Cherokee also has EAPS. So, I know about installing a base plates, and wiring the Wrangler. I have the RVI Brake that will transfer over, and my Tow Bar (Aventa LX) is rated for 10,000 lbs.

What I wanted to know was if there is anything specific to the Wrangler that I need to keep in mind. The Grand Cherokee has IFS and the JKU doesnít. And yes, I plan to make the trip to the scales once the baseplate is on. I have only had this one for 8 days. I was looking at a 2018 JLU, but unfortunately, at 6í4Ē, my head doesn't clear the sound bar.

Thanks in advance for any insight.
Roger that Bill,
Thanks for getting back with some details. It sounds like you've got things covered pretty good. Along with the 9 different Jeep Wranglers we've owned, we've also had two Grand Cherokee Overlands. One was an '04 4WD with the 4.8LHO motor and the second one was a 2WD with the 5.7L Hemi in it. We both loved those Grands. Outstanding vehicles. We never towed the 4WD one 'cause we always towed our other Jeep at the time, which ever one it was. I myself have never had to deal with any form of the death wobble, in any of the 9 Jeeps we've towed. I have had steering stabilizers on all of them so, maybe those helped. Good luck on setting your new JK up.
A buddy we go Jeeping with here in Havasu has a '17 JKUR and it's also a *Hard Rock* edition. He just weighed his and it came out at, 5,300 lbs. I plan on weighing our '15 JKUR very soon just to know what it weighs.
Scott
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Old 12-30-2021, 10:03 AM   #5
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Hi Bill. There should be nothing "special" regarding the towing of your 2017 JKU. The steering wheel locks were removed mid-year 2008 and were never re-introduced, so you don't have to worry about that. Also, you shouldn't worry about death-wobble assuming your front-end steering components are all in good working order.

Since its inception, the Wrangler has always utilized a hydraulic steering system and the hydraulic actuators have always provided suitable "resistance" while in the un-powered state. The Jeep models that were susceptible to death wobble did NOT use hydraulic steering but instead used electric motors to provide steering assist. These electric motors did not provide the same un-powered resistance and became susceptible to death wobble.

There was some unfounded concern when the JL/JLU was introduced in 2018. Theses new JL's use an electric HYDRAULIC pump instead of a belt-driven hydraulic pump. When the RV folks first read that the JL's had "electric steering" they believed they might also be susceptible to death wobble. As I said, these concerns were unfounded. The system is still a hydraulic-based system and there are no electric motors - save for the one that powers the hydraulic pump.

Finally, back to your JKU. The biggest concern would only be if the Jeep has has a suspension lift. When Jeeps are raised, often times the solid front axle is rotated to better align the front driveshaft to the transfer case so that you don't get a driveline vibration. The trouble is that when you rotate the solid front axle to alleviate potential driveline vibrations, you also reduce caster. Reducing caster makes it much harder for the steering to self-center after a turn and this can be a real factor in causing death wobble.
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