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Do new Jeeps have death wobble? #5352404 02/17/20 08:21 AM
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supton Offline OP
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Had a new-ish looking Jeep pass me this morning, only to slow down. I thought it odd, then realized a front wheel was shaking--then realized it was both, and that was why he had slowed down. I stopped to make sure he was fine, he was, he'd been driving it as a rental for the last day.
It wasn't a Cherokee, it was... Wranger? dunno, not a Jeep fan. Not one of the FWD things but a regular 4x4 setup, but not one of the upscale ones either.

Anyhow, death wobble or just flogged rental?


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352407 02/17/20 08:25 AM
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diyjake Offline
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Sounds like a death wobble, not a fun experience.

Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352412 02/17/20 08:27 AM
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PowerSurge Offline
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Death wobble. Common with Jeeps and Rams with 4x4 and solid front axle.


1993 Porsche 964, 2001 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning, 2004 Chevrolet Corvette, 2018 Toyota Tundra and a few others
Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352419 02/17/20 08:30 AM
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Spktyr Offline
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Originally Posted by supton
Had a new-ish looking Jeep pass me this morning, only to slow down. I thought it odd, then realized a front wheel was shaking--then realized it was both, and that was why he had slowed down. I stopped to make sure he was fine, he was, he'd been driving it as a rental for the last day.
It wasn't a Cherokee, it was... Wranger? dunno, not a Jeep fan. Not one of the FWD things but a regular 4x4 setup, but not one of the upscale ones either.

Anyhow, death wobble or just flogged rental?


Either or both. You can get death wobble in brand new factory setup rigs that have no wear (and don't have a design defect), and of course a worn rig can have death wobble.

IIRC, there *were* a couple recent lawsuits about the Wrangler, alleging that recent versions have a design defect that causes death wobble and FCA released an updated steering damper to 'fix' it. I didn't ever look into the issue far enough to see if it was a "we're going to bandaid it with this damper" fix, "the damper is needed and will actually permanently correct it" fix, or if it was "there isn't a problem with the system, we're fitting a damper to make you idiots shut up" kind of fix.

Originally Posted by PowerSurge
Death wobble. Common with Jeeps and Rams with 4x4 and solid front axle.


It's pretty common in any solid front axle setup, some more than others - but it can affect IFS vehicles too. 4Runners like mine have a highly stressed lower ball joint setup that can cause death wobble when it wears. Uppers too, but they're less likely.

Last edited by Spktyr; 02/17/20 08:37 AM.
Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352420 02/17/20 08:31 AM
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Driz Offline
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The older ones 90s - 2000 early types I had the displeasure to deal with I’ll head a shimmy damper under the front center of the fan area. It looks like a small shock absorber mounted laterally. Whenever that thing wore out you knew it because it felt like the front end was going to fall off the thing. The only thing I ever saw worse for shaking it self to pieces and those grand Cherokees when The damper went out was a Cessna. Same sort of thing gets to a certain speed and you think that [censored] thing is going to fly apart.
Anyways if it’s got any miles on it and it has one of those things you probably just wanna go ahead and change it because you’re only like 35 $40 and real easy to put on. Jeeps are the only trucks that have those things and they all seem to have that same death wobble when it’s worn out issue. I’ve pulled a few of them off and throw them away and they felt just fine but for whatever reason internally they weren’t working right so if you’re gonna bother taking it off just replace it

Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: Driz] #5352435 02/17/20 08:41 AM
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Spktyr Offline
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Originally Posted by Driz
Jeeps are the only trucks that have those things and they all seem to have that same death wobble when it’s worn out issue.


Jeeps are definitely not the only trucks that have steering dampers, my F-350 had one from the factory. Not even the only vehicles - the last GM B-body cars had them from the factory.

Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352437 02/17/20 08:42 AM
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Miller88 Offline
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If they stick with a proper leaf sprung front end, they wouldn't death wobble. But anything that relies on the panhard bar for both lateral location and to keep the steering geometry in line is going to deathwobble. At least with leaves, the springs locate the axle.

If everything is in good shape, you do NOT need a steering stabilizer. My 2000 Cherokee with 214K miles doesn't even have one.

There's 2 ways to get out of death wobble. Stand on it and power through or slow down.


18 Forester 2.5I 6M
00 Jeep XJ
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Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352439 02/17/20 08:43 AM
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Chris142 Offline
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Mine got death wobble when it was new. Replacing the rubber bushings with neoprene ones fixed it. Never has it done it again.


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Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352449 02/17/20 08:49 AM
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supton Offline OP
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Cool, at least I didn't give the guy bogus info. It was a rental and I'm pretty sure I know how it'll get fixed.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352478 02/17/20 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by supton
Cool, at least I didn't give the guy bogus info. It was a rental and I'm pretty sure I know how it'll get fixed.


Death wobble is common on solid front axle vehicles like the Wrangler when steering or suspension components are worn. Being a fairly new rental, it's likely it has been abused or someone hit something causing play in the steering.

Steering dampers are not the correct way to fix death wobble, and will only mask it for a short period of time.


1998 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L/5MT (156k) - PHM 10w30, Wix 51085
2009 BMW 328i N51 (60k) - Liqui Moly 5w40, MANN HU816X
Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: Miller88] #5352480 02/17/20 09:22 AM
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Spktyr Offline
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Originally Posted by Miller88
If they stick with a proper leaf sprung front end, they wouldn't death wobble. But anything that relies on the panhard bar for both lateral location and to keep the steering geometry in line is going to deathwobble. At least with leaves, the springs locate the axle.

If everything is in good shape, you do NOT need a steering stabilizer. My 2000 Cherokee with 214K miles doesn't even have one.

There's 2 ways to get out of death wobble. Stand on it and power through or slow down.


My F-350 had front leaf springs. It had death wobble issues, so leaf springs aren't the answer either. It can help, buuuuut....

Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: jeepman3071] #5352510 02/17/20 09:42 AM
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PowerSurge Offline
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Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by supton
Cool, at least I didn't give the guy bogus info. It was a rental and I'm pretty sure I know how it'll get fixed.


Death wobble is common on solid front axle vehicles like the Wrangler when steering or suspension components are worn. Being a fairly new rental, it's likely it has been abused or someone hit something causing play in the steering.

Steering dampers are not the correct way to fix death wobble, and will only mask it for a short period of time.


Negative. Its not from just when parts are worn. It’s happening to Jeeps under warranty.


1993 Porsche 964, 2001 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning, 2004 Chevrolet Corvette, 2018 Toyota Tundra and a few others
Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352532 02/17/20 10:06 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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According to the Jeep Wrangler forum I moderate on, yes right up to the 2019's and IIRC a few 2020 owners have reported problems. Are all of them impacted? No... Some people have had repair attempts which didn't help either.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: supton] #5352623 02/17/20 11:49 AM
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sloinker Offline
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Many Mercedes have the front stabilizers on them. Macpherson strut front end. Doubt they are there for anything except to firm up reaction feedback into the steering wheel. Never had any death rattle on my Mercedes, even when I got it up to 145 MPH once. My knees rattled though. Published reports stated its top speed at 150+ mph and I believed it but never found that limit. There are a million videos on youtube showing fixes for the death rattle.


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Re: Do new Jeeps have death wobble? [Re: Spktyr] #5352640 02/17/20 12:16 PM
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OVERKILL Offline
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Originally Posted by jeepman3071
It's pretty common in any solid front axle setup, some more than others - but it can affect IFS vehicles too. 4Runners like mine have a highly stressed lower ball joint setup that can cause death wobble when it wears. Uppers too, but they're less likely.


This.

It's a well-known artifact on anything with a solid front axle, but not exclusive to them.

Here's an article on the RAM heavy duty truck death wobble, he mentions he experienced it in a Lincoln Continental:
https://www.thurenfabrication.com/tech/death-wobble-in-depth.html

Here's a company selling a kit to eliminate the Super Duty death wobble:
https://www.superdutywobble.com/

And a Truck Trend article noting that while Death Wobble is more prevalent on Ford and Dodge/RAM trucks, it does happen on IFS trucks:
http://www.trucktrend.com/how-to/ch...death-wobble-tightening-up-your-steering

And here's a thread about it happening in an old 4Runner:
https://www.4runners.com/threads/1987-4runner-death-wobble-where-to-look-first.11827/


2019 RAM 1500 Sport - Mobil 1 EP 0w-20, FRAM Ultra
2020 Grand Cherokee SRT - Ravenol SSL 0w-40, FRAM Ultra
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