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Jeep Wrangler Wheel Wobble

walleye6walleye6 Posts: 1
Has anyone ever experienced an uncontrollable wheel wobble after they have hit a pot hole while driving on the highway at a high rate of speed and had to pull over and stop to gain control of the vehicle?
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Comments

  • I have a 97 Wrangler and it only has 10K miles. Recently it drives fine up to around 45-50mph when it goes into a crazy shaking sensation that feels like one of the engine mounts has snapped (it hasn't since I had it checked). Not sure what this is and once it starts the engine decelerates until I downshift to 3rd and it can then climb back to 45 or so. Any ideas??
  • I have experienced similiar issues with my 05 wrangler. at 52 mph it begins shimming and by 55 it stops. this is caused by chauking of the front tires. with jeeps you MUST rotate tires every 5k miles.
  • hey I own a 07 4 door jeep wrangler, I have not got a wobble, but an earthquake in my vehicle. wheels shake, steering wheel vibrates purfusely, vehicles front end hops off the ground and the vehicle shimmeys off the road while doing all of these things. has been brought back to dealer 10 times but they wont admit there is a problem with the vehicle. It never happens when they test drive the jeep, sooo made a video of what happens and they still wont do anything. this past week i took it to another dealer and they changed the steering damper and say its fixed. I pick it up tomorrow we will see but if you saw what happens to this jeep you would be shocked. Good luck to all who have a jeep im getting rid of this vehicle soon as I can.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,917
    There are a lot of posts here about this issue (Jeep owners call it "death wobble"). Check the other Wrangler maintenance discussions or search for it.

    Here's what one owner did with his TJ.

    This forum post is a good one too.
  • ok, i have read the threads on this website, and not sure it that (wobble) is what my problem is..
    I have a 99 jeep wrangler and have had it for almost 6yrs, never had any problems..now i have put smaller tires, went from 32 to 31. and it drove nice for about a week..started with just a little small shimmer.,,well low and behold lost reardriveshaft on interstate,,since then replaced that and now got one heck of a shake...does not wait till i hit 45mph. but as soon as i start moving,,by the time im in 3rd gear, anything on dash is on floor..have replaced driveshaft,universals had tires balanced again, and it acts like it has no get up and go..any suggestions as to where i start at trying to fix this problem.. and when i took it to have them check it, was told tierods look good..
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    If as you say, the only item that was changed before the vibration started was the rear propeller shaft, then that's the best place to start looking for a solution.
    (Hopefully, although it wouldn't be connected to the vibration, there was no damage to the brake or fuel lines when the propshaft was thrashing around?)

    On the face of it, it sounds like you either have an unbalanced propshaft, or the 'U' joints are out of phase.
    It's also possible that when the old shaft failed the rubber transmission mount was damaged, or that there was even damage to the transfer case output shaft or it's housing.

    There's no reason to suspect wheel balance or steering/suspension wear should have suddenly appeared.
  • Before driveshaft feel out, there was a little shake, but not bad enough for me to worry,,Changed steering stabalizer today, no difference.,, guess i need to start with the rearend.and work from there. How would you know if transfer case was damaged.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    edited June 2010
    .,, guess i need to start with the rearend.and work from there. How would you know if transfer case was damaged.

    It's likely that the boot where the rear propshaft enters the transfer case would be leaking oil.
    You should also remove the propshaft so that you can watch the splined output shaft in the transfer case rotate; it should be perfectly centered and turn without any wobble or deviation.

    image

    While the propshaft is out take a look at the yoke on the rear axle to see if there's any play there as well.

    What was the cause of the propshaft failure, a seized 'U' joint or was it something else?
  • hello there !!!! i have a 2007 jeep wrangler x with exactly what everone is describing!!!!!.....so far i ve replaced the steering stabilizer (rancho).....tires rotated and balanced....pro comp shocks all around.....pro comp trac bar...upper and lower ball joints on left side and i still have it.....so yea i m ready to cry....lol...dont really wanna get rid of it too much invested but then again dont know that i really wanna keep it!!!!!! when it happens unexpectedly its tooooooo scary
  • ok well just an update here....so i put my jeep in 4wd and it sounded like the whole front end was gonna fall off when i turned the wheels...yea i could only go a foot or two and then i feel some resistance...so stopping at the garage tom right away...and i hoping this is a 2 for one deal and fixes the dw too.....i just cant figure out why in 2wd it seems fine except for the wobble
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    so i put my jeep in 4wd and it sounded like the whole front end was gonna fall off when i turned the wheels...yea i could only go a foot or two and then i feel some resistance.

    If you engage 4WD on a hard surface it will be difficult to turn the steering wheel and you'll hear it when the tires skip and jump.
    Perfectly normal.
  • Before you sell your Wrangler, consider this. The problem may not be the suspension at all. Tires on newer vehicles, Jeeps are no exception, have been bubble balanced at the factory so if you drive a new one the wheels will be balanced-sort of. But bubble balancing won't do as the tires begin to wear after 2K to 3K. The tires need to be balanced on a friction surface (what Goodyear calls ground force) to be properly balanced. If not then the tires will begin to wear irregularly with flat spots and uneven areas and the car will feel like the front end is bouncing and it is.

    Once tires have started this, nothing can be done to correct the problem with them. Even friction balancing won't help.

    It is very important to have new tires friction balanced from the get go. If they are they will develop good wear patterns. Re-balancing about every 8k will keep them that way. I have been there.

    On my 2006 Grand Cherokee, I got 60k on the the original tires-never a problem. It now has 70K and the original brakes and still have at least 40k left on them. What does brake wear have to do with properly balanced tires? Well a whole lot. Vibration from tires out of balance damages the front end and brake components.

    My 2007 Wrangler Unlimited has 30K and no problems with vibration what so ever and don't expect any. I had the tires friction balanced after I picked it up new and have had it re-balanced 4 times.

    This deal is one the of the Occam's Razor examples. Find the least complex answer. Put a new set of tires on the vehicle and have them friction balanced. The worst that can happen is that a prospective buyer will see new tires.

    Many people suggest complicated answers for simple problems. I don't know if they are trying to seem intelligent or they just have a love of complexity. But any event, follow and simple logical step by step approach. Don't assume the tires are properly balanced-make sure.

    A steering damper should last for years so if it has not, something has damaged it-like tires not properly balanced. Front suspensions are incredibly durable, as are drive trains and rear ends. Look for a simple basic reason and more than likely, that's what it is.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    edited October 2010
    Tires on newer vehicles, Jeeps are no exception, have been bubble balanced at the factory so if you drive a new one the wheels will be balanced-sort of.

    This is just not true. Bubble balancing hasn't been used by vehicle manufacturers since the beginning of the4 last century. All wheels/tires are dynamically by every vehicle manufacturer these days.

    The latest development to the balancer is the Hunter GSP9700 Roadforce machine.
    This has nothing to do with Goodyear and is a trademark registered to Hunter.
    This machine performs many functions including balancing the wheel under load as though it was being driven on the road.
    It also measures any side to side runout of the tread, and can independently measure the imbalance of the rim and the tire, allowing the the tire to be positioned at the best possible location on the rim so that little or no weight will be needed to complete the balance.
    You can read all about it and find one near you here: Hunter Roadforce
    (I have no connection with Hunter.)

    My 2007 Wrangler Unlimited has 30K and no problems with vibration what so ever and don't expect any. I had the tires friction balanced after I picked it up new and have had it re-balanced 4 times...........................
    ............................Many people suggest complicated answers for simple problems. I don't know if they are trying to seem intelligent or they just have a love of complexity.


    That's a rather supercilious attitude, and it's false logic to assume that because you have your wheels Roadforce balanced and have suffered no 'death wobble' symptoms, that the solution for anyone that does is to have their wheels balanced the same way and their problem will be solved.
    This is problem that Jeep engineers have been working on for several years and I somehow doubt that they're prolonging the issue just to seem intelligent. :surprise:

    A steering damper should last for years so if it has not, something has damaged it-like tires not properly balanced.

    Yes they should, and as far as I'm aware there has been no issue with steering damper failure. The problem is that the design of the JK front suspension is such that it can sometimes be tipped into an uncontrollable progressive cyclic oscillation of the front wheels.
    Maybe on occasion it's triggered by imbalanced wheels, maybe by an out of tolerance wheel bearing, perhaps by a worn suspension joint.
    The current fix is a redesigned steering damper which, rather like a Band-Aid over a bullet wound, masks rather than cures the problem.

    I've also covered much of this in response to your similar post here:
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef2d28f/419#MSG419
  • Anyone out there that has been having the "death wobble" issue and are POSITIVE it is not something with the wheel mounting and balancing or the alignment and it is an honest to god mechanical issue where the entire front end of the Jeep shakes violently and uncontrollably and you have to come close to or a complete stop to be able to regain control of your Jeep then I MIGHT be able to help. I have a 2007 Wrangler with 56k miles and it is stock and I just got Chrysler to pay for the fixes needed to correct the "death wobble". It wasnt something that I had to pay for in advance and wait 12 weeks for a check that they paid for some of the charges, I called on Friday to Chrysler made an appointment at the service dept. for today and Chrysler called and took care of the charges....all of them. This ABSOLUTELY IS a problem that those at Chrysler are aware of all I had to do was mention a front end shaking and they mentioned the dreaded death wobble. It is actually an unfortunate thing that they are so aware of the problem because it has just opened them up for a huge class action lawsuit for allowing such a serious and deadly problem to go unfixed and kept swept under the rug. I was told to not give out the phone number on any public fourms actually but I would assume its a public number and it would not be right to have fellow Jeep owners to pay for this out of pocket when there is a chance that Chrysler will pay for it all for you. The number is 1-877-426-5337 after you talk to the inital customer service person they assign a case worker which they say will call back within 24 hours but my case worker called me back in about 2 and a half hours. They were all very kind and easy to work with and actually wanted to fix the problems so if you are having this trouble still give them a call and maybe you can get your death wobble issues fixed for free also.....best of luck and happy Jeeping
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I have a 2007 Wrangler with 56k miles and it is stock and I just got Chrysler to pay for the fixes needed to correct the "death wobble".

    That's interesting, and good to hear, but you've neglected to mention the most important part, which is what was done to fix the problem.
  • Dosent matter how they fixed it....take it to the service department and let them deal with it
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Dosent matter how they fixed it....take it to the service department and let them deal with it

    It may not matter to you, but there are many others who are keen to find out what the current proposed fix is.

    I guess what you really mean is that you don't know. Fair enough.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Nobody is messing with my vehicle unless I know what they are doing. PERIOD. I did that with my BMW's. I do that with my Avalanche and my Audi. And I do it with my TJ. They WILL explain to me what is being replaced and why it is a problem before they touch it. Any mechanic (dealer included) knows this before I let them take my vehicle.

    It isn't their life driving it day in and day out.

    -Paul
  • 8torena8torena Posts: 1
    edited August 2011
    Thanks Vikings0101!!!!...I have a 2006 jeep wrangler that I bought 6 months ago. I purchased the vehicle from a Chrysler Jeep dealer. The fully stock vehicle had 25,577 miles on it. The " DW " symptoms started happening about two months ago. Very frustrating. Can't drive it on the highway. More frustrating is researching the problem. No one really knows what the real problem is. I called the dealer where I bought the jeep, and he told me ( over the phone ) that the problem was the " stabilizer shock " . He told me to change it myself, that it would be cheaper. From what I have read on the internet, I know that changing the steering stabilizer shock only masks the problem. I call the number you gave ( 1-800-426-5337 ) and they have been very helpful. The lady on the phone told me to take it in and get it diagnosed. Verbally, she told me that if I have not altered or abused my jeep, they would pay for cost. I took my jeep in today and they did a diagnostic test. They told me that the tires are the wrong tires for the jeep. They said they are to soft, and that they need to be replaced. THEY TOLD ME THIS WAS THE REASON WHY I WAS EXPERIENCING " DEATH WOBBLE ". They told me I have to take the wrangler back to the other jeep dealer to deal with them..I think they are full of ****..I called the 1-800 number to talk with my case manager. She was not in, but her assistant was. He didn't like what they concluded or what they told me. My case manager will call me tomorrow he stated. I will update tomorrow.
  • I drive an '06 Wrangler X, 2" coil spring spacer lift and 32" BFG A/T tires. I first got the wobble during the 3-day window after getting the lift and before getting the new tires - it would happen only in the 42-45mph range. After I got the new tires, it quit for a year or so, but then every so often would creep back in until I'd get the tires rotated. Always would happen only in the 42-45mph range; speeding up or slowing down would stop it. Those times, I believe it was a minor alignment issue that was fixed by rotating the tires. Finally around 50K miles it got super bad, like the whole Jeep (and me in it) was trying to shake apart, and making a loud drumming noise, and I had to come to an almost complete stop to make it quit. Rotating the tires did nothing to fix it that time. Took her in to an alignment shop / service station down the road to get checked out, and they concluded it was the track bar - and as luck would have it, they had a new one in stock that they'd ordered for another Jeep that was staying overnight for the same exact problem - and we combined that with an alignment and they had me fixed up and out the door in about an hour. That was about 10K miles ago and she's been running like new ever since! :shades: The mechanic stated that track bars in Wranglers tend to only last about 50K miles, though some are guaranteed for the life of the vehicle so you'll get free replacement when it goes bad again.
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