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2007 Jeep Wrangler

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  • I can't begin to tell you all how pissed off I am about the "death wobble" of my 2007 Jeep Wrangler 4 door. This is my 3rd Jeep. I have been happy in the past with all my other Jeeps. This time I purchased a used 2007 4 door. I ask the dealer why someone would trade in such a new vehicle (only 20,000) miles? Now I see why this woman (the previous owner) traded it in. After me owning this vehicle for 3 months (just in time for the warranty to end) my Jeep starts shaking when I get up around 45 mph. It started out not so bad, but last night I was driving home late from work and it was shaking so bad that I pulled off to the side of the road and had to sit for awhile until I decided to get back on the road and drive home going under 40 mph on the highway.
    Now I see that many others are having this problem. I am so angry that I was taken advantage of by this dealer that I will be up there in the morning and letting them know that they should be fixing this for free.

    I would really like to know if any others have contacted Jeep itself and if they were more help than the dealerships, for I don't see the dealer helping me to fix this and that I might need to go to the source. PLEASE CONTACT ME at surgigirl@comcast.net if you can help me.
    Thanks
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Please don't include your email address in postings to the Forums. Thanks!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Upgrading the speakers shouldn't be a problem. I personally love Kicker speakers due to their construction and frequency responses. I have Kicker 6x9's in my TJ and they've been putting out the sound since 2003. :) My fronts are being replaced with Kickers as well.

    -Paul
  • All Credit to planman from jk-forum for this information. if you need more information I suggest heading over there but this is the revised edition of the solution.

    NOTE### the steering stabilizer should be the last thing you replace not the first as it will more than likely cover up the real issue and cause more problems to your vehicle or safety when it returns again

    DIAGNOSIS LIST
    Assuming your tire psi is 28-30, your tires/wheels have been balanced and rotated to make sure the wobble doesn't move with the rotation, here would be my order:

    1. Remove the steering stabilizer.
    2. Have someone turn the engine on and turn slowly from full lock to full lock while I visually, manually (with my hands on the components), and auditorily inspect for any play in the tie rod ends, drag link ends, sector shaft, trackbar ends/bolts/brackets, and trackbar welds.
    3. Then, do the same thing but with short, sharp, quick back and forth turns of the steering wheel instead of the slow, lock to lock approach.
    4. Then, I would remove the front trackbar to inspect the bolt holes for ovaling and inspect the trackbar bushings for separation or cracking with a long screw driver through the bolt sleeve and the trackbar in a vise to leverage against the bushing in all directions. If all is good, I would reinstall the trackbar with the tires on the ground at ride height to 125 lbs.
    5. Then, I would inspect the drag link end joints by using a large channel lock wrench that gave me enough leverage to check for up and down play in the drag link ends. There should not be any meaningful up and down play. If there is, the joints should be replaced or a new drag link with heavy duty joints should be installed. After, I would check the torque of the drag link ends. There should be no meaningful up and down, no side to side, and only rotational movement in the drag link ends.
    6. Then, I would inspect the tie rod ends with the channel lock wrench for up and down movement. There should be no meaningful up and down play. There should only be rotational movement in the joint end.
    7. Then, I would put the front axle on jack stands and check the front ball joints by using a long pry bar as a lever under the front tires to lift them up to inspect for up and down play in the lower ball joints. There shouldn't be more than maybe 1-2 mm.
    8. Then, I would use the prybar/lever against the frame and the top of the tire to inspect for lateral movement of the top ball joints. There shouldn't be any.
    9. Then, I would remove the front tires/wheels and remove the front tie rod--one knuckle at a time. Then with a large wrench or vice grips, I would inspect the end for side to side play. Then I would reinstall the end and torque to spec and repeat on the other side.
    10. Then, I would remove the brake calipers and brake disks to inspect the unitbearings for play.
    11. Then, I would reinstall the discs, brake calipers, and tires/wheels and set the axle back on the ground.
    12. Then, I would support but not lift the front axle with a floor jack and loosen the front lower control arm bolts. One at a time, I would drop the lower control arms to inspect the bolt holes and bushings (similar to with the trackbar), reinstall without torquing, and do the next one. Afterwards, remove the floor jack so the suspension is at ride height, vigorously rock the vehicle side to side and front and back, then torque to spec.
    13. Next, I would inspect the sector shaft that comes out of the steering box for cracking or twisting.
    14. Then, I would take a test drive without the steering stablizer to feel for any wobbles.
    15. Finally, I would reinstall the steering stablizer or spring $40 for a heavy duty steering stablizer.

    If this front end inspection does not diagnose and/or solve it, then I would move to an alignment.

    1. I would use adjustable lower front control arms to set my caster spec between 4 and 5 degrees--with a cross caster that has less on the driver side than the passenger side. I would personally not do more or less, with a target around 4.5-4.7 degrees caster.
    2. If my camber is out of spec, but it is not due to failed ball joints, I would install offset ball joints to get my camber in spec.
    3. I would set my toe-in to spec on the machine--which is about a 1/8" toe-in.
    4. If my front to rear alignment is off, I would install rear lower adjustable control arms to fix this.
  • I strongly suggest that a front end shop deal with steering problems for safety reasons.
  • My 2007 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited has a little over 25K and I've had no steering problems and the steering damper does not need replacing. I drive it on the highway, back roads in the Colorado Rockies, in snow, ice-whatever. It is a great highway and off-road vehicle.

    A bubble balance does not work for rims and tires on newer vehicles. They have to be balanced with the tire on a traction surface. Goodyear calls in "road force" balancing. It is excellent smooth as glass and prevents the hyperbole "death wobble".

    The problem is, and any tire shop or dealership out to know, that if tires are not balanced properly from the start they get flat spots and get out of round and balancing of any kind won't help.

    This kind of balancing was done routinely before bubble balance came into vogue. It requires more skill and it is a little more hazardous for the technician. It is a matter of feel.

    Most dealerships for all brands don't take the time to know what to do and to do it right from the get go. It is certainly not limited to Jeep.

    I suspect that very few steering dampers have needed to be replaced.

    Write Caveat emptor on the front of the owner's manual.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    edited October 2010
    My 2007 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited has a little over 25K and I've had no steering problems and the steering damper does not need replacing. I drive it on the highway, back roads in the Colorado Rockies, in snow, ice-whatever. It is a great highway and off-road vehicle.

    That's good to hear.

    A bubble balance does not work for rims and tires on newer vehicles. They have to be balanced with the tire on a traction surface. Goodyear calls in "road force" balancing. It is excellent smooth as glass and prevents the hyperbole "death wobble".

    A bubble balancer works on modern rims and tires as well as it did 70 or 80 years ago when it was the only type of balancer available. It hasn't recently come into vogue, in fact it was the only means of balancing originally
    However, a rim/tire combination can only be balanced statically in that way, which is why the rotating balancer commonly see in tire shops was developed.

    The rotating balancer dynamically balances the wheel resulting in much improved rotational stability.
    The next and 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.)

    Yes, it's the ultimate in wheel balancing, but it's incorrect to say it's a requirement for all modern wheels and tires. There are many millions of vehicles running very smoothly and getting full tire life with tires balanced on a conventional rotational balancer.

    I suspect that very few steering dampers have needed to be replaced.

    I think Jeep would disagree, which is why they came out with a modified damper.

    The occasional uncontrollable progressive cyclic oscillation of the front wheels ('death wobble') in JKs is a product of suspension design, not wheel balance, although an imbalance can trigger the process.
    In TJs it's usually worn steering and suspension components (often coupled with larger tires and a suspension lift) that cause the problem.

    A heavier duty damper will mask the issue, which is Jeep's answer for the JK issue.
    However, on a TJ it makes much more sense to replace the worn parts first.

    Finally, in regard to hyperbole; while I haven't heard of a fatal accident being caused by 'death wobble' I think the term is quite appropriate as the driver usually feel like they're going to die.
    The steering wheel is often wrenched from the hands, the vehicle often changes lanes, sometimes ending up on the median or at the side of the road, and the only control the driver has is over the brakes.
    It definitely comes under the heading of 'a bad day at the office'!
  • I own a 07 with 80,000 mi, we bought it new and travel from western Ma.to Cape cod sometimes several times a week. I did notice the problem you mentioned. I brought it to a friend of mine and he rebalanced the tires, which took the problem away. He said the 17 rimes need to be rebalanced more often. I also had a low tire which also compounded the problem and I fixed that problem as well. I love the jeep,,,,
  • bear0413bear0413 Posts: 2
    edited January 2011
    My wife and i almost Died it just happened again for the 20th time this time could not hold on to wheel we bounced than spun one whole revolution hit frwy wall than i regained control and was able to stop the jeep these are Death Machines have paid for 4 different fixes none work also are Jeep has stalled at 75 miles an hour or how about the ignition that continues to try to engage randomly as you start it, mine is still under Warranty Dearlers no there is no fix report to National Saftey Commision and also Federal Trade Commision these Vehicals need to be Replaced my Wife will not ride in it Again 35,000 dollars of Junk
  • There is no Fix call National Saftey Commision make report also call Federal Trade Commision and make report, mine is the same way and almost killed myself and my wife last weekend at 70 we hit pot hole shaked so violently i lost control we did one complete revolution hit frwy wall i was able to regain control of jeep and stop drove home 70 miles at 35 these are Death Machines
  • I'm sorry you had a less than desirable experience with a salesman. That is unacceptable.

    "Where God, Family and YOU come first" is our slogan. In our opinion, those things are important, and that's what we want to build our business on.

    Did anyone mention God, family or "country?" Or try to "stuff religion, country and family into the deal?"
  • dmoseley1dmoseley1 Posts: 2
    i just got off the phone with the Chrysler Customer Resolution Group...
    888-922-7329 and spoke with rep. " Adam".. i told him about my issue with
    the wobble and he is calling my dealership to try to cover the repair expenses... at the very least if i am killed in an accident due to the " death wobble"... i have a case number verifying that the problem was reported to Chrysler Jeep... a start.. will let you know how it goes..
    this should be a recall issue !!
    Good Luck....
  • steve370steve370 Posts: 2
    Hi,

    I am a recent owner of a 2007 Jeep Sahara with 61,000 miles. Just recently, I am feeling a knocking feeling in the steering. When I slow down I can almost hear the knocking sound coming from the wheel. I took it to the dealer and they said what I am experiencing is normal for an off road vehicle. There needs to be play in the wheel. Something just doesn't feel right...Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Steve
  • dmoseley1dmoseley1 Posts: 2
    my wobble started off smaller, it steadily worsened
    tell your dealership to type in jeep/ death
    wobble and many many sites describing
    the problem are on the Internet
    I would suggest you call the crysler number above
    -- your steering wheel is NoT supposed to
    shake so badly you can' t hold on
    tell the dealership you want the
    damper changed check your trac bar and
    heck that the screws are not wallowed
    they did give me dealer price. Approx
    300..said I could send in for about 25%
    reimbursement or wait to see if there is a recall
    and get full refund. thats why
    its good to have a case number docume ti ng
    the problem. someone is going to be hurt
    very badly...
  • steve370steve370 Posts: 2
    Thanks but my problem is not as you described. I an feeling a slight knocking in the steering. It is intermittent, and can also hear a slight knocking sound when I slow down. There is a lot of play in the wheel, and it almost feels as if I can feel the gears changing in the steering wheel, if that makes sense?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    It will probably be something associated with one of the wheels, maybe a bearing, or maybe a 'U' joint, either on the front propeller shaft or one of the front half shafts.
  • pipe06pipe06 Posts: 1
    Tried your number, but that is the 'high' level guys/gals. The lady was really polite, but sent me to the beginning level. Once you have a case number and it doesn't work out you can call that number. But great find regardless!

    They don't take direct calls.

    So I called 800-992-1997 and talked to someone in service. Told them I had the death wobble and got a ticket number and a phone call from the dealer to bring it it for repair....

    (2008 4dr Sahara Jeep Wrangler - another victim of the DEATH WOBBLE!! or TSB 19-003-06 as it was formally called! for '97-'06 models)
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