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Info Needed On Toad: Grand Cherokee?

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I towed a 2015 Cherokee for over 10000 miles with no problem. For most drivers that had problem they put Cherokee front tires in hole with turning or some action similar to that. Also have to make sure that hitch is level with SUV. i now have a 2017 Grand Cherokee and it is easier to tow and hook up. No modification needed.

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Having filed a case with FCA, the response (inserted below) I received from them pertaining to the death wobble we have thus far experienced flat towing our 2016 Grand Cherokee Summit. Still not convinced that the proposed solution is true for the Grand Cherokee, I have since written FCA back and asked them to reconfirm. Awaiting a 2nd response.

Update: my skepticism proved correct. After being advised to purchase the recommended Mopar Accessory Kit (see FCA correspondence below), my retail Jeep Dealer called me this morning to advise that they had in fact received the part overnight and upon opening it found per the instructions provided that the kit is only applicable to the Cherokee model (and not the Grand Cherokee).  I had asked their Jeep service manager to review the part and installation instructions with one of their senior Jeep techs to determine what amount of time/labor and the cost would be to have the part installed once the part came in and call me to schedule an appointment for its installation.

Learning today that the part will not work lead me to call FCA back wherein I was told that 1) I had been given the wrong info in their original reply (below) and 2) that I would need to take the car into a Jeep dealer and have a diagnostic check performed while notifying FCA  in advance of such appointment so that they can work with the dealership on the problem (i.e. call them back a day or two before my appointment). As we're traveling at this time (with JGC in tow) it will be another 3-4 weeks before we're back at our home base to get this done. FCA stated that a minimum of 4-5 business days will be needed to 1) have the diagnostic check performed by a auth. Jeep dealership service dept, and at the same time all 2) for FCA's case management to further investigate the problem based upon the results of the diagnostic check.

Scenario - 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 SUV with Quadro II drive and air suspension. Vehicle has been flat towed (following Jeep Owner's manual instructions for recreational towing) for more than ~ 9,000 miles with no incident albeit within the last 2-months (last 1,500 miles) the "death wobble" has been experienced twice. In both incidents, the loss of control occurred when making low speed left turns through intersections following a complete stop on/under routine road conditions, i.e. paved roads, no potholes, etc.

 

FCA.jpg

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Latest Update & Continuing Saga;  Below is latest response received from FCA today following communication that the proposed Mopar Accessory Kit (68321424AB) is not applicable to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. FCA's latest communication advises to tow the vehicle on a trailer (all four wheels up)!

 

 

FCA_3.jpg

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Rewillia, is there a possibility that your GC air suspension wasn’t lowered completely? I have the GC limited and do not have this but it was one of the things my dealer did not recommend. Since I don’t off road it wasn’t important to me.

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7 hours ago, rfsod48 said:

Rewillia, is there a possibility that your GC air suspension wasn’t lowered completely? I have the GC limited and do not have this but it was one of the things my dealer did not recommend. Since I don’t off road it wasn’t important to me.

No. The JGC Owner's manual advises for those equipped with the Quadro-II Drive  the vehicle should be raised (from the entry/aero setting which is default when the car is turned off and parked) to the normal ride height when preparing to Recreational Tow. Hence, to answer your question the air suspension is always raised (to normal setting) in part with the steps to prepare it for towing. I ensure this step is performed each and every time before depressing the small button which disengages the transfer case. The issue I am experiencing (i.e. death wobble) is not the result of my having not followed Jeeps explicit instructions for setting the car up to tow. In fact, we likely towed it >7,000 miles before the 1st incident occurred. Now having happened twice to date, and always it seems when pulling away from a full stop and making a soft left turn out, i.e from 0-15 MPH the wobble has occurred (and does not occur everytime). 

The issue I am reporting is not due to "operator" error or the owner' not following the instructions provided in the owner's manual.

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Does your GC have electric steering like the Cherokee or did Jeep switch in 2016? My 2017 doesn’t have that and that is why the added part is not needed. From the picture of your setup it looks like the tow bar is level with hitch so major difference is the longer hitch bar to accommodate your golf cart platform. Strange that it took so long to show up and only when turning left.

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2 hours ago, rfsod48 said:

Does your GC have electric steering like the Cherokee or did Jeep switch in 2016? My 2017 doesn’t have that and that is why the added part is not needed. From the picture of your setup it looks like the tow bar is level with hitch so major difference is the longer hitch bar to accommodate your golf cart platform. Strange that it took so long to show up and only when turning left.

Yes, the 2016 Grand Cherokee has electric assisted steering which can be selected in normal drive or sport drive mode (I use & tow in normal) while I am confident that the hitch receiver extension has nothing what-so-ever to do with the behavior of the vehicle. The extension on my Hydralift is secured by heavy alloy steel bracing set to torque specs. and such that there is no lateral motion. It is as secure as the OEM receiver it (extension) connects with. 

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38 minutes ago, Rewillia said:

Yes, the 2016 Grand Cherokee has electric assisted steering which can be selected in normal drive or sport drive mode (I use & tow in normal) while I am confident that the hitch receiver extension has nothing what-so-ever to do with the behavior of the vehicle. The extension on my Hydralift is secured by heavy alloy steel bracing set to torque specs. and such that there is no lateral motion. It is as secure as the OEM receiver it (extension) connects with. 

My 2017 Grand Cherokee limited  also has the " electric assisted steering " just like the 2016 so far so good but there are 2017 owners that are having the problem also.  We leave Saturday for 900 mile 2 week trip so we see if we have the wobble.

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The electrical controlled steering is not the same as sport and regular. It has to do with power to steering when engine is off. That is why the Cherokee which I had, a 2015 needs the modification of an in line fuse to permit steering . My 2017 GC which has sport and regular doesn’t have the need for the fuse.

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We will be heading out west in a few months, total of 5000 miles. The only thing I can suggest to you is to take all turns very slow as this is when it seems to happen. I did not have it happen with my Cherokee with over 10000 miles of towing and our current GC with over 3000 miles of towing.

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I believe our 2017 GC Limited experience the wobble when we turned left leaving Loveland CO.  I say I believe because we thought we had flat tire on the coach or toad but after pulling over to the side of the road we couldn't find anything wrong.  We continued our trip without any additional problems.  After reading on IR2 thread with numerous 16 and 17 Jeep Grand Cherokees having the wobble and what felt like it described our incident to the tee.  We have a total of 3500 miles towing the GC

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9 hours ago, rfsod48 said:

We will be heading out west in a few months, total of 5000 miles. The only thing I can suggest to you is to take all turns very slow as this is when it seems to happen. I did not have it happen with my Cherokee with over 10000 miles of towing and our current GC with over 3000 miles of towing.

I'd like to point out that we "Recreationally Towed" (all wheels down) our 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit for ~7000+/- miles beginning since September 2016 before the 1st "wobble" event occurred (in Aug of this year) and since then (i.e. to date) have only experienced it once more last month. During the period, no changes have been made to either the vehicle, towing gear or the motor-coach and in both events the "wobble" occurred at low speeds when making left hand turns following a a full stop (i.e. red light).  In all cases, the instructions for setting the car up to tow as contained in the Jeep Grand Cherokee were explicitly followed including ensuring the vehicle is set to normal ride height prior to disengaging the transfer case. 

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I would continue to tow it 4 down as you have been!  For the record, I would send a copy of all inquires and responses by Jeep, to Daimler Headquarters in Germany, Attn: Tech Dept.  

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On 2/15/2017 at 6:20 PM, BillAdams said:

Just stay away from the 2014 and newer GC.  They have an issue with the steering that causes a Death Wobble unless a special kit is installed and installed properly.  Costs about $400 if you can find someone who knows what they are doing to do it for you.

Does this include the 2017 Wranglers or Patriot/Compass?

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On 10/6/2017 at 3:25 AM, Rewillia said:

I'd like to point out that we "Recreationally Towed" (all wheels down) our 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit for ~7000+/- miles beginning since September 2016 before the 1st "wobble" event occurred (in Aug of this year) and since then (i.e. to date) have only experienced it once more last month. During the period, no changes have been made to either the vehicle, towing gear or the motor-coach and in both events the "wobble" occurred at low speeds when making left hand turns following a a full stop (i.e. red light).  In all cases, the instructions for setting the car up to tow as contained in the Jeep Grand Cherokee were explicitly followed including ensuring the vehicle is set to normal ride height prior to disengaging the transfer case. 

Just purchased a used 2014 Grand Cherokee (Overland), plan on setting up for toad.  Currently with a 1993 YJ Wrangler. 

Mr Williams have you had any updates from your letters to JEEP with your issue?

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PW.  Welcome to the Forum!

You should have no problems with your GC, the problem has been with the newer models and especially the Cherokee!

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I have a 2017 Grand Cherokee Unlimited and have not had a single problem towing it 4 wheels down. Easy to hook up and easy to use a pen point to disconnect drive train to tow. Much easier than the Wrangler I used to tow. Very happy with GC 

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9 hours ago, Mypopslou said:

I have a 2017 Grand Cherokee Unlimited and have not had a single problem towing it 4 wheels down. Easy to hook up and easy to use a pen point to disconnect drive train to tow. Much easier than the Wrangler I used to tow. Very happy with GC 

I have towed my 2017 Grand Cherokee Unlimited and I have towed for about 6000 miles and I had the death wobble twice.  There suppose to be a survey coming out in the next issue of the FMCA magazine address the problems many of us have had with the 16 and 17 GC with the electric power steering (EPS).  Both FMCA and Jeep are aware of the problem and working on a fix probably similar to the wire harness that required to be installed on the Cherokee. 

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On 10/5/2017 at 6:06 PM, Rewillia said:

Yes, the 2016 Grand Cherokee has electric assisted steering which can be selected in normal drive or sport drive mode (I use & tow in normal) while I am confident that the hitch receiver extension has nothing what-so-ever to do with the behavior of the vehicle. The extension on my Hydralift is secured by heavy alloy steel bracing set to torque specs. and such that there is no lateral motion. It is as secure as the OEM receiver it (extension) connects with. 

I just purchased a 2018 GC Trailhawk after doing extensive research.  I found out from John Johnston (Associate Editor of FMCA) that there is a total of 22 flat tow wobble cases he is tracking with FCA from 2016 through 2018 with only 1 from 2018.  This is my main bullets that I have found and conclusions.  1) EPS steering introduced in 2016  2)  Few flat to wobble events immediately after (much less than the Cherokee)  3)  Theories have been stated that the GC is heavier, bigger tires, possibly different EPS pump, steering properties etc. are maybe allowing for less frequent flat tow wobbles from the smaller Cherokee.   4)  FMCA addressing issue with FCA for correction but so far no commitment made from FCA  5)  John Johnston (FMCA) has emphasized with FCA that the flat tow wobbles for these 22 individuals are significant  6) Most occurrences happen after a driver comes to completes stop like a stop sign or traffic lights and then proceeds forward making a turn (less than 15 mph)  6)  Some GC owners are now adopting very slow turns to mitigate flat tow wobble.   

After reading information from Rewilla on her unique set up of Hydralift it got me thinking why most occurrences are happening when doing a turn say from a stop light.  If you notice on any toad when you initiate a sharp turn say to the left, the rear of the coach swings out initially to the opposite direction, in this example to the right.  The larger the overhang from the center of rear wheels to end of the hitch, the more the tendency for the motorhome to swing out in the opposite direction.  Shortly after the toad will then turn in the same direction as the motorhome as it completes the turn.  So from the toad prospective you can see in any sharp turn the wheels are setup to wobble because that initial swing to the opposite direction of turn.  In Rewilla case with extra distance of the Hydralift it would have a larger distance of swing and therefore maybe occurring more often in her case.  Of course this is no fault of Rewilla and she has every right to setup her motorhome and flat tow the way she does.  The root case is still FCA with the new EPS which simply isn’t dampened enough as compared to the old hydraulic system, or fixed like the Cherokee by going to a live EPS system, allowing for algorithms within that system to mitigate the flat tow wobble.  

In conclusion, even though we have a new GC we are continuing to flat tow with our 2012 Jeep Rubicon.  We hope to one day setup our GC for flat towing after FCA fixes the problem or when the flat tow wobble proves to be infrequent.  Slow turn, less aggressive turning technique may have to be adopted.  

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Revilla is a him!  Not a her!  

Jim, it's not a good thought !  Since I will not get one any time soon, I will not worry about it !! :P

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We have towed our 2017 GC over 9000 miles with out incident, I do go slow in turns and take pains to avoid chuck holes when turning. I had a 2015 Cherokee Limited which I did have the modification on and we never had any problems with it either. 

As my friend and golf partner says “ I would rather be lucky than good any day “.

Hopefully FCA will come forth with a fix and eliminate the problem.

Roland

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