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ktw4ever

Jeep "death wobble"

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Has anyone experienced this with their Jeep Wrangler, while driving at 40+ MPH and hitting a bump the steering wheel starts to bounce violently.

I’ve looked it up on the internet and found something called “Death Wobble”.

My Wrangler is a 2016, and had it fixed once already and now it’s started doing it again.

I had a CJ in 1992, and sold it for this very reason.

I can’t believe this isn’t happening to others. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Ktv4ever.  Welcome to the Forum! :)

Is this happening while towing it, or driving it?  2 different answer's! 

Have you modified your Wrangler, after market?

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Never experienced the Jeep Death Wobble with ours.  Oh shoot! That's right.  I forgot. We tow a 2012 Subaru Forester with manual transmission. OK! It is not a Jeep, but darn used Jeeps are expensive in our home area. We never buy anything new.

Our Subie got us south on Last Dollar Road from the Ridgway Colorado area  toTelluride. Could have used a transfer case set in low range, I admit. Tried some serious off road  stuff with a rented Jeep. She who must be obeyed  (Betty) said NO!  Am OK with that. The Forester is my daily driver choice at home anyway. Darn it does a great job in snow and we do have a very steep driveway that is 450 long.😉

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I've had it happen before on two different jeeps.  Start simply: 

Rotate the tires or replace tires if they are getting low on tread.  Also have the alignment checked.  Finally, also have a tire person look at the rims and look for a bent rim.

If none of this solves it, finally have a mechanic look at suspension, tye-rods, etc.

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Carl/ It kinda does. Jeep lovers have been kicking around the many problems that Jeeps as toads have for as long as I have been on this site.What a name/ the "Death Wobble." New members with no experience might think "Do we want to do this?" If you guys have not offered the correct fixes by now, it would intimidate me if I was new to the site.

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Byron, other than the death wobble, what are "the many problems that Jeeps as toads have" you're referring too.  If you never experienced the death wobble then you can't appreciate why we call it that.  Enjoy your Subie but don't try to keep up with the Jeeps.😁

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Byron.

The generic name Jeep is many models!  Just like Subaru.  Specifically, Jeep Wrangler, has not had the "Wobble", as far as I know.  Mine is a 2013...so I don't know about 2016-2018 or is that 2019 now? !  I have had earlier Wranglers, some with battery quirks or don't fully turn off ignition, no wobble while being towed, as a toad. 

The dreaded "Death Wobble", is more associated with the Cherokee! 2014 to ?

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If I was in the market for a toad, Jeep would not be on the list until Jeep, or somebody, can prove the 'wobble issue' is fixed...for sure fixed.

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OK! I was unfair in my criticism, but if there are two same model and year jeeps/ one has the wobble and the other doesn't, seems like a trip to a good alignment shop that knows jeeps is in order. Maybe a little more positive caster and at least 1/32 or maybe more toe in. Possible steering gear problems ?  Read somewhere that a few 2017s could have the problem. Do jeeps commonly have steering stabilizers ? They do work a most of the time. 

Yes Carl, I do know that their are  a number of different models. By the way, I leased a Wagoneer for three years. Never towed it, but it was an impressive vehicle. Could not get it stuck , and it seemed to go just about anywhere. Had a friend with an older CJ and it did not do well on our steep snow covered driveway. Think that it was tires.  Our Forester does great on the same driveway.

Five/ I was impressed with a CRV that I drove, but we have had Subarus since 1979. All performed well and I found them to be very dependable. Hard to give up on a winner.

My apology is in order.

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We have owned 8 Jeep Wranglers since 1995, only one had the death wobble and it was caused by the lift and not having the caster changed/corrected afterwards. We tow a 2014 JKU now, no wobble and it has a 2" lift on the front and a 1" lift on the rear. The last Jeep toad was an 2003 TJ with a 3" lift and 35" tires, no wobble!

If the alignment shop doesn't understand how caster works they will most likely set the toe and let it go, you think you had it aligned, when in reality you just tossed $$ in the trash. I strongly recommend finding an alignment place that specializes in 4x4 work. I can tell from past work experience, the shops I worked at had 17+ techs and there were two of us that understood alignments and neither of us ever performed them unless it was our own vehicle or a side job after hours. 

Now the new 2018-2019 JL Wrangler has electric steering, those have issues from the factory with Death Wobble. Never looked under one nor have I drove one and I have no interest in purchasing one either. 

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I have beefed up stabilizers on mine and now running 3" lift with 35"x12.5"xR20 Nittos...no wobble at any speed, towed or driven!  Like Joe, I send mine to alignment shop in Austin, Texas, every year!   Have read that the 2018 & 19, has all kinds of issues, including separation of body from frame and separation of rear axle from frame! :blink::wacko: While out four wheeling!

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Roland...the Wrangler has it now also, electric steering!  I was thinking about getting a new Rubicon Limited...think I'll pass on that. :(

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We own a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4WD.  Owing to the stories about this issue, we went to our local Jeep dealer and found out that FCA has a fix for the issue.  Supposedly it affects 2015-2018 / it was corrupted in 2019 they say.  They have to put on an "addition" to the wiring harness, they added a fuse in the engine compartment, and a switch in the compartment between the front seats.  They have a procedure to follow to get things working properly.  We have to do something  with the Jeep before we do the things called for in the owner's manual.  The fuse they gave us, 10amp, has to be pulled out if leaving the car overnight or an extended period.  There is a TSB # 08-029-16 REV. A

 

It is not covered under warranty and was around $313.  and that was cheap based on how long FCA said it would take and how long it REALLY took.

 

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I have a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sahara lifted 4.5 Inches with 35's and got the death wobble last year.

I had new tires put on and aligned and it still wobbled. I took the Jeep to a friends shop and he

went through the front end and made sure everything was tight and realigned it and it's been good

for a year. As stated above it takes someone who knows what they are doing.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, cbayman said:

I have a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sahara lifted 4.5 Inches with 35's and got the death wobble last year.

I had new tires put on and aligned and it still wobbled. I took the Jeep to a friends shop and he

went through the front end and made sure everything was tight and realigned it and it's been good

for a year. As stated above it takes someone who knows what they are doing.

 

 

 

 

 

Same here. Had the issue on our 14 JKU. I decided to lift it and drove it directly to the shop and got a FULL alignment not just “set the toe and let it go” alignment. No issues afterwards. That has been the same situation on 6 Jeeps over 25 years. All were lifted but my daughters current 2005.

When I bought my daughters I drove it home from the dealership and made an appointment for an alignment immediately. It didn’t wobble but I knew it was only a matter of time. And the caster was out on it, go figure. 

The problem is Caster, if it’s not perfectly dialed in it will wobble and of course if steering or suspension parts are worn out it will wobble. I am confident this occurs when the suspension settles. They leave the factory set, springs settle, caster goes out.

The new Cherokee is a different story. 

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