logo
Archive

Jeep Wobbles At 55 Mph

author
James Smith
• Monday, 17 January, 2022
• 12 min read

I read a thread about “death wobble” a while back but didn't really comprehend it until yesterday. I was driving on the highway and when I hit 55mph my Jeep started to shake.

jeep funny humor jeeps
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Contents

It was easy at first but over time it got so violent that I thought that the wheels were going to fall off. At one point it was so bad I had to pull over to check to see if I had lost 4 lug nuts.

Everything seemed OK and I continued my trip but stayed at 50 mph in the extreme right lane. If you have ever driven in MA you know that is a life-threatening thing in its own right. I tried searching for posts and threads about “death wobble” but couldn't really find anything definitive.

I am by no means a mechanic, but I can turn a wrench if need be. If all you did is slow down to a lesser speed you likely did not experience Death Wobble.

You need to determine if you have a tire balance issue, something else, or DW. If all you did is slow down to a lesser speed you likely did not experience Death Wobble.

That speed is typical for vibration from out of balance, or out of round tires, but it usually won't be as bad as you describe. If you have had a lift, (even just 2"), you can experience what you describe due to decreased steering caster angle.

wobble jeep dreaded lift wheelscene driving
(Source: wheelscene.com)

There were particular places I found where I could trigger it by hitting an angled bump across the road, every time. True DW is a sideways oscillation of the front axle, typically caused by something loose or worn.

Geo correction brackets are AWESOME if you need them!!!! That speed is typical for vibration from out of balance, or out of round tires, but it usually won't be as bad as you describe.

If you have had a lift, (even just 2"), you can experience what you describe due to decreased steering caster angle. There were particular places I found where I could trigger it by hitting an angled bump across the road, every time.

True DW is a sideways oscillation of the front axle, typically caused by something loose or worn. Turned out most of my front end parts needed replacing (track bar bushing toast, tie rod ball joints worn, drag link ball joints warn...) thing is they weren't obvious until I removed them that I could manipulate the links like light switches with my little finger.

I did everything but ball joints, but leaves me to think if the rest of my front end parts were that warn my ball joints probably need replacing too, but I'm not rich and no more DW (for now! First do the dry steer test with a helper and check all rod ends, both ends of track bar, check ball joints and unit bearings.

jeep willys mb rust holes frame body adoption 1945 sold
(Source: hansonmechanical.wordpress.com)

Death wobble is the Xerox of steering problems. Steering wheel shaking at a certain speed is common and often a tire issue.

Not demeaning your problem or saying it's NOT death wobble...which can occur from worn out suspension components that others have listed. The wear & damage can be caused by other things, like poor balance that makes the steering vibrate, but that out of balance vibration is not the DW.

Also, once DW starts occurring, it can damage more components, which is why you can end up needing to replace nearly everything, if it went uncorrected for too long. Or maybe the steering & front suspension has had a hard life & just worn out. Low caster can cause an oscillation that is almost as bad as DW but is a simple fix.

Both adjustable lower arms &/or geography correction brackets work. The brackets give a much smoother ride, but you lose a little ground clearance just behind the axle, where they bolt on.

As above, the easy check for joints is to get under the car & wrap you hand around each one while someone wiggles the steering wheel, (engine off), & feel for movement in the joint. A jack & a shovel, and you can lever the wheels to feel for movement in the ball joints.

august
(Source: www.jeepforum.com)

33" tires, 2" lift and 70k miles: I had a bad “wobble” but only when braking from freeway speed, as when exiting. I referred to YouTube for how to inspect the ball joints.

They did have vertical movement, but only by the width of a credit card, not bad, but I replaced them myself this weekend with Moog's and all is good. Once when I was young I developed a bad vibration at speeds over 55 ...took the old truck into a tire shop, and they wanted to replace all front end components...got a second opinion, and it was mud caked inside the wheels where I didn't see it....no charge.

Imagine your reaction to cruising down the highway at 55mph when the front end of your Jeep Wrangler starts to shimmy and shake violently. In order to determine if your Jeep is suffering from the Death Wobble, you first need to understand how to recognize this condition.

The Death Wobble tends to occur when you hit a bump or round a curve while driving at highway speeds. When this happens, the shaking can become so violent that the whole front end of your Jeep feels like it’s moving around on the road.

Though it might seem like the front end of your Jeep is in danger of detaching, there’s no real threat of this happening. No matter which type you drive, however, the Death Wobble can lead to serious accidents if you don’t take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation.

jeep network willys
(Source: www.fsjnetwork.com)

If you’ve lifted your Jeep more than three inches, the problem may lie in a misaligned drive shaft. When this happens, the increased angle of the driveshaft between the transfer case and the front axle tends to put excessive strain on the universal joints.

In these cases, one of the most common causes of the Death Wobble appears to be the Jeep’s front track bar. While the bar itself isn’t really at fault, the bolts that hold it in place and the supporting bushings can cause the vehicle to vibrate and shake.

Replacing the stock unit might help to mask the symptoms, but it definitely won’t solve the problem. Realigning the wheels improperly can also lead to early tire wear and other issues, so it’s best not to go this route.

Day one it felt fine as I took her for a test drive and got up to 55 with no wobbles. I was almost certain they were attributed to the terrible front-end assemblies, which most definitely needed to be replaced, but that wasn't the issue.

I managed to drive home for a family emergency, which took 5 hours each way, and she still remains intact. However, my steering wheel shook and the Jeep vibrated the entire trip.

(Source: www.wranglerforum.com)

My mechanic says it doesn't appear the tie rod ends are bad, and I can't move (by hand) the wheels when I jack the front end off the deck--they feel very secure. Day one it felt fine as I took her for a test drive and got up to 55 with no wobbles.

I was almost certain they were attributed to the terrible front-end assemblies, which most definitely needed to be replaced, but that wasn't the issue. I managed to drive home for a family emergency, which took 5 hours each way, and she still remains intact.

However, my steering wheel shook and the Jeep vibrated the entire trip. My mechanic says it doesn't appear the tie rod ends are bad, and I can't move (by hand) the wheels when I jack the front end off the deck--they feel very secure.

Hey Big Blue, Yes sir, I got them balanced/aligned about two months ago. Oh, I forgot to mention: there's no play when I hit the brakes, even if I slam on them.

Hey Big Blue, Yes sir, I got them balanced/aligned about two months ago. Oh, I forgot to mention: there's no play when I hit the brakes, even if I slam on them.

jeep fun jeepwrangleroutpost
(Source: www.jeepwrangleroutpost.com)

Check out these threads, they will give you a couple of other things to check out;Bad front CV Joints, bad front axles and bad brake shoes or brake pads seem to come up consistently as causes of the problem. I went off-roading out in MO, had a great run but on the drive back a low knocking started on the left front tire and the commander pulled real hard right.

The intermittent vibration started about a year ago at about a once a month frequency. When it begins to vibrate (almost feels like a wheel wobbling or running over grooves in road), it is faint at first and rapidly...

Just today, about a week after I bought it, it started making a wobbling noise when driving and not pressing the gas. I will try to describe exactly what happened three days ago while I was on the highway to get to the airport: I was driving at around 65/70 mph when suddenly, I felt...

(Sorry for the lengthy post, I'm just venting) So after getting my alignment and balance and rotation done at Big O, I took the Commander onto our lovely AZ freeways. At 65 mph, the steering wheel starts to shake like my old Cherokee with the Death wobble.

Check out these threads, they will give you a couple of other things to check out;Bad front CV Joints, bad front axles and bad brake shoes or brake pads seem to come up consistently as causes of the problem. I went off-roading out in MO, had a great run but on the drive back a low knocking started on the left front tire and the commander pulled real hard right.

wrangler jeep cummins 2004 4bt lj build stuff powerstroke unlimited drove tennessee ohio
(Source: www.expeditionportal.com)

The intermittent vibration started about a year ago at about a once a month frequency. When it begins to vibrate (almost feels like a wheel wobbling or running over grooves in road), it is faint at first and rapidly...

Just today, about a week after I bought it, it started making a wobbling noise when driving and not pressing the gas. I will try to describe exactly what happened three days ago while I was on the highway to get to the airport: I was driving at around 65/70 mph when suddenly, I felt...

(Sorry for the lengthy post, I'm just venting) So after getting my alignment and balance and rotation done at Big O, I took the Commander onto our lovely AZ freeways. At 65 mph, the steering wheel starts to shake like my old Cherokee with the Death wobble.

I went through some of those before I created this thread, couldn't find what I was looking for, but I'll check the others. ? A few years ago, I had a bulge in the treads on one of my front tires that caused the steering wheel to shake / wobble pretty bad.

Helped me delay buying new tires for a bit. ? A few years ago, I had a bulge in the treads on one of my front tires that caused the steering wheel to shake / wobble pretty bad.

(Source: www.wranglerforum.com)

I even got a flat in one of the original tires, put the spare on, and still same thing. I even got a flat in one of the original tires, put the spare on, and still same thing.

There is one thread here that I posted, that talks about bent rims too, that I found pretty interesting. Apparently a somewhat common problem with a specific kind of rim that factory used.

If it's not a tire/rim/brake issue, I'd recommend going to a legit 4×4 shop and have them go through your entire front & rear suspension, check all the components & if they all check out o.k, have them properly re-torque everything and then see where you stand. Again, since you've had this problem essentially since you've bought your Commander, 9 + months now, obviously there is something that's being overlooked.

There is one thread here that I posted, that talks about bent rims too, that I found pretty interesting. Apparently a somewhat common problem with a specific kind of rim that factory used.

If it's not a tire/rim/brake issue, I'd recommend going to a legit 4×4 shop and have them go through your entire front & rear suspension, check all the components & if they all check out o.k, have them properly re-torque everything and then see where you stand. Again, since you've had this problem essentially since you've bought your Commander, 9 + months now, obviously there is something that's being overlooked.

(Source: www.jeepforum.com)

Day one it felt fine as I took her for a test drive and got up to 55 with no wobbles. I was almost certain they were attributed to the terrible front-end assemblies, which most definitely needed to be replaced, but that wasn't the issue.

I managed to drive home for a family emergency, which took 5 hours each way, and she still remains intact. However, my steering wheel shook and the Jeep vibrated the entire trip.

My mechanic says it doesn't appear the tie rod ends are bad, and I can't move (by hand) the wheels when I jack the front end off the deck--they feel very secure. Currently, I'm trying to get the damn heater hoses off the firewall, so I can get to that last bolt for the valve cover.

Once I get the engine coolant leak fixed, I'm just going to start replacing the entire front end until I figure it out, starting with bushings and what not and then eventually tie rod ends and the knuckle and control arms. Steering toe rods' system like the PJ, and Xes etches is not a solution.

Inner and outer tie rods coulé lead to movement, also ball joints. I had a rear parking brake pad come loose and cause an evil shaking at 55mph.

muddy
(Source: www.wranglerforum.com)

To fix mine, I had to remove all parking brake hardware and I ended up removing rust and buildup on the spots where the shoes go against the splash guards. I put antiseize where the shoes touch the splash guard.

UPDATE: I put a new tire on the spare wheel and changed them out. While it didn't completely fix the problem, the death wobbles aren't as bad now.

Day one it felt fine as I took her for a test drive and got up to 55 with no wobbles. I was almost certain they were attributed to the terrible front-end assemblies, which most definitely needed to be replaced, but that wasn't the issue.

I managed to drive home for a family emergency, which took 5 hours each way, and she still remains intact. However, my steering wheel shook and the Jeep vibrated the entire trip.

My mechanic says it doesn't appear the tie rod ends are bad, and I can't move (by hand) the wheels when I jack the front end off the deck--they feel very secure. Finely we took the front axes off cleaned them and remounted.

Finely we took the front axes off cleaned them and remounted. I'm leaving to contract overseas here in a month and some change, so I've put all projects aside until I get home.

At the rate this Jeep is breaking down (more engine coolant leaks and now the temperature sensor is busted) I'm hoping to just scrap it when I get back.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: Meals On Wheels Deal Kent
02: Meaning For Wheel Of Fortune
03: Meaning For Zyanne
04: Meaning Of Wild Wild West
05: Megan Zombro
06: Menu Of Whispering Willows Zirakpur
07: Mercedes Xentry
08: Mercedes X Accessories
09: Mercedes X Amg 63
10: Mercedes X Annette
Sources
1 archiveofourown.org - https://archiveofourown.org/tags/Annette%20Fantine%20Dominic*s*Mercedes%20von%20Martritz/works
2 www.deviantart.com - https://www.deviantart.com/dokomanari/art/Mercedes-x-Annette-808520527
3 gamefaqs.gamespot.com - https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/204445-fire-emblem-three-houses/77973731
4 www.quotev.com - https://www.quotev.com/story/12235944/Fire-Emblem-Three-Houses-Oneshots/4