Help - death wobble


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Hey there..i need help..2005 had death wobble sooo bad at 40 mph i had to pull over..took it to several mechanics replaced damn near front end; tire rods,bearings,axles,shocks,control arms,trackbar,steering Stabalizer,angle pin, im sure i missed the wobble is gone but i still have a shake a 55mph. Ugh... but it works its way past..the mechanic seems to think this is normal for a jeep..i know damn well its not...the shake is what put my jeep into the bad dw that i had to pull its a matter of time before it starts agian..i should mention i have a 4 inch lift..i have stock wheel with spacers..but put different wheels on and it still shook..oh yeah tires have been balanced and aligned..please can anybody help or have suggestions im at the end of my not driving it currently...

Hello and welcome to .
although I don't own a lifted jeep and am not experiencing the issue currently , I will say you've done all you could to remedy the problem as reasonable and feasible as possible.
youve inspected or had inspected the steering and suspension parts and replaced what was worn . You've had the tires balanced as well . That is a big concern in lifted jeeps.
Larger than stock is the biggest concern suspension and tire size equally. Although your tire size is t over stock , the lift is a tire size versus lift ratio issue. That is so,etching only a proper four wheel drive specialist can advise you on what is needed.
Realizing that you've joined for help as there is always the possibility a specialist will want $$ and all your trying to do is find out why and has anyone else had this issue and what they did to successfully fix it.
With my limited experience of lifted jeeps , I not only bring attention this this thread for assistance but will say that from your posted description of your jeep in its present state , that will give more info of what to work with. That is very helpful .
BTW , is the 4" lift all on the suspension ? None on the body ? No transfer case drop ?
I ask because the drive line is altered in terms of drive shaft angle and axle angle with regards to universal joints . Although your not experiencing u-joint issue , drive shaft balance is a consideration in this equation as well. Drive line vibration does not directly contribute to death wobble but the vibration can sometimes be mistaken. I'm sure you know the difference.
the shake you speak of at 55 mph wouldn't be driveline since that would be an issue under load . The shop that did the replacement of worn parts did what they could to deal with the obvious. That is respectable . To obtain what's really going on , a specialist needs to be consulted.
Yes , this will be a fee but trusting all the $$ spent so far was needed and will contribute to finding the problem versus the fix quicker and more feasible is your concern.
You will be asked if the trouble is felt on straight line , curve , cruise or acceleration.
The on,y death wobble I've ever experienced was on curves. That was a track bar.
Yiuve replaced yours so it more of a body verses suspension versus tire related issue. This is why it's not easy to find on a jeep much less on a non-stock jeep. Aftermarket gets blamed of kit selection and other reasons . You'll have to find a shop that deals with this that can of course be trusted that IS a specialist on lifted jeeps and four wheel drives. Firestone will not be too helpful since they deal in stock configurations. All that they can do is check four wheel laser alignment. That isn't enough for a lifted jeep . The suspension flex goes beyond stock travel and therefore exceeds stock specs. This is why the problems surfaces at the specific speed it does in addition to road character. Only the specialist can find it knowing the condition of the jeeps chassis versus all the other posted items with the knowledge and experience they have.
Realizing your jeep only has a modest lift and the problem shouldn't be so hard to find , it still isn't found . I do suggest that chassis alignment be checked to eliminate that as a potential cause before too many charges for different services start adding up $$.
When it comes to jeeps , anything is possible . Including chassis out of spec. Hopefully not the issue but since I'm currently experiencing a left side tire that wears unevenly even with new ball joints and correct camber spec , I probably have a tweeked axle and so I know it can happen and the owner not aware. I suggest interviewing a specialist. Enough money was spent. Hope this helps.
Oh my GOD!!!!!!!! I thought I was going to die yesterday coming out of the mountains on the highway. I was stopped by a cop who saw my front wheels shaking so violently that she was afraid for the safety of the Highway thinking one or both of my wheels were going to wobble off. This is horrible. My jeep has a 103,000 miles and it is all stock. I know I need new tires but I am not sure I want to even bother. From what I hear, other people have done this and that and the other and it has not helped. I will file complaints (as recommended) with, Center for Auto Safety and the N.H.T.S.A.
Just wanted to let you all know there is one more VERY UNSATISFIED JEEP OWNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is almost always a problem with aftermarket products that were selected and installed by Jeep owners that don't have a multi-million dollar suspension design lab to test products and their installation, or using products from manufacturers that also don't have such a lab.

I have a 4.5 inch lift that was professionally installed, and it was not a budget lift. I have no wobble and stock like ride on the highway.

Step your way backwards to stock as you can. Remove spacers, larger wheels/tires, and get back to stock wheel offset first. If that does not cure it, it is probably your lift and that is a tough one to backup on.

Also, go to a Jeep specialist....not a dealer and not a regular want a shop that has done dozens if not hundreds of lifts successfully.

Your right. There should be no shaking 0-80+ mph.
Typical DW starts at app 65 and a bump or a bump on a turn to start the oscillation.
Is the mechanic that told you jeeps are expected to have some shake the same guy that did your alignment?
You could check and adjust your alignment with a jack and jack stands and some chalk.

Do a dry steer test. Look for loose components. Be sure to include checking the axel u-joints and driveshaft u-joints.
Worn shocks?
I seemed to have missed the part of your post about the wheel spacers . I take it that your probably running tires much bigger than stock . Hence the reason for the spacers .
Never used them myself but have heard complaints if the spacer isn't true to the rim inner surface and/or brake rotor or drum that even when the lugs are torqued properly a flexing motion causes unwanted movement . That sounds dangerous as well as detrimental to the safe operation to a vehicle . I think that is something to get looked at soonest .
at the speed your feeling this vibration , this could be a possible likely cause.
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I agree with greg92, get rid of the spacers.

Also, the average mechanic or alignment shop is not going to be able to properly diagnose and fix death wobble, no matter how good they are. At least that was my experience. I finally got mine fixed by taking it to an off road shop that specialized in Jeeps and other 4wd vehicles. What a beautiful day that was when I finally could drive down the road without worrying about DW.

If it's a shake at 55 that you can drive through, it's your wheel balance. Even though they've been balanced, I'd swap them front to rear and see if it changes. Get the tires balanced somewhere that does road-force balancing.

There is nothing wrong with wheel spacers, as long as the metal star washers were removed from the lugs when installing them. I use loctite on the Jeep lugs to hold the spacers on without worry.
I had dw in my jeep tj sport no lift or oversized tires happened at about 80 km .....the tires were worn down but I started with the easyer ando cost-effective rout first.....the front end stabilizer can get stuck or loose it's ability to do its job .......for 50$ you can get a new one they are easy to replace that was not the problem for me but can be for others. Next my next oil change I brought it I to the dealer and the did alinement that was not the problem so I moved to the breaks and routers that was not it ither so I moved on ......after the front end check and some research on jeeps I found the most dw is caused by some little vibration in the front end and once started it can grow in tell you feel like the front end is going to explode.....finally I broke down and got new rims and tires .....I installed my self and dw was gone .....2 years later a tire was slightly Un balanced causing the dw again I brought it in to be re balanced and the dw was gone....

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dsoucy, welcome to the forum and thanks for the helpful post. In your instance, keep in mind that after having your tires balanced you likely still have the loose/worn part that allowed the tire imbalance escalate into full blown death wobble.

There are two distinct actions that allow death wobble to happen. The first action is the slight wobble that any vehicle on the road can encounter, be it a pot-hole in the road or a tire imbalance. The second action is the worn or loose steering or suspension component that allows the first minor action to escalate into a full blown death wobble. You corrected the first action but, without correcting the second action, you will experience DW again with a tire imbalance or road imperfection.
This is vary true..... I have not gone deeper I to the front end but plan on doing so to fix the stability of the front end in my tj.......I'll probably start with tie rod ends and work my way back to the tansefer case making sure all components are tight and show no sign of ware. Really try to stop the dw from happening again because it was something I never want to experience again

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FYI the steering stabilizer does not cause or fix DW. Many run without one.

Terry put up a good resource . Ask questions. Post videos or pics to help with questions or findings...

The real questions is how many miles do you have on your tires? Tires being out of balance is a big reason for the death wobble, but tires that are worn unevenly or are just to old and dry will do that almost every time. So short of you seeing something on you front end that is off or so loose that the bolt has come off, go get your tires looked at.
I figured this one out with a little help. The short answer is warped brake rotors and a failing, or failed, steering shock / damper. Dodge / Chrysler are notorious for making brakes too small for vehicles. I had a lot of metal left on my rotors, and would have never have guessed that they were warped. Use premium quality brake parts, replace your steering shock with a new one, and make sure that your power steering fluid is still good.