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Track Bar Install, Front, to End Death Wobble on TJ's**

Worn tie rod end source of  DW

JKS/Currie custom kit

2.5 in Johnny Joint

Axle side rubber bushing

Disco swaybar, shocks, remove springs, let droop to cut off "C"

OEM "C" frame mount NOTE paper in the CRACK

Is this scary or WHAT?!?!?!?

Test fitting and tacked

Welded and braced

Pressing in bushings

Welding in frame bracket

Welded and "strapped" for strength

Frame side complete

Enough is Enough!

Click here:  Discussion on Death Wobble on TJ>

While out in Pomona, Ca attending the Off Road Expo I was driving I 10 which is in dire need of repair.  The road is rougher than a Nyquil  hangover and no ones friend, Death Wobble, is trying to hitch a ride with me at about 70 mph.  Of course it picked a great time to do it as I was lifting a cup of near boiling coffee to my lips.

Suddenly I find myself trying to steer, dodge boiling coffee and traffic at the same time.  I’ve got 7 or 8 cars around me that are watching the Jeep Rubicon do the Death Wobble 2-step, coffee is everywhere but mostly on the inside of the windshield, my lower lip and between my legs which is causing me to lift out of my seat.

Finally I get the Jeep settled down enough to pull over in the wish I wasn’t here lane.  I get out to do an inspection and of course normal cars are whizzing by only inches from my burnt body.  At least the wind is making my crotch and lower lip feel a little better.  

Turning the Jeep around at the next exit and heading back to the motel to change clothes, and try to figure out what to do about my lower lip.  I also need to think about what I can tell my wife that she will believe about why I have a scalded crotch.

The genesis of my problem is in the frame side of my track bar mount.  I run an OEM track bar and the weak side is the tie rod end that affixes to the OEM “C” mount welded to the frame.  The small tie rod end is no doubt in a constant struggle to keep the Dynatrac ProRock 60, 37 MTRs and Walker Evans bead locks running on the straight and narrow.  Rapid wear in the OEM tie rod end is clearly expected.

Click here:  Discussion on Steering Stabilizer and recommendation on which one to use>

Do not forget to set your caster:

Click here:  Setting your own caster on the TJ>

After much looking and wrestling in my mind for a stronger and better solution I finally came up with a hoped for panacea:

I decided to build my own track bar!

I turned to JKS and went to their FAB Parts to see what I could find.  From their page I picked:

1)  JKS Track bar Relocation Bracket*

2)  JKS Adjustable Trackbar Kit, w/ 2.5" Johnny Joint 

* You may need to do some Fabbing on this if your axle is to large, but the goal is to the the Track bar parallel to the axle plane.

Install:  

1)  Remove old TB and cut off the TB OEM frame mount.  On close inspection of the OEM frame mount it was noticed there were 2 long cracks in the upper portion of the “C”.  One was so large as to be able to slide several sheets of paper into it (see foto)

2)  Use JKS conversion bracket and fab it to the Rubicon frame.  I also boxed the frame at that point to give additional strength where it attached to the frame. 

3)  Measure and fit the new JKS track bar.  I also also strapped the Johnny Joint end for added strength.

4)  Cut and notch TB for the massive 2.5” Johnny Joint and weld up the new TB.

NOTE:  You will need to cut your TB bracket off and fab up a new one, this is simple, see the pics...

5)  Install TB, check front wheel tracking, toe, and adjust caster

For best results the goal is to keep the TB in the same plane as the axle.

The Results:

DW has failed to show its head and all the symptoms that so often hung around have disappeared.  The first drive after the install I noticed instantly it was smoother and turned better.  No doubt from not having the looseness of the tie road end.  Which by the time I removed it 1 finger would easily move it around.  Not the best scenario for front end stability.

Conclusion:

Is this the end of Death Wobble as we know it?  Hard to say, but certainly its a giant step forward for DW that has its origins in the track bar.  We now have a solid mounting point at both the axle and the frame, a strong OEM rubber based bushing on the axle and a large Johnny Joint on the frame.  It is a major upgrade for about $250 bucks worth of parts and some welding.

Having done it and knowing what I know now and, if I had to do it over again I would have done it a long long time ago!

Jeep TJ Steering Stabilizer, Yes or No?

** Note:  This will only solve Death Wobble problems that originate with excessive track bar induced oscillation.

03-22-06 1404

Note Track Bar, tie rod and axle on same plane


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