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Death Wobble on TJ's

1)  If it is attached to the front suspension it plays a role in DW.

2  The following are generally the first* things you want to look at:

Track bar, bushings and mounts.  The TJ has a poor frame attachment point for our uses.  It just employ's a OEM tie-rod end to attached the TB to the frame.  Large tires will wear this mount very quickly and being a tie-rod end it will allow back and forth motion of the TB which causes DW.

Click here:  Inexpensive cure for TB induced DW>

Steering stabilizer

Ball joint wear

Soft or worn shock

*Of course alignment and wheel balance should ALWAYS be in adjustment.  Wheels balanced every 3-5k miles and rotated.  Toe in OEM specs and caster adjusted and compensated for tire size.

3)  I recommend setting your own caster and toe because MOST shops will ONLY set to factory specs, which is fine if you are running a factory setup.  But lifts, large tires etc etc alter your toe-caster setting.

Click here:  Setting your own caster on the TJ>

4)  When you add lift or larger diameter tires you alter your caster.  Toe rarely changes unless you still have the TJ "Y" steering setup, then when you add lift, your toe does change.

The ROOT cause of DW is an imbalance condition.  Often it is initiated when you drive over railroad tracks or a "crease" in the road from the contraction of road surface materials.  The hitting of a manhole cover or pothole are other examples.

What takes place is the impact forces the tire backwards and to the left or right unless you were to hit it exactly dead on.  The L/R motion brings with it the OTHER side (tire).  As you move forward the suspension tries to straighten out the tires.  BUT Newton's laws of motion begin to interfere.

The 3rd law states "Whenever one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite force on the first." or for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

When an impact causes one tire to move L or R, then the other tires is forced to move along with it, but it exerts its own force, Newton’s 1st law of motion: "Every object continues in its state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it. " As you might surmise, all hell is fixing to break loose.  What the automakers and engineers do is add a steering stabilizer to absorb and slow down the violent continuing reactions…better known as DW.

Bottom line. Bigger tires, out of alignment, worn components and road hazards can all wreak havoc. Here I will borrow from my world of software engineering; the “multiplier effect”. And, if you have ever played any pool and “broke” you can plainly see it when the cue ball hits the pile of racked balls…that is the multiplier effect in action or if you have ever written a line of bad code in a software program, how that rolls thru the system to create other problems. This is what happens when an impact takes place and something in your suspension is out of whack.

It is this very thing that makes curing DW so elusive.

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

Click here:  Track bar fix for Death Wobble

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