Death Wobble...

Alright, out of the blue on these wonderful RI roads, my Rubi has developed the infamous “death wobble”. When I hit a bump my wheel shimmies pretty hard and my gear shift matches the movements. Can be a bit uncomfortable. I am going to crawl under the rig tomorrow and ensure that all parts are tight. I have a 3.5" Rusty’s Offroad suspension lift with 35" BFG Mud Terrains.

If anyone has some suggestions, I’d be happy to hear. I am planning on hitting the trails this weekend with the group, even if I can’t get this worked out, but would love to fix it before that way if I beat on anything else, I can have it mildly isolated.

Thanks, looking forward to hearing from any helping hands.

2010 JK Rubicon (2 Door), 3.5" Rusty’s Offroad Suspension Lift, 35" BFG Mud Terrains, Smittybilt front and rear bumpers, 9,000 lb winch, K&N Cold Air Kit, Gibson Cat-Back, Throttle Body Spacer, Superchips Power Programmer

Here’s a link to one of the best DW threads that I have seen with a pretty thorough diagnosis checklist. Good luck! … s-1052221/

“Death Wobble” is quite severe wheel shimmy where you have to slow down to get it to stop. If you indeed have “Death Wobble” you would most likely have a severly worn out front end part/parts.

JK’s with big tires typically don’t experiance true “death wobble” but more a steering wheel shimmy. Where the wheel shimmy’s back and forth at a certain speed typically around 40mph Speeding up or slowing down usually gets rid of this. If you have a working steering stabilizer, it would help to mask the shimmy in the wheel. Steering stabilizers are not the cure however. Typically when you have the Shimmy in a JK it’s from either worn out ball joints or wheel bearings. If you have aftermarket track bars and/or control arms. Check all of these for end play.

If you check everything and find nothing. You can check your caster/camber and toe adjustments. Typically we can get rid of the shimmy by setting the toe to 0%. Sometimes we need to go to +1%. If the toe adjustment fixes everything, then you my friend are a member of the “I bent my d-30 outter axle housing club” If this is the case… welcome to the club! I bent both the drivers and passengers side axle tube on mine twice.

Hub assembly?

Unitized wheel bearing

Step number 1 is to have somebody cycle the wheel back and forth while you lay under the vehicle and pay CLOSE ATTENTION for movement at both ends of the track bar. Loose/worn track bar ends by far the most common source of death wobble. Also pay close attention for flex in the steering stabilizer brackets.

CodyJames had severe death wobble on his JK a couple years ago. I was right in front of him on the road when it went off and the wheels were flopping back and forth like the tie rod was broken. I believe his problem turned out to be a loose track bar.

Other sources include unbalanced tires, worn ball joint or tie rod ends, too much positive caster, incorrect toe adjustment, and worn control arm bushing.

The stock stablizers look kind of wimpy to me. I would get a Rancho. And move it up out of the way.

See ya this weekend!!!

2X on checking the front end while someone turns the tires back and forth with emphasis on the trackbar mounts

thanks for all the input. I’ll be on the trail with you guys this weekend. maybe we can take a look. BTW, anyone heading up from the greater Newport area? Would like to convoy.

If your heading to the Poker Run, a group of us are leaving Lincoln on 146N at 6:15am rt 123/146 near the dog track (Lincoln Park)