I recently had death-wobble issues on my JK. Like many others, I went to the internet for help. Finding help was difficult, as many threads are filled with inaccurate information.
First of all, how do you tell if you have death wobble? If you’re not sure that you do, you don’t. It is so violent and scary that you’ll know for certain if you have it. THAT SAID, you may be able to detect signs of it , and prevent it from happening. These signs are a wobble that feels like it’s starting to resonate back and forth a few times, but goes away. This is what I had, and I left it too long, at which point it developed into full blown DW.
There are 3 important points:
- A new steering stabilizer will NOT fix deathwobble, it will only mask it.
- 95% of DW is caused by your trackbar.
- If you leave DW unfixed for too long, it will cause further damage to your steering/suspension components. This further damage may require additional parts to be replaced before your DW goes away.
How I discovered that my trackbar was the problem (See below for a suspension diagram):
- Start your vehicle.
- Have someone sit in the drivers seat.
- Lay on the ground in front of your jeep, locate your trackbar. Make sure you can see each end of it.
- Have the person in the driver seat move your steering wheel left and right. Just a 6″ left-and-right back-and-forth motion is all that’s needed.
- Watch the ends of your trackbar.
I was very easily able to see play in the trackbar ends. This play was allowing the axle to move laterally relative to the frame, which is what causes DW!
The solution: Buy a new trackbar. There are many options from many companies, including Teraflex, Rock Krawler, Clayton, JKS, etc etc. I chose a Rock Krawler from Northridge4x4 and haven’t looked back.