Question about 1998 Jeep Cherokee

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Had two recent occasions when the front end of my 1999 Jeep starting shaking when I hit a rought surface of the higway. Very frightening. I was told that I would probably need a front steering damper repair performed. Please help.

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  • dittydog101 Oct 09, 2008

    I keep getting the Wobble also. It seems to be getting more frequent whenever I hit a rough spot or bump. Whenever I slow down it seems to work the wobble out & then go back to normal. It just happened on the Interstate at 70mph & it felt like I was going to lose it. I parked it after that until I can get the problem fixed.

  • this happens on my 1998 wrangler. Talk about scary! I'll try the tire pressure trick. I'ts a street ride, so I don't think anything is bent. Never had that problem on my 2000 model.

  • mancalledjer Dec 30, 2008

    happens to me at 40 -50 mph just a lil pothole will do it u can see it looks like its falling apart not so scary to me just the people behind me

  • bb62471 Feb 09, 2009

    2005 Wrangler X. I just installed 1.5 inch coil spring spacers (economy lift kit) and now on a rough surface highway (40 to 55 mph), I'm getting the "death wobble". I had never heard of it before and it scared the (you know what) out of my wife and me! Once on smooth roadway, the wobble went away totally. I was able to speed up to 70mph without any shaking. While installing the coil spring spacers, all I disconnected was the swaybar links (at the axle) and the shocks at the top of the towers. Obviously I removed the tires, but I re-torqed them to spec. I know I tightened the sway bar links and the shocks too. So.... what am I missing? I saw someone on another sight says to replace the track bar bolt with a larger diamiter. Even if thats it, I dont understand why it didnt do it before I put those spring spacers in. I never loostened the track bar. Well, if anyone else reads this and DOES have a definite solution. Please feel free to send me a private message to "bb62471(at)YAHOO(dot)com". Thank you in advance.

    Bob Brown

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Ok, I figured out what was wrong with my 2005 Wrangler. By installing the coil spring spacers, I reduced the actual Caster angle of my front end. When I hit certain bumps at certain speeds, the front wheels would wobble back and forth violently as if i was pushing a bad shopping cart really fast. Anyhow, the dealer has replacement eccentric bolts to adjust the caster, but they didn’t stock them and they cost over $50.00. So, I opted to make my own off set washers to push the lower portion of the axle forward (gaining positive Caster). If you think this may help you, feel free to contact me at bb62471@yahoo.com .

Posted on Feb 15, 2009

  • bb62471 Apr 05, 2009

    I ended up finding that by changing the geometry of my steering/suspension, I inadvertantly raised my front CASTER to about 11 degrees. I ended up making shims to lower the CATER back to 7-8 degrees and then re-set the front toe in to 1/8". After that, I have driven over 2500 miles with no DW. It only ended up costing me $10 for material, $5 for an angle gage, and about 2 hours of my time to cast the DW DEMON away.

    Feel free to write me at bb62471(at)yahoo(dot)com if you have questions. We DeathWobblers have to stick together!

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Dealer found broken engine mounts and replaced, been three years now and no more death wobbles. This was on a 95 jeep Grand Cherokee 4wd

Posted on Dec 30, 2008

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I had this happen to me in my 1998 jeep grand also. I would drive and slightly turn the wheel going around 35-45 and it would feel like I was in a space shuttle ready for take off. My husband told me it was my tire, but you know women .. I douted it was. He took it in got new tires and walllla . Its been over 2 years and no more wobble. Now if I could just get the exaust fixed. It sounds like Im driving a bus. LOL

Posted on Feb 14, 2009

New shocks the only solution

Posted on Oct 24, 2008

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The "death wobble" in question can indeed be masked by installation of a new steering damper. However the issue is the caster angle of the front steering knuckles. If you have excessive caster angle (too much positive) you could very well experience this. It's like a shopping cart with a wobbly wheel. You should check to make sure the bushings in your front suspension are not worn or deteriorated. A front end alignment will indicate whether the caster angles are within spec. If not repairs or appropriate adjustments need to be performed. In my experience caster can not be adjusted on that vehicle so it's likely that you have worn and or bent parts. hope this helps.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008

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This is indeed called the "death wobble" but it can be caused by a variety of reasons, most of which have to do with anything "rubber" on the front end, but most likely three possible reasons. First, shocks. Second tires, and finally a shock absorber like device (I believe steering damper). Sometimes if the front end is just too old and worn, it's nearly impossible to fix. I've owned Cherokees since 1981 and have had this on 4 out of 5 of them. If you believe your shocks are OK and your steering damper is OK, then be sure the tires are balanced and inflated properly. If you are sure your tires are OK, then check the steering damper first and the shocks second. What the wobble is, is a oscillation that gets stronger and stronger until all control is lost. You need to break the oscillation within it's first one or most two cycles. Shocks for example are exactly for this purpose.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008

My friends 92 Jeep Cherokee had the same shaking problem after hitting bumps.. Like everyone else said, we had the steering damper replaced ($100.00) and it fixed the problem.

Posted on Oct 11, 2008

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This is called the "death wobble". Jeeps are known for this. When I slightly over inflated my tires it fixed the problem. The first time it happened to me it scared the poop out of me. I found the fix by accident.

Posted on Oct 04, 2008

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Steering Dampner needs replacing

Posted on Sep 27, 2008

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Replace steering damper, check ball joints.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008

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Check your steering stability bar I had the same problem and it turned out that I had bent that bar.

The death wobble is basically when you are driving your lifted jeep down the road and the front end starts to shake violently. It can happen at virtually any speed, though mostly above 40 mph or so, and is a frightening experience, especially for those witnessing it for the first time. Now it doesn’t throw you off the road or anything … the front end just shakes. And the only way to stop it is to slow down and pull over. So it wasn’t that hard to get used to at first. But as it happened more and more, it seemed to get more and more out of control.

Hope help (remember comment and rated this).

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If everything in the front end is carefully checked and verified as good, then as a last resort, have some additional positive caster added to the front end alignment. That often helps.

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Haha the death wobble replace the steering dampner or shock on the lower tortion bar of the suspension with an heavy duty upgraded one. Not a difficult repair check the tortion bar bushing for play. But the death wobble is caused by the steering shock. Seen it a lot fixes it every time. Hope the info helps rate it please.

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this is known as death wobble because it feels like you are going to die but slowing down will end it.

The cause for death wobble are:
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  2. Worn or loose trackbar bushings or tie rod ends on the trackbar itself.
  3. front end needs alignment.
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try to realign the front end. If it doesnt help, then you do indeed have worn steering / suspension components.

Jun 13, 2008 | 1999 Jeep Cherokee

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