Question about 2005 Jeep Wrangler

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I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. My front end began rattling back and forth very badly when I would hit approximately 50mph but the problem would alleviate itself when i braked, then eased over 65mph. I had two near bald tires, had them replaced with used tires that were about 60% tread, and had them balanced, and the problem ceased for two weeks before the problem re-arose worse than ever. I took my Jeep to my mechanic to attempt to fix the problem. He took my Jeep to one of the best front-end/suspension places in the area. They found a loose nut near one of the bearings, and proceeded with an alignment, figuring the problem was solved. It was not. I then proceeded to have all four tires mounted and balanced. Upon completion of this, my Jeep now drives worse than ever, the second I approach 45mph, my Jeep rattles beyond control, with the front-end shaking immensely and the steering wheel shaking extremely bad as well. My mechanic swears up and down that the only solution is four brand new tires. I have 3 used tires on there now with about 50% tread and one of my original tires that was previously a spare. I am perplexed as to why we can't find out if only one of the tires is bad, i.e. a bad belt, or is it mandatory I replace all four immediately. I really don't have the money to buy 4 new tires, let alone buy them, and have the rattle and shaking still persist. Please help! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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The problem you have is called "Death Wobble" and is well known in the Jeeping community. It is almost always caused by a loose track bar, either at the axle end or frame end. First check the tightness of the bolts at both ends. Any play in the track bar will cause death wobble. A certain cure is a new track bar with the fasteners torqued to the correct specs. Most of the time though, just tightening the bolts at the frame and axle ends will cure the "shakes". The grey bar in the picture is the track bar.
I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. My front - 0710or_18_z+2003_jeep_wrangler_tj+front_suspension.jpg

Posted on Mar 23, 2011

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  • TJ McDonald Mar 23, 2011

    If the picture doesn't show for you, just google image search jeep track bar.

  • jameymccormi Mar 25, 2011

    Goes away when I put it in 4 wheel drive! Does that help further diagnose?

  • TJ McDonald Mar 25, 2011

    Please dont drive your Jeep 50mph in four wheel drive, EVER, on dry pavement!! Don't want to hurt it....No,, if it is the track bar, four wheel drive will have no effect on it.

  • TJ McDonald Mar 25, 2011

    Were you able to check the track bar for play? Bolts tight?

  • jameymccormi Mar 25, 2011

    I have not been able to check anything yet, my mechanic usually does it all as I am not very handy when it comes to fixing cars...are you thinking it is still the track bar? He stated he thought it sounded like a bushing?

  • TJ McDonald Mar 25, 2011

    It could be a bushing, the track bar has bushings as do other components in the front end. Two of my three wranglers have developed what you described and both were caused by the track bar. One started when I went from an 8" wide wheel to a 10" wide wheel. The extra width just magnified an existing problem though, the frame side track bar bolt was a LITTLE loose, doesn't take much. The other was a worn bushing in the track bar that I just replaced the bushing. Sometimes the bolt hole on the frame side will wallow out and get oblonged instead of round and cause it too. It all boils down to one thing though, the track bar is loose no matter the cause. You could also try putting the rear tires on the front and see if there is a change.

  • TJ McDonald Mar 25, 2011

    Also, the tires would be my last thought as to the cause.....

  • jameymccormi Mar 25, 2011

    Thanks for all your help, if it is just a bushing what am I look at cost wise, parts and labor, and what if it is track bar? Thanks so much!

  • TJ McDonald Mar 25, 2011

    This link has trackbars, the top couple are adjustable and good for centering your axle after a lift. There is one non-adjustable, stock, for 65.00. It would take maybe an hour to install. A bushing is 10-15 dollars but more for installation if you aren't doing it yourself.

  • TJ McDonald Mar 25, 2011



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I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. My front end began rattling back and forth very badly when I would hit approximately 50mph but the problem would alleviate itself when i braked, then eased over...

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