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Highway Deathwobble coming back - is it my track bar??


 
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Modfatha
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Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Location: NorCal

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:23 am    Post subject: Highway Deathwobble coming back - is it my track bar?? Reply with quote

Ok, here is the info.

About 10mo. ago whenever I picked up my 2000 XJ Limited I started to notice a little wobbling that in a matter of weeks turned in to full on, sh*t your pants, highway death wobble.

I checkout out the front tires closely and saw that they had worn horribly; going almost bald on the outside of the front tires and leaving the tread pattern much higher on the insides of the tires.

Sooooo.. I bought new tires and this fixed the problem...... until now. I have started to notice it coming back ever so slowly and now I have inspected the new front tires and they are wearing in much the same manner: outside getting much more wear than the inside on both tires.

I called the stealership and asked them what it could be and the tech on the phone said its probably my Track Bar. He said that it would need to be replaced because what has happened is that the bushings on the trackbar have worn out, allowing for side to side wobble that turns into oscilations = death wobble.

I would love to have a pair of tires wear normally for a change on the front of the XJ and not have to replace them every 10mo.

Can anyone give me a 'second opinion' and tell me that this is truly my problem. I'm pretty sure I have the know-how to replace the track bar but anyone with more experience on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I cant keep buying tires like this.

THANKS
JOSH
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badger
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Joined: 16 Sep 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so why not believe the tech you called .most times it is the trackbar bushings are shot.but depending on how long it has been going on and how bad it could also affect other steering parts as well.at this point i would rotate the tires front to back.then start inspecting the steering components.all tie rod ends on both the tierod and draglink.also take the time to inspect all the ball joints and unit bearings.

to help inspect the track bar you can have somebody sit in the vehicle and turn the wheel back and forth.while you watch the trackbar ends.if you see any side to side play the bushing are toast
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Modfatha
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Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Location: NorCal

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

badger wrote:
so why not believe the tech you called .most times it is the trackbar bushings are shot.but depending on how long it has been going on and how bad it could also affect other steering parts as well.at this point i would rotate the tires front to back.then start inspecting the steering components.all tie rod ends on both the tierod and draglink.also take the time to inspect all the ball joints and unit bearings.

to help inspect the track bar you can have somebody sit in the vehicle and turn the wheel back and forth.while you watch the trackbar ends.if you see any side to side play the bushing are toast


Thanks, this is awesome information! I will do this tonight Wink
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monkeyman3875
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Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having the same thing. Death wobble, but only after hiting a bump. On mine, the wear is the same but my problem is the tie rod end where it attaches to the knuckle. Try looking there too.
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Modfatha
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Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Location: NorCal

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wellll, I had my lovely wife turn the steering wheel back and forth at a constant rate for a few minutes, during which I was under the XJ holding the track bar, yanking the track bar and yanking and tugging the sway bars and the tie rods.

I did feel this super tiny amount of play as I yanked, tugged and felt the parts for movement. Should I feel any sort of movement at all as she is turning back and forth. Its kind of like a small pop, really tiny amount of play. I am pretty sure it isnt the track bar.

I also rotated the badly wearing front tires to the back. I noticed once I had them off that the front passenger side is dramatically worse than the drivers side. Any thoughts?
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badger
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Joined: 16 Sep 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you don't have to yank on anything as she does the steering wheel.just watch.she only has to do a half turn in each direction the faster she can do it the easier it is to see the track bar move.if you were hearing a pop as it went back and forth then something is loose.you don't have to worry about the swaybar that has nothing to do with your problem.seeing one side wear more then the other could be the unit bearing on that side going.jack that side up ,put your hands at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock postion on the tire.push at 12 and pull at 6 then the opposite pull at 12 and push at 6 if the tire moves slightly or rocks chances are your unit bear or one of the ball joints is shot.
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Modfatha
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Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Location: NorCal

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

badger wrote:
you don't have to yank on anything as she does the steering wheel.just watch.she only has to do a half turn in each direction the faster she can do it the easier it is to see the track bar move.if you were hearing a pop as it went back and forth then something is loose.you don't have to worry about the swaybar that has nothing to do with your problem.seeing one side wear more then the other could be the unit bearing on that side going.jack that side up ,put your hands at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock postion on the tire.push at 12 and pull at 6 then the opposite pull at 12 and push at 6 if the tire moves slightly or rocks chances are your unit bear or one of the ball joints is shot.


Unit bearing? is that like a wheel bearing?

Ya, I just got a call from my wife and she said that the wobble is worse now that I rotated her tires. Its got to be something other than the tires itself; alignment or some part of the steering or suspension worn out.
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badger
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Joined: 16 Sep 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the front axle uses a unit bearing assembly.that is what holds the sealed axle bearings on the front end.when you remove your tire and brake rotor.the part the axle shaft passes through going into the knuckle is the unit bearing.

i would have all the ball joints checked,the unit bearings checked,steering components checked.then take it to get all 4 tires rebalanced and get an alignment done.

it could also be caused be the bushings on the upper and lower control arms being worn out.
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curtcanada
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Joined: 09 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:54 pm    Post subject: Death Wobble Reply with quote

I had a 3" superlift put on my 1998 Jeep Cherokee back in 2002. It has had the same "death wobble" for years. I have replaced tie rods, tried an adjustable track bar, alignments...NOTHING WORKS! My guess is that it was a crappy install on the lift kit (NO MORE FORT COLLINS 4x4 in Colorado!) Anyway, the only thing that "toned down" the shakes was buying the biggest possible tire I could fit under the fenders (I even shaved the very edges just a bit). I'm guessing, but I think the shear weight of the tires makes the difference! Good Luck!
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badger
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Joined: 16 Sep 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

like i said in the last post it could be the bushings in your control arms.it could even be that the bushing on the axle itself are toast.chances are it was nothing the shop did but something that was already there but the lift brought it out that much more.
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