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Write- Up Diagnosing Death Wobble and Fixing Non-DW Shimmies and Wobbles

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:16 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by planman View Post
Even with the mid year '12s+, Chrysler only made the frame side holes smaller. The axle side remains larger than 9/16".

I believe that only Rock Krawler and Trailmaster (which sources RK joints) has built 14 mm flex joint ends. I know that Currie, Teraflex, JKS, Synergy/Poly Performance, and most others have 9/16" bushings & flex joint ends.

The way to determine whether you have an issue is to remove your front trackbar and inspect the bracket holes for ovaling and the bushing bolt sleeves for evidence that the bolt threads have eaten deep grooves into the metal. If none of this has happened, you could just reinstall the trackbar and torque the bolts to spec.

However, if you have a shouldered, fine thread, Grade 8 bolt to test fit in the bushing and the bracket hole, it would make sense to go ahead and use the upgraded hardware when you reinstall the trackbar.

Then, as part of regular maintenance, retorque the front trackbar at every oil change interval and after every major offroading trip (i.e. after a week in Moab, before you drive home). Periodic retorquing of the control arm bolts is a good idea, but not as critical as the front trackbar.


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Well thanks for the response.

I dont even have 5k miles on my JK (and have not had any issues with death wobble or anything) but I am just a maintenance freek. I would like to upgrade with the bolt kit, I was just curious if this would cause me any grief with future lift kits. So if I go with a Rock Krawler kit (which has been the plan thus far), I may need to save the factory bolts so they will fit the joint ends... correct?
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by olyelr View Post
Well thanks for the response.

I dont even have 5k miles on my JK (and have not had any issues with death wobble or anything) but I am just a maintenance freek. I would like to upgrade with the bolt kit, I was just curious if this would cause me any grief with future lift kits. So if I go with a Rock Krawler kit (which has been the plan thus far), I may need to save the factory bolts so they will fit the joint ends... correct?
If you periodically torque your suspension bolts, you shouldn't have a problem with the stock bolts.

If you decide to do the upgrade, you could either reuse some of the stock bolts or RK joints can be drilled out to run 9/16" bolts.

I run a Trailmaster long arm kit on my 2 dr JK. It uses RK joints. I run 9/16" bolts for the trackbar.

My wife's JK has a Teraflex long arm kit. We run 9/16" bolts on the trackbars and lower control arms.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:52 AM
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Thanks for all the great info!
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:54 PM
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Nice write up Planman. Nothing I disagree with.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:01 PM
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Planman - thank you so much for the info - it's timely and valuable considering I just had a 2" lift and new tires put on my JKU and had one minor, low speed DW experience going over a speed bump, a consistent vibration (which I though was an out of balance tire - they had them pumped to 40 psi, I chalk tested and reduced to 30), but now I'm taking it back to have them check all the bolts (credit to them they wanted it back after 100 miles to do it anyways).

Very valuable write up - thank you!
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:41 AM
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Default Access for trackbar torquing

Planman or anybody else,

I want to replace my trackbar bolts, but on the stock 2009 JKU it doesn't appear that you can get a torque wrench in on the nut side of the frame bracket. It is congested with the axle, differential and springs all around it. In the picture early in this thread that vehicle appears lifted which appears to create some clearance.

Does it require a crows foot or something like that to torque on the nut side?

Thanks,
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by bobmc View Post
Planman or anybody else,

I want to replace my trackbar bolts, but on the stock 2009 JKU it doesn't appear that you can get a torque wrench in on the nut side of the frame bracket. It is congested with the axle, differential and springs all around it. In the picture early in this thread that vehicle appears lifted which appears to create some clearance.

Does it require a crows foot or something like that to torque on the nut side?

Thanks,
If you can't fit a torque wrench in there, you could flip the bolt--nut side towards the front--or just torque the bolt side.

Although it is more accurate to torque the nut, there are times you can't--like with the axle side trackbar bolt.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:19 AM
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Thanks for all the useful info planman. My question to you is. My 08 JKU DW's when braking after going a certain speed (65) to be exact. I really don't have issues with DW when I hit bumps or go over tracks. Would the issue also be the track bar? I did watch your videos on DW and went off and bought the kit for northrige4x4
And just recived it this week so I'll be doing the bolt swap soon. Thanks again
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:49 AM
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Hey guys, i had death wobble and i got a new steering stabilizer and it hid the death wobble. I know thats not a good thing to do but i just couldnt stand it. I have a shimmy at 45-55 mph. What could possibly be the cause of the shimmy? I did the 9/16 tracbar bolts and i will inspect the tie rod and drag link tonight.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:56 AM
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Speed related, easily reproducible shimmies and wobbles are nearly always wheel/tire related.

It could be bad or poorly worn tires, failure to remove the stock lug retainer clips when running wheel spacers or aftermarket wheels, a bent or damaged wheel, etc.

If it happens when braking, it could be worn discs, loose or worn control arm bushings (particularly the uppers), worn or bad unit bearings or ball joints, etc.
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