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Old 10-26-2008, 06:23 PM   #1
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Default 95 Grand Cherokee Shaking Violently

1995 Jeep Laredo 6 cyl, Four Wheel Drive Automatic 230000 miles with Skyjacker Lift.

The jeep was sitting for about 6 months before I bought it just a couple weeks ago. It has a Skyjacker lift kit and larger tires. . Since having it, there have been about 8 times when I would hit a bump that would spark a rash of full body violent shaking from the front end - feeling like the tires are about to fall off. I need to slow down to a almost a stop in order to stop the shaking. This doesn't happen most of the times I hit bumps. I can go on the freeway with no problem, or go down a bumpy road without problems. But out of nowhere, at about 25 - 35 mph, I can hit a bump and the shaking will start. Once it happens it generally doesn't happen again, except a couple days ago and again today where it happened three times in a row. Today, when it happened, and then happened again, I pulled over and turned my steering wheel all the way to the left and then the right and drove on without any more incidents.
The steering wheel has about 3" of play. Today the shaking started in the steering wheel back and forth and then, started getting more and more violent bouncing back and forth -- within a matter of seconds.
There are no obvious problems with the front end. Yesterday I lubed the front end because all the points were dry, but it seems like it is a bigger problem then that. Any direction or suggestions are appreciated.

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Old 10-26-2008, 07:36 PM   #2
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personaly i wouldnt drive it at all till the problem is resolved
have you got under her and seen if anything is broke or missing
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:45 PM   #3
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Death Wobble
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:47 PM   #4
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that is death wobble. I feel the biggest cause is a bad track bar, but can be a lot of things as simple as toe in adjustment. Its a curse of the style of front end on these vehicles. Do a search for death wobble and you will find a wealth of info. Maybe more on the some of the bigger cherokee forums. I generally is due to some worn front end parts. I have read guys changing ball joints, tie rods, control arms, tires also can be a cause. I am not sure where but I read a good write up on it and how to get a wheel alignment to help control the problem as well
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the gimp View Post
personaly i wouldnt drive it at all till the problem is resolved
have you got under her and seen if anything is broke or missing
Everything visually looks fine. There is no noticeable damage or anything broken or missing.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:57 PM   #6
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Death Wobble... sounds ominous. Thanks for the feed back.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:19 PM   #7
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It can be or it might be very minor. Click on the hyperlink in post #3.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
It can be or it might be very minor. Click on the hyperlink in post #3.
that was useful for me thank you


by the way SWEET AVATAR
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
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It can be or it might be very minor. Click on the hyperlink in post #3.
Found some great information from your link. Thank you! The best one is this post:

http://www.yuccaman.com/jeep/dw.html
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:35 PM   #10
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Take a look at the very bottom of that link. It was written by Tom Houston. Some of you may know Tom, he's a former NAXJA President (National). Super guy and knows a helluva lot about XJ's. You can still find him on Naxja, his screen name is Old_Man.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:00 PM   #11
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Not sure on what you found out. This may not apply but its and idea. My Trans Am used to do that exact same thing. only from the rear. It was due to bad shocks. And the shocks I had in it were only 6 moths old. Needless to say I did not buy the same shocks. But its an idea.
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:21 PM   #12
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Well here's a follow up... yesterday took the Jeep to Les Schwab to inspect the front end (easier than doing it myself) - the found that the front end was in good shape and could not figure out what could be causing the DW. I had them balance the front tires (which were off by a couple ounces) and made an appointment for an alignment. Today, took it in for the alignment, and this time, a different guy said the Tie Rod was allowing way to much motion and that I needed to replace the ball joints in order to bring the Toe In down from its current of 0.8 to closer to 0.0. I thanked them for the estimate and the recommendations, but left it at that. The only thing they did was a basic alignment.
Now, here's the kicker... prior to them messing with it, the DW would happen maybe once every couple days, though it happened twice yesterday. Now, it is happening all the time on even the most minor of bumps. I can feel it coming when the steering wheel starts going back and forth slightly rather than just vibrating from the bumps in the road.
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:46 PM   #13
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how big is the lift and how big are your tires?

Death wobble is more common the higher you go and is harder to stop. The higher you are the less tolerance there is for worn parts.

From your alignment what did he want to replace to fix your loose tierod end? Ball joints or tie rod ends? TREs are pretty cheap, I would do those if it has 250k on it. Also if you can afford ball joints those are probably on the worn side as well. Defintiely check your trackbar. Make sure it is torqued to proper spec and the rubber in teh ends are still good. One thing to note on the ZJs I think that if the lower trackbar bolt gets loose it will oval out the bolt hole pretty fast making it nearly impossible to get to stay tight like it should. The lst thing you can replace is the control arm bushings. THose are the only pieces that can wear and cause death wobble. Some will say a new steering stabilizer but that is just hiding the true problem. Shocks will usually not cause DW as DW is the wheels oscillating back and forth not up and down but they are cheap to replace as well. The very last thing and probably most expensive is the steering gear box if it is worn out it could also let teh wheels oscillate back and forth.

The best thing you can do is get someone to sit drivers seat with the wheels on the ground and have them move teh wheel back and forth while you lay under it looking for play. Any play will add to the likely hood of DW fix teh worse play first and work your way from there.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:27 PM   #14
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Try this from a local forum I frequent...

http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=50775
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matsonian View Post
Well here's a follow up... yesterday took the Jeep to Les Schwab to inspect the front end (easier than doing it myself) - the found that the front end was in good shape and could not figure out what could be causing the DW. I had them balance the front tires (which were off by a couple ounces) and made an appointment for an alignment. Today, took it in for the alignment, and this time, a different guy said the Tie Rod was allowing way to much motion and that I needed to replace the ball joints in order to bring the Toe In down from its current of 0.8 to closer to 0.0. I thanked them for the estimate and the recommendations, but left it at that. The only thing they did was a basic alignment.

Whoa.... here... They said you have a tie rod problem and still claimed to align it.. IF truly a tie rod is allowing too much play, they can't properly align the Jeep.

Follow the info in the link. Tom is one of the best around.
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