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Jeep Service
Jeep Service, Jeep Owner
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 4952
Experience:  14 years with AMC/Jeep Specializing with pre-1994 Jeep products.
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I may have what is called the death wobble on my 97 jeep

Customer Question

i may have what is called the death wobble on my 97 jeep grand cherokee. how much does repair run?
JA: Are you fixing your Grand Cherokee yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No. wobble only started. i'm a girl :) and can't fix myself. did research and watched youtube videos to determine possible issue.
JA: Will the headlights turn on? Is the battery fully charged? Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: battery is fully charged. headlights come on. only that the wobble happens once i go over a mid to severe bump.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 11 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. The 'death wobble' that we have encountered comes from one of the following sources:

1) Weak or outherwise failed front stabilizer shock

2) Tire issues (as in construction or damage to the steel belts)

3) Tire balance

4) Bent Rims

Out of these 4 possibilities, tire issues are the rarest, unless you have hit a large pothole or debris on the road.

More often than not, the front stabilizer is the problem. The 'death wobble' is a sympathetic vibration that causes the front steering to oscillate. The steering stablizer (the shock absorber looking thing) is supposed to control this. If it is weak, the shock will not dampen the oscillations.

It is hard to say exactly what the cause is, without driving it. My recommendation to you would be to have the front stabilizer shock/dampener taken off and the stroke tested. If it moves inward with no resistance, it is worn out; replace it and test drive to see if the issue is cured. It would also be prudent to see if the rims are not bent and the rim/tire combination is in balance. The rims being bent can be checked whilst the rim/tire assembly is on the wheel balancer machine . This can be done at any good tire shop or repair facility.

Expert:  Jeep Service replied 11 months ago.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reply. Please do confirm that you have received my input. Thanks.