97 ZJ front suspension or steering issue. Need help - Jeep Garage - Jeep Forum

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Old 09-13-2015, 02:27 PM
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97 ZJ front suspension or steering issue. Need help

Hi All,
I have a 97 ZJ 5.2 liter quadratrack that at freeway speeds when a sharp impact from a pothole, expansion point, or an uneven pavement surface, can cause severe vibration through the front suspension. Severe enough that I have to pull the vehicle off of the road. Only when it slows to about 10mph the vibration stops. Anything left on the seats is deposited on the floor due to the vibration. I can best describe it as if the right front tire only is striking speed bumps at 60 mph. There is also a hollow sound emitted just before this. I have changed the shocks on it but that has not helped.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-14-2015, 01:52 PM
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Re: 97 ZJ front suspension or steering issue. Need help

Hi guys. Follow up to my post. I have the Death Wobble. Freaking aptly named. Track bar replacement?
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:33 AM
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Re: 97 ZJ front suspension or steering issue. Need help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prancinghorse View Post
Hi guys. Follow up to my post. I have the Death Wobble. Freaking aptly named. Track bar replacement?
Yes, your symptoms sound like the death wobble.
There is a steering stabilizer that can get old and should be replaced, the factory one is OK, as well as several aftermarket ones like folks from Rancho, etc.

HOWEVER.... the real problem isn't the stabilizer. You have worn front end parts and need to rebuild the front end. I'd suggest a classical Jeep experienced front end specialist to help keep costs down, but fix the problems that can cause tire wear as well as other front end components to fail.

Some places will suggest you do the rebuild work with the old stabilizer, as something like a Rancho can hide the symptom enough to make it harder to ident those components that need replacing.

Unless you love harsh rides, I don't suggest replacing all the bushings with polyurethane hard core type.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:23 PM
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Re: 97 ZJ front suspension or steering issue. Need help

Thanks for the advice. I did have the stabilizer replaced when the shocks went in. Tire wear is still even. Steering is tight and the alignment is good but that cavitation just popped out of the blue. I race cars as a hobby and have had my car sideways on the track and was smiling during that. That Death Wobble scared the crap out of me. I love Jeeps though. This is my 2nd ZJ!
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