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Vehicles (17 Jan 2019)

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Death Wobble

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  • Gen 3 Jimny
10 Mar 2019 12:27 #204380 by Jonajax
Death Wobble was created by Jonajax
Hi guys and gals
I bought a 2007 Jimny standard a couple of months ago. No modifications have been done to it so it's just a standard Jimny. Today on a bypass at around 45 mph I got the Death Wobble steering wheel shaking violently and felt throughout the car, I slowed down to 30mph and this stopped the Wobble. Could someone please give me some simple advice about getting it fixed that I can tell the garage about anything they need to know or do.
I would really appreciate the advice and a rough estimate of how much a repair can be in worst case scenario.
Thanks everyone.
Jon

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10 Mar 2019 12:38 #204382 by yakuza
Replied by yakuza on topic Death Wobble
Most kinds of play and slack and misalignement in the front wheel suspension can give wobble, and it is most times many things that play a part. king pin bearings or steering rod ends most often.

2005 Jimny M16A VVT, 235 BFG MT, 2" Trailmaster, 17%/87% high/low gears.

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  • Gen 3 Jimny
10 Mar 2019 13:01 - 10 Mar 2019 14:17 #204383 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic Death Wobble
First of all don't panic, it's not a big issue.

All solid front axle vehicles are susceptible to potential "wobble", it's simply forces from one wheel being transferred to the other wheel via the front suspension components and axle. This solid connection can allow the forces to grow from wheel to wheels unless damped. For example a bump in the road on one wheel causes the other to move, this then causes the original wheel to move and so on, until you have full blown "death Wobble".
Normally the drag and friction of the steering components act as damping, so on a new car you will not normally see this event, but as components wear or fail it can become evident.

So you need to check all steering components for obvious signs of damage or wear:-
Check all ball joints.
Check wheel bearings.
Check kingpin bearings.
Check the tyre pressures and balance ok.
Check all bushes in suspension.

If you can't find anything wrong then it could simply be wear in components, at this point a steering damper can remove (mask) this issue.

Having said all this on a Jimny the Kingpin bearings are the usual suspect (as Yakuza said) as these provide most of the damping as preload on the the bearings when installed correctly. Cost (per side) for parts is about £45 Inc new seals plus a few hours labour. Very good video on the wiki on how to change them as it's a common fault, parts available via big Jimny shop.

Just for fun have a look at "death wobble" in action from below. Sorry about the music, turn the sound down!



Hope this helps.

Mike
Last edit: 10 Mar 2019 14:17 by Scimike.

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10 Mar 2019 14:04 #204385 by Jonajax
Replied by Jonajax on topic Death Wobble
Thank you so much for your reassurances it's very much appreciated. Just such a shock as absolutely no warning just went crazy in seconds.

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  • Gen 3 Jimny
10 Mar 2019 14:15 - 10 Mar 2019 14:16 #204387 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic Death Wobble
Yes that is what happens, 40 to 50mph is the Jimny sweet spot. It's a sign to have a good look at the components, something wearing out, so have a real good look and feel with a bar to move the suspension components.
My 2009 had the wobble from time to time, could not find anything so fitted a damper. It's been ok with the damper, but just started to feel play in drivers side kingpin, so it is likely this was the issue all along. I will change both sides when the the weather warms up, not into cold day mechanics :laugh: :laugh:
Last edit: 10 Mar 2019 14:16 by Scimike.

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10 Mar 2019 15:10 #204391 by Don76
Replied by Don76 on topic Death Wobble
I have just gone through this. I have changed the kingpin bearings and it’s nearly 100% gone. A little wobble was still present though especially on poor road services. I fitted a damper and now it drives great. At some point I will get all the various bushes underneath changed.

I am not sure if Land Rover defenders had dampers fitted as standard but you don’t drive past many without them fitted. In my opinion the Jimny should just come with one fitted. Does anyone know if the new generation has a damper as standard.?

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12 Mar 2019 07:33 - 12 Mar 2019 07:35 #204481 by kirkynut
Replied by kirkynut on topic Death Wobble

The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win - Edgar Watson Howe.

My Jimny Thread Here: www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum/8-my-ji...on-continues?start=0
Last edit: 12 Mar 2019 07:35 by kirkynut.

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14 Mar 2019 18:38 #204590 by Jonajax
Replied by Jonajax on topic Death Wobble
Quick update to my Death Wobble.
An old school friend who has his own garage took a look at the problem, for me and found that a bolt on the top end of the Panhard rod was loose.
He has sorted this out and checked all other probable causes, but found no issues.
Hopefully this has sorted out the problem. I will keep you updated in due course.
I would like to thank everyone for their advice and reassurances.
Thank you
Jonajax

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14 Mar 2019 19:04 #204591 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic Death Wobble
Thanks for the update, hope that's your wobble all sorted.

Simple fix, result. B)

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14 Mar 2019 22:34 #204605 by Don76
Replied by Don76 on topic Death Wobble
Great news

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15 Mar 2019 20:23 #204643 by kirkynut
Replied by kirkynut on topic Death Wobble
Check it for tightness again regularly. It's a captive nut and cannot easily be repaired if the thread is stripped or otherwise damaged. It would be strange for it to come loose if not touched since fitting at the factory, which leads me to suspect someone's been at it at some point.

They seize in place more often than come undone.

Kirkynut

The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win - Edgar Watson Howe.

My Jimny Thread Here: www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum/8-my-ji...on-continues?start=0

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15 Mar 2019 20:49 #204644 by Jonajax
Replied by Jonajax on topic Death Wobble
OK thanks I will check it regularly.

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