Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
Ask

    Jeep front end vibration

    Asked Jun 28, 2010, 01:06 PM 21 Answers
    First, here are the particulars on the vehicle:
    1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    6 cyl. - automatic
    Home is KY USA
    Tires good
    Problem occurs intermittently

    I'm hoping someone has a crystal ball and can diagnose this problem:
    Occasionally, at about 45-50 mph the jeep starts shaking violently and it feels like the steering wheel is going to come off in my hands. If I speed up it smooths out. If I slow down it smooths out. It can happen on acceleration or slowing down, when I step on the brake or whenever it wants to. It might do it 3-4 times then not do it again for a month.

    I took it to a Jeep dealer, and for $85 they said they could fix it for $1965.00. They took it for a test drive and determined it had a front suspension wobble. (Gee, you think?) Said the front end was wore out and needed track bar, inner drag link, outer drag link, upper ball joint, lower ball joint and something called a damper. (Seemed a bit excessive to me.) Said it probably starts shaking because I hit a bump or pothole and put something out of line. (Not exact wording but the meaning is there.) Jeep dealer said it was possibly overdrive/transmission related but finally ruled that out.

    My husband jacked up the front end to check if anything was loose and said everything seemed tight to him, but the service man at Jeep said there were things loose that shouldn't be.

    So, any idea if all that stuff is really needed or is it overkill? Or could it be something a lot simpler?

    All I know is, it's really scary when it happens and I need to get it fixed but I don't want to be taken to the cleaners either. Please help if you can!

    Update: After researching, I have discovered I have the dreaded "Death Wobble" which can have multiple causes and is very dangerous. Now I really don't know what to do.

    Last edited by caroln242; Jun 28, 2010 at 03:34 PM. Reason: new info
    Search this Thread
    Share |
    21 Answers
    TxGreaseMonkey's Avatar
    TxGreaseMonkey Posts: 15,942, Reputation: 5553
    Senior Cars & Trucks Expert
     
    #11

    Jun 30, 2010, 08:03 PM



    Twinkledooter, I didn't know I have a horse running in the Kentucky Derby. It could be Engine Mounts, but it's a long shot since neither of the mechanics who examined the Jeep suggested that. Both mechanics, however, have Lower Ball Joints the odds on favorite. Isolating noises and suspension problems can sometimes be humbling. After the work is performed on Friday, we shall find out which horse won.
    Helpful
    TxGreaseMonkey's Avatar
    TxGreaseMonkey Posts: 15,942, Reputation: 5553
    Senior Cars & Trucks Expert
     
    #12

    Jul 1, 2010, 06:27 AM



    Your Jeep likely has adjustable ball joints. Verify that the mechanic will use the template and properly set the camber and/or caster.
    Helpful
    caroln242's Avatar
    caroln242 Posts: 16, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #13

    Jul 2, 2010, 02:04 PM
    Here's the verdict... ball joints were bad. One lower one was totally frozen, couldn't move it at all. The other lower one was so loose it just flopped around. If I recall what the mechanic said correctly, only 1 of the ball joints had a grease fitting. The new Moog's we put on all have grease fittings.

    After he fixed it he took the Jeep for a ride and couldn't make it vibrate no matter what speed he went. When I drove it home I put it through different speed tests and I couldn't get it to vibrate either. Hopefully this did the trick!

    I had him check the engine mounts and he didn't see any problem with them (sorry twinkiedooter) nor did he see any problem with the bearings or anything else when he had it apart.

    Total cost: $419.00

    That sure beats the estimate I got from the Jeep dealer for $1965.00!

    Thank you TxGreaseMonkey and twinkledooter for holding my hand through all this. I really appreciate your input.

    Helpful
    TxGreaseMonkey's Avatar
    TxGreaseMonkey Posts: 15,942, Reputation: 5553
    Senior Cars & Trucks Expert
     
    #14

    Jul 2, 2010, 06:37 PM



    Very nice job--done at a fair price. Lower Ball Joints won! Thanks for the update.
    Helpful
    twinkiedooter's Avatar
    twinkiedooter Posts: 12,172, Reputation: 1054
    Uber Member
     
    #15

    Jul 2, 2010, 06:44 PM

    Hmmmm bad ball joints and not the engine mounts. Oh well. At least someone got it right. But then my Jeep was abused when it was taken off road and ran into who knows what to make two engine mounts bad.

    Glad for the update. Appreciate that. Now if my Jeep starts making weird vibrations I'll have at least a leg up on just what it is as mine are the original ball joints.

    And yes, the Kentucky Derby winner is...

    And yes the $1,900 price was a bit steep. Glad you shopped around and got someone who was honest. Honest mechanics are like gold and need to be treated as such. I had to get a new fuel pump for mine a few years ago and the dealer wanted a small fortune. I ended up doing it myself for just the cost of a new one. And FYI the fuel pump is inside the tank and you have to drop the tank to get at it. That's what all the pricey price the dealer wanted - not the actual fuel pump.
    Helpful
    TxGreaseMonkey's Avatar
    TxGreaseMonkey Posts: 15,942, Reputation: 5553
    Senior Cars & Trucks Expert
     
    #16

    Jul 2, 2010, 07:07 PM

    On a front wheel drive car, a flopping lower ball joint would have caused the wheel and half-axle to be ripped off, possibly leading to a catastrophic accident. It's good you were driving a Jeep. Ball joints should be inspected every 30,000 miles.
    Helpful
    caroln242's Avatar
    caroln242 Posts: 16, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #17

    Aug 6, 2010, 11:07 AM
    UPDATE: 8/6/10
    Death wobble is BACK!!

    My husband looked under the Jeep again, and found the passenger side control arm bushing is shot. Could that be it?? Does anyone know how much that would cost to be replaced? This time the wobble started when I was on the interstate going 70 mph... talk about scary!
    Helpful
    caroln242's Avatar
    caroln242 Posts: 16, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #18

    Aug 6, 2010, 11:23 AM
    Death Wobble is BACK
    1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    6 cyl. - automatic
    Home is KY USA
    Tires good
    Problem occurs intermittently

    Hi,
    About a month ago I posted about my Jeep having the dreaded death wobble. It was fixed by replacing worn out ball joints and a front end alignment. Well, it's not fixed anymore. I was on the interstate going about 70 mph and it started again. I had to pull off on the shoulder until it finally smoothed out. My husband got under the Jeep again and found worn out control arm bushings on the passenger side. Could that be causing the death wobble? Does anyone know how much it might cost to have the bushings replaced? I think the bushings are probably not too much... I'm concerned about the labor. I just want a ball park figure so I know if a mechanic is giving me a reasonable estimate. Thanks to all for any replies!
    Helpful
    TxGreaseMonkey's Avatar
    TxGreaseMonkey Posts: 15,942, Reputation: 5553
    Senior Cars & Trucks Expert
     
    #19

    Aug 6, 2010, 12:33 PM

    Previous TGM quotes:

    Basically, most suspension parts need to be replaced about every 100,000 miles.
    It's cheaper to get most front end work done at the same time. If you need to remove the steering knuckle, for example, why not replace upper ball joints, lower ball joints, outer tie-rod ends, and wheel bearings at the same time?
    Your experience is common. Again, most suspension parts need to be replaced about every 100,000 miles--some even less, depending upon the vehicle. So you don't have any more close calls, get the job done right. Replace the outer tie-rod ends (Moog) and have a qualified technician go over the complete front end. Ensure the new components are properly greased, after installation.

    Here's how to replace outer tie-rod ends:

    http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/cars-tr...ml#post1882349

    Read Item 6, Method 3. Attention to detail makes a big difference in front-end work.
    Helpful
    lobstertrap's Avatar
    lobstertrap Posts: 20, Reputation: 0
    New Member
     
    #20

    Aug 6, 2010, 01:53 PM

    Methinks it's a loose Vibration Damper.
    Helpful

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions

 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.


Check out some similar questions!

What is back end and front end collection [ 1 Answers ]

What is back end and front end collection

1998 Jeep Cherokee Front driveshaft vibration [ 2 Answers ]

I've got a 1998 Jeep Cherokee with a pretty bad front driveshaft vibration. When I remove the front driveshfat from the vehicle and do 60mph it doesn't vibrate. When the driveshaft is installed it vibrates. I've replaced the U-joints in it, and even tried rotating the front axle for a better...

Front end and back end [ 2 Answers ]

Difference between front end and back end of web page?

Front-end vs. Back-end Tech Writing [ 4 Answers ]

What's the difference? Can someone give me an example of both? I'm SO confused! :confused: Thanks in advance. -HBG


View more questions Search