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Old 04-12-2011, 06:25 AM  
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Default The dreaded wheel wobble

Hi, I've been lurking in the background for a while and I have read lots of posts regarding the "death wobble" between 43 and 45 mph under braking, acceleration. Its not my car but my mom's and in the 6 months she has had it, its been to a total of 4 garages and has had the following work carried out.
1. Wheels balanced - did not cure the wobble
2. Something done to the king pin bearings (sorry not sure if this is right) - did not cure the wobble
3. Wheel bearings checked, all ok - did not cure the wobble
4. Wheels swapped over from front to back - did not cure the wobble
5. The mod kit fitted (Brakes also renewed to make sure) -did not cure the wobble
6. Wheels swapped back over again - did not cure the wobble
7. Front of car dismantled by Suzuki and all work checked and no problem could be found.

In between all this the head gasket failed and that cost nearly 1500 as it needed a new head. The car is currrently at Suzuki again and they are going to try and put some different wheels and tyres on in the hope that will cure it. Its a Jimny soft top 51 plate. I just wondered if anyone here has got anymore suggestions as its causing alot of stress and worry. I hope someone can help.

Thanks very much Sarah
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:06 AM  
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No mention of the steering stabilizer/damper. Unhook one end and make sure that you have resistance when moving compressing and extending it. No matter how hard you press/pull, the movement should be slow and steady.

This is assuming that you have a solid front axle and not IFS.

Last edited by Haptown; 04-12-2011 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:28 AM  
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I don't know what 51 plate means. What year is it? If it's IFS did they check the front struts? If you have a strut go out it will start wearing on the bushings in the suspension and this will cause a wobble or shuddereing.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:53 AM  
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51 = last six months of 2001 - this will be a UK vehicle with a liveaxle.

Take a look on Bigjimny.com, they will be best advised to help you, there are a number of issues that can cause this, primarily the knigpin bearings.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:10 AM  
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Thanks Rhinoman. I figgured it was a UK jimny since they often refer to them by the plate number... but I never knew what the various plates were.

The steering damper helps absorb some of the jerk you feel at the wheel, but it won't fix a speed wobble. You mentioned that the kingpins were already done, and the wheel bearings were checked, those are the two big ones. If swapping in new tires and wheels doesn't do it, check the bushings in the three link suspension as well as the suspension arms themselves. They can get twisted, bent, broken... the stock arms aren't designed for taking abuse, and people like to abuse these little rigs.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:01 PM  
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Hi, thanks for the replies to my original post I did pass these on to my parents and the items in your replies were checked. After havig new tyres and a set of standard O2 alloys fitted the Jimny did seem to be better but over the last few weeks its gradually returned with avengence!! I drove it today probably about 70 miles round trip as my mom is now to scared to drive it together and the wheel wobble occured no less than 23 times! again between 43-47mph it happens whether I am in the middle of the my lane (we had been told by Suzuki that bad camber roads could be the cause), if I am in gear or rolling and also if I am braking or accelerating the only common factor is the speed. I did stop and check the tyre pressures and each tyre had about two pounds less pressure in than is recommened so I put air in all the tyre but again it made no difference. Please Please Please is there anyone that has any new suggestions as my parents have lost nearly 2500.00 on this car in garage bills and it causing real stress. What could possibly have gone wrong after 6 months to make it even worse than it was in the beginning? Thanks so much I really hope someone can help.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:38 PM  
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I dont know about your truck but on my samurai, the steering stabilizer is attached to the bumper tube, which was totally rusted out, i welded a new bumper tube to the frame and welded the stabilizer mount to that with a new stabilizer. helped my steering wobble a bit but i still have it, i think because the wheel bearings and kingpin bearings need replacing so i got the whole front knuckle rebuild kit. let you know if that fixes mine! but when I raise the front of my truck and move the wheels back and forth it has plenty free play and was told for sure its the bearings. maybe you should try that? I also got new tires and that did nothing but make it worse, also cuz theyre bigger tires. Another problem adding to my wobble was my front leaf springs which were bending in the opposite direction! I got new springs, shocks, and shackles, it helped a lot but still no cure. good luck i feel you guys on this one!
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:49 PM  
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Default Death Wobble

Hi Guys and Gal

I have the same problem on mu 1996 Samurai. I also fitted a brand new set of rims and tyres, but to no avail. I then adjusted the steering box play which seemed to help a little. Mine is the one which they call the "coily" which means it only has coil springs, and no leaf springs meaning that it not happens to the leaf spring models. Mine also does not have a steering damper at all, and that is how the previous owner bought it from new here in South Africa. Mine is going in to have the front wheel bearings and king pins checked and re packed and re-adjusted next week to see if that will solve the problem. Personally I have my doubts. One other thing I was told is that the felt seal on the front "balls" might be worn, which i very much doubt on a newer model. Anyway I cleaned mine properly by scraping off all solidified grease, and re tightened the bolts of the plates holding these felt seals in place. This also seemed to help for the occurrences definitely decreased after this. Please let us keep one another updated until we get it sorted out.

Regards
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:04 PM  
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When I had my wobble all is did was have the tires balanced and that solved it.
I noticed you did not have that done so you could try that...Done at a tyre shop with a bubble balance no less.
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