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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Jeep Wrangler JKUR AEV 350 and just got the death wobble tire shimmy at 65K. A friend has the same model/year AEV Jeep and at 72K he changed out the 3 steering bars and ball joints to fix his tire shimmy. I plan on doing the same. He went with stock bars for the AEV high steer setup and went with rebuildable Dynatrac ball joints and his Jeep is fixed.

I am considering the below ball joints. If you have opinions on them please post of your thoughts. The price difference has got my attention. Can the dynatrac be worth the price?

Teraflex Heavy Duty dana 30/44 Ball Joint kit, greasable $265

Dynatrac HD BallJoints for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK $530


Jax Track Trail Moab UT

74735
 

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Check your alignment first, if not off' it is suspension parts. Most initial death wobble is due to the track bar. Check the joints, especially the lower one for play. Also take the bolt and put it in the hole for the bolt on the lower tab bracket. In a lot of cases the hole is swallowed out and you get extra play. If so either weld and refill the hole or move to a larger bolt. If the trackbar is good, if that is all solid with no play, move onto the drag link and control arms. If they are good think about your front shocks. I have found ball joints pretty far down the list for deathwobble.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Elwarpo, Just called the 4x4 shop and the manager gave the same suggestions as you. He talked me into a shop appointment to do their standard death wobble evaluation.

My idea was to just replace all the steering bars/track bar and ball joints as my buddy did and save the evaluation shop cost since the Jeeps front end parts are probably worn anyway. Did want to avoid peacemealing the job over a few years changing out parts as they wear-out one by one. In the long run doing all now saves time/money and don't have to worry about it for 70K or so. Still thinking about doing this and now have a week before the shop appointment to think about it.

BTW I do long distance trips doing thousands of miles at one time. If I just did local stuff maybe I wouldn't mind fixing things as they wear. I need dependability and willing to pay for it.

Anyway still interested in info on the Teraflex ball joints if anyone has experience with them.
 

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If and I do mean IF your ball joints are worn out, I would go with the TF ones. I feel you just pay too much for Dyna.
If you really want to do your ball joints then you are almost there to do axle u-joints and axle seals. Then you should be good for another 65k.
If a person was due for steering linkage I think I would replace with stock parts. Lots of people go with one ton steering but I feel that HD linkage is too strong for a stock JK steering box. Some flex in the linkage for once is actually a good thing. The Jk steering box is known to break the sector shaft when impacted. I have seen this on several occasions. If a person went with HD linkage the shock load would be fully transmitted.

If you need a track bar, consider JKS/Synergy/Metalcloak, just watch for clearance if you have a aftermarket diff cover.
 

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I consider ball joints as a wear/maintenance item. I recommend adding Spicer to your list of brands to consider. Those aftermarket units are nice, but the OEM uses Spicer and those lasted a good while on your jeep. On my tow rig (2002 Ford F350) I went through the front end at 100,000 miles similar to what you are suggesting on your jeep. While I had it apart I replaced the ball joints, u-joints, unit bearings, and draglink. You'll have things apart for the ball joints, so doing the other parts now saves time.
 

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Jeep Wrangler JKUR AEV 350 and just got the death wobble tire shimmy at 65K. A friend has the same model/year AEV Jeep and at 72K he changed out the 3 steering bars and ball joints to fix his tire shimmy. I plan on doing the same. He went with stock bars for the AEV high steer setup and went with rebuildable Dynatrac ball joints and his Jeep is fixed.

I am considering the below ball joints. If you have opinions on them please post of your thoughts. The price difference has got my attention. Can the dynatrac be worth the price?

Teraflex Heavy Duty dana 30/44 Ball Joint kit, greasable $265

Dynatrac HD BallJoints for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK $530


Jax Track Trail Moab UT

View attachment 74735
Federal Mogol from Summit Racing
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
OP here.

Following Planman's diagnosis steps found on youtube I examine the Jeep's front end components and found two possible death wobble culprits.

Both sets of ball joints are moving about 1/16 of an inch and the drag link connection on the passenger side is way loose and clunks.

I have contacted two shops that I have used before. But I am not feeling good about taking the Jeep in. Just uncomfortable with the front desk guys and feel I am being prepared for a big labor cost. So have decided to do the work myself. This job is well within my skills and tools. Just will be hard on my old but capable body.

Unless I hear convincing information otherwise will order and install the Teraflex ball joints. Definitely a new drag link and probably the track bar and tie rod if the costs are reasonable.

Dome Plateau Trail on the rim looking southeast over the Colorado River towards Onion Creek, Moab is off to the right
74748
 

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I’ve gone down the repair list before and mine has always ended with tires. I love my 33” Good Year MTR’s. They always get funky with short tread. I agree that ball joints are the last item to consider. Heck, I didn’t even change my shocks till 80,000. That’s an embarrassing confession.
 

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If I remember correctly TeraFlex offers both knurled and non-knurled ball joints. I honestly don't know the difference but when I was doing research everyone said to stay away from knurled joints. Apparently they can cause more problems down the road. I went with Spicer ball joints and redid my u-joints (also spicer) at the same time.

I've replaced everything between the axle and the pitman arm trying to fix my wobble issues. While every new part made a difference nothing has solved it. At this point it only happens under very specific conditions so I can prevent it 92% of the time. I've taken to blaming my hard to balance tires and they will be replaced this summer.
 

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OP here.

Following Planman's diagnosis steps found on youtube I examine the Jeep's front end components and found two possible death wobble culprits.

Both sets of ball joints are moving about 1/16 of an inch and the drag link connection on the passenger side is way loose and clunks.

I have contacted two shops that I have used before. But I am not feeling good about taking the Jeep in. Just uncomfortable with the front desk guys and feel I am being prepared for a big labor cost. So have decided to do the work myself. This job is well within my skills and tools. Just will be hard on my old but capable body.

Unless I hear convincing information otherwise will order and install the Teraflex ball joints. Definitely a new drag link and probably the track bar and tie rod if the costs are reasonable.

Dome Plateau Trail on the rim looking southeast over the Colorado River towards Onion Creek, Moab is off to the right
View attachment 74748
Not as hard as you think and it does take time but if you do it right you know who did the work. Don’t forget a little never seize.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Never seize is a standard for me. I'm one of the guys that is slow and careful. Everything is kept clean and careful reassembly and proper torqued.

A friend that is a mechanic said I would be fired the way I work as I take way to long on a job;)
 

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A word on ball joint presses...my Harbor Freight “C” clamp part of the tool got tweaked. Cheap “foreign“ metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good to know. I will first try Oreillys then Auto zone to rent or borrow their BJ press. Luckily I have a good friend close by that is a mechanic and always has those odd sockets or wrenches that I don't have. I would even hire him if he has the time to help out. Don't mind paying someone to help and my friend is young with 3 kids so he appreciates a little extra cash time to time.

Haven't mentioned this job to him yet but I think I will need to soon as I think I need a crows foot to torque one of the bars.
 

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I'll second (or third) Spicer for the ball joints. And agree they are a long ways down the list for DW. But if they're shot, they're shot.

But if going after market on them, I'm not sure what kind I'd get, but I'd shy away from Tera. I won't try and offer convincing information, but they are local to me, I have done a fair amount of business with them, and their ball joints would not be on my radar if I were going anything but Spicer. I would just go Spicer though.

- DAA
 

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I have a pretty long post here on JKUR death wobble, it was severe! Lots of warranty work, new drag link, new steering gear box, new ball joints--it still wobbled. New HD steering components, the expensive Fox stabilizer--still wobbled. The final fix was the Synergy frame to sector shaft brace. Apparently some JK's and JL's have frames that allow the steering box to move a bit. The brace corrected this, been to Moab and back, ran a bunch of our desert trails this winter/spring and I think it is finally fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OP here, this Jeep just started the death wobble. Before rock solid steering and suspension for 67000 miles. The test posted above show the lower ball joints are moving and the drag link is loose and clunks. I'm betting that is the cause.

I have a friend with the same year AEV Jeep. His steering started to get loose at about the same miles. He replace all three bars and install Dynatrac rebuildable ball joints. So I have bought his idea that replacing the bars and ball joints will give another 70K miles of good handling. The difference with me is I decided to go with Teraflex greasable and adjustable ball joints promised to last the life of the Jeep.

Have the bars off and about to pull the axles. UPS tracking says the ball joints arrived in town and should be delivered tomorrow. Bars coming by end of week from Mopar. I will post up the results.

Jacked up high to make it easy on my back. Pic in my back yard north or Reno with public lands out my back gate.
74757
 

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Be sure to inspect the panhard mount while you are replacing it. Not uncommon for them to be a source of movement due to cracks or a wallowed out bolt hole.

I'm sure it's just camera angle, but that passenger side jackstand looks like an accident waiting for someone to happen to, ha-ha!

- DAA
 
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