Jeep makes this pretty amazing vehicle called the Jeep Wrangler. For the most part it is one of the most capable vehicles (stock) to go out into the desert/woods and ride some pretty sweet trails. Then we start up that road, yup that one ($$$), and you dive deep into the never ending world of jeep aftermarket parts.
Problem is, many of these accessories are really intended for the “street” variety of jeeps, big light bars, blingy rims and fat tires. Most of the lower tier parts will let you down at some point, and that’s where my story begins…
A few moons back I too had a fresh newbie Jeep (2011 JKU), and wanted to run all the harder trails with the cool kids. So like most, while carrying that heavy New Jeep payment you weight out how much you can do on a tight budget. And mid-range budget was my goal, spend enough to do it well, but not race/competition budget. I took advice from many and made what I hoped to be good choices and I settled on Rubicon Express components to lift my Rig by 3.5″. For almost 4 years it has proven to be a pretty decent lift kit, until the “Death Wobble” started to sneak in. If you are not familiar with what death wobble is here is a video that should help visualize how bad it can be.
Now the hard part, everyone is going to tell you why you have death wobble. Your tires are unbalanced, need a better steering stabilizer or Ball Joints, etc… etc… But it can be many different contributors to this issue.
So I did the smart thing and listened to none of them, except for Larry Nickell at Vegas 4×4. Larry Identified the issue as a bad Track Bar. The tie rod and drag links ends are also starting to wear out, but the track bar had visible movement. After removing it you could see that one end had become elongated and the other end had cracks in it. This was a Rubicon Express Track Bar that was less then 4yrs old.
The replacement was a Currie Track Bar.
Moral of this story is that if you can when you are making some of your decisions early on in the Jeep Build, spend a little more ($$$) for quality parts or you are just going to have to replace, replacement parts down the road.
And yes, this did cure my death wobble! I am very happy about that and getting some awesome upgraded parts in the process. Now to replace the tie rod and drag link!