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Topic Summary

Posted by: athawk11
« on: June 26, 2019, 12:16:15 PM »

Here is a link to a conversation at the 2A Page.  It includes a copy of the Willys 'Service Bulletin' and a terrific causal description offered by JWitt.  It's a good read...
Posted by: DanaD
« on: June 26, 2019, 11:50:39 AM »

just for information, I bought a 47 cj 2a cheap years ago that had a bad death wobble over 20 mph. checked everything I could think of and finally solved the problem by tightening the u bolts for the front axle to the springs. They were tight already but I put a pipe on the braker bar and really  tightened the and solved the problem. I really miss that willys.
Posted by: trijjicon
« on: June 14, 2019, 06:42:22 PM »

Thnx Rus: I'm hearing u. Taking in all I can for consideration.
Posted by: Rus Curtis
« on: June 12, 2019, 10:18:24 PM »

All good advice.  You'll benefit by doing as much as possible yourself.  Be methodical vs. bounce around so you can eliminate a component and move on. 

I once took my jeep to a transmission shop (when I was young) to see if they would help me diagnose a problem with the clutch.  They told me they didn't work on manual transmissions!  Ok, after time went by I figured out they didn't want to touch an antique.  There were plenty of stick shifts on the road at the time - but I digress.

Death wobble is most likely from poorly balanced tires or loose steering (somewhere).

You state you've had the steering box rebuilt.  Start there.  Have you adjusted the adjusting screw per the Service Manual (SM)? 
Once you've verified, move down to the Connecting Rod (sometimes called a Drag Link).  It needs adjustments on both sides.  Be sure it's assembled correctly to provide shock protection in both directions. 
Once that is verified move to the BellCrank.  Make sure it doesn't have too much play on its shaft. 
Once verified move on to all the tie rod ends.  None should have any play.  You may have to jack the axle up so you can wiggle the wheels or steering wheel to observe. 

Once the wiggling tie rods have been replaced, move to the Steering Knuckles. Here you need to check the Pivot Pins (King Pins) and the Front Wheel Bearings (again easier with axle jacked up - jack stands are safer).  Adjust as necessary per the SM. 
Move to the wheels.  Unbalanced wheels can hop.  This can be magnified with loose steering components. Mismatched tire pressure can also cause erratic movement.  Finally, defects in the tire itself (high spot/separating belts) can also bounce.

You could also start at the tires and work back.  My point is be methodical so you don't miss anything.  I don't like to replace to just replace because you may replace a part that's perfectly fine - and you may never know where the problem was.  Not to mention sometimes replacement parts aren't as good as the originals.

Personally, I had an issue with wobble back in college.  I didn't have much money and was using retreads.  That shop did a static balance.  The wobble would be worse at speed on a straight road.  Slower speeds or turning would usually interrupt it.  I took it to another shop to get a spin (dynamic) balance.  That stopped the worst of the wobble but I still had pivot pins worn, half the tie rod ends and a steering box to rebuild.  So, I was on a steep learning curve back then.

There's nothing wrong with seeking help but learning yourself will be MORE rewarding and will build confidence.  Plus, you need to understand the components when talking to a mechanic.  I've read posts from owners who relied completely on shops to work out problems that wouldn't go away.  I think most got tired and sold their jeeps to move on to another hobby.
Posted by: oldtime
« on: June 12, 2019, 07:48:42 PM »

r the 235-75-15's tires too heavy for the front axle?
� Perhaps a tad heavy for the stock Ross steering system but No not for the axle itself.
Tire weight may contribute to death wobble but certainly not the cause.

I can't get another 'factory original" front axle, right? Can't get another "factory original" frame, right?
Decent usable axle assemblies are fairly cheap and not too hard to locate.
The axle itself could be but is not likely to be the main concern.
Decent frames frames are also out there.
You can easily learn to check/ inspect the frame yourself.

I need direction.
You will be far far ahead if you can find time do all the repairs yourself.
That way you KNOW !
The learning curb mainly consist of asking the right questions.
Start with checking the frame yourself.
I suspect that few if any frame shops actually know how to check a Willys frame for servicability.

Frame alignment is covered in the Universal Service Manual USM !
Absolutely every owner should have a copy !
At 70 years old these jeeps should be worked on by someone who actually CARES not just someone who is being paid to do a job.
Posted by: trijjicon
« on: June 12, 2019, 05:13:34 PM »

I certainly appreciate the feedback oldtime. I've looked @ the link u've provided. All good stuff & fact-based. Can I get a "confirmed/not confirmed" on this fact.... r the 235-75-15's tires too heavy for the front axle? There r 3 collision shops here where I am. It'll cost me 100 bucks to find out if it is the frame & several thousand to fix if that is indeed the problem. I'll have to get back with the mechanic I used who fixed my steering system. I hope he can remember what all he did when taking all that system apart. I can't get another 'factory original" front axle, right? It would be a "used" 1 & no telling what else might be wrong with it, correct? Can't get another "factory original" frame, right? It too would b "new" as in ...made in some foreign country? Just like alot of u others, I am way over-budget for this Jeep but am too far over to go back easily & just give up. I need more input guys as to what I should do. We're all in this together, right? I need direction. Thnx
Posted by: oldtime
« on: June 10, 2019, 07:35:26 PM »

Yes frame alignment could certainly be a contributor to Death wobble but not likely to be the main issue.
Here is the info that was archived on the 3B site...
Posted by: trijjicon
« on: June 10, 2019, 07:25:41 PM »

Actually this was a concern when I first purchased this jeep (tire size). It had the "death wobble" with the Kelly Safaris that were on there when I bought it. They were 235-75-15's. I just bought a brand new set of Goodyear Wrangler Radials...same size as the Kellys. Wobble is even worse now. With the Kellys it was at about 40 mph. With the Wranglers it is about 25ish mph as I was decelerating at the time. I've had others tell me that those tires r just too heavy. I've had some tell me it is bad king-pin bearings. Others say your front axle needs to be replaced. But I c damage to the front frame members also. Not severe but definitely a wave in the metal very near the radiator on both frame members. Like a front-end collision has occurred at some point. Could all of these be linked to my death-wobble issue? What is the best starting place at trying to fix this? Todays mechanics around here don't have a clue about these old Willys.