"death wobble" 73 fj55

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Jan 14, 2006
Durango, Crawlorado
I'm bringing home my first fj. My father has a 78 fj40 that is great, but I opted for the 55 for the rarity and the "family factor". It has been gone through pretty good, and I was wondering about the wandering of the front end. It appears to have about a 4 to 6 inch lift and I can feel the front end wander:confused: . I was test driving on a very bumpy and icy road but it still felt odd. What should I look for? Should there have been a modification that would have been obvious? Any hope this is a 4X only phenomenon?

I don't think anything was missed; the former owner was very thorough in his work- v-8, lift, rancho 9, ricarro seats, power everything, alarm, lo-jack( formelry a cali rig LOL).
Is it sprung over? If so, it may not have been cut and turned.

If it's just wondering as your driving it's not death wobble. If the front tires jerk side to side, sometimes violently, then you have death wobble.

Do a search ro check the faq section .... it's been covered very well.

Congrats on the 55 and welcome to Mud! I used to not care for the 55 much, but they kinda grow ya!

Oh .... and we need pics!
Duly noted; I'll post pics when I get it home ;). I've been digging around all day, and it seems I'm getting a pretty good deal (pretty clean). I've also found that this is one of the better cruiser sites out there. Thanks for making this board move.

As far as wander vs death wobble; I have a 74 dodge and a 75 plymouth. I'm familiar with wander- this is a wobble. I'll give it a good once over and double check the faq section. Thanks for the tips.-Josh
Death wabble can be caused by many factors.
1. Toe in/out not correct.
2. Warn bearings
3. Warn shackle bushings
4. Warn Tires
5. Bent tie road
6. etc., etc,. etc.

Does it have the stock steering components?
Power Steering? Which type.
Shackle reversal?

More information may help.
Your initial post is not what I sould characterize as a Cruiser Death Wobble.

The Death Wobble my 40 had was a violent shaking of the wheel that would build quickly into the whole truck oscillating. happened at 30-45. Due to excessive toe in, in my case.

My 55 wanders unexpectedly. I'm hoping a steering stabilizer will help once I figure out how to mount on to the 4x4Labs histeer. although it's probably caster issues due to the PO's SOA.
Wait. Power everything? Steering too? Disregard my previous post about the center arm adjustment which I just edited out...
What kind of power steering? And have you checked your front wheel bearing play?
Come on down to the FJ55 Iron Pig Preservation Society, introduce yourself there.
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i had the same thing happen to me on the freeway at about 45-50. check if your tires are balenced properly. that fixed my problem it was cheep and free at my shop. then i bought some boggers. good luck

check it... please

warning sign 1, it wanders/ wobbles

warning sign 2

4-6 inches lift
also, it may be exaggerating bumps int he road if the steering hasn'b been corrected. make sure your tie rod and drag link are parallel, or close to it.
Any improvement with your 'wondering' problem?
As others have noted, there is a big difference between 'death wobble' and 'wandering'. My 1973 FJ40 with 38" SXs has a serious 'death wobble' that I have been trying to fix for a couple of years. It is still so bad that I will not drive the rig now. It has come down to the 38" boggers are junk on the road! On the rocks they are the best, but on the highway they pure horror incarnate:eek: I will replace them with MTRs this spring before June's Rubithon. Every other component on my 40 is like new, so I know it is the tires. Anyone want to buy 4 x 38" SXs?

Like several have mentioned, give us more information about your setup so we can offer a mored educated solution.
I've been busy dealing with my wifes ride (buying a used durango). I should have the pig in the driveway tonight or Tuesday. I'll get back to you on which flavor PS it's got (and post pics). I'll need to crawl under and see where the conversion meets the old. I was very leery to spend too much time looking at it; didn't want a neighbor to get the drop on it. It was obvious it was worth what she was asking for it; I just want to get it to my house without raising eyebrows. When I saw it under the tarp I wasn't too worried. When I drove it out of the hole it was in, and realized it sat about a half a foot taller than I gave it credit for - I drove it around the block and hid it back in the hole (there's a lot of snow here right now). I don't even have a place to park it, and I'm hauling it in anyway!

Thanks to all for the responses; good to know I'll have some support. I'll be using my own wrenches on this, and I can tell already it will need to be re-wired.

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