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Jeep Shimmy

1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 75,000 miles. When driving at over 50 mph and hit a bump in the road my front end sometimes shimmies so much that I have to slow down until it goes away. I’ve had the front end checked but the repair place says that all is OK. I think it may be the shock absorbers. Any thoughts welcome.

This sounds like the dreaded Jeep Death Wobble that tends to afflict these vehicles once they have racked up a lot of miles.

The first thing that I would check is the mountings and bushings for the track bars. More than likely the mounts are loose and/or the bushings are worn out. Another possible cause is excess wear in the steering linkage. It is also possible that the vehicle’s ball joints are worn out.

I would suggest that you take the vehicle to a place that specializes in off-roading, simply because these problems show up first in Jeeps that are used for off-roading. As a result, the mechanics at places like that tend to be the most familiar with this fairly common problem on older Jeeps. If you are lucky, you will only need to repair/replace one of the components that I mentioned above. In extreme cases, you will need to replace all of those parts.

Just don’t ignore this problem as it will only get worse and is a definite safety issue.

Have You Ever Replaced The Steering Damper ? Did The Repair Place Disconnect The Business End Of The Damper And Check Its Operation ?

This “fifth shock absorber” is a maintenance item.


Good point, CSA.
The steering damper is one more part that can play a role in these symptoms.

My vote is also for the steering dampener.