Jeep Wrangler jumps all over after bump

I have a 1995 Jeep Wrangler Rio Grande named El Burro.
I have replaced the shocks and am awaiting an alignment next week.
The Jeep doesn’t shake or jump all over unless I hit a bump and then it jumps all over the place. I am looking for suggestions on what this is and how to repair it.

That’s just part of the Jeep driving experience…Especially 17 year old ones…

Is it a new problem since changing the shocks or was the shock change an attempt to fix this problem?

Some suspensions are just prone to this kind of issue. I know someone with an F250 that does this especially bad if the tire pressure is too high and there isn’t any load to counteract the resonant reaction after a bump. Lowering the tire pressure minimizes the effect.

Wranglers are notorious for what’s known as “death wobble”. I would start by checking all the tie rod ends for wear. If there is no looseness there, check to see how much play there is in the steering gear. These old ones can get excessive. Good luck.

If the alignment mechanic is familiar with Wrangler suspensions he should quickly find what causes the problem.

Most of the time I have seen this it is caused by the steering stabilizer on the front steering linkage, it kind of looks like a shock mounted sideways. Replace it and let us know what happens.

Owning a 1983 Jeep CJ7 as stated if you cannot check the front end yourself which includes tie rod ends ball joints wheel bearings and steering box play your alignment shop should find any problem areas. If none are found as suggested the or a steering stabilizer will correct your issue or should.

This is usually caused by a worn track bar. The bushing or ball-and-socket where the track bar mounts to the frame of the vehicle usually wears out. Anyone familiar with solid front axle vehicles should be able to check and verify this. It cannot be done with the vehicle on a lift or with the wheels off the ground, which is why it is missed by most people unless they know what to look for. To check the track bar for wear, leave the wheels on the ground, engine off, and have an assistant oscillate the steering wheel from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock while watching the track bar. Excessive slop will show up under these conditions if the part is worn. If you see any slop, replace the track bar. Replacing the steering stabilizer if it has not been replaced in recent memory is also a good idea at this time.

That’s not a bug, it’s a feature! I hit a pothole three days ago in my Jeep, and the thing’s still bouncing up and down in my driveway. The neighborhood kids come by and take turns riding on it :D.

In all seriousness, did the problem start before or after replacing the shocks? If after, that’s likely the culprit. If before, I’ll defer to the advice given above.

Thank you all so much for responding. It was happening before the shock replacement, but I was hoping the shocks were the problem. I had a 92 years ago, and never experienced this much of the jumping around. It did jump when it hit bumps, but this does seem a bit excessive. I will check the above suggestions and report back. Thanks again

Your damper also may be shot. As you can see from the attached “exploded view” drawing of a Wrangler steering system, a force applied to the wheel can be transmitted through the steering linkage (items 6 & 7) The damper (item 3) basically absorbs these forces to help prevent them from being converted into steering system reactions.

2003 Jeep Wrangler owner and LOVE IT! This “death wobble” is so very scary! It just happened 2 days in a row and I took it right into the dealer. They said it was my steering box/fluid and replaced it…to the tune of $1800…OUCH!..and when I drove home that night, the wobble was still there. Bringing it in again tomorrow with a copy of the above possible solutions. I’ve never brought it to a dealer…always a local station…but my office just moved and a Jeep dealer is right down the block. You’d think they’d know what the problem is.

Often dealers don’t seem to care to be bothered to do the job correctly. this sounds like your dealer. The “death wobble” is a common phenomenon with Jeeps, and old steering box fluid is not the solution and never was. And…$1800 for new fluid? Must be that new gold-filled brand.

The good news is that the cause will likely be worn out shocks, a worn out steering stabilizer, and/or worn tie rod ends or ball joints. Any decent shop should be able to find the cause.

My vote is for a bad steering stabilizer; essentially a shock absorber for the steering linkage. It’s not a rare problem with Jeeps or any other vehicle that uses them and a Jeep dealer of all people should be aware of it.

Agree; most Jeep owners take pride in that bone jarring ride. A Kidney belt might be a good investment.

It is not the steering stabilizer, if things are properly set up you don’t even need it. Changing out the steering stabilizer will only cover up the problem until it wears out prematurely. Most likely the track bar, then check the bushings on the leaf springs. On the new coil spring TJ’s and JK’s it’s generally the track bar followed by the suspension bolts.