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Monday, March 07, 2011

Suzuki SJ Death Wobble - my experience on the Suzuki SJ410

On one fine afternoon, I tested my SJ410 on the road to check on something else. Actually preparing the basic SJ410 for the local 4x4 Jamboree which is my first time participating in such 4x4 event. While on the road, the front tyres hit the uneven road and suddenly the car shakes violently. It was around 70KM/h and I almost feel like accident would happen. I quickly did an emergency braking and the frightening shake gone. The terrible front end shake will happen every time the tyres hit even the slight uneven or hole on the road.
I did not aware of the real problem that the first thing I did was to do tyre check and balancing, and replacing the old (bend) leaf spring. However, the problem still keep bugging me. Then, I tried searcing on Google about the problem but did not find anything. I nearly sent the car to the workshop but before I made up my mind, I did another search on Google. This time I found a Youtube video about "death wobble" on some Jeeps. Great, that the exact problem on my SJ410. Death wobble is  a violent shaking at a certain speed or after hitting a bump which vibrates the entire front end viciously.

There are lots of possible causes based on my readings. Its ended up my list was:
1. check front axle components (king pin bearing)
2. check steering box
3. check steering component
4. check steering damper
5. check bushing

Ok. In order to do them all, necessary things were removed. I'm not a mechanic, just a keen DIY with Google is my best friend. What most important I found was the steering damper. It seems out of order which made me think that this was the real source of the problem. However, on second thought,  when I checked my brother's SJ413, there's no steering damper. Therefore, I think that "Suzuki death wobble" is caused by one or multiple problems as listed above. One of my friends suggest me to modify the steering damper attachment using LN106 Toyota Hilux damper for better and cheaper alternative to the expensive Suzuki steering (not OEM) damper. It cost me around RM170 for the Suzuki steering damper while Hilux damper is just around RM120. However, to use the Hilux steering damper, I have to do some welding work and I want to avoid that for this time around.  

So, apart from replacing this one only, I have decided to do some other replacements. I replaced front axle kingpin bearings because they look like not in good condition anymore, including the oil seals and knuckle seals. Then, replaced the steering box with new (used) which I got from friend, because the old steering box was quite bad with to much play. The universal joint on the steering shaft was also replaced. Finished with that, my SJ410 is back to perfect condition again.

Suzuki SJ410 repair 
Standard leaf spring replacement

Suzuki SJ410 repair 
The real cause of the death wobble on my SJ410, out of service steering damper.
Suzuki SJ410 repair 
Replacing the kingpin bearings and seals.


  1. saya punya sj410 pun ada masalah mcm ni tapi berapa kosnya yea?

  2. Kalau ada masalah begini, periksa
    1. steering damper - RM180
    2. kingpin bearing - RM60x4

    * harga anggaran sahaja, kos sebenar sudah lupa :)


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