Cherokee power steering?

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Flat tow electric steering?

  • Flat towing

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  • 2019 Cherokee

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William52

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Can we flat tow our new 2019 Cherokee trail hawk without the wiring kit that I guess powers up the electric asst. The owners manual says we need it? May damage? Thanks
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Everything I've read elsewhere indicates that is necessary to prevent what is called a "death wobble", which results from the front wheels not turning  sufficiently to track behind the motorhome well.  This seems to be a common issue on vehicles that have electric power steering rather than hydraulic.
 

grashley

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If the owners manual said you need it and you want to keep your warranty, then you better get it!  This is a no brainer!
 

moisheh

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May 22, 2013
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The kit maynotcuredeath wobble but with power connected to the steering gear it will be damaged. Always follow the mfrs. suggestions.
 

tsc

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from what I've read the 2019's have a revised tow instructions and wiring that is supposed to address the flat towing issues.

I'm in the market for a trailhawk and trying to decide what I want to do also
 

Oldedit

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From what I've read, all newer cars, not just Jeeps, with electric power assisted steering (EPS) are likely to have the "wobble". The wobble is described below as the vibration or movement that occurs when the toad doesn't exactly follow the motorhome or other towing vehicle. This is especially true when sharp turns are made from dead stops on uneven roads.

On another forum, a lady who's been working on the problem for some 18 months reports that while Jeep has a fix for its smaller Jeeps, it still is working on the engineering problems for larger Jeeps like Grand Cherokees.

I haven't seen discussions about what other toad builders are doing to eliminate wobble on their vehicles.

For me, the question is, which potential toads can be towed four wheels to the ground, or flat down, do not have EPS and don't have the wobble issue? Ford-150?, Wranglers, GM pickups, or what?

I spent a few hours last night reading about this problem. I won't buy a 2010 to 2019 Jeep until the issue is resolved.

If I was Jeep, I'd say the heck with it and only promise that Jeeps that don't have ESP can be towed flat down.
 

Oldedit

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tsc said:
from what I've read the 2019's have a revised tow instructions and wiring that is supposed to address the flat towing issues.

I'm in the market for a trailhawk and trying to decide what I want to do also

Be double sure that the Trailhawk has a fix. Is it among the larger Jeeps that won't have a fix for another six months or so? Don't talk to a Jeep sales person. Go to the service department and find someone who knows what you're talking about. Make sure that the Mopar accessory kit (68321424AB) is properly installed, whatever that means.
 

William52

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Update Wiring kit required # 68321-424AB was available comes with detailed instructions we install tomorrow. Talked to a man with a 2016 Cherokee said he only experienced a couple times wobble at low speeds in 20K miles mostly on rough roads. I had to provide the part # Jeep has no clue? Thanks to all.
 

John From Detroit

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I was listening to a ham the other day who had the dreded "Death wobble" only he was not towing the JEEP, he was DRIVING it.

I've had it on a couple of other cars due to "Suspension" issues (Bushings and ball joints)
 

Ken & Sheila

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I have a 2019 Cherokee Trailhawk Elite purchased in late September 2018. In checking with Jeep they said it did not need the wiring kit. I don't know if this was a mid year change or applies to all 2019 Cherokees. I have towed it over 30,000 miles with no issues.
 

shorts

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We also have a 2019 Cherokee Trailhawk that we tow without the wiring harness. We’ve only been towing it for a few months, but haven’t had any problems.
Vicki
 

Rauchy

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The "death wobble" is real and affects Jeep Grand Cherokee and Durango models with electric power steering from 2016. The most recent kit is #82216418AA. It requires some means of maintaining the battery charge while engaged because it is possible to drain the battery in 3 hours.

Not every owner has experienced the death wobble, but enough have, some with such severity the receiver hitch and Jeep suspension had serious damage. Do a search on various RV sites and it will be evident some owners have never had an issue, but some have had it often.

There is a second problem on Grand Cherokees with the electric power steering and in some cases if switching from tow mode to driving mode is not done exactly as described in the owner's manual and other unstated conditions are not met the GC power steering can be disabled as long as 45 minutes. Jeep customer service and all dealer service bulletins lack specific details which require specific times to open and close the doors after resuming driving mode, and require the GC systems to go to "sleep" so power steering can be reset. Jeep customer service and owner's manual writers are clueless about the sequence RV owners use to unhitch and return to driving mode, and if that sequence is not exactly like the written procedure and the silent requirements power steering will not work. I've towed a GC since 1994, but never again. Too much grief trying to get this sorted out by people at FCA that are clueless.
 

UTTransplant

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We have a 2018 Grand Cherokee Trail Hawk model that has been flat towed 43,000 miles without a single instance of “death wobble“ (plus another 93,000 miles of road driving when not being towed. Yes, we do a lot of driving!). Blue Ox bars, Blue Ox base plate, Air Force One braking. We use the instructions on the manual exactly which includes raising the SUV up a bit using the air suspension. I don’t know why we have had such lucky while others don’t, but I suspect it has something to do with the geometry of the tow bars and height. But I sure don’t anticipate installing something that is expensive and picky to deal with a problem I don’t have. I would recommend to anyone they see if it happens before trying to fix it. It is a low speed event, so you won’t crash.
 

Isaac-1

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This thread is talking about the Cherokee, not the Grand Cherokee, two completely different platforms.

Our 2017 Cherokee Overland has the EPS wiring harness fix for flat towing, but from what I have seen the 2019+ Cherokee in theory no longer needs the kit for flat towing, but no one seems to know exactly why not.
 

95f5334j

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Somewhere on the road ......
The issue affected some 2014 to 2017 flat towable Cherokees, not all. The only way to be sure is to visit a dealer and have them look up your VIN. The electronic steering stabilizer was changed in late 2016 to correct the issue. The dealer installed wire harness, fuse and switch provides power to engage the electronic steering stabilizer while flat towing. I have a 2015 Trailhawk and did the fix myself for less than $10.
 

Isaac-1

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FCA likes $$$ I have it installed and never turn it on anymore Total waste of $$$. JS
It may be a waste of money, or it may be you have not hit the exact magic conditions to set off the death wobble. I have read accounts like yours online before, where people think they did not need it as they had not experienced the death wobble in thousands of miles of towing, then they hit a dip in the road just wrong and set off a death wobble event with their TOAD.
 

Domo

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Fort Myers, FL
Its a waste of money until the front end shakes to death and you can't feel it happening sitting in the cab of the RV.

When we purchased our 2017 Cherokee Trailhawk I was aware of the death wobble and the wiring mod. When asked, our salesman, his sales manager and their service manager told us it was ready to be flat towed. Of course, several months later news sources reported more death wobble instances and we went back to the dealer and they (eventually) managed to learn what I was talking about and finally got the parts in stock and did the installation on their dime.

We have not experienced death wobble and religiously go through the procedure to activate the system when towing. It take DW less than two minutes to activate or deactivate while I hook up/disconnect.

To us it's kinda like any safety equipment or procedure - everything is fine until you actually need it.

I'm not sure which year is immune to the wobble - but if it's in the manual... gosh...

As a side note, in the past and years earlier I had death wobble in my Jeep Rubicon and in my Wrangler so I really don't think it's all about the electronic steering assist - I think it's the geometry of the front wheels and suspension - similar to a shopping cart. For my earlier Jeeps, hitting a bump while making a turn at slow speed seemed (but not reproducible) to trigger the wheels to flip back and forth until you slowed to a near stop. The enormity of the shaking clearly would ruin a front end quickly if not corrective action was not performed.

But, as with all gear, we can do what we want with our own stuff, even defeating a manufacturer's requirements.
 
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