Weird front end noises [Archive] - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

: Weird front end noises


Alec W
03-30-2008, 08:57 AM
Iíve been wheeling in Moab for a couple of days and the JK has developed a couple of weird noises coming from the front driver side wheel area.

1). When at slow speeds negotiating tight turns on full lock (left or right) it makes a clicking noise. It goes away after a few full wheel revolutions once you get off full lock. It clicks a few times each wheel revolution. Itís not a grinding type noise and itís nothing that you can ďfeelĒ.

2). When driving at normal speeds there is another sound from the driver front wheel. It's a chaffing noise and sounds like something two metal pieces are very slightly rubbing on each other. It could be something as simple as a small rock lodged somewhere but I canít see anything. This noise started a day after the other noise and right after I drove up Potato Salad Hill.

I canít see anything obvious, nothing seems to be loose and no fluids are leaking.

Any ideas on something to look for?

John L
03-31-2008, 10:58 AM
I also have the rotating chaffing sound, I noticed it after I was in some mud and water. I jacked up the front end and spun each wheel, no noise. But rolling on the ground, I hear it. I have no idea.......

PhilD
04-02-2008, 07:59 AM
Are you sure nothing is rubbing? I have no clicking sounds from the drive-train/steering at all at any steering position, but the front tires do occasionally rub on things (and kind of click), especially when compressed. If you axle is not perfectly centered this can lead to sounds when turning in just one direction. My 37's catch on the back edge of the front wheel well at time, and when compressed on the fender flare and make a clicking sound.

FWIW With 4.75" BS and 37x12.50 tires I had to add some washers to the steering stops to keep the tires off the lower control arms.

The sound at the front could well be a small stone or grit between the rotor and rotor cover. I've often found a quick blast in reverse clears most of them out.

Try jacking the wheel up and spinning it and seeing if you can replicate it and pin point the location. I'd be surprised if it is a bearing, but I'd give the UJ a good look over (especially considering the clicking sound), but I doubt it is that.

I know this is obvious, but wash it down real good and lube all the lube points.

Alec W
04-02-2008, 08:48 AM
Thanks.

Iím about 300 miles from needing to rotate my tires so I may as well do it this weekend and check everything youíve suggested (and re-torque everything else) while the wheels are off. Iím sure your right about a stone so maybe a power wash will take care of it.


The first ďclickingĒ noise is weird. It only seems to happen in low range and on rocks. Iíll find a wal-mart parking lot over the weekend and see if I can replicate it.

John L
04-03-2008, 06:03 AM
Maybe the rotating sound can be fixed by this (http://project-jk.com/jeep-jk-tsb-recalls/tsb-squeal-like-sound-from-front-axle-pinion-gear-flange-and-seal) TSB.

Alec W
04-06-2008, 04:53 PM
I cleaned it up and jack the front end up and rotated the wheels and there are no noises from the steering knuckle area.

One thing I noticed and I donít know if itís normal. As I rotated the wheels the drive shaft sometimes turned and sometimes doesnít turn. If I held it I could stop it turning. Also itís making a sort of rumbling noise on the front where it goes into the diff. The Jeep was in 2 wheel drive. Maybe I just need to take it back to the shop that did my gears?

That TSB is interesting and could also be connected to having the gears done recently (400 or so miles when it started making the noises).

John L
04-06-2008, 05:00 PM
I cleaned it up and jack the front end up and rotated the wheels and there are no noises from the steering knuckle area.

One thing I noticed and I donít know if itís normal. As I rotated the wheels the drive shaft sometimes turned and sometimes doesnít turn. If I held it I could stop it turning. Also itís making a sort of rumbling noise on the front where it goes into the diff. The Jeep was in 2 wheel drive. Maybe I just need to take it back to the shop that did my gears?

That TSB is interesting and could also be connected to having the gears done recently (400 or so miles when it started making the noises).

My driveshaft did the same thing, I was also in 2WD. BTW, stock setup, 14,000 miles. I think it's normal.

Alec W
04-06-2008, 05:13 PM
Thanks. You can tell Iím new to this whole wrenching thing and asking stupid questions :innocent::laughing:

John L
04-06-2008, 05:19 PM
Thanks. You can tell Iím new to this whole wrenching thing and asking stupid questions :innocent::laughing:

You're fine. I'm a long time wrencher, but first time wrangler owner, so I'm gettin' took to school too.

Alec W
05-03-2008, 09:32 AM
Well I figured out what the chaffing noise was about 1500 miles after it started. It was coming from the t-case which is why most of the time I couldnít hear it (I had to stick my head out the window to hear it).

Anyhow it decided to blow up yesterday in the middle of nowhere in TX (550 miles from my house). I eventually got it to a Jeep dealer within 200 miles from home (got home at 3am after leaving at 7am) and wonít know if the warrantee will cover it for a few days. If not Iíll put an Atlas II in the thing.

Weird angle pic I took, it cracked about where the front drive shaft comes out all the way across and you can see gear parts through the hole in the aluminum that shouldnít be there.

http://www.jkowners.com/forum/gallery/files/2/5/5/P5024697800x600.JPG

Alec W
05-03-2008, 09:36 AM
I donít think my Jeep likes the road! Itís broken twice on the road and walked all over the trails with no problem. I guess itís telling me to wheel it more :laughing::laughing:

venom
05-04-2008, 10:23 PM
Phil told me about your T-case when I got there, sorry to hear man!
I was looking forward to meeting you, hate to rub it in, but K-rocks was a blast!:bounce:

Alec W
05-04-2008, 11:31 PM
Phil told me about your T-case when I got there, sorry to hear man!
I was looking forward to meeting you, hate to rub it in, but K-rocks was a blast!:bounce:

I'll make it next time. Now youíre hooked I expect to see you in New Mexico in the fall on the next big TD trip :smokin::smokin::beer:

Ipe
05-05-2008, 06:48 AM
Damn Alec, that really blows. :(
Hope Jeep takes care of you.

a plumber
05-05-2008, 01:54 PM
That sucks, you are not having very good luck with that Jeep lately, did you see me wave at you last week on 470 after quebec, i think it was Thursday it was fn cold out. Let me know if you need any help!

Alec W
05-05-2008, 04:25 PM
LOL, if not for bad luck I wouldnít have any lately. Right now it looks like the Jeep dealer is going to fix it under the warrantee so maybe the streak is over ;)

I bet that was Kathy on C470, itís her daily driver mostly because she works at home and it keeps the miles low.

CJK
05-06-2008, 04:09 PM
If you're getting popping and clicking out of your front wheel area take a careful look at the u-joint behind each wheel. Others have heard the same noise caused by the u-joint spitting the internal snap rings. This lets the caps work their way out and if you don't catch it early the next noise you hear will be a loud one as the entire joint fails usually taking either the inner or outer shaft with it. Check all four caps on each side looking for one that is sticking out. The snap rings are hard to see but should be on the inside of the ears on each shaft.

Alec W
06-12-2008, 06:04 PM
Welp, the bloody chafing noise is back. Exactly the same chafing (metal on metal) sound as before and it started getting loud again like it did just before the t-case blew up!! I happened to be near a 4x4 shop I use so I took it this time for them to look at before anything exploded ;)

The first thing we will try tomorrow is taking the front DS to see if it goes away. Iím not sure if itís the JE REEL shaft or the t-case but Iíve only put a 1000 miles on it since replacing both. Iím pretty sure the pinion angle (or is it caster) is ok (had a shop align it all), assuming thatís fine I have no idea why itís happening again.

Maybe itís something else, we will see and Iíll post up when I know. Now I know why people call Jeeps Heeps :bawling:

RotorHead
06-12-2008, 06:26 PM
Welp, the bloody chafing noise is back. Exactly the same chafing (metal on metal) sound as before and it started getting loud again like it did just before the t-case blew up!! I happened to be near a 4x4 shop I use so I took it this time for them to look at before anything exploded ;)

The first thing we will try tomorrow is taking the front DS to see if it goes away. Iím not sure if itís the JE REEL shaft or the t-case but Iíve only put a 1000 miles on it since replacing both. Iím pretty sure the pinion angle (or is it caster) is ok (had a shop align it all), assuming thatís fine I have no idea why itís happening again.

Maybe itís something else, we will see and Iíll post up when I know. Now I know why people call Jeeps Heeps :bawling:

Wow Alec, I guess I missed this thread the first time around.

I would say you're on the right track taking the drive shaft out. I doubt it's a caster angle unless it turns out to be the front end of the drive shaft. I guess it could be caster though if you have a drive shaft vibration. The vibrations would transfer up through the t-case. Have you felt one? Did the alignment shop give you any numbers for caster? You should be under 5. Mine's at 4.7. You usually have to ask them to do it.

Have you checked your brake pads to make sure the wear indicator isn't rubbing. You should hear it if you jack it up and rotate the wheel though.

mcnaught6
06-12-2008, 06:33 PM
at what angle did they set caster?

do you have any "seat of the pants" driveline vibrations?

i've found that most alignment shops (unless they are an off-road shop or do a lot of modified/custom alignments) don't know jack about aligning a lifted jeep. most of them don't touch control arms - all they do is set toe-in and sometimes center steering wheels.

what je reel driveshafts do you have? 1310 or 1350? if it is the 1310, do you have the "HD" ones that replace the stock flanges with their yokes?

Big A
06-12-2008, 06:33 PM
man... Reading your story really takes the joy out of Jeepin':bawling:

I hope it's a simple fix.

Alec W
06-12-2008, 06:51 PM
A 4x4 shop checked the caster angle and havenít checked it myself (I know I should but my garage is not level and itís not so easy).

There is a slight vibration at 50 MPH thatís gone at 60 MPH, it could be the problem but it's not violent. The base on the stereo vibrates more.

Itís the 1310 and not the HD version, it bolts to the factory flanges.

Iím fairly sure itís not a brake pad indicator with only 5000 miles on the Jeep.



I'll post more tomorrow if I know anything new.

Alec W
06-12-2008, 07:00 PM
I need to add some more history. The first time the t-case blew the double cardon on the driveshaft also was bad (pics attached). Jeep replaced the t-case under warrantee and I replaced the DS with another 1310.

Both the t-case and DS were replaced about 1000 miles ago.

PhilD
06-12-2008, 08:11 PM
You should be under 5. Mine's at 4.7. You usually have to ask them to do it.I've got a similar set up to Alec and the same driveshafts and there is no way I could run anywhere near 5į of caster without driveshaft issues. I have to get the pinion angle below 5į to remove driveshaft vibration, which results in about a 2.5į caster angle. If he's running 5į of caster it is destroying the driveshaft which is leading to the problem.

Alec, Sorry to hear the problem is back. I'd be real interested in knowing if there are any signs of damage on the shaft or if the UJ's have play in them. Are you greasing all the UJ's and the centering ball on the double cardan?

FWIW I have 33k miles on the same shafts on mine and never had a problem.

PhilD
06-12-2008, 08:14 PM
A 4x4 shop checked the caster angle and haven’t checked it myself (I know I should but my garage is not level and it’s not so easy).Caster is not the problem, pinion is. I'm guessing you have plenty of caster, which then throws the pinion angle off.


There is a slight vibration at 50 MPH that’s gone at 60 MPH, it could be the problem but it's not violent. The base on the stereo vibrates more.That sounds like driveshaft vibration, if I have my pinion angle over 5į that is the speed I notice the vibration.


It’s the 1310 and not the HD version, it bolts to the factory flanges.There is an issue with the factory flanges been out of true, but you should still get it to balance out smoothly.

PhilD
06-12-2008, 08:21 PM
Iím pretty sure the pinion angle (or is it caster) is ok (had a shop align it all), If they set the caster to factory spec 4.2į Ī0.5į (or 5į) then that is the problem, with 4.5" of lift, that will throw your pinion angle way too high, which will lead to premature failure.The caster needs to be set by someone who understands the relationship to pinion angle.

Also, if your front track is way off that can lead to issues also and can certainly compound a bad pinion angle.

RotorHead
06-12-2008, 08:21 PM
I've got a similar set up to Alec and the same driveshafts and there is no way I could run anywhere near 5į of caster without driveshaft issues. I have to get the pinion angle below 5į to remove driveshaft vibration, which results in about a 2.5į caster angle. If he's running 5į of caster it is destroying the driveshaft which is leading to the problem.

Alec, Sorry to hear the problem is back. I'd be real interested in knowing if there are any signs of damage on the shaft or if the UJ's have play in them. Are you greasing all the UJ's and the centering ball on the double cardan?

FWIW I have 33k miles on the same shafts on mine and never had a problem.

See, now you got me worried Phil. I bought that pretty new 1350 drive shaft from you and now I'm worried. I needed an alignment so I had them check caster and it was 4.7 on the right and 4.5 on the left. I feel a very tiny little vibe between about 50 and 52 mph and I mean tiny. I guess just to be safe, I'll take some more out tomorrow.

You're running 2.5 on yours? How's it drive?

PhilD
06-12-2008, 08:30 PM
See, now you got me worried Phil. I bought that pretty new 1350 drive shaft from you and now I'm worried. I needed an alignment so I had them check caster and it was 4.7 on the right and 4.5 on the left. I feel a very tiny little vibe between about 50 and 52 mph and I mean tiny. I guess just to be safe, I'll take some more out tomorrow. A very slight bit of vibration isn't a big deal, mine does it a very little, and I've had 33k trouble free miles.


You're running 2.5 on yours? How's it drive?Okay, 2į or below becomes less fun, 3į or above feels pretty good, 2.5į is just okay, not ideal but still safe enough and drives fine.

Moving the axle forward a little helps too.

You also have to keep on top of lubing those UJ's and centering ball. I take mine off every few months or so to lube them, which gives me an opportunity to inspect the driveshafts and UJ's too.

Alec W
06-12-2008, 08:34 PM
Alec, Sorry to hear the problem is back. I'd be real interested in knowing if there are any signs of damage on the shaft or if the UJ's have play in them. Are you greasing all the UJ's and the centering ball on the double cardan?


I grease every nipple I can see and do so weekly after that other one failed. I’ll get the measurements for you. I’m sure it’s my fault, I prolly didn’t do something when I lifted it maybe.

PhilD
06-12-2008, 09:08 PM
I grease every nipple I can see and do so weekly after that other one failed.There are some that you can't see. I'll pull my shaft off tomorrow and take some pics.

Iíll get the measurements for you. Iím sure itís my fault, I prolly didnít do something when I lifted it maybe.Not sure it's your fault, but something isn't right somewhere. Measure the pinion angle, the difference between driveshaft and actual pinion angle. Use the flat side edge of the flange at the bottom and the driveshaft itself.

PhilD
06-12-2008, 09:11 PM
See, now you got me worried Phil. I bought that pretty new 1350 drive shaft from you and now I'm worried. I needed an alignment so I had them check caster and it was 4.7 on the right and 4.5 on the left. I feel a very tiny little vibe between about 50 and 52 mph and I mean tiny. I guess just to be safe, I'll take some more out tomorrow. One other thing, I'm not certain but I think you'll find with yokes instead of flanges, the point of turn in the shaft is nearer the end which will decrease your driveshaft angle and thus improve pinion angle. Measure off the yokes at the axle end, one measurement with the driveshaft yoke at the bottom, then another with the diff yoke at the bottom, subtract them and see what your pinion angle is.

RotorHead
06-12-2008, 09:28 PM
One other thing, I'm not certain but I think you'll find with yokes instead of flanges, the point of turn in the shaft is nearer the end which will decrease your driveshaft angle and thus improve pinion angle. Measure off the yokes at the axle end, one measurement with the driveshaft yoke at the bottom, then another with the diff yoke at the bottom, subtract them and see what your pinion angle is.

Yeah, I checked it when I installed it and I think I came up with just below 5. I used an angle finder and measured the shaft by placing the angle finder along the drive shaft, then I measured the axle yoke by placing the angle finder against the yoke where the ujoints bolt up. I remembered our discussion from another thread and I wanted to keep it under 5 and it was, barely. I'll check again just to be safe. Am I understanding this right?

PhilD
06-13-2008, 08:08 AM
Yeah, I checked it when I installed it and I think I came up with just below 5. I used an angle finder and measured the shaft by placing the angle finder along the drive shaft, then I measured the axle yoke by placing the angle finder against the yoke where the ujoints bolt up. I remembered our discussion from another thread and I wanted to keep it under 5 and it was, barely. I'll check again just to be safe. Am I understanding this right?Yes, if it is under 5į you should be okay.

dougnpj
06-13-2008, 08:38 AM
I saw where someone put a link to the torque settings for a jk. Does a chart exist for the caster, toe and camber? If so would it change for different size lifts? If people would send me the information for different lift sizes I would be willing to compile it onto one chart and post it. Just a thought :D

PhilD
06-13-2008, 10:44 AM
Alec, two things come to mind:

1/ I think you mentioned a while back that you had an inch or so of clearance between the springs and the front upper sway bar link. Every lifted JK I've seen this gap as been much smaller, which may indicate that front axle is not far enough forward. If this is the case, then it would worsen the pinion angle.

2/ Check the bolts on the t-case end flange, I torqued mine correctly last time and they were all only hand tight. I'll be using a little dab of Loctite this time.

PhilD
06-13-2008, 10:49 AM
Here's the lube point on the double cardan that's hard to get to:

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/alec_2.jpg


Here's the gap between the spring and sway bar link:
http://www.trailduty.com/temp/alec_1.jpg

PhilD
06-13-2008, 10:55 AM
Here's what I would do:

1/ Remove front shaft and take for test drive. If noise disappears then you know it is the front shaft.

2/ Check all UJ's and centering ball on shaft for free play, wear, etc, replace UJ's and centering ball as required. Lube all fittings on driveshaft.

3/ Check position of front axle, coil spring should be vertical with no bow and 90į to ground. Move front axle forward if required.

4/ Check track, any more than 1/4" off and I'd get an adjustable front track bar.

5/ Replace driveshaft and check pinion angle, should be no more than 5į. I'd be tempted to adjust it even lower, make sure there is no vibration, then start increasing pinion angle (which will also increase caster) in steps with a test drive after each change. At the point that vibration is noticed, go back to the previous setting. This will be the best compromise between pinion and caster angles.

PhilD
06-13-2008, 04:59 PM
BTW While checking it with the shaft removed, pull over shift into 4Hi and check it again. In 2WD the front flange won't be turning, so you won't know if the noise is coming from the front shaft on the t-case unless you do a test run in 4Hi.

Alec W
06-14-2008, 09:37 AM
Thanks for all the help Phil. I almost wish I didnít take it into the shop and I canít try anything until theyíve had a chance to look at it. I may go over there today and get it back if their open.

Alec W
06-17-2008, 02:59 PM
They pulled the front DS and the noise is still there and they are sure it coming from the rear diff. Once they strip it down Iíll report back.

:shaking::shaking::bawling:

PhilD
06-17-2008, 03:13 PM
Could be rear pinion bearings, in which case whoever installed the gears should be responsible as you've done so few miles since having them done.

Alec W
06-17-2008, 05:12 PM
Could be rear pinion bearings, in which case whoever installed the gears should be responsible as you've done so few miles since having them done.
Funnily enough the shop thatís looking for the noise did the gears too and have already started the whole ďmaybe the bearings are/were faulty/crappyĒ conversation :shaking:

If itís the diff I guess it means the whole previous drive shaft/t-case event was just a bonus event while I waited for the rear diff to explode :pissed:

Just Empty Every Pocket :bawling::bawling::bawling:

RotorHead
06-18-2008, 07:10 AM
Sorry about the problems Alec. Hopefully the shop will man up and cover their work. Keep us posted.

Alec W
06-18-2008, 08:58 AM
Apparently one of the bearings disintegrated and there was metal bits all over the others (hence the noise). The gear shop thinks itís not their fault and frankly I canít be bothered to argue about it. Basically it's costing me $100 for the new bearings and there are splitting the labor cost with me. Hopefully I get the Jeep back today :smokin:

PhilD
06-18-2008, 09:12 AM
Apparently one of the bearings disintegrated and there was metal bits all over the others (hence the noise). The gear shop thinks itís not their fault and frankly I canít be bothered to argue about it. Basically it's costing me $100 for the new bearings and there are splitting the labor cost with me. Hopefully I get the Jeep back today :smokin:I had my front pinion bearings go out after 7k miles and the shop that did the gears replaced them for free, although I did provide the bearings.

Alec W
06-18-2008, 11:44 AM
Iíll be happy just knowing what the problem was and finally not having to worry about things exploding every time I go on a road trip ;)

a plumber
06-18-2008, 12:21 PM
Good luck, sorry to hear about the problems you are having

Alec W
06-23-2008, 07:28 PM
OK so now Iím totally pissed off at the people Iíve had working on my problem and should have done it myself to begin with :shaking:

I think Iím the only one who can hear this bloody noise and I think I even managed to convince myself it was gone at times. I found the perfect road to test it tonight (walled both sides) and at 45 MPH I can hear it every time. I took the front drive shaft off and guess what, no noise. I put the stocker back on and guess what, no darn noise.

Iím pissed that I just paid nearly $800 to have bearings replaced in the rear diff and Iím not sure that was even a problem :pissed:

I have a road trip with limited mild wheeling next week and will do 2000 miles. Whatís the opinion on the stock drive shaft since I donít know if I can get a replacement aftermarket shaft in time?

What about a replacement. This is the second JE REEL drive shaft that Iíve had screw up and I donít feel much like spending another $400 with them either.

Did I mention Iím getting pissed? :pissed:

RotorHead
06-23-2008, 07:36 PM
OK so now Iím totally pissed off at the people Iíve had working on my problem and should have done it myself to begin with :shaking:

I think Iím the only one who can hear this bloody noise and I think I even managed to convince myself it was gone at times. I found the perfect road to test it tonight (walled both sides) and at 45 MPH I can hear it every time. I took the front drive shaft off and guess what, no noise. I put the stocker back on and guess what, no darn noise.

Iím pissed that I just paid nearly $800 to have bearings replaced in the rear diff and Iím not sure that was even a problem :pissed:

I have a road trip with limited mild wheeling next week and will do 2000 miles. Whatís the opinion on the stock drive shaft since I donít know if I can get a replacement aftermarket shaft in time?

What about a replacement. This is the second JE REEL drive shaft that Iíve had screw up and I donít feel much like spending another $400 with them either.

Did I mention Iím getting pissed? :pissed:

Damn sorry for the luck or lack of Alec. I don't have any advise for a replacement, but why don't you just leave the drive shaft out and put it in at the trail head? I did that for a few times while I was waiting for my new shaft.

Alec W
06-23-2008, 07:54 PM
Damn sorry for the luck or lack of Alec. I don't have any advise for a replacement, but why don't you just leave the drive shaft out and put it in at the trail head? I did that for a few times while I was waiting for my new shaft.

That's a darn good idea.

I'll have a couple of days in Moab visiting a buddy on the way back from Capitol Reef National Park (this is sightseeing trip not a wheeling trip) so I can run it by Moab 4x4 Outpost (they have a glowing reputation) and see what they think.

PhilD
06-24-2008, 08:59 AM
I have a road trip with limited mild wheeling next week and will do 2000 miles. Whatís the opinion on the stock drive shaft since I donít know if I can get a replacement aftermarket shaft in time? Running with no front shaft or the stock one in the short term will be fine.


What about a replacement. This is the second JE REEL drive shaft that Iíve had screw up and I donít feel much like spending another $400 with them either. There is obviously a reason that the shafts are failing, two potential reasons come to mind; a/ pinion angle, or b/ out of true factory flanges.

The pinion angle can be tested by decreasing it to say 2 or 3į and seeing if the vibration is still there, if not then the pinion angle needs to be dialed in accurately. A pain I know, but it is the best way to check.

The other issue could be that the factory flanges are out of true (a known issue on the JK), the factory Rzeppa type CV's are much more forgiving of this than double cardan type CV's. If this is the case a 1310CV or 1350CV shaft would solve the problem.

I'll be speaking to Jim shortly and will let you know his thoughts.