Weird front end noises - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 03-30-2008, 08:57 AM
Alec W
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Weird front end noises

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?
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post #2 of 51 Old 03-31-2008, 10:58 AM
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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.......

/jl

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post #3 of 51 Old 04-02-2008, 07:59 AM
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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.
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post #4 of 51 Old 04-02-2008, 08:48 AM
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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.
post #5 of 51 Old 04-03-2008, 06:03 AM
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Maybe the rotating sound can be fixed by this TSB.

/jl

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post #6 of 51 Old 04-06-2008, 04:53 PM
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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).
post #7 of 51 Old 04-06-2008, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec W View Post
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.

/jl

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post #8 of 51 Old 04-06-2008, 05:13 PM
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Thanks. You can tell Iím new to this whole wrenching thing and asking stupid questions
post #9 of 51 Old 04-06-2008, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec W View Post
Thanks. You can tell Iím new to this whole wrenching thing and asking stupid questions
You're fine. I'm a long time wrencher, but first time wrangler owner, so I'm gettin' took to school too.

/jl

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post #10 of 51 Old 05-03-2008, 09:32 AM
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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.


Last edited by Alec W; 05-03-2008 at 09:34 AM.
post #11 of 51 Old 05-03-2008, 09:36 AM
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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
post #12 of 51 Old 05-04-2008, 10:23 PM
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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!


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post #13 of 51 Old 05-04-2008, 11:31 PM
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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!
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
post #14 of 51 Old 05-05-2008, 06:48 AM
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Damn Alec, that really blows.
Hope Jeep takes care of you.
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post #15 of 51 Old 05-05-2008, 01:54 PM
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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!


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post #16 of 51 Old 05-05-2008, 04:25 PM
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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.
post #17 of 51 Old 05-06-2008, 04:09 PM
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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.
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post #18 of 51 Old 06-12-2008, 06:04 PM
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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
post #19 of 51 Old 06-12-2008, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec W View Post
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
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.
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post #20 of 51 Old 06-12-2008, 06:33 PM
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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?
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post #21 of 51 Old 06-12-2008, 06:33 PM
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man... Reading your story really takes the joy out of Jeepin'

I hope it's a simple fix.

Phase 1 Complete. Sold JK
Phase 2 Complete. Bought a Tow Rig
Phase 3 on-hold. Buying a trail rig. Thinking a TJ or XJ
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post #22 of 51 Old 06-12-2008, 06:51 PM
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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.
post #23 of 51 Old 06-12-2008, 07:00 PM
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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.
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post #24 of 51 Old 06-12-2008, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RotorHead View Post
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.
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post #25 of 51 Old 06-12-2008, 08:14 PM
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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.


Quote:
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.


Quote:
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.
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