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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
WTF is it!? Weird noise coming from the front end (bang/clank) - Videos inside..

[UPDATED] - I found the cause of the noise. Ultimately, it was the driver's side sway bar link. It was just a pinch loose on the axle end. It was loose enough to be able to be moved by hand (only a few mm). After a quick torque, the sound was completely gone...

So, I've had some weird noises coming from the front end for a few months now.. The drag link, tie rod and steering stabilizer are new and the front lower control arms are newish. It makes the sound at very low speeds - sometimes while just idling forward at 4mph. Also, when I come to a stop - specifically after the nose dips down, then pops back up (even if a very light stop).

I'm currently thinking it must be either the Trackbar, ball joints, or my sway bar (Rubicon w/e-disco). I took some videos of it. The audio isn't too good but in some of the vids, you can hear the sound when I actually get in the Jeep (it's enough of a rocking motion to make it). Watching the e-disco motor/housing, you can see the whole thing move as I go over bumps - should it do that?

JK Front End - Drivers Side Low - 1.MP4 - YouTube


The "clicking" starts around 0:22 and is pretty consistent after that..
JK Front End Drivers Side Low 2 - YouTube

Here's the passenger side high-angle. You can see the disco motor move in this video..
JK Front End Passenger Side High 1 - YouTube

Passenger side low-angle (great shot of the new tie rod, drag link and steering stabilizer)..
JK Front End Passenger Side Low 1 - YouTube
 

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You have a very loose bolt. My first guess would be in a control arm. Either that or a control arm end is shot.

I do not think it is in the track bar if it were you would have severe death wobble.

The disco floats, it should move like that.

Since it will make the sound when sitting still have a partner look for the noise as you get in or vice versa.

As loose as it is a good grab and shake by hand will move what is loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You have a very loose bolt. My first guess would be in a control arm. Either that or a control arm end is shot.

I do not think it is in the track bar if it were you would have severe death wobble.

The disco floats, it should move like that.

Since it will make the sound when sitting still have a partner look for the noise as you get in or vice versa.

As loose as it is a good grab and shake by hand will move what is loose.
I tried moving the control arms by hand and they didn't budge.. Maybe I'll try with a rubber mallet.. It seems to happen pretty regularly when I'm moving slowly AND there is forward-backward "rocking" (even if only 1/2")..

I'll try re-torquing all of the CA's.. Hopefully that will solve it.. Was wondering if perhaps it's a bad bushing in one of them.. The lowers are quite new - 1/2 a year old (Teraflex monster's). The uppers are as old as the lift kit (Full Traction)..
 

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I'd unbolt the sway bar from the axle and flip the links up to just isolate that part completely. I doubt that it is, it's pretty erratic compared to what the suspension is doing. Check the exhaust if it's tweaked and hitting anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd unbolt the sway bar from the axle and flip the links up to just isolate that part completely. I doubt that it is, it's pretty erratic compared to what the suspension is doing. Check the exhaust if it's tweaked and hitting anything.
That was on my to-do list - just ran out of time tonight.. I agree with what you said about it being "erratic".. There are several times where the suspension, etc. stabilize, yet the clicking continues in a "violent" manner.. I'll update the thread if/when I ever figure it out.. I'm taking it in for an alignment this week (to adjust the tie rod I just installed) and I was going to have them poke around at it to see if they notice anything. The shop I'm going to has a few guys who work on JK's so I'm hoping they'll know or find it right away..

The only other hint I can think of is that i don't think it's steering-related. I turned the steering wheel side-to-side (full turns) while stopped and I never heard the sound at all. But just getting in/out of it will make it click (granted it's nearly 200 lbs getting in/out of it)..
 

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Sub'd to this, I'm actually going through a very similar issue right now. Checked all my bolts... torqued to spec, and they seem to be tight. Do you feel it in the vehicle at all when the "clicking/clunk" occurs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sub'd to this, I'm actually going through a very similar issue right now. Checked all my bolts... torqued to spec, and they seem to be tight. Do you feel it in the vehicle at all when the "clicking/clunk" occurs?
Yep.. The shock comes through the steering wheel ever so slightly.. The floor, too (no carpeting just rubber mat. Looking at the vid of the drivers side high angle it just looks like nothing is in sync with the sway bar, the sway bar ends or "arms" and the motor assembly.. It just seems like they should move together - in sync... I'll unbolt the lower connect and tie up the sway bar.. Shouldn't take 10 minutes..
 

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If you haven't changed out your track bar bolts I would do that, its been an issue for some people and wears out the brackets because the factory bolts are smaller than the holes. I had a rattle in my front end too and this turned out to be the cause. Thing is, the bolts were tight, but they must have been moving a bit with the load on the front axle changing. Check the control arm bolts too, i've heard similar stories about them as well. Thats almost what it sounds like to me, like something like a track bar or something is shifting under load. Looking at the vids, it doesn't seem like anything is loose though it wouldn't hurt to check. If you can jack up your jeep or put it on a lift so you can check everything in the front just systematically check over it. Check ball joints, wiggle the front wheels side to side and check for anything loose (which i doubt if you don't have death wobble), try cycling your suspension and see if you can get it to do it or maybe even if its on the ground have a buddy jump up and down on your front bumper and see if you can hear or feel it. I'd pull your track bar bolts out and check for wear and fitment in the brackets. Same with control arms. Might even check to see if something is rubbing something slightly, just check for wear marks. Sucks chasing something like that. Took me a year to find my rattle.
 

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Yep.. The shock comes through the steering wheel ever so slightly.. The floor, too (no carpeting just rubber mat. Looking at the vid of the drivers side high angle it just looks like nothing is in sync with the sway bar, the sway bar ends or "arms" and the motor assembly.. It just seems like they should move together - in sync... I'll unbolt the lower connect and tie up the sway bar.. Shouldn't take 10 minutes..
This is literally the same exact thing that is going on with me to the "T". I'll have to give everything a thorough look over again. Interested to see what you find. I'll post my findings as well.
 

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Sounds like a control arm. Does not take much movement and the axle shifts front and back. I just replaced my JJ bushings and it is nigh and day. As mentioned, check to make sure your track bar mount (frame is not ovaled out). Keep us posted.
 

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To me it "sounds" like a binding or bad joint??? I would just give a check to axle and driveshaft u joints...
 

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also check for any cracks in the welds on the track bar mounts, and control arm mounts... could be a stress crack making the racket, and would be hard to see the movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hard to tell in a video where sound is coming from. Check lower shock mounts. Make sure they are real tight. Mine make noise when they get loose.
This is on my list to check tonight or tomorrow.. The shocks were one of my first suspicions.. I tightened them (at the top) but didn't check the bottom - will do that soon..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
If you haven't changed out your track bar bolts I would do that, its been an issue for some people and wears out the brackets because the factory bolts are smaller than the holes. I had a rattle in my front end too and this turned out to be the cause. Thing is, the bolts were tight, but they must have been moving a bit with the load on the front axle changing. Check the control arm bolts too, i've heard similar stories about them as well. Thats almost what it sounds like to me, like something like a track bar or something is shifting under load. Looking at the vids, it doesn't seem like anything is loose though it wouldn't hurt to check. If you can jack up your jeep or put it on a lift so you can check everything in the front just systematically check over it. Check ball joints, wiggle the front wheels side to side and check for anything loose (which i doubt if you don't have death wobble), try cycling your suspension and see if you can get it to do it or maybe even if its on the ground have a buddy jump up and down on your front bumper and see if you can hear or feel it. I'd pull your track bar bolts out and check for wear and fitment in the brackets. Same with control arms. Might even check to see if something is rubbing something slightly, just check for wear marks. Sucks chasing something like that. Took me a year to find my rattle.
Yeah, I'm going to order the poly pro 9/16" hardware set. I think it runs $65 or so - from what I hear it's definitely worth it.. It will also provide some useful spares, once I've swapped them out..

One of the weirdest things is that it makes the sound when I get in/out of the vehicle (not everytime, though). Also, when it makes the sound when I get in/out, it's much quieter.. I didn't even realize it made the sound until I heard it in the video.

I will know more after the next round of checks (swaybar and shocks).
 

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i'd check the bolts, like they said before, one might be smaller than the hole, and you will never know by looking at it, you have to take it out and visually inspect it, i had a noise like it, it turned out to be a slimmer shock bolt, it drove me crazy for 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I finally figured it out.. Woohoo! Ultimately, it was a slightly loose drivers side sway bar link - at the axle. It was loose enough to move (with a little force) by hand but only took about 30 degrees of tightening to torque it up.. There you have it....
 

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I finally figured it out.. Woohoo! Ultimately, it was a slightly loose drivers side sway bar link - at the axle. It was loose enough to move (with a little force) by hand but only took about 30 degrees of tightening to torque it up.. There you have it....
Glad to hear it was a simple fix. Unfortunately, my luck hasn't been as good and I'm still chasing my tail! :cwm13:
 

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Glad to hear it was a simple fix. Unfortunately, my luck hasn't been as good and I'm still chasing my tail! :cwm13:
If you haven't already, check your sway bar/frame clearance. I spent 6 months with a sound I couldn't figure out .... Torqued and retorqued bolts, checked joints, etc.

Then, one afternoon I realized the sway bar was hitting the round frame crossmember on the drivers side where it passes through the box-frame rail. 15 mins with the grinder and the sound went away. My only guess is I had 'extra' round crossmember extending past the framerail than most...

T
 
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