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Old 08-22-2014, 07:01 PM   #1
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Weird Clicking In rear Axle

Took my 08 Rubicon Unlimited off roading in the Rockies last week and this week I noticed a strange clicking sound that is coming from the rear driver side axle. Thinking back on my off roading trip there was one point that I heard what sounded like a rock stuck in the breaks. When I noticed the noise I put the jeep in reverse heard a little click and the noise disappeared. Now skip back forward to this week. I have been driving around town and noticed a clicking noise coming from the rear driver side axle. I took the rear wheel and breaks off and noticed nothing out of the ordinary. I did notice that when I turned the axle there was a clicking noise that would come and go from inside the axle. I also noticed that the axle would spin really smooth then get rough then smooth during a rotation. I didn't have the time to disassemble the axle any further so I put the tire and brakes back on and have continued to drive it. Today I put the car in 4wd and tried to lock the rear axle and the axle wouldn't lock. The axle lock light just kept flashing. I tried to unlock the axle and it just kept flashing. I drove a bit and nothing. I put it in 2wd, nothing. Finally after driving a few minutes and shutting the car off and back on again the light quit flashing. I'm not too familiar with how the axle lock works on these vehicles so I'm not sure if part of that system may be faulty and causing the noise or if the axle shaft be broken. Really want to fix this soon so the vehicle is 100% and ready to go wheeling again.

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Old 08-22-2014, 07:04 PM   #2
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next step would be to remove the rear diff cover and see what's inside.

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Old 08-23-2014, 11:35 AM   #3
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That's what I was thinking just didn't know if there was some way to diagnosis what this could be without pulling the rear diff apart.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:05 PM   #4
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I had that problem on my 07. Ended up taking to dealer. They had to adjust something in the rear diff for the locker.

I cost me a couple hundred $$, but it was fixed.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:42 PM   #5
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the hamster is trying to chew his way out of the hamster wheel....
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:49 PM   #6
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Ha Ha. I thought it might be a hamster. When you took the jeep to the dealer did they say what they adjusted? Id really like to try to avoid taking it to a dealer.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:37 PM   #7
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Clicking? Any debris in the wheel wells?
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:25 AM   #8
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No debris in the wheel wells or anywhere in the exterior area of the wheel wells rear end. The only way I can describe the sound is that it is as if the rear axle has rocks or debris inside it. It almost seems like the axle shaft broke but that can't be the case because the axle still turns the drive shaft when the wheel is jacked up and spun. Is there some sort of seal on the axle that could have broke and debris got inside the axle? I don't think it is the gearing in the rear diff because the noise is very distinctly coming from the drivers side axle. This one really has me puzzled.

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Old 08-25-2014, 04:45 PM   #9
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Just got under the vehicle and realized that the breather hose is missing. I cant't find it at all. Could this be causing the problem? Would the breather hose cause an issue with the pressure needed to engage and disengage the differential or is it all electronic?
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:29 PM   #10
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Here is a photo of where the breather is missing. I tried to upload a video of the noise but it wouldn't let me upload a video

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Old 08-25-2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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Just got under the vehicle and realized that the breather hose is missing. I cant't find it at all. Could this be causing the problem? Would the breather hose cause an issue with the pressure needed to engage and disengage the differential or is it all electronic?
No ... Nothing, your breather hose runs up into the wheel well I think. It should be hanging around somewhere.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:57 AM   #12
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So the breather hose was nowhere to be found. I had some fuel line hose laying around and plugged that onto the connector on the axle. The clicking noise has completely gone away since doing that and the rear axle lock now engages and disengages with no problem. I'm not sure if the hose is what fixed it or just coke coincidence that the noise stopped as soon as I put the hose on.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:50 PM   #13
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Sounds like wheel bearings to me.
How many miles on it?
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:15 PM   #14
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So the clicking just came back. It isn't quite as loud but it is there. There are about 85000 miles on it. What are signs that the wheel bearings need to be replaced? Is there other symptoms than clicking noises?
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:10 AM   #15
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So the clicking just came back. It isn't quite as loud but it is there. There are about 85000 miles on it. What are signs that the wheel bearings need to be replaced? Is there other symptoms than clicking noises?
Did you do any water crossings? Was the axle under water while you went off road. Without the tube there could be some water in there if so. However usually when there is water you hear a humming not clicking but if you crossed water I suggest replacing the fluid. Of not can bearings be causing this?
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:54 AM   #16
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I did do some water crossings. I wen to check the fluid yesterday only to realize I don't have the wrench for the plug on the diff. Anyone know what size wrench fits the teraflex covers? It looks like a giant alen wrench.
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:20 AM   #17
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If the bearings are shot you can usually tell by jacking up that side on the axle and fiddling with the wheel. Sometimes gear oil will leak and sling around but only if they've taken the seal already.
When they go they get hot too and sorta weld themselves in there. And then it's slap-hammer city to get them out.
Get it in the air and spin that axle. See if you can really tell where the sound is coming from.
You don't want to be driving around on bad bearings or with water in the coconut. Water will eventually heat up and vent but you can get oxidation and it turns your gear oil to peanut butter after a while. It's nasty.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:08 AM   #18
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I did do some water crossings. I wen to check the fluid yesterday only to realize I don't have the wrench for the plug on the diff. Anyone know what size wrench fits the teraflex covers? It looks like a giant alen wrench.

Use a 3/8 extension on your ratchet. That's usually all it is.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:18 AM   #19
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Thanks. Sounds like I have a nice little project this weekend.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:19 AM   #20
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Wheel speed sensor rubbing on the tone ring ?
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Old 08-30-2014, 05:15 AM   #21
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Wheel speed sensor rubbing on the tone ring ?
That would suck; I've seen that cause extra rubbing that's resulted in fire...
Should be easy to see that and should also give an idiot light.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:47 PM   #22
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So I'm going to jack up the jeep tomorrow and decide if I need to change the wheel bearings. If i do need to replace them any suggestions on what type or are all bearings pretty much the same?
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:24 PM   #23
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I'm also looking for a good video or detailed instructions on how to replace them. Any good links out there?
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:40 AM   #24
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Rear drive shaft splines?
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:19 AM   #25
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I'm also looking for a good video or detailed instructions on how to replace them. Any good links out there?
It's a horrible stinky job. Leave lots of room to each side.
I haven't done it in years and never ever want to do it again (with hand tools).
I'd find a mentor if I were you.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:37 PM   #26
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So I replaced the bearing and seal on that side and the clicking seems to be gone but the new seal is leaking really bad. Is it possible that the seal is bad?
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:48 PM   #27
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I'm not familiar with Jeep seals but some seals don't have a flange on them and can be installed backwards. The sharp edge of the seal with the spring should be towards the inside of the axle.

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Old 09-05-2014, 06:29 PM   #28
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So got the axle apart again today and the seal was all beat up. Not sure how it happened exactly. Seems like a design flaw to me. I replaced it and seems to be working good today.

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Old 09-06-2014, 05:26 AM   #29
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Good to hear.
How did the axles look? Any scrapes, chips, divots?
Did the bearings come apart? Or was there one or two with flat spots?
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:18 AM   #30
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The axles looked great. The job was actually really easy other than the one seal not getting seated correctly and breaking one of the pin boots on the breaks. Other than that everything went smooth and looked great.

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