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Old 08-27-2010, 11:28 AM   #1
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Question '02 TJ Noise you've probably heard before.

Ok so here's the deal, I'm new to the thread so I'll apologize beforehand if this is the wrong section. Also I'm posting on my phone, so it may be somewhat sloppy.

Anyway I have a 2002 Wrangler Sport that's bone stock except for exhaust and k&n air intake. I recently got this from a buddy who couldn't afford it anymore, about 2 months ago. Anyway when I got it there's was a knock when driving it that has progressively gotten louder and also the tempo increases with the speed, so far I've removed the sway bar linkage because they were broke, there's a slight amount of play I the drivers side tie rod end that is in a up an down direction AT THE BOLT & NUT, not in the balljoint, I know that's not right so I will be having it replaced when I get new fronts and an alignment, but this is not the cause of the noise. Ive checked three u joints for play and they loom fairly decent with the except of one, which has a very small amount of directional play in it, also I know that means it's prone to failing soon and I undestand that's a relatively simple and inexpensive fix. Now to my concern, I don't believe that's where the noise is coming from either, I can feel the knock vibrate all 3 pedals on the floor. There also is very uneven front tire wear. Any suggestions? I would love some helping on isolating the failing part causing the noise. Also I have the death wobble but I think that also is not related to the noise coming from the front end which sounds like the drivers side, tomorrow I'll be jacking it up and pulling the tires off and will post pictures of the suspension components. Thisbis my first wrangler but I have a somewhat apprentice level of knowledge on 4wd truck with indepedent suspension, first live axle I've messed with ever though, looking at it I feel pretty confident I could handle most work myself. Thanks in advance -jaron.

Again: 02 Sport, 4l, 5spd, stock other than power windows, KCs and bumpers & running boards.

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Old 08-27-2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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Welcome, and congrats on your new jeep!

Need more info. A knock when accelerating, decelerating, driving at speed, turning? Knocking constantly, or just when performing one of the above?

Tempo increases with speed, as in it's overheating or just going up a few degrees and staying put?

Death wobble is most often poorly-balanced tires, but would be aggravated by improper alignment and loose/worn steering linkages. How many miles does it have? Oversize tires?

Get new sway bar links installed ASAP; you're playing with fire driving on the highway without them!

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Old 08-27-2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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I think by tempo he meant the "amount of knocks per minute" if you know what I mean. I don't think he was talking about the actual temperature.. Could be wrong though.
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:07 PM   #4
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I think by tempo he meant the "amount of knocks per minute" if you know what I mean. I don't think he was talking about the actual temperature.. Could be wrong though.
Now that I re-read it, I think you're right. Lol, was thinking inside that damn box again. D'ope!
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:31 PM   #5
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Damn guys, thanks for the prompt responses.
I'll try to provide as much information as possible so if I'm lacking just let ne know.

Ok; the knocking is constant, very quiet when idling in first gear, you can't really hear it at that low of a speed, once you're doing 10-15 or anything over though it makes itself known, i live in Destin, FL and there are always a ton of pedestrians go probably think they're about to get a tire thrown a then as I pass by lol. Anyway yes the noise is constant and by tempo I do mean knocks per minute haha, as you increase speed the knock does also, making me think the u joint.

However if I'm stopped with the wheels pointing one direction and goto turn them the opposite there is a loud pop right as they center up, I believe that would be from th tie rod end with vertical play where it's fastened to the hub.

The jeep just rolled over 96,000 with no major services done to it, factory size BFG AT KO that are less than 6 months old and the passenger front is showing alignment feathering on the tire. The death wobble really isn't that bad and happens about 50% of the time when I hit 50mph and then it's done right at 55mph.

I'll get new links asap, but my main concern right now is the knock becaus it's my daily driver, and also if it is a failing u joint that could cause more serious damage when it feels ready to give up completely.

Again thanks for the help!
-jaron
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
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Could be a slew of things. Generally if you feel vibration in the pedals it's coming from the front of the vehicle. Does it feel like someone is hitting the floor with a hammer? Is it a consistent knocking pattern while driving? That mean somethings interfering with something else that's rotating. Try turning your front drive shaft while in park. There's going to be some play due to the backlash of the gears but if you hear a knock, it's a u-joint in the axle. Also look at your steering box. They wear out after about 10 years especially with bigger tires and cause the steering wheel to have extra play in it, causing a whole bunch of new problems.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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Check out your shocks and steering stabilizer for the death wobble...and (cross your fingers) the bearing hub/wheel hubs on the front. Had to replace them on my 03 Rubicon with only 51,000 on it...shocks have been done twice now-I'm running Rancho's and no problems last 3 years....but the front hub bearings caught me off guard-didn't expect it at all and I don't wheel it hard...
had son's cherokee with 'knock knock' that got louder as rpm went higher...found out an idiot mechanic had replaced a broken exhaust pipe mount with a WELDED piece of angle iron between the engine and muffler-and it pushed the exhaust pipe up enough the engine was hitting it...as the engine 'torqued' with speed it hit it harder-so take a look at your piping. Best rule of thumb-if one joint or universal is bad, replace them all-they are all the same age...
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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Oh, and without the sway bar-you are GOING to have play in the steering wheel and any play in the wheels will be exaggerated. There is a reason for the sway bar and STREET DRIVING safety is one of them. Disconnect only for offroad driving. Don't be a 'dumbass' like me younger son and think you know better than anyone else and go flying down the highway without them...it is a driving hazard and one piece of crap in the road will take the steering wheel right out of your hands without the sway bar to dampen it...same with steering stabilizer-if there is any 'play' in it, replace it!
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:41 PM   #9
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Alright well I'm gonna have it off the ground, hopefully I'll find out what's happening, if I were to change out every u joint, should take maybe 4 - 6 hours. Gonna have to do that next pay day but while I have it all unassembled are there any other parts that I should replace that can only be replaced with the hub assemblies off? Also the front driveshaft.. To get it out you have to pull the hub that's closest to the differential right? The jeeps only been really out wheelin 5 or 6 time in it's life but it's been on the beach and trail ridin quite a bit.

Thanks guys I'll keep the thread updated.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:58 AM   #10
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It's been pouring down rain on the panhandle so I never got the chance to pull it apart, and there's like a hurricane, tropical storm, and 2 lows in the gulf & Atlantic so, I'll keep ya updated haha!

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