Desparately need help!!! Rattle in suspension. - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
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Desparately need help!!! Rattle in suspension.

Ok guys. I really need your help!!!
I have been up and down the length of the underbelly of my TJ and I cannot find anything that would obviously be causing this rattle. I took it in for a tire rotation today and the shop refused to rotate them because they said the tire wear was too choppy on the front tires. I noticed that there was more wear n the front, but not anything uneven. I examined them closer and sure enough, they are very wavy.

The tech said he thought it was in the suspension. The rattling noise is still there and it gets more pronounced when coming to a stop, almost like it were out of line, but I tested the alignment coming home from the shop and it stayed perfectly straight, between the lines, without touching the wheel. So I ruled out alignment problems. At this point, I am getting desperate. Any help, opinions, speculations, etc. are welcome. I really want to find this rattle!!!

Here's a short video where you can hear a small portion of it. It happens right after I turn right at the stop sign and you can hear it ever so sightly after going over the speed bump.
Mystery rattle - YouTube

Jeep specs are 2005 TJ Sport with 6 cyl. 6-speed manual, stock suspension and 31" Goodyear Wranglers.

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Old 03-24-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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Here's a few photos of the tire wear and front suspension.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=f7df22f7cc

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Old 03-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
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If your shocks are old/original it could be your shocks. They are bar pins so when they bushings wear out when you go over bumps the shocks will rattle in the pins.

Not sure about the tire wear, probably a separate issue.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:37 PM   #4
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how do your shock bushings look?
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Don't know. It's already dark outside and since I live in an apartment, I'll have to wait to check them out in daylight. I'll try to give them a look after work tomorrow. Thanks for the advice guys!
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
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Ok. I installed new shocks on the front this afternoon. Although it drives and rides better, the rattle is still there.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:44 AM   #7
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I had the same problem but it would rattle when I accelerated. Front tires were very choppy. Dealer told me it was the wheel bearings, when I changed the bearings with my buddy we found out it was the U-Joint to the axle assembly. Rides like a charm now.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiGou View Post
I had the same problem but it would rattle when I accelerated. Front tires were very choppy. Dealer told me it was the wheel bearings, when I changed the bearings with my buddy we found out it was the U-Joint to the axle assembly. Rides like a charm now.
Cool! About how long a job is it to switch out the U-Joint?
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:23 AM   #9
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To me that sound like more of an exhaust rattle. Check your muffler for a broken weld and your cat for contact on the skid.

I don't think that rattle and your tire problems are related.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:19 AM   #10
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Hey Dex,
Not an exhaust issue. I went front to back and checked the exhaust and nothing budges. It's pretty solid, as is the heat shield, now that I replaced a couple of rivets. The rattle seems to be coming from the front on the passenger side.

I took it to my mechanic this morning to get his opinion and he seems to think it is two different issues. He thinks I probably solved the tire wear issue with the shock replacement but he thinks the rattle is in the differential. I thought maybe the sway bar bearings or the u-joint, but we'll see.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:27 AM   #11
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Have you also checked your ball joints? I had some play and noise up front when I got my TJ and with each step it got better but still had issues as I just narrow the field to fewer problem spots. The u-joints fixed a bit if it, one ball joint was shot to the point it was rattling and I could rattle it by hand after I removed it, now I feel play in the steering (minor) so I'm after that. Next up is the rattle at my T-case linkage which took me a while to isolate.

Axle U-joints could be 30-40 minutes or a few hours depending on your aptitude, what you clean up while you're there, whether you have a press or not, and how cooperative or not they are. Good luck fixing it!
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:48 AM   #12
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Another good point to check. Thanks UFO!

They also put it on a jack and spun both front tires by hand. No noise from either side.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:29 PM   #13
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I think it is the differential the more I try to narrow it down. Anyone ever switch out any of the gears or bearings in the differential? Just wondering how difficult it is.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:04 PM   #14
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Rocks in the tc skid pan?

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