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Old 09-02-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
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Front end clunking revisited. HELP!

I'm at a loss. I began feeling an intermittent clunking from the front end while going down the road. Dropped the front d shaft..... Clunking still there. Looked at axle u joints and found some slop in drivers side joint. Replaced the u joint, took her down the road and.....clunking. I've already put in ZJ tierod and ends, new track bar, shocks, springs, and sway bar links in the past few months, so I'm thinking none of those are the culprit. I'm really scratching my head here! The odd thing is that there is NO clunking for the first 10-15 minutes of driving in the morning. The clunking only comes on after she's warmed up a bit, then gets progressively worse the longer I drive. If anyone could point me in the right direction It would be GREATLY appreciated. If I can't pin this down, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and take her to a shop.... I can't stand the idea of some stranger putting their hands all over my baby.

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Old 09-02-2013, 10:30 AM   #2
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Anyone willing to throw a rope to a drowning man?

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Old 09-02-2013, 11:19 AM   #3
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I had the same issue before. First double check the sway bar links at the frame to make sure that they are tight. Next, since you said the noise occurs warm, how about a shock failing? I know all these were listed as a new item, but a recheck of fasteners is cheap and easy fix sometimes. Before you spend any money on parts, try disconnecting them first.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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I had the same issue before. First double check the sway bar links at the frame to make sure that they are tight. Next, since you said the noise occurs warm, how about a shock failing? I know all these were listed as a new item, but a recheck of fasteners is cheap and easy fix sometimes. Before you spend any money on parts, try disconnecting them first.
Thanks for the ideas. I checked the sway bar links and they're tight as a bugs a*s. I'm getting desperate, so I'll rip out the shocks and see if it helps. I'll be less than happy if a shock has already failed after a mere 3 months!
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:32 AM   #5
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See if you can isolate it to a particular side. Don't forget the ball joints! use a jack and prybar to test the up and down movement of the ball joint
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:41 AM   #6
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See if you can isolate it to a particular side. Don't forget the ball joints! use a jack and prybar to test the up and down movement of the ball joint
Definitely seems to be coming from drivers side. I can feel it right under my feet as I'm driving. I know the problem could be anywhere up front and maybe I'm just feeling there. As far as ball joints are concerned, I did the check a couple of times. They look like they're nearing the end of their life, but I'm not noticing any play. I also wonder if ball joints would ride fine until warmed up? Seems like they would show symptoms warm or cold. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:49 AM   #7
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First, I was looking through your past threads, and saw you had an issue with a u joint, and had to remove the hub bearing. Did you also replace the hub bearing while it was apart? Is it the same side as you did all the work on? I would be suspicious of the hub bearing assembly too! I would love to come over and help, but I am a bit too far away
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:57 AM   #8
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First, I was looking through your past threads, and saw you had an issue with a u joint, and had to remove the hub bearing. Did you also replace the hub bearing while it was apart? Is it the same side as you did all the work on? I would be suspicious of the hub bearing assembly too! I would love to come over and help, but I am a bit too far away
Interesting! I kind of had the same thought. Yep, the u joint I replaced on the front axle was indeed on the drivers side where I'm feeling the clunk, and no, I didn't replace the unit bearing hub. I felt it was a nice chunk of money to throw at a " maybe this will fix it". My question is how do you check for a bad hub bearing? Thanks for your help by the way, and yeah you're a bit too far away for a couple of cold beers and some Jeep time.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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After looking into signs and symptoms of bad bearing hubs, I'm thinking that's not my issue. The wheel/ tire assembly spins buttery smooth, and there's no noticeable play side to side or up/ down.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:08 PM   #10
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It takes a big man to admit he's a total idiot. I am that man. I stepped back from the situation, and started from scratch. I was super pressed for time, and completely solo on my first lift install so i thought, "Hmmmm,Time to back track". First thing that jumped out at me was this...

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Yep, those bolts should've gone in from the frame side, not the other way around. Oh, that's not alI! I also noticed this...

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Yeah, that's the sway bar shifted to one side. MAYBE, someone was rushed and totally phoned in the track bar adj.??? I'm thinking the combo of out of center axle, and improperly installed sway bar bolts, may be leading to my "clunks". It sure looks like that drivers side bolt has spent a little time meeting the frame. I'm hanging my head right now. If this fixes the prob, I'm going to be so embarrassed!
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cchartrand View Post
It takes a big man to admit he's a total idiot. I am that man. I stepped back from the situation, and started from scratch. I was super pressed for time, and completely solo on my first lift install so i thought, "Hmmmm,Time to back track". First thing that jumped out at me was this...

Yep, those bolts should've gone in from the frame side, not the other way around. Oh, that's not alI! I also noticed this...

Yeah, that's the sway bar shifted to one side. MAYBE, someone was rushed and totally phoned in the track bar adj.??? I'm thinking the combo of out of center axle, and improperly installed sway bar bolts, may be leading to my "clunks". It sure looks like that drivers side bolt has spent a little time meeting the frame. I'm hanging my head right now. If this fixes the prob, I'm going to be so embarrassed!
"
sorry I had to run before.... lets hope this fixes your issue...as it was once said, "we learn from doing"
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:31 AM   #12
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So I fixed my flub on the lift install, and it wasnt the source of my clunking. First start today I ran out the store and grabbed some sealant and gear oil for the front dif. I popped the cover off and everything looks good....

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I'm glad all looks well, but I'm still on the hunt for the real problem. Any suggestions where to turn my attention to next?
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:17 PM   #13
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Well..... At least I've got fresh oil in the diff. And a nifty coat of bed liner on the cover!
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:42 PM   #14
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Check your transfer case shifter linkage. A bushing can wear out and make a clunking noise you'll hear and feel under your feet.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:33 AM   #15
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Check your transfer case shifter linkage. A bushing can wear out and make a clunking noise you'll hear and feel under your feet.
Checked it out, and all the bushings are intact. Linkage seems tight... Not a ton of play. I'm beginning to wonder if the t case is clunking, and I'm feeling it at my feet through the shift linkage.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:07 AM   #16
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Checked it out, and all the bushings are intact. Linkage seems tight... Not a ton of play. I'm beginning to wonder if the t case is clunking, and I'm feeling it at my feet through the shift linkage.
Did you happen to find anything?? I have a 97 tj that I feel and hear a little clunking at slow speeds on my dirt road. On pavement I don't feel or ear anything.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:48 AM   #17
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Well.... JDT was right! It WAS the T case shift linkage. Even though everything appeared to be OK, I lubed the snot out of it and worked the shift lever back and forth a couple dozen times. Voila! No clunking! At least for a few days anyway. It's crazy because I would have bet money the sound was coming from up front. Looks like its time to dump that ridiculous stock linkage and pop in a nice Novak cable setup.

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