Jerry and others who know, talk to me. My TJ is a 99 and has 180,000 on it, it has always been stock and not wheeled till I got it, and still not wheeled heavy, more highway mileage. Last December I put a 2" Zone lift on my stock 99 TJ. (like this one just 2"Zone Offroad 1.75 in. Coil Spring Spacer System (97-06 Wrangler TJ) J1 - Free Shipping over $75!
) It went fine and running 31" tires no vibration or problems. Then this month, I started hearing a sound coming from the jeep and it was like traveling down the highway and hearing a train rumbling down the tracks next to you, that "thunka-thunka-thunka" sound but very low key and not loud at all. It didn't seem to be driving any different, but I didn't like that sound.
I took it to a little local mechanic to help me try to figure it out so I could do the fix if it was just a small thing. He rode with me and thought it sounded like it was coming from the front (though I thought it was coming from the rear) and he checked the front axle u-joints and the drivers side one seemed to be a bit rough so I changed it out hoping that would fix it. It didn't.
So figuring it was beyond me, I took it into the good jeep shop that I trust, though they don't work on offroad jeeps as they are a dealer shop. The mechanic who's done other work for me on my trucks and helped me get my favorite at 250,000+ already with no issues, rode with me and said it sounded to him like it was coming from the rear and possibly a wheel bearing at least. So I told him to pull it apart and find out and fix it.
When taken apart, one wheel bearing was shot and the axle was tore up because of the bearing. Replaced and told him to completely rebuild the rear end while he was in there since it was already apart and I guarantee that the PO (I've owned it for 3 years now) never did any maintenance (beyond oil and fluids) or repairs as every part we have had to take off is original parts.
So long post, but this is my question: Do you think the 2" lift, along with general age is what caused the failure, or just general age? I did not put a SYE in as it was "just" a 2" lift, but now am wondering if I am setting up failure on new parts because of the lift and no SYE. (sidenote, I just had to put a new motor in because a month before it went bad, ran hot due to thermostat and gauge failure and overheated engine and blew, so between the new motor and rear end I now have more money in my baby than I bought her for, LOL, but I love her so she's worth it.) Does it make any sense to go ahead and get the SYE even though it doesn't drive like it needs it? After all this expense, the cost of an SYE is minimal so that is not a factor, I just hate to get something I don't really need, but I don't want to not get something I do need. The shop is not pushing me to get it, they never mentioned it as they don't do mods there, but I don't know if I need it or not. Don't even know if it's a question you guys can answer, just something I wonder about as I would hate to be 5 or 6 months down the road going through the rear end again.