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Old 11-29-2010, 02:00 AM   #1
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Need Help Please!!

Hello, I am still a new Jeep TJ owner and learning about my new 1998 Jeep (Well, new to me). I recently had an event happen to me that I am needing some of the wise Wrangler guru's of this site to help me if possible. :wave: Well, earlier today I was heading to a destination when while driving at 30mph I hit a really small bump and then all of a sudden my front end (I think) started squeaking, at first I thought it was the brakes, but it didn't change with the pressing of the brakes, but rather the speed. So, I pulled over and checked out the underside and found no visible damage or leakage of any kind. I looked around at the jeep for about 20 minutes and then figured it was a quirk so I headed onto my destination about 1/2 a mile away. Right as I was getting there it started squeaking, but just a little bit this time and it was right as I was arriving at my destination, so I didn't think much of it. However, when I was leaving I thought well, why not put it in 4wd HI and see what happens, well when I did this it went into 4wd HI just fine and then I went forward just a little bit; about 20 ft or so, and then switched back into 2wd. Well, very shortly, about 50 ft or so down the road, the Jeep pulled hard to the left and it was a struggle to keep it going straight. So, I immediately pulled into the next parking lot and checked things out again. And again nothing leaking or broken, but this time I am freaking out a little bit more. I pop the hood and check out the steering linkage and everything still looks good. I then start backing up and going forward in this really small parking lot, I then noticed that while backing up, the drivers side tire locked up a skidded a little while backing up, but it was on and off for the skidding and it also happened when I went forward a little bit. So, now I am moving to another level of freaking out and then just sitting there wondering if I should call AAA or not. Well, I then decided to try and put it back in 4wd HI again back up and go forward a little bit and then take it out 4wd HI and back to 2wd. Then to my much surprise, the Jeep starts running just fine. So, I then make an 18 mile trek back to my house, thinking something bad was going to happen, but nothing. It drove back with no problems whatsoever and drove normally. Also, of note, I did not drive faster than 51mph on the way back. So, I am really not sure of what to do, should I call 4wheel parts and schedule an appointment to get my Jeep looked at? Is it safe to drive? or ???? Well, also, let me give you a little history of my Jeep. It has a Skyjacker 6" long arm lift, chromally shafts, Aussie auto locker up front in stock axel with 4.56 gears. I just bought the Jeep about a month ago and I have only installed the new Bushwacker Flat fenders and KC slim lites. Also when I bought it I new it needed new tires, so I have new tires being installed next week, also the steering has been a little extra loose (I can go from noon to 2 or 2:30 on the steering wheel), with the lift and 35x12.5r15 tires, the brakes are a little mushy, but from what I have read on the forum this is normal with stock brakes and tires this big. To help correct the old problems, I have those new tires being installed, I have a Currie HD steering and alignment being done next weekend, and I haven't bought it yet, but I have been thinking about the Vanco Big brake upgrade. So, any help would be greatly appreciated from anyone... Thank you so much.

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Old 11-29-2010, 03:28 AM   #2
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i would check your wheel bearings. they might be burned out this happend to me. jack it up and see if it makes noise when you rotate the tires. i had to use a tow truck mine were so bad

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Old 11-29-2010, 04:02 AM   #3
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It could also be a brake caliper seizing up.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Thanks, the guy I bought the Jeep from said to check for the wheel bearings by jacking it up and grabbing the tires at 12 and 6 to see if it was loose. But it isn't, however it is making a clicking sound when I manually rotate it either forward and backwards. Also, I was able to take it for another test drive this morning and it drove just fine... Is the wheel bearing something that is hard to replace? Or could it be other stuff too? Again, thanks for all the help.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:54 AM   #5
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Have the suspension checked.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:36 PM   #6
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If it's making noise while you rotate it it's the bearing, caliper or U joint. So take it all apart and inspect it all.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:10 PM   #7
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A friend here at work put my mind at ease about the clicking sound and said that should be normal, it is the Aussie lockers; and suggested taking it to the shop to have someone inspect the suspension and front end components.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:58 PM   #8
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For the suspension & front end components, just physically put a wrench to them and make sure they are secure.

As for the Vanco Brake upgrade, not sure if they make one for 15" rims. I remember a while back that you needed either 16" or 17" for rims to fit the Vanco Kit. Just something you might want to look into if going that route.

It sounds like a caliper or the function of the Aussie locker, not sure though, cause it's hard reading thru the above post.

One way to check the caliper is spin the tire by hand while in the air and see if the caliper is catching. Or another way is to remove the caliper like you were replacing the pads and using a C-Clamp press the caliper piston back in and see if it moves back in freely.

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