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Old 01-04-2011, 12:42 PM   #1
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Newbee Question - annoying rattle

New to Jeepin and the site.... great place. Have a question about my 97 TJ. After start-up I get a rattle from under the middle of the vehicle. Sounds like either the Cat or the Muffler.... looks like the exhaust from Muffler back had been replaced at some time. Anyone else have an annoying rattle and what's the solution other than replace. Thanks.

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Old 01-04-2011, 12:46 PM   #2
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I have a rattle that sounds the same as you describe it but mine goes away after the jeep warms up


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Old 01-04-2011, 12:48 PM   #3
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Interesting enough I just purchased a '97 TJ and I have the same issue, even when I shut the jeep off (manual) I get a pretty decent rattle from the same area. But while idling mine does it both cold and warm.
1997 TJ 2" lift 31" tires 4.0L 5sp
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:12 PM   #4
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Grab the exhaust when it's cold and shake it, see what it's banging against. Then shim it up to keep it from happening.

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Old 01-04-2011, 02:49 PM   #5
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I had a problem like that on my 1996 ZJ (grand cherokee) it would rattle when i would start it up and ever so slightly when i would give it some gas while in "N". I then found out that the cat was recalled by Jeep and they replaced it for free. I dont know if they would do it for you, since the years are so close....they prob used the same mufflers for the TJ and the ZJ.

Another way to try and see where the rattle is coming dad taught me this trick....take a broom handle (w/o the broom on it) and stick it to what ever you think is rattling, hold it to your ear, and see if you can hear any type of vibration. It might be hard to hear with the car running but that is another way to try and eliminate other possibilities.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses. I'll try the broom trick. I believe it's coming from the Cat. I read on a different site where a guy drilled a hole into the Cat, where the rattle is, and turns in a stainles srew through the loose parts.

Thanks, Garth
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:02 AM   #7
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I had same problem on my 97 TJ. The rattle noise was caused (in my case), by the CAT rusty screen falling off onto the pan. As soon as I dug it out.. No Rattle noise
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:41 PM   #8
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I had a similar ratter last year and spent a almost two grand replacing bushings and wheel hub assemblies and axle u-joints, drive shaft u-joints...and so on. As the rattle persisted one night i was gonna do a little off-roading and was about to shift in to 4wd when i noticed that with my hand on the 4wd lever it turned out to be a small $16 bushing....its actually a little fish-eye bearing on the transfer case shift linkage mounted on the bottom of the body...this might not be where you rattle is coming from but i know how annoying it is, and so did my wallet...lmao. Hope this helps
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:47 PM   #9

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If it's not the CAT it might be the thin tin heat shields above the cat and muffler.

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