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Old 01-23-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
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Output shaft bearing??

My Jeep makes a rattling noise when going under 15-18 mph. It almost sounds like a loose heat shield or something like that. It doesn't matter if it's in gear and accelerating or in neutral coming to a stop. I have some rotational play in my front drive shaft, and thought it might be related to that, or the u-joints. I had a guy check it out and he said my u-joints were in good shape. He thinks it's my output shaft bearing. He put the Jeep up on jack stands and said he thinks he pinpointed the noise.

Does anyone have experience with this? That kind of work is beyond me, so I figured I'd just take it to a transmission shop, but I was wondering if anybody had any advice.

Oh, it's a 97 TJ sport, 4.0, 5 speed

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Old 01-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #2
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I had my input shaft bearing retainer break on my 02 5-speed... it made a rattling noise like you described whenever the clutch pedal wasn't pressed in all the way. Eventually, the throwout bearing destroyed itself as well, and took the pressure plate with it; all of a sudden, I couldn't shift anymore. I realize that the input shaft bearing retainer and the output shaft bearing are two different things, but if the output shaft bearing checks out OK, I would look to the input shaft and clutch system next.

Dropping the transmission really isn't that hard of a job, you would just need jack stands, a good floor jack or two, and basic hand tools... I was pretty intimidated by it at first, but the various write-ups and threads about changing the clutch out helped me along quite a bit. I think I had the trans out of the Jeep within an hour; if you are somewhat mechanically inclined, I would recommend you save yourself the money and look into doing the work yourself.

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Old 01-23-2014, 09:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinez View Post
My Jeep makes a rattling noise when going under 15-18 mph. It almost sounds like a loose heat shield or something like that. It doesn't matter if it's in gear and accelerating or in neutral coming to a stop. I have some rotational play in my front drive shaft, and thought it might be related to that, or the u-joints. I had a guy check it out and he said my u-joints were in good shape. He thinks it's my output shaft bearing. He put the Jeep up on jack stands and said he thinks he pinpointed the noise.

Does anyone have experience with this? That kind of work is beyond me, so I figured I'd just take it to a transmission shop, but I was wondering if anybody had any advice.

Oh, it's a 97 TJ sport, 4.0, 5 speed
Rotational play in the front/rear driveshaft is 100% normal and actually required. That is a result of the required backlash (slop) between the ring & pinion gears inside the axle.

You might have a bad bearing but no worries about being able to rotate the driveshafts back & forth with the Jeep parked. The amount of rotational play that is supposed to be there can be alarming until you figure out it's normal.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:15 PM   #4
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That's good to know Jerry.

eboven, I wish I shared your confidence. I can handle bolt ons but that's all I've ever done.

I'm a rookie Jeeper. Had a JK a few years ago but a growing family and my wife wanting an RV led me to a Ram. Missed the Jeep so much I told the wife I'd sell my motorcycle to get another one. She had no problem with that
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:47 PM   #5
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Mine was doing the exact same thing. There is a CV joint (looks like a ball joint) in between the two rear u-joints on your front driveshaft. I thought mine was the transfer case also, but it turned out to be that joint. I couldn't get the parts but I took it to a driveline shop and got I fixed for around 250. Check it out before you dig into a transfer case, hope its the same thing.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:31 AM   #6
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Funny that you mention $250. I spoke with a guy with a transmission shop in San Antonio. He said that without looking at it, he'd just be guessing but it could be something as simple as a $250 fix. I hope you're both right
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by martinez View Post
Funny that you mention $250. I spoke with a guy with a transmission shop in San Antonio. He said that without looking at it, he'd just be guessing but it could be something as simple as a $250 fix. I hope you're both right
Rebuilding the front drive shaft isn't hard. It can be done in a couple hours at most with about $160. I can knock it out in 45 min start to finish, but I've done it a few times.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:16 PM   #8
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Old thread buy I thought I'd update it.

Wasn't the output shaft after all. It was the dreaded angry sparrows that I was hearing. Just ordered the parts to have the double cardan joint rebuilt.

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