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Old 11-11-2013, 06:29 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Rear Axle clunking noise, need help!

Hello all,

I'm a Soldier stationed overseas and a new jeep owner. Bought a 2003 lifted Rubicon about a year ago; and I've loved it ever since. Recently, about two months ago I started hearing a loud clunking noise coming from the rear axle when I turn right (it just started doing it slightly when I turn left). I got underneath to check and notice that the upper control arm bushing on the drivers side is in bad shape. Asides from that, I didn't find anything else loose or worn out that I could see. My problem is, to order parts to Germany takes a while, and there are no affordable 4x4 shops where I can take my car to get looked at. I've attached a video of the rear axle where you can clearly hear the noise. Any help on what it might be, would be greatly appreciated.

The vehicle has a 4" Full Traction Short Arm lift, Tom Woods 1310 CV Shaft, Rubicon Express Rear Upper Arms, and JKS Rear Track Bar.

Video: Jeep_rear_axle | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

V/R
Pablo P.

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Old 11-11-2013, 06:55 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North NJ
Posts: 2,053
The pinion angle is changing a bit more than I'd expect under braking/acceleration. That's a result of loose "superflex" joints or squishy bushings in the control arms, but is not likely causing the noise. Something rhythmic only happening when you side-load the axle is almost always a wheel bearing or retaining plate, but your issue sounds more like hollow metallic knocking. It's hard to tell from the video if your exhaust is shaking due to the whole frame (with camera firmly attached) shaking, or if the exhaust is moving more than the frame, but it does seem to be in time with the knocking. What's the clearance look like around your drive shafts and transfer case skid with regards to the exhaust? It moves around a bit when you turn; maybe it's contacting something?
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