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Old 01-05-2010, 05:00 PM   #1
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Somethings really wrong

My 2006 Unilmited is having some bad front end issues. Here's the story and maybe someone can help me diagnose it.

1-12 months ago i went to Death Valley and drove about 60 miles on a fairly rough road. Didn't notice any problem until a few days later. When I would back out of a parking spot and step on the brakes I could feel a clunk and the front end felt weird. This only happens when backing up. I looked at everything real well and didn't see anything amiss.

Now in the last few days I started feeling a vibration under my feet at time. It would come and go. Then I started noticing an air/whirl like sound coming from the front end.

So I jack the jeep up and spin the tires back and forth and there's a clunking sound coming from the axle.

So with that any ideas?

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Old 01-05-2010, 05:06 PM   #2
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Pop off the diff cover and check the teeth on the ring and check the spider gears. Something might be wiggling around in there. Also check the pinion for some slop (in and out play) where the drive shaft connects.

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Old 01-05-2010, 05:44 PM   #3
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First off it should have read 1-1/2 months ago, not 12 months! LOL

Dumb question. If I take the cover off I assume I'll have to get a new gasket and fluid?

Also I dug a little deeper into the clunk in the front end, that ended up being a loose brake assembly bolt, so that's fixed. But the other problems still exist.
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Old 01-05-2010, 06:05 PM   #4
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Correct - when's the last time the diff fluid was changed? Might be a good idea anyway.
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Old 01-05-2010, 06:10 PM   #5
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Less than two years, but a lot of miles. So yeah probably a good idea. Guess I best read up on doing this.
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Old 01-05-2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SoCalRailFan View Post
Less than two years, but a lot of miles. So yeah probably a good idea. Guess I best read up on doing this.
It's time! Really really easy to do, but give yourself some time as you don't want to rush or it can become a very messy job! I'd recommend buying a lubelocker gasket that way you don't have to screw around with the RTV and all that mess, set up time, etc.

Not sure which problems still exist and which you solved with the brake assembly bolt. If you still have the noise when backing out of a parking spot, check your control arm bushings and bolts.
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Old 01-05-2010, 07:27 PM   #7
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The backing up noise was cured by the loose bolt. But I still have the vibration and nise from the front end.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:18 PM   #8
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Sorry, can't help with your problem, but I really enjoy DV. What road were you on? Good luck
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:32 PM   #9
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I was on the road to Racetrack Playa.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:08 AM   #10
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Possibly your front end alignment? May be a loose component? May be tires?

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Old 01-06-2010, 02:56 PM   #11
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After talking with my dad he thinks it's a bad u joint. Everything he told me fits right in with that.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:48 PM   #12
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After talking with my dad he thinks it's a bad u joint. Everything he told me fits right in with that.
Jack up the front wheels . . . you can do it one at a time so it's nice and sturdy and see if there is play in there if you try to rock the tire.

EDIT . . . scratch that . . . thought I read ball joint!
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:47 PM   #13
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This ended up being a stripped brake caliper bolt. The bolt was backed out completely. We had to end up using a heliacoil to fix. It was also time for new rotos, brakes, differential oil change, alignment and other general maintenance. This all made for a long day or two.

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