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Old 02-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #1
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04 Ruby Vibration

So my Jeeping buddy has an 04 Rubicon. He bought it in the South and trailered it home. Very clean, no rust, great Jeep. You could tell right off that is had been flat towed a ton. Had the tow bar brackets installed and they had some visible wear. Seller said it had been towed behind a camper for years. The Ruby was stock. Right off the bat it had a vibration when under load. When you let off the gas, vibration goes away. Any time you are accelerating though the vibration is prominent. We probably should have fixed that first but proceeded to put a Skyjacker 4 inch lift on. The lift kit has adjustable lower control arms. A new rear driveshaft was installed to match the lift for length. Vibration is still there, identical to before the lift, so while we have introduced a new issue with the lift, it appears this is the same vibration we had before. No seals are leaking anywhere. Just a very noticible vibration any time you are under load. Happens in 2WD. Where would you start?

Thanks much

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Old 02-22-2012, 07:29 AM   #2
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Start with checking the Front & Rear driveshafts, sounds like it could be a bad u-joint. I had something similar to the issue not too long ago and found out it was the Rear DS.

You should be able to crawl under and grab the u-joints to see if they move, there should be no movement in the u-joint. Sometimes it helps if you jack the front or rear off the ground to take the weight off the ds u-joint as well.

I had a crack u-joint in the rear ds, but couldn't find it until I had the rear end off the ground and saw how much movement it had.

After checking the Driveshafts I would say check the front axle u-joints next, then check the Hub Assembly (Unit Bearing) and then Ball Joints.

For the Ball Joints & Hub assembly, if you jack the front end off the ground grab the tire at the top & bottom and rock it back & forth watching on the inside to see if the Ball Joints have play or the Hub assembly has too much play.

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Old 02-22-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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It happens in 2WD when the front shaft is not engaged and the rear driveshaft is a brand new Woody's along with new Woody's ujoints.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:02 AM   #4
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Could it be something as simple as the tires needing to be balanced again?
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:13 AM   #5
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Even if it's in 2wd the front DS still spins ...you could take the front ds off & take it for a ride & see if it's still there
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:14 AM   #6
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Check the front shaft then, the front DS still spins even though it's not engaged.

Do you have uneven tire wear at all or a tire bulge, maybe a cord broke in the tire.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:23 AM   #7
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All new tires and wheels freshly balanced. Vibration was before and after. Will dig into the front driveshaft this weekend.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:28 AM   #8
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Take several good sharp well-lighted photos of the rear driveshaft and post them here, showing its angle relationshiop to the rear pinion angle where it bolts to the rear axle. There is no telling what the previous owner did to it and he or a shop may have jacked up the rear pinion angle.

Post a couple pics and be sure to post one that shows the very front of the new driveshaft too. I need to see what type of driveshaft was installed so it can be determined how the rear pinion angle needs to be.

An incorrect rear pinion angle where it bolts to the rear driveshaft is the primary cause of drivetrain vibration. And yours is decidedly a drivetrain vibration since you say the vibration goes away when you let off the gas... which indicates to me that the rear pinion angle is too high which will cause vibrations.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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My Buddy Mike is on the road this week and will be home to work on the Jeep on Saturday. I will have him post the pics, thank you very much for the input.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:13 AM   #10
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An additional note. With the winter hardtop on, the Jeep is no longer level front to back. The rear is a little lower which must also affect pinion angle. We will get some pictures this weekend.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopone View Post
All new tires and wheels freshly balanced. Vibration was before and after. Will dig into the front driveshaft this weekend.
Yea pull the front drive shaft out. Takes about 20 min. Take it out for a spin and see if it still has the vibe. I have a 03 Rubi and had a ujoint in the front drive shaft go bad. It was in that fancy constant velocity thingy or what ever its called, I am sure someone will correct me on what its called. I had my Mechanic replace all the ujoints in the front shaft while it was out.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Take several good sharp well-lighted photos of the rear driveshaft and post them here, showing its angle relationshiop to the rear pinion angle where it bolts to the rear axle. There is no telling what the previous owner did to it and he or a shop may have jacked up the rear pinion angle.

Post a couple pics and be sure to post one that shows the very front of the new driveshaft too. I need to see what type of driveshaft was installed so it can be determined how the rear pinion angle needs to be.

An incorrect rear pinion angle where it bolts to the rear driveshaft is the primary cause of drivetrain vibration. And yours is decidedly a drivetrain vibration since you say the vibration goes away when you let off the gas... which indicates to me that the rear pinion angle is too high which will cause vibrations.
Jerry,

Here are the pictures. Obviously we have found the problem. Driveshaft angle is at 25 degrees and pinion angle is at 9 degrees. The issue now is there is very little adjustment left in those lower control arms. How else can we get more movement out of the pinion?
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:52 AM   #13
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Two more pictures.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:06 AM   #14
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Longer uppers, or a fat chick for the back...
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:35 AM   #15
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Do you have Adjustable Upper CA's??? that will definately help fine tune the pinion angle and looks like you have maybe 2 thread left on the Lower CA's before they bottom out.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopone View Post
Two more pictures.
Yep your rear axle's pinion angle is totally jacked, it is WAY too low and is causing your vibrations. The axle's pinion shaft should be pointing at the same angle, no higher though, than the driveshaft.

Yours should look exactly like this. Lengthen your upper rear control arms to raise the pinion angle so it points directly at the transfer case. If you don't have adjustable length upper control arms, you need them now. The rear axle's pinion angle can be equal to or 1-2 degrees lower than that of the driveshaft but not even 1 degree higher than that.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:10 AM   #17
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A side note:

I think nearly every WF member should buy Jerry a beer every opportunity they get for what he does for us. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of other knowledgeable and helpful members out there. For all the other things he could be doing though, he always seems to be willing to show up here on our posts to help out.
This ain't even my post or problem but now I know what's up if this ever happens to me or one of my buddies.

All right, carry on. I just had to throw it in the mix this morning. This forum rocks.

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Old 02-24-2012, 09:14 AM   #18
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This forum definitely rocks
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Yep your rear axle's pinion angle is totally jacked, it is WAY too low and is causing your vibrations. The axle's pinion shaft should be pointing at the same angle, no higher though, than the driveshaft.

Yours should look exactly like this. Lengthen your upper rear control arms to raise the pinion angle so it points directly at the transfer case. If you don't have adjustable length upper control arms, you need them now. The rear axle's pinion angle can be equal to or 1-2 degrees lower than that of the driveshaft but not even 1 degree higher than that.
Awesome, thank you. Going to Home Depot at lunch today and buy one of those angle gauges. I have 2 Jeeps to check. We will order adjustable uppers for this guy right away!
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Take several good sharp well-lighted photos of the rear driveshaft and post them here, showing its angle relationshiop to the rear pinion angle where it bolts to the rear axle. There is no telling what the previous owner did to it and he or a shop may have jacked up the rear pinion angle.

Post a couple pics and be sure to post one that shows the very front of the new driveshaft too. I need to see what type of driveshaft was installed so it can be determined how the rear pinion angle needs to be.

An incorrect rear pinion angle where it bolts to the rear driveshaft is the primary cause of drivetrain vibration. And yours is decidedly a drivetrain vibration since you say the vibration goes away when you let off the gas... which indicates to me that the rear pinion angle is too high which will cause vibrations.
Can we assume the front axle should have the same angle relationship?
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:10 AM   #21
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Can we assume the front axle should have the same angle relationship?
The front DS is so long that it is much less suceptible to angular problems than the rear DS is. It does need to have the same angular relationship with the front driveshaft however since the front driveshaft is a CV design like your aftermarket rear driveshaft is. So yes the front pinion angle needs to point directly up the driveshaft just like the rear pinion angle does.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:28 AM   #22
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Very valuable information. Thank you much, I appreciate it. Went out and bought the angle gauge for myself at Home Depot for $8. Checked my 97 this morning and DS was 11 degrees and pinion was 10 degrees. So I am good. Nice to have that piece of mind.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:54 PM   #23
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A side note:

I think nearly every WF member should buy Jerry a beer every opportunity they get for what he does for us. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of other knowledgeable and helpful members out there. For all the other things he could be doing though, he always seems to be willing to show up here on our posts to help out.
This ain't even my post or problem but now I know what's up if this ever happens to me or one of my buddies.

All right, carry on. I just had to throw it in the mix this morning. This forum rocks.

Just sayin'
x2
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:16 AM   #24
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So my friend Mike installed his adjustable upper control arms yesterday and got drive shaft and pinion angle adjusted perfectly. Vibration is totally gone! This forum does rock!

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