Looking to buy my first. Test drove one a week ago, had exactly the same problem. 97 Sport with about 120K. Didnt know if this was normal or not, rejected the vehicle for extensive body rot. The drive was on a dry, macadam road, and it "ratcheted" on a hard left. Noise disappeared when vehicle straightened after the turn. Back to 2WD, the right front STILL "ratcheted" on a hard left. Not knowing jeeps, I guessed that there MUST be some kind of locking hubs on the thing which were still engaged in 2WD somehow, so I backed up 10 feet, heard no disengaging click, and still had the ratchet sound.
Sounds like the same problem, although it might not be related to 4WD. I'm curious about the cause. The owner's representative claimed no to know anything lol.
(BTW I have a lot to learn, I think. You guys and these forums have been a HUGE help to me to "just get oriented" in this jeep thing. Thanks to all.)