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Old 10-25-2011, 04:01 AM   #1
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Popping while turning in 4wd

The other day while doing some yard work in the 04 rubicon I noticed when I turned real sharp in 4 low I heard this awful popping, clicking noise. Damn thing sounded like something was gonna snap. Any clue what it may be? Ball joints? U joints any advice would be nice.

Oh and another thing I've noticed I'm losing axle fluid from the front passenger side just at the edge of the axle housing could this be an axle seal? Would this be a pain in the wahoo too replace seeing that I have lockers inside there? I heard you completely have to disassemble the inside of the axel just too replace a seal!!! Anyways thanks for any advice

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Old 10-25-2011, 04:26 AM   #2

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That popping sound your hearing is the front axle shaft ujoints & yokes binding up under severe load. Don't do it, you will end up busting a ujoint and/or shaft, you should adjust the steering stops at the back of the knuckles to stop the wheels from going that far. As for the axle seal, yes it is true you have to disassemble the differential in order to replace the inner axle seal.

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Old 10-25-2011, 04:44 AM   #3
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JeepJones hear ya loud and clear I forgot too note I wasn't pulling anything I was meerly turning around. It also does this in 4 high. I guess ill go ahead and replace them.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:53 AM   #4
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The sound is normal in a tight turn. In 4H or 4L you cannot make sharp turns. The wheels have to travel at an even rotation. When making a turn, one wheel has to go a longer distance than the other, hence the binding up. The popping does not mean that you have broken anything yet. Remember to always make sweeping turns in 4WD and never run 4WD on pavement unless conditions warrant it.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:14 AM   #5
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as above stated, this is definitely sth you would never want to do when you have complete traction on all 4 wheels, if you would ask "how other all time 4WD vehicles can do it?" the answer is simple: they have a center diff.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:21 AM   #6
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When you're in 4hi or low, your transfer case "locks" the drive shafts together--they turn at the same rate at all times, no matter what. That means everything connected to and downstream of the drive shafts is also turning at the same rate--pinion, ring gear, axle shafts and thus, tires. The only time the tires gladly rotate at the same rate is when you're going perfectly straight. Any time you're turning, the outside wheel has to travel a larger distance (radius) than the inside tire--they are turning at different rates. So you're dealing with two immovable forces--locked transfer case (drive shafts turning at the same rate) and tires that have to move at different rates. The binding you feel is simply the difference between the two. To make up for that difference, the tire has to slip or something has to break--whatever takes less force is what will happen. IE, if the force required to break a steering u joint, inner axle shaft, or axle shaft u joint is less than the friction force between the tire and the ground, breakage will occur. That's why if you're gonna be in 4wd, you need to be on loose surface where the friction force between the tire and the ground is less so that difference can be allowed.

This system is what makes Jeeps so good off the road. It's simple and doesn't allow for drivetrain slippage. This is also why you can't make sharp turns when you have lots of traction and shouldn't be in 4wd when on the road.

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4wd , ball joints , clicking , popping , u joints

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