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Old 03-15-2011, 09:32 AM   #1
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Angry Rattling noise driving me INSANE!

When I am on the move and in motion in my 97' TJ there's a loud rattling noise that seems to be right under the middle of the rig and it sounds like 2 glass jars rattling off of each other. But the sound decreases as I come to a complete stop then it stops until I move again. Seems to do it the worst in 3rd gear. But when the top is off and door it is so loud and everyone can hear it as you pass by. Anyone have any ideas??
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:39 AM   #2
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It's almost always the catalytic converter hitting. Make sure you have enough clearance. Also check your transmission mount ti be sure it's tight and working.

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Old 03-15-2011, 09:50 AM   #3
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Well mine made a similar sound and after I was checking simple things like the exhaust and I then checked my transfer case and it was bone dry. It ended up being almost completely blown. I would check the transfer case just in case.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dmud View Post
Well mine made a similar sound and after I was checking simple things like the exhaust and I then checked my transfer case and it was bone dry. It ended up being almost completely blown. I would check the transfer case just in case.
What kind of fluid did you use to put in the transfer case ATF+4? Was it hard to do by yourself? I've never messed around with the transfer case.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameyers3 View Post
What kind of fluid did you use to put in the transfer case ATF+4? Was it hard to do by yourself? I've never messed around with the transfer case.
It's a snap...get a pump or attach a hose to the end of the tip from a gear lub bottle and screw it to the ATF bottle (Dexron II or ATF Plus, is for the 97) and put it in...Remember it takes 2.2 pints with 2 pints in a quart...if you overfill it let it drain out the fill hole while lifting the front end just a tad...
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
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Check your Cat. Converter... I had this on a 4.0 Cherokee once.. and the joker was stopped up.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:46 PM   #7
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related or not......IDK....once had a large rock wedged between a couple of body panels on a CAR (read not Jeep) that was causiing exact symptomology....
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:51 PM   #8
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Had a similar high rattle on my wife's cherokee-the 'heat shield' on top of the catalytic converter was almost completely broken off...and loose enough to rattle like crazy when the engine was running.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:01 PM   #9
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I have a '97 TJ with same problem. 1st the heat sheild of the Cat Converter fell off that made rattling noise. Got that plate/sheild out of the way. Since I do a lot of
4x4'ing I need to now replace my Cat Converter.. Oh Well. Seriously look in and around the Cat and muffler pipe areas...
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:05 PM   #10
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Check Cat, there's always a heat shield surrounding the converter. My '97 TJ shield fell off and that's what caused my annoying rattling sound. TexasT mentioned this also. And check muffler and other things resting or lying on top of any guards or pan below floor deck.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:06 PM   #11
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Ok great. Thanks a lot guys. I'm going to take a look after work. I'll let you know what's up!
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:50 PM   #12
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ok so i just got done messing around with it and I took the heat shield off, the large heat shield that runs over top of the converter and exhaust. But the sound is still there. After giving the converter a couple whacks it seems the small heat shield that attaches to the cat is what is causing it. But I could remove it because after driving around the block a couple times the thing is too hot. So is it ok to remove the tin plate attached to the cat converter? If so do you just unclamp the sides to remove it?
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:44 PM   #13
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Your extremely lucky that it's not the transfer case. Good luck with the exhaust
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:55 PM   #14
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Could be inside the cat. My 98 did that. It sounded like a heat shield rattle. Turned out it was the ceramic crap broke apart inside the cat. Had to replace the cat. Hopefully your not in California! I am and had to go to the dealership..............$1300.00 ! Ebay has 49 state legal for around $100.00.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:57 PM   #15
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If you want, PM me and we can compare noises.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geno
Could be inside the cat. My 98 did that. It sounded like a heat shield rattle. Turned out it was the ceramic crap broke apart inside the cat. Had to replace the cat. Hopefully your not in California! I am and had to go to the dealership..............$1300.00 ! Ebay has 49 state legal for around $100.00.
Ahh really. I hope it's not that. Did your rattle why your jeep was just idling and not moving? Mine just does it during motion and then after I'm on smooth terrain and slower it stops instantly.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:16 PM   #17
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It rattled while idling, came and went while going through the gears. Rattled a little at higher RPMs, but I could still hear it while going down the highway. Louder while driving around town. Really F-in embarassing!
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geno
It rattled while idling, came and went while going through the gears. Rattled a little at higher RPMs, but I could still hear it while going down the highway. Louder while driving around town. Really F-in embarassing!
Yeah its really embarrassing driving thru down when you have a nice jeep with the top down and doors off and all ppl hear is that god awful noise. But I'm going to try with the heat shield tomorrow evening and cross my fingers all day in hope that's it! I'll let you know what's up tomorrow. Thanks a lot.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:20 AM   #19
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Hopefully its not inside the cat, rather a heat shield. Good luck and let us know.
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:20 PM   #20
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ok, know this is an old post but i have a similar prob.
the heat sheild around my cat, above the skid plate is rattleing and driving me nuts. the top part i'm not too sure about but the bottom, the rear part is just hanging and rattles off the skid plate. my question is, should i try to fix it it using either screw clamps around it or there looks like each 1/2 has a lip-thought maybe drilling a few small holes and pop riveting them. my question is-are they really necessary?(really didn't find the answer) if not i'd just assume grab it with a pair of vice grips and pull it off.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:06 AM   #21
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Same problem here!

Are any of these repairs that are discussed covered by the warranty?

Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:16 AM   #22
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I doubt any factory Warranty's exist for the TJ any more...but sometimes car dealers will offer a short warranty on their used cars they sell.
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameyers3 View Post
Yeah its really embarrassing driving thru down when you have a nice jeep with the top down and doors off and all ppl hear is that god awful noise. But I'm going to try with the heat shield tomorrow evening and cross my fingers all day in hope that's it! I'll let you know what's up tomorrow. Thanks a lot.
Hi. Sorry to bug you, and I know it's been a while, but your post about the rattle sounds similar to one that I have. Just wondered if the cat heat shield solved your problem. The sound of this rattle is driving me crazy! Thanks. Joe

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Old 11-28-2016, 03:23 PM   #24
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Had this on my 97 sahara as well...Original exhaust was in great shape except for the cat shield so I strung it out for long while

A real "bubba"-type fix that worked for me for a while was to use large cotter pins that I had sitting around as a clamp on the edges

Another one for bubba (and I am embarrassed to say I did this) is to shove a loosely balled up wad of aluminum foil under the shield.

It worked, doesn't burn and eliminated the rattle However, eventually the cat is going to go & most of the noise will be internal. When it breaks loose inside you end up with the old banana in the tailpipe scenario of NO power.

I replaced it with the magnaflow cat/muffler/pipes & new O2 sensors and rediscovered all the power that it slowly sucked out over time. HUGE difference!!
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameyers3 View Post
When I am on the move and in motion in my 97' TJ there's a loud rattling noise that seems to be right under the middle of the rig and it sounds like 2 glass jars rattling off of each other. But the sound decreases as I come to a complete stop then it stops until I move again. Seems to do it the worst in 3rd gear. But when the top is off and door it is so loud and everyone can hear it as you pass by. Anyone have any ideas??
Trade ya that mystery noise for a stretched timing chain noise any day

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