Transfer case noise at stops. (Auto trans.)
So my 4cyl TJ is in the shop.
I came to a stoplight after hitting a pothole (pretty big pothole, but nothing that my Honda Civic couldn't handle) and when the rpms dropped to idle (in drive) I hear this sound very similar to a badly trashed water pump or really, really, REALY bad bearing. As soon as you take off it disappears, and it is not influenced by bumps so I'm pretty sure it's not the TSB bushings issue. Also, there is now gear oil leaking onto the pavement at a pretty decent flow, say a drop a minute or more. It was entirely leak-less before this.
It may have nothing to do with the pothole. I wouldn't think so. (I mean, it was a pothole and it's a Jeep for cryin out loud.) That may just happen to coincide with my discovery of it. I had just driven it about 20 miles at highway speed.
Anyway, the local Jeep dealer has a pretty liberal estimate policy and I'm not a transmission man, so there it sits.
I'll add this though I think it's total BS- the service "advisor" (gotta love that title) said it might be an intake vacuum issue. Yes, I know, but that's what he said. Said it sounded familiar to him and thought it could even cause a transfer case oil leak. Sounds like a fantasy to me, I only put it here because the actual Jeep guy said it andI really hope that by some magical warping of physics and defiance of mechanical sanity that it's something that simple... and cheap...
It's not gonna be that. Sounds like rattling a handful of trailer bearings around in an old coffee can. And it ain't up high, it's coming from the area near the transmission bell, only the fluid that's coming out appears to be gear oil, not ATF. And it's cold (comparatively), so not engine oil.
Oh! Geeze, I hope this isn't related, but I had it serviced yesterday. Bought new rubber and while I was at it got the oil changed and diff levels checked. (I know, I know, but it saves hardly any money to change my oil myself. If I'm gonna crawl under, it needs to be for something worth the time. Of course, now I'm starting to wonder about that...)
I am not optimistic.
You might have a cracked flexplate, I am having to have mine replaced and the sound it makes is very similar to what you describe.
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