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Hammerwalk 11-01-2010 01:28 PM

Got a used Jeep, what are some key items to have checked out?
So I bought a Used 2002 TJ Sahara 2 weeks ago, and with it came a bumper to bumper 30 day warranty. Everything seems clean, and runs great. However, before this so called warranty expires, I want to take it to my mechanic to have him check a few things, before i take it back to the dealership, but instead of being the guy that says "it makes a noise", what are some key items I should have checked?

The reason I ask is because lately, i have narrowed down two items that make noises. I am aware that Jeeps are notorious for their clicks, and squeaks, and groans, but 2 i am concerned about.

1) Highway driving is great, smooth, no shakes or shimmies, but when i start hitting bumps, or uneven terrain, i start hearing bangs. I have been able to replicate the issue with the banging. When i have the wheel turned to make a left turn, if i hit a bump, a loud bang occurs from somewhere up front, like something large is lose. I have looked under, cannot find any wear or tear, rubbing, chipping of paint, or any of that sort. The only thing i can find is some wet spots by the U-joints from the left front axle where it connects to the left tire assembly. (forgive my lack of terminology) I definitely noticed this knocking sound when I had it in 4Hi while i was "testing" the 4wd in some muddy terrain last week, since then i have been keeping an ear out. I noticed it before hand as well. Cannot tell a difference in handling other wise.

2) When I back up, or go forward, at a slow speed, it feels, and sounds, like rubbing from the rear end. I have 31x10.50s , BFG All Terrain and cannot find any rubbing at all. I even had my uncle hang up-side down to verify while moving forward and backward. Kind of like back in the day when kids would put playing cards in the spokes of their wheels. Its more obvious when the wheel is turned in either direction, but I cannot always replicate the issue on demand. Wheel does not have to be cranked all the way over either.

I have searched the forum for a variety of terms for both issues I have described, and couldn't really come to a solid conclusion as to what it may, or may not be. Maybe someone out there can think of something.

The Jeep currently has 78,000 miles and some change.


MikalCarbine 11-01-2010 02:36 PM

The bang could be something to do with your front suspension, I recently had a swaybar ball joint go and it made the exact noise. Unless the joint completely separates you would not be able to tell just from looking at it. Other ideas are blown shocks or breaking coil isolators. Who knows, the oil you see on your u joints could be a leaky shock. Look above each of your front coils for the rubberish grommet above it, that's the coil isolators. Verify it is not cracking and falling apart.

The rubbing issue in reverse sounds like a rear drum brake issue. These rear brakes have an auto tuning mechanism for the shoes when you reverse and brake. I'd have your mechanic inspect both drums.

Other than that I'd check (or have your mechanic check) both axle pinion seals, rear main seal, front/rear duff fluids, transmission, tcase, clutch and coolant fluids. Maybe some other stuff like spark plugs, engine compression, fuel pressure. Im sure others will chime in with more

Hammerwalk 11-01-2010 02:53 PM

Right on, thanks man.

Given the suggestions you have, it appears nothing more than perhaps normal wear and tear, and nothing detrimental at the moment. Plus it gives me some items to look at to narrow it down even further, but was more worried that it was something that could possible be pretty bad and pricey to fix.

As for the 2nd part, never even thought of the drums, perhaps it was because i was more concerned that maybe the diff had an issue with it. I highly doubt the warranty i have consists of normal wear and tear issues, but will definitely give it a shot, but honestly, if that is all this appears to be, then I can very well take care of this my self.

I have checked all fluid levels, well, no the t-case, but all others i have. Dealership gave a signed off sheet verifying fluid changes and checks, including diffs, but i did go behind to verify all but the t-case. and everything was good. Will talk with mechanic about the seals that you mention.

Thanks for the help.

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