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Old 08-11-2019, 07:37 PM
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Front driver side wheel binding issue

Ok on to the next issue. Have I mentioned how awesome y'all are? Lol. Every now and then around the farm as I've taken the Jeep for test drives at various stages of repair I would hear this kind of clunk from the front, mostly when I was turning and always low speed. When it would happen if I was watching the front driver side tire I would see it "fetch up" for a moment. This is all in 2WD. I have actually avoided testing it in 4WD for fear of damaging something. I never notice this from the other side.

So I jacked it up tonight and rolled the tire by hand and notice the drive shaft "catching" if I reversed direction. At one point I was actually able to unintentionally get the tire "stuck".

I have attached a video. I should note here that I literally just had the differential covers off yesterday. I cleaned out the inside and inspected the gears and found no damage, no metal in the old fluid, etc. This problem has been around for a while and came prior to the differential service.

As far as I can tell, the Jeep is not in 4WD. There's no lights to indicate it would be, the lever is in 2H, and I got on the gas a few times in the field and never saw any indication that the front wheels were doing any work.

I'd like some advice and direction before I go in blindly. Thanks guys

https://youtu.be/sv4tIxWcLJs

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Old 08-11-2019, 08:01 PM   #2
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My first thoughts leaned towards the ds u-joint(s). But, while my ds would bind with a bad u-joint, it didn't entirely seize while the wheel could spin. Maybe it's something inside the diff or transfer case?
I'm sure others with more experience and knowledge will chime in with a better answer.

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Old 08-11-2019, 08:04 PM
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With it being in 2H is the transfer case able to influence it? Or I suppose if it was a malfunction in the tc it could be an issue. When it "locked up" I did get it going again like you can see in the video without a ton of effort. The part that really freaked me out was when the DS stopped spinning but the tire was spinning.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:18 AM
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There is also definite play in the front DS. With the wheel back down on the ground I have it a tug and it's got wiggle in it
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:45 AM   #5
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Perhaps your TC linkage is out of adjustment, and is just barely trying to engage. This will make popping and clicking sounds and try to lock the front DS still if the rear is not moving and allowing the TC to spin.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:05 PM
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You know that makes a lot of sense. I'll check it out. Thanks!
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:32 AM
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I haven't had a chance to check the TC linkage yet. A buddy last night said this may be normal behavior with a locker such as the lunchbox type. Does that sound right? I honestly don't even know if I have lockers because I wouldn't have known what I was looking at when the diff cover was off and I didn't build the axels.

Do you guys think I should pull the front diff cover again and see if I have lockers and what type?
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:12 AM   #8
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I would find a good local mechanic who is good at building differentials. Ask around. The fact that the DS stopped turning while you continued turning the wheel caught my attention as well.

It appears that you had only the left front wheel on a stand with the right front wheel on the ground. I would have done it with both wheels on stands. Also if when you have both front wheels on stands and you turn the left front wheel in a direction and the right front goes in the opposite direction you have an open diff. If they both turn in the same direction you have either lockers or limited slip (not common on the front).
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:29 PM
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I would rather learn about the things o don't know so I can repair and understand them the. Pay a mechanic. I've made it my whole adult life so far doing things myself lol.

I bought jack stands about an hour ago so I can have both front wheels off the ground.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:56 PM
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Based on the advice given here in the thread, it has lockers. I put the front up on jack stands and when I rotate one tire forward they both go forward. When I go backwards they both go backwards. Every now and then if I turn them for long enough the passenger side wheel will stop turning and then something will "catch" and it continues turning. I saw no issues at all when the diff cover was off the other day but I guess I have to pull it again right? Am I right to assume it's likely a locker issue inside the differential?
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:22 PM   #11
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My recommendation is that if you don't have an experienced person in certain areas show you and work with you - use a qualified mechanic. Those areas are engine (internal), transmission/transfer case and differentials. These are not areas where you can watch a video and learn. If you make a mistake putting most items on, it's fairly easy and inexpensive to fix. You make a mistake on those three areas and you can gernade the item and it's expensive to fix.

Even some professional mechanics shy away from one or more of those areas. My mechanic has other shops in town send him their differential projects rather than try to do them themselves. That's the reason when the TJ's differentials needed a drain/refill based on mileage, I had him actually remove the covers and inspect them. One of the things he noted when I picked the TJ up was that the tags on the differentials stated a lube weight different than the book. He went with the tag.
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:39 PM
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I appreciate it, but I'm going to do any/all work myself. I'm comfortable tearing apart, rebuilding, and assembling engines. I've rebuilt a transmission. I've never found a task I could learn and do myself yet.

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