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Old 02-18-2014, 11:24 AM
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Front end driveline noise

Okay, I started getting a sound in the front-ish end of the TJ last week. NO wheeling for a while, but it just started making this noise. It sounds kind of like gears are not quite in sync.

In 2hi, 4hi, and 4lo, it makes the noise. it is not tied to engine speed, but rotational speed of the tires. I put the Jeep on jackstands in back and in 2hi, with only the rear wheels turning, no noise.

So I'm pretty sure it is the front. I replaced diff fluid in front as I checked to see if I had blown the front end apart. they look great actually. So I got thinking either t-case or something else. I did an adjustment on the t-case lever thinking perhaps the gears weren't quite in sync. Noise still there, but it shifts between the 4x4 modes better. So I'm beginning to wonder if it is the front ujoint. The yoke coming to the D30 looks like it is covered in oil/grease, but I see NO signs of pinion seal leak.

I even checked the t-case fluid level. It was fine.

I'm not sure if the is the 'angry sparrows' noise people complain about or what. I guess my next step is to put all 4 wheels in the air and get close while watching it (hard to isolate sound while driving).

Any suggestions?

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Old 02-18-2014, 11:50 AM   #2
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Front main seal

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Old 02-18-2014, 01:20 PM   #3
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What do you mean when you say it sounds like gears are mis-aligned? When you say that I think of a kind of howling noise.

Since your gears probably haven't moved around I'd suggest that its maybe a bad bearing.

To check wheel bearings, lift the front wheels off the ground and grab hold and really wrench them around and see if there is any movement (helps to have someone else to look at the bearing hubs head on when you do this). I'd also clean up that front pinion/yoke to make absolutely sure you don't have any leaks up there, as maybe your pinion bearing is making noise.

Just some thoughts...
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:04 PM
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can_haz_jeep, can you elaborate on the front mail seal issue?

goodnow, I'll take a look at that too when I get it up on the jackstands.
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:49 PM
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After more listening, it really sounds like a t-case issue to me. With the doors off and a longer listen, it makes the noise in all drive modes, though the sound may change a bit. It almost seems like the adjustment fork that moves between 4hi, 4lo, and 2hi is not setting up in the right spot. Moving it a bit while in motion doesn't seem to change the sound any.

I thought it may be a driveshaft balance issue, but the sound is from further back.

I don't want to risk doing any damage to the t-case gear set, so I'm holding off driving it for now until I can get a better idea of what is going on in with it. I do have a SYE to install, so I may end up taking the t-case off, doing the SYE, and perhaps doing some maintenance on the t-case. I've never removed it, so that would be new too.

Any ideas on what I should be looking at would be appreciated.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:58 AM
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Got it figured out... It WAS the front driveshaft. A friend got rid of his driveshafts as he's going to bigger axles and he gave me his.

Removed the rear and put his newer one in. No change in sound.
Removed the front (more work!) and drove w/o a shaft in front. No sounds!
Installed the newer shaft. No sounds!

So I went to look at the ujoints. The front joint hooking up to the pinion had a couple of caps come off and they were pretty dry inside. I also noticed a lot of play in the double ujoint area, so I am suspecting that centering cap thing is the source of the specific noise I was hearing. I'll be replacing that part at some point so I have a good working front driveshaft in the event it is needed by me or a friend on the trail.

After having adjusted the transfer case lever a bit and making sure the t-case fluid was topped off, it shifts really good now AND is quiet. LOL

Thanks for the input!

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