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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
K, here's the deal. 2006 X auto 4.0 about 47000 miles. I get this chirping noise only when the engine is in gear and moving at lower speed (under 20 mph). So far ive replaced the serpentine belt, idler pulley and auto tensioner. Chirp still there, I then checked all the fluids just to make sure nothing got to low on me. All good and full, no leaks, doesn't leave puddles or drips at all. Today I pulled the front drive shaft after reading a lot of the chirps usually are "sparrows" . I start it up and drive down my hill and no squeek or chirp. The second I go up the hill its back. So its not the drive shaft. Its driving me crazy no clue what it could be. Don't really want to take it to a shop, cause there is only one in town and I prefer to do my own wrenching. I thought for a while it could be a dying fan clutch putting lots of strain on the belt, its 30 degrees out though not sure if that would be it. Oh and it will not make any chirp or squeak at all when not in gear and moving. Not a single odd noise at idle or reving in park or neutral. Any thoughts?
 

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Abe Froman
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I would put money on the u joints in the front axle. Remember if it is making a noise then it is not lubricated. It may still be a solid u joint but not for long. Remember when moving, but not in gear there is no torque on the u joint thus no chirp.
 

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I'm with him, does it get worse kn 4wd?
 

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I was going to say front drive shaft u-joints, too...but if that's pulled, then it's obviously a no-go. Where does it seem like the sound is coming from? Sounds can transmit and be originating from completely different areas of a vehicle, but if you have a general idea, this would be easier.
 

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Mine did that and it was the rear drive shaft to diff u-joint. One day it stopped and I thought everything was good....until the vibrations started. One of the the bearing caps seized on the joint from a failed seal. I'd remove both shafts and check the joints carefully.
 

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Mine did that and it was the rear drive shaft to diff u-joint. One day it stopped and I thought everything was good....until the vibrations started. One of the the bearing caps seized on the joint from a failed seal. I'd remove both shafts and check the joints carefully.
Definitely. Like I said, sounds can transmit quite a ways under the body. They usually go rearward, though. When you hear the chirping of a u-joint, it is well past its wear limits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, it sounded the same in 4wd. It sounds like its coming from under the jeep when it chirps. Its hard to tell though. Ill pull the wheels off and rear shaft in the morning and check the u joints, if its not raining. Ive never checked axle ujoints before. Are there any tricks or do you just turn the hub and check for wiggle/noise? Ill post an update after. Thanks for the quick responses
 

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It's easiest to pull the drive shaft (it's only 8 bolts) and see if there's play in the u-joints. There shouldn't be any.
Put your Jeep on jack stands and remove the wheels. The less weight, the better. Once again, if you can move u-joints and get any play, they are no bueno.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's easiest to pull the drive shaft (it's only 8 bolts) and see if there's play in the u-joints. There shouldn't be any.
Put your Jeep on jack stands and remove the wheels. The less weight, the better. Once again, if you can move u-joints and get any play, they are no bueno.
Sounds exactly as I thought it should be. The front drive shaft was a pain with the skid plate in the way. The rear looks way easier. The front wheels I was planning on doing it that way. Good to hear I was thinking the right thing lol
 

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I was going to say front drive shaft u-joints, too...but if that's pulled, then it's obviously a no-go. Where does it seem like the sound is coming from? Sounds can transmit and be originating from completely different areas of a vehicle, but if you have a general idea, this would be easier.
He was saying the axle not the shaft. In the axle closest to the wheels.
 

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Mine did the same thing. It's commonly tagged in searches as angry sparrows. Mine was the U-joint in the front, it only happened in 4wd. Yours sounds like the rear. My U-joints also would check out just fine, nobody could find an issue with them. I ended up just pulling it and taking it in for a U-joint change and balance - worth the money here - $75 out the door for new joints, grease, balance, labor. The shaft was stock, had never had damage, but was still out of balance. Get some Spicer joints if you do it.
 

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On a side note, you can put the front DS back in, put it in 4wd, pull the rear DS and see if that fixes it. Just be careful on turns if you do that, it drives weird.
 

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Lusus_Naturae said:
On a side note, you can put the front DS back in, put it in 4wd, pull the rear DS and see if that fixes it. Just be careful on turns if you do that, it drives weird.
Not recommended with out an sye.
 

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47Hooker said:
The OP stated that he pulled the front drive shaft. That's what my first guess was going to be is what I said.
Oh...I suck at reading comp. My bad man
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: it was about 30 degrees out today and windy so all I did was pick up a set of jack stands. Hopefully at least the wind dies down tomorrow and ill get stuff checked out. Thanks again for all the help
 

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Sorry weather sucks up there...MIGHT save some time by using a flashlight and looking carefully at rear u-joints...flashlight only. The rears looked "okay" on my '04 but with the flashlight you could see the needle bearings coming out....all better now about 2 years later!!
 

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Not recommended with out an sye.
No, this is incorrect for the TJ platform. The YJs had this issue, but it is perfectly fine to remove the rear drive shaft and drive even with the stock slip yoke in a TJ.

It's very common for the centering ball in the front drive shaft to become worn out and cause chirping. If you've already ruled out the front shaft then obviously this isn't your problem, but it's something to check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well I pulled the front wheels today and those joints looked good no wiggle at all, put the front drive shaft back on and looked at the rear drive shaft u-joints. I can now say I know what bad u-joint seals look like, they all look trashed. I have now ordered a u-joint tool from amazon and just have to figure out what part numbers I need for the replacement u-joints on the rear. Probably will just go to the local NAPA unless I find a better deal online with decent shipping.
FYI: I also found its hard to take a picture with a cellphone while freezing your ass off under a jeep while trying to light the area with a 3D Maglight.






 
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