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My 2007 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited is making a grinding noise underneath. It has just under 110,000 miles. Recently I drove it from Northern Illinois to St. Louis during several rainstorms which forced me to put it in 4wd for most of of the five hour drive. On the way home, I put it on cruise, however, I drove through 50 mph winds the entire way. When I needed to accelerate, I had to take it out of cruise. Now, it's making a grinding noise when I put it in gear and try to move it. The transfer case has been leaking for a while, but the trans fluid was full when I left. Any tips on what it could possibly be would be seriously appreciated.
 

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First, :welcome: to the forum! :wavey:

This is a tough one to diagnose over the internet, because it could be a variety of things. From something simple like a brake shield rubbing on the rotor (free fix) to unit bearings. transmission issue or t-case issue.

If you could post a youtube video of the noise it may help us hone in on the issue.
 

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My 2007 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited is making a grinding noise underneath. It has just under 110,000 miles. Recently I drove it from Northern Illinois to St. Louis during several rainstorms which forced me to put it in 4wd for most of of the five hour drive. On the way home, I put it on cruise, however, I drove through 50 mph winds the entire way. When I needed to accelerate, I had to take it out of cruise. Now, it's making a grinding noise when I put it in gear and try to move it. The transfer case has been leaking for a while, but the trans fluid was full when I left. Any tips on what it could possibly be would be seriously appreciated.
The 4 wheel drive system in the Jeep is not typically used for driving on the street unless it is snowing.
 

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The transfer case isn't designed for long duration high speed driving on pavement. (Even if wet)

The fact that it has been leaking and was probably low on oil, only makes matters worse.

I would change the transfer case oil so you can see if it has any metal in it.

Same for both differentials
 

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There's a good chance it's going to be an expensive problem with the transfer case. As mentioned, you should never, ever use 4x4 in the rain on a paved road. 4x4 is not AWD and it actually will make driving more dangerous in the scenario you described. It should only be used in snow, ice, or off-road. The 4x4 system requires wheel slip when turning because it does not have a center differential. If it can't slip, the force is transferred to the case.
 

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Thank you to everyone for the responses. I will definitely look at these. After posting, hubby came home and took a closer look and discovered it is the brakes. All. Four. Sets. Upon an even closer inspection, we have discovered that the pads we purchased at Autozone (cue angry face) are metal on metal and have completely warped the rotors to the point, I now have almost no brakes left. I have contacted Autozone because I was stupid enough to purchase the lifetime pads and they have conveniently lost my records of the warranty. Now, I am looking for new pads and rotors as I will not be returning to Autozone. FYI, this is NOT the first time their pads have failed this suddenly.

In answer to the question, manual or automatic? Automatic.

Oh, and the only time I engaged the 4x4 is when there is standing water on the road as I had a horrible accident in '06 in a Grand Cherokee in the rain. I spun out because I did not have good enough traction, ironically, it was the first and only time I did not use the 4 wheel drive in the rain, and when I contacted Chryselor about the airbags not engaging and the anti-lock brakes not working, they informed me had I had the 4 wheel drive engaged, I would not have spun out. Since then, when it rains, snows or is icy, I use it. But only when there is standing water on the roadway. Once the rain has slowed, I disengage it. I understand what you are all saying though, and I was a bit confused, too, at first, but they informed me as long as it is in 4 wheel high, it's all good. Oh, and hubby said the gasket is leaking because it's old. We're going to replace it as well as the oil pan gasket as neither has been done since I bought it in '09.
 

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Thank you to everyone for the responses. I will definitely look at these. After posting, hubby came home and took a closer look and discovered it is the brakes. All. Four. Sets. Upon an even closer inspection, we have discovered that the pads we purchased at Autozone (cue angry face) are metal on metal and have completely warped the rotors to the point, I now have almost no brakes left. I have contacted Autozone because I was stupid enough to purchase the lifetime pads and they have conveniently lost my records of the warranty. Now, I am looking for new pads and rotors as I will not be returning to Autozone. FYI, this is NOT the first time their pads have failed this suddenly.

In answer to the question, manual or automatic? Automatic.

Oh, and the only time I engaged the 4x4 is when there is standing water on the road as I had a horrible accident in '06 in a Grand Cherokee in the rain. I spun out because I did not have good enough traction, ironically, it was the first and only time I did not use the 4 wheel drive in the rain, and when I contacted Chryselor about the airbags not engaging and the anti-lock brakes not working, they informed me had I had the 4 wheel drive engaged, I would not have spun out. Since then, when it rains, snows or is icy, I use it. But only when there is standing water on the roadway. Once the rain has slowed, I disengage it. I understand what you are all saying though, and I was a bit confused, too, at first, but they informed me as long as it is in 4 wheel high, it's all good. Oh, and hubby said the gasket is leaking because it's old. We're going to replace it as well as the oil pan gasket as neither has been done since I bought it in '09.
While I think there are better pads to use than AutoZone brake pads, they wore out. That will happen. The traction control system that Jeep uses increases the rate that the brake pads wear, because the system at times applies the brakes to maintain control.
The Grand Cherokee has a different 4 wheel drive system and what works well for it is not the same as what will work well for a JK / JKU.
If you hydroplane it does not matter how many wheels are being driven.
You should not use 4H or 4L on the street unless it is snow or ice. Using it on wet roads will wear out the driveline faster, and it might actually reduce traction because it will force the front and rear axles to go the same speed but during a turn the front axle will want to go faster than the rear. If it can't, one axle is going to slip. If it is wet out, slow down. Make sure your tires have adequate traction in the wet.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you

While I think there are better pads to use than AutoZone brake pads, they wore out. That will happen. The traction control system that Jeep uses increases the rate that the brake pads wear, because the system at times applies the brakes to maintain control.
The Grand Cherokee has a different 4 wheel drive system and what works well for it is not the same as what will work well for a JK / JKU.
If you hydroplane it does not matter how many wheels are being driven.
You should not use 4H or 4L on the street unless it is snow or ice. Using it on wet roads will wear out the driveline faster, and it might actually reduce traction because it will force the front and rear axles to go the same speed but during a turn the front axle will want to go faster than the rear. If it can't, one axle is going to slip. If it is wet out, slow down. Make sure your tires have adequate traction in the wet.
Good luck.
Thank you for the info. I wasn't aware there was that much of a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So, after changing out the pads and rotors, we discovered that two of the rear boot pins were stuck, on one each side of the Jeep. So, thank you again to everyone who commented and offered advice. I appreciate it more than you know. You were absolutely correct. On the passenger side, we had to completely replace the bracket and boot pins as the pin was not only stuck, it was bent so there was no way to remove it. Plus, the pads were completely metal, all ceramic was gone. After contacting the District Manager of Autozone, he took care of us and we were able to get the pads and rotors we needed. The Blac Purl is back on the road!!
 
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