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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a bit of history first:

Last summer I replaced the majority of my suspension


Mopar leaf springs
Mopar bushings
Bilstein Shocks

3000 miles with zero issues or noises, or until recently anyway.

The front leafs (center leafs) seems to shift 1-2mm left or right with steering and articulation and make an awful crackling noise, I have tightened the ubolts several times, also went through and put a wrench to every bolt in regards to tracbar, swaybar, links, etc.

Driving on flat surfaces or even bumps on the road yield zero noise, the jeep has to be on an uneven surface for the noise to become apparent and the noise can not be pinpointed by ear, only feel.

All the plastic leaf separators are present, and I even went through and shot lubricant between the leafs to remedy the problem... now I am out of ideas & any suggestions would be appreciated :)
 

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Are there zerk fittings on your ball joints? If there are, give them a shot of grease.
If not, see if there is a plug that can be removed and a zerk fitting installed.

Sometimes it's not the most obvious thing making a noise.
What type of spring clamps do you have?
Look at the clamp in the attached pic. If you have clamps like this, perhaps you can tighten them. If you have the open top strap clamps, check with General Spring in Kansas City to see if they will sell you 8 of them.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I forgot to add I did go through and get all new grease in the ball joints

The leafs secure from the bottom and are open on the top (just bent over clamps)

The kicker is I am not even 100% positive it's coming from the leaf springs, I parked on uneven spot on my drive way while a friend turned the steering back and forth.. while holding the leafs the sound was apparent & felt during the 1-2mm of the leafs shifting back and forth but if you were to go by ear it's coming from everywhere, when you're in the jeep it sounds likes it coming from the front, when you're outside or under it sounds like the front or rear depending where your head is.

I even went to a local shop with a lift to get underneath it and the sound could not be duplicated on a flat surface, the old guys were also stumped (since 1941 alignment shop)

Another thing to add:
All body mounts are good and tight.



Click here for high resolution image
 

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Could be a loose or broken center bolt. Loosen the u-bolts and take the weight off the spring to see if the leaves start to separate.
 

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Hmmm. I would try lifting it up on four jack stands under the frame with the axles hanging. Try the turn and listen/feel. Then jack up one wheel at a time and repeat. See if that reveals any clues
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions, I will try those and I'll keep picking at it and hopefully the gremlin making all the racket will reveal itself.
 

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'89 YJ 4.2 with MC-2150 Carb & HEI, 2-1/2" Ex. AX-15, NP231 SYE, Adams shafts, F&R ARB, 3
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If you're confident everything is right and no safety issues are present, Hell I'd just turn up the radio. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My friend says something similar :), unfortunately it bothers the hell out of me to the point it's like nails on a chalkboard... the noise definitely isn't confidence inspiring.

And a new development:
A clunk occurs when driving up an apron

I will probably end up tearing it apart bit by bit till I find the culprit.
 

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i have the exact problem as you described on my 89 yj with a 2.5in rubicon express lift. I too have tried all the things you listed but no luck. Mine also makes the sound when turning the wheel back and forth quickly at a stop.
 

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Are you certain that it's the springs making the noise?
It could be the steering shaft U-joint or play in the steering box.

If you're certain that the noise is coming from your springs, look at the pic in my #2 post. If you look closely, you can see a little rubber spacer between the clamp and the spring. Perhaps something like that will silence the gremlin.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Put some grease on the leaf spring bushings. Remove them from the spring and put some thick grease in there to keep if from happening.

One thing I like to do when I have a noise that's hard to find, I take a very thin lubricant like silicone. I spray it on one part at a time and test drive it, trying to replicate the noise. If the noise stops when you put a little silicone on the moving parts, you've found your problem.
 

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I know it's not the same thing but I have a 2010 Patriot that does the same thing. While it was still under warranty the dealer rebuilt the front end top to bottom and replaced the front struts twice. After a few days, the noise would come back. I did use some graphite dry lube at different points and found the noise would be less after I sprayed the top spring mount/perch and the sway bar bushings but it never totally went away. I'm trying to talk the wife, it's her car, into trading it in but she looooovvvveees it. Damn!

Good luck as I feel your pain.
 

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Ck your sway bar mounting. Mine actually sheared the pass side strap and backed out the bolts on the drivers side. FYI Replaced the pass side with one from a Cherokee. It's a much better-stronger- design.
 

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I know it's not the same thing but I have a 2010 Patriot that does the same thing. While it was still under warranty the dealer rebuilt the front end top to bottom and replaced the front struts twice. After a few days, the noise would come back. I did use some graphite dry lube at different points and found the noise would be less after I sprayed the top spring mount/perch and the sway bar bushings but it never totally went away. I'm trying to talk the wife, it's her car, into trading it in but she looooovvvveees it. Damn!

Good luck as I feel your pain.
Exactly what I'm talking about, good move diagnosing where the noise is. The solution would be to get a thicker grease. White lithium is good in this situation. I have a spray can of it I use on things like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok so I spent the weekend on the Jeep here is what I found:

I removed both the track bar and the swaybar to eliminate the possibility that they were the problem or contributing to the problem.

Here is a video that will show the noise and a little bit of the movement (1-3mm) in the springs.

(noise not present when wheels are off the ground)


Steering wheel being turned rapidly right & left
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt2VS2XYfw4&feature=em-upload_owner#action=share

Any thoughts?​
 

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Ok so I spent the weekend on the Jeep here is what I found:

I removed both the track bar and the swaybar to eliminate the possibility that they were the problem or contributing to the problem.

...
That is exactly my noise, I hope we can get this solved. ..
 

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What a doggone awful noise! That noise would concern me greatly.

What would happen if you disconnected your steering from the knuckles. By doing so, you can isolate the noise to the steering or suspension. I would expect that if the noise is in the steering that the noise would be greatly reduced but still audible. Perhaps hold on to one side or the other of the tie rod to see if you can feel the noise.
If the noise goes away completely by disconnecting the steering at the knuckles, I would shake each wheel side to side with the steering still disconnected to determine which side is making the noise.

A couple things come to mind:
1- oblong holes in the knuckles where the tie rods mount
2- wrong tie rod ends or worn tie rod ends.
3- worn ball joints

Let us know what you find.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I have yet set away enough time to remove the front springs to investigate, I have a funny feeling it's the springs despite the fact they appear fine from an outside visual inspection.

I will follow up once they are removed.
 
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