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Discussion Starter #1
2013 JK Rubicon, 85k miles, auto trans, 35" tires.

Went wheeling at Uwharrie last weekend. No issues during ride on trail. By the time I got home, noticed some noise. Upon acceleration from a stop (or near stop) there is a creaking noise coming from what sounds like front diff. It is more of a creak (like you open an old door slowly) than a squeal. Its not very high pitched.

What I have noticed:
1. Only upon acceleration, but not a slow/easy acceleration.
2. Independent of steering left or right.
3. Seems to occur when the auto trans shifts; at high RPM right before the shift. Specifically upon start (most noticeable), going into 2nd (somewhat less) and when going into 3rd (slightly).
4. Does not occur once I get over 20 mph.
5. Trans fluid level is fine. Color is red/dark red, not brown.
6. Oil level is fine.
7. The PS container had a bit of fluid on outside and a tad bit low. Noticed the lid had dust/grime under it. O-ring was still in place and clean. wiped things down and added a bit of fluid. No impact to noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Did do an inspection today. Looks like the boot on the front driveshaft at the transfer case is torn and slinging grease out. Maybe this. Need to replace the boot for sure.



I did notice the noise seems very much like it coming from just under driver side floor board. and possibly related to suspension movement in the front. Control arms seems tight. sprayed some WD40 just to see if it goes away or is reduced.
 

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If the boot is torn and losing grease the joint is probably toast. Just putting on a new boot won't solve the issue of the wear on the joint that has already happened. I would take this opportunity as a time to upgrade the front driveshaft with a new one of choice. I prefer Adams, but there are a lot of good ones out there.
 

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Yeah, either a TF Rezeppa or an aftermarket DS. Replacing the joint with a TF Rezeppa is cheaper and has the advantage of being less picky about pinion angle. But an aftermarket DS is usually an upgrade in terms of strength. Plus the aftermarket shaft doesn't have the boot over the slide joint to worry about hitting the exhaust crossover. I wish there was an aftermarket shaft option that used a Rezeppa joint.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Replaced the boot and CV joint. It didn't solve my noise issue. I also took opportunity to order a Tom Woods 1350 front shaft for the next time I go wheeling.


The noise was not the CV joint. Noise still exists after new boot and joint.



The front diff is ready for an oil change. Gonna get that tomorrow just to open it up and look around. Maybe Ill take tires off and just move wheels looking for another noise source.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Front diff fluid was fine. It was clear. Still unsure where the noise is coming from. Took another look underneath and nothing seems out of the ordinary.


Maybe wheel bearings?


If anyone has ideas, would love to hear them.
 

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At this point it seems like one or more of the suspension bushings was squeaking. Sprayed WD40 on each of the bushings and the noise seems to have gone away.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well the WD40 on bushings didn't solve it.


I am beginning to think some sort of power steering pump issue now. Right after i got back wheeling 2 weeks ago I did notice PS fluid low and it seemed the reservoir had some sort of leak - fluid all on outside of container and under that side of frame. Anyone experienced with PS pumps failing after some mild wheeling?
 
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