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02 TJ Sport
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is a long shot, but just looking for more ideas/suggestions to look for. I have a slight squeak that is related to physical rolling movement. It typically only happens after a long drive and I've had no luck recreating it in my parking spot. (2002 TJ with 4.0L and 5-speed)

Axle U-joints replaced recently, front driveshaft joints and centering ball replaced recently, rear driveshaft is relatively new (Tom Woods). Everything that can be greased has been. Wheel hubs are pretty new (Timken). Gears are all fresh, but I haven't checked the oil in a bit (next on my list). Slight rear main seal leak and my oil gasket appears to have sprung a tiny leak recently (oil level is full between oil changes still so I haven't got around to replacing those yet). Brakes are freshly cleaned and nothing is rubbing. Braking doesn't seem to change the noise, which brings me back to a U-joint somewhere. I can't re-create the sound when stationary on jacks, only after a long drive and I creep into my parking garage do I really hear it. The U-Joints on my axles and front driveshaft are non-greaseable, but are pretty new (Spicer) that I really doubt they are causing this. Is there a way to check besides just rotating a tire or trying to wiggle them and checking for play?

I pulled the front driveshaft because the centering ball dust cover was ripped and seemed looser than I remember when I replaced it. It seemed to be silent for a day, but the noise is back. Was going to do the same with the rear shaft tomorrow to try to isolate it some. I've greased everything I can think of. Wheel hubs feel solid, no play, and silent when on jacks. Gave her a really solid underbody pressure wash yesterday. hoping it was just some gunk from the winter roads. I washed it almost immediately after every storm this winter, to try to prevent any rust or corrosion from road salts.

Anyways, I know this is almost impossible to diagnose online, but figured I'd see if anyone has any other suggestions or things they would look at next. It doesn't sound detrimental to the jeep, but it's definitely annoying me and sounds like some component is asking for some fresh grease..

TIA,
XBD
 

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1997 TJ 2.5L SE, 2003 TJ Rubicon
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After eliminating front vs rear drivetrain by removing the driveshafts I'd be looking at the fan clutch and/or belt. Some belt dressing may make it go away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After eliminating front vs rear drivetrain by removing the driveshafts I'd be looking at the fan clutch and/or belt. Some belt dressing may make it go away.
More recently than all the other maintenance was a new Mopar belt, tensioner, and idler pulley...like really new. And the noise is definitely directly related to rotational movement, not just engine rpm. But yeah rear driveshaft is next up, then not too sure..my gut tells me it's a U-joint still, even though they're pretty new..

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For what it's worth, I made a short video of the sound today:

Note: it's a parking garage, so there are some other random noises, but the squeak I'm referring to is pretty obvious.
 

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2001 Sport 4.0 Auto
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I get a similar squeak randomly from the rear drum brake hardware at moderate to low speeds. I have not been able figure out how to eliminate it or why it crops up from time to time and then goes away on its own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok so quick update. Rebuild the rear driveshaft. Replaced both from axle shaft U-joints. No change. Actually is getting worse as I keep test driving it.

Noticed some odd wear markings on my passenger front rotor and the pads have some vertical scoring on them. Going to try replacing the front calipers and pads today I guess. Will turn to rear brakes if that doesn't work. After that, I'm running out of ideas..
 

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Listening to the sound and watching the wheel rotate, using the valve to judge rotation, it seems to me that the squeak is roughly timed to pinion speed. I'd remove driveshafts and jack the wheels off the ground and see how pinion bearings and transfer case yokes feel. Does it make any difference to the sound if 4WD is used?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Listening to the sound and watching the wheel rotate, using the valve to judge rotation, it seems to me that the squeak is roughly timed to pinion speed. I'd remove driveshafts and jack the wheels off the ground and see how pinion bearings and transfer case yokes feel. Does it make any difference to the sound if 4WD is used?
Hmm you may be onto something..I did just notice I have a small leak coming from my SYE yoke seal. Checked the fluid and it's still full, but now wondering if that could be causing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rear brakes were nasty and had a leaky cylinder plus super dirty fluid....all fresh again and full brake fluid flush, even went with the extra parts kit (besides the typical spring kit) that includes the adjuster screw/e-brake cable and guide/etc... but no change to my squeak. Eh, at least I know my brakes are good for a while again. Tomorrow I'm changing the SYE output shaft seal+transfer case flush and changing out the rear dif fluid. While I'm doing that I'll attempt to see if I can notice any worn bearings, but really doubtful...

I'm dreading it, but I may have to take it into a shop to get a professional opinion..
 

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1997 TJ 2.5L SE, 2003 TJ Rubicon
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Not sure if this is safe... but I would put the both axle on jack stands with all wheels safely off the ground. Have someone start and drive very slowly forward while you listen/look for the source of the sound... Cautious of moving parts. Maybe with a third set of stands under the frame. It may help you localize the problem at the very least.
 

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Is it happening mainly in turns when weight shifts to one side?

Was there any unusual wear or at the rear axles or the rear brake backing plates (dust shields if rear discs)? I have seen drums contact and rub clear through the lip on a backing plate, after something wore down enough for the axle to shift to the inside and cause the two parts to rub...

Could there be enough wear on something to allow the axle to move in and contact in that area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is it happening mainly in turns when weight shifts to one side?
Turning does not seem to affect the noise.

Was there any unusual wear or at the rear axles or the rear brake backing plates (dust shields if rear discs)? I have seen drums contact and rub clear through the lip on a backing plate, after something wore down enough for the axle to shift to the inside and cause the two parts to rub...
I did not notice anything unusual back there. And I have everything completely off and deep cleaned it all. Not odd wear on the backing plate/drum/etc.

Could there be enough wear on something to allow the axle to move in and contact in that area?
Not that I could observe.
Thanks though, all good things to keep an eye out for.
 

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Hmmmm! Looks like it will take some more digging to sort this out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Think I may be onto something...Went to change my leaky output shaft on my SYE and discovered this:
20210511_205642.jpg

20210511_202350.jpg

20210511_202327.jpg


That can't be normal...Guessing that metal shard is lodged somewhere inside my transfer case. Thinking about pulling the whole transfer case and doing a complete rebuild on it now. That could definitely be the source of my rotational squeak I'd assume? Either way needs to be fixed. Thoughts?
 

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That's supposed to be there from the pics I see online. The rough edges are just from the casting process. You can see the channel in this pic from advanced adapters.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's supposed to be there from the pics I see online. The rough edges are just from the casting process. You can see the channel in this pic from advanced adapters.
Ah, well that explains why my T-case didn't become a bomb while driving it like that then haha!. Thanks!
 

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That's supposed to be there from the pics I see online. The rough edges are just from the casting process. You can see the channel in this pic from advanced adapters.
Straight-on, it first looked like it was still filled in solid. It took a while to actually see the shape of that in Johnny Jeep's photo is a drain, then that kind of makes sense now that I look at it...

That opening would allow transfer case oil to pass through to the outside of the bearing, stay trapped behind the wall of the seal and drain back down to the inside of the transfer case. That would allow fresh oil to circulate through the bearing, keeping it well oiled and clearing out any crud between the race and the rollers.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Straight-on, it first looked like it was still filled in solid. It took a while to actually see the shape of that in Johnny Jeep's photo is a drain, then that kind of makes sense now that I look at it...
That opening would allow transfer case oil to pass through to the outside of the bearing, stay trapped behind the wall of the seal and drain back down to the inside of the transfer case. That would allow fresh oil to circulate through the bearing, keeping it well oiled and clearing out any crud between the race and the rollers.
Yeah I was looking up more photos of SYE housings and see that hole is common... bittersweet because now I'm back to being confused about my squeak I'm chasing haha. Letting the RTV set still, but will flush it later today and give it a test drive.

Another person confirmed the noise was definitely coming from the rear end, but couldn't tell if it was from a side-specific or centered, or if it was closer to transfer case or rear diff...The hunt continues.
 

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Grasping at more straws, but looking for things that can be checked easily and positively ruled out as a source...
Any signs of the yoke rubbing on the face of the metal pinion seal?
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Ok quick update as I am still fighting this one...

Finally found someone who can drive stick so I can personally listen to the sound closely and it sounds like it is coming from the driver side transfer case area. So my thoughts were the transfer case front driveshaft output yoke? Is there a bearing behind that yoke that could be going bad or could this be something easier to deal with?

Also, I can only get the sound to happen moving forward. It doesn't seem to squeak when reversing. And if I go in reverse, then put it in neutral and let it roll down a hill, it doesn't seem to make the noise. So something with engaging forward gears, then slow roll. Which makes me think it could be a gear or something inside the transfer case possibly?

FYI I've already pulled the front shaft once and that did not stop the noise, so it's not the common centering ball or Ujoint failure on the front shaft.

hmmmm. just stumbled upon this video and wondering if this my issue:

@tzukows I'll be pulling the front shaft again sometime soon and will see if I can notice any wear/tear on the yoke. Do you know if there is fluid behind that one? Can I remove it the same as my SYE output yoke with no loss of fluid?
 
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