Clunking/Popping On Left Front Going Into 1st Gear


tjmorton

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Jul 19, 2020
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Hello all, back after almost exactly 1yr with a new problem with my 4 angry squirrels build.

Before I get started however I'd like to thank you guys for being my go to resource while I've been working on my TJ. The information and knowledge on this forum is incredible.

So, I'm currently getting a clunking, sometimes popping, sound coming from the front left or left center when taking off from a dead stop into first gear (5 speed M). It only happens from a dead stop, only in 1st gear and is gone as soon as the clutch is let out. Sometimes it sounds like its suspension/steering, sometimes it sounds like driveline and occasional I can feel a little something under my feet. I've read through some threads about similar issues but none that appeared to have a resolution.

The issue only started happening after completing the following mods.... Bds 3in lift, adjustable control arms all around, adjustable front/rear track bars, ZJ steering upgrade, sye and cv rear drive shaft.

I've spent 2 days crawling around under the Jeep check bolts, joints etc. and everything looks good. I'm at a loss trying to figure out how to trouble shoot further, hoping you all have some suggestions. It's very disappointing because I was going to take the upgraded rig out wheeling this weekend for the 1st time since I started working on it and now think I should probably resolve this issue first. Oh well.
 

AndyG

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Crossmember/ skid bolts into nutserts can look tight and be loose... I found one once because I had my hand on it shaking something else-

check those, the control arm ends on the left, the front left hub u joint , then if no luck pull the front shaft.
 
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tjmorton

tjmorton

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Jul 19, 2020
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Fort Worth, TX
Crossmember/ skid bolts into nutserts can look tight and be loose... I found one once because I had my hand on it shaking something else-

check those, the control arm ends on the left, the front left hub u joint , then if no luck pull the front shaft.
Thanks Andy.

Let me get your thoughts on this..... I initially wondered about it possibly being the transfer case skid plate or maybe even a trans mount. I did support the transmission with a jack stand when I did the sye but when I put the skid plate back the transmission had sagged quite a bit more then I thought. I had to use a floor jack to push everything back up in order to be able to get all the plate bolts to go back in. I'm wondering if the trans sagging could have stressed some mounts or something else? The skid plate itself is solid, doesn't move at all at this point. With the noise only coming while taking off in 1st gear I eliminated a trans/mount issue in my mind but maybe I need to revisit that idea?
 

AndyG

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Thanks Andy.

Let me get your thoughts on this..... I initially wondered about it possibly being the transfer case skid plate or maybe even a trans mount. I did support the transmission with a jack stand when I did the sye but when I put the skid plate back the transmission had sagged quite a bit more then I thought. I had to use a floor jack to push everything back up in order to be able to get all the plate bolts to go back in. I'm wondering if the trans sagging could have stressed some mounts or something else? The skid plate itself is solid, doesn't move at all at this point. With the noise only coming while taking off in 1st gear I eliminated a trans/mount issue in my mind but maybe I need to revisit that idea?

Not sure....Spray wd 40 on the mount bolts and skid tank to frame, if it quietens down that tells you where to focus.
 
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tjmorton

tjmorton

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Jul 19, 2020
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Fort Worth, TX
if all that fails pop that diff cover off sounds like the start of some busted spider gears.
Thanks Jeff. I'm having it regeared to 4.88 next week at a local off road shop so hopefully that will resolve any potential gear issues. At this point in my Jeep experience gears are still a little alien to me. I'm learning as I go but not confident in what to look for if I pull the diff cover.
 
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tjmorton

tjmorton

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This exact thing started happening to me last week, I'm curious to see what the solution is.
Once I figure it out I'll let you know. Every other issue i've had with the Jeep since I bought it last summer has been a fairly simple fix or at least had an obvious fix. Hoping this is as well. I think the fact that I'm having it re geared next week will eliminate a number of variables. We shall see.
 

rustygastank

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san diego ca
Once I figure it out I'll let you know. Every other issue i've had with the Jeep since I bought it last summer has been a fairly simple fix or at least had an obvious fix. Hoping this is as well. I think the fact that I'm having it re geared next week will eliminate a number of variables. We shall see.
Definitely, I haven’t had too much time to investigate myself but I’m hoping it’s not something bigger like the clutch