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HELP - Squeak on front drive shaft at Transfer Case

Gblabla

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So what is causing this and is it something that needs to be fixed right away before driving it for another day?

Sounds to me like a rubber bushing rubbing against the drive shaft. Happens at same point when rotating the shaft either direction. Everything on the drive shaft itself seems nice and tight and I could feel no grinding or binding when turning the shaft by hand.

Is this the beginning of the Angry Sparrows?
 

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Steel City 06

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So what is causing this and is it something that needs to be fixed right away before driving it for another day?

Sounds to me like a rubber bushing rubbing against the drive shaft. Happens at same point when rotating the shaft either direction. Everything on the drive shaft itself seems nice and tight and I could feel no grinding or binding when turning the shaft by hand.

Is this the beginning of the Angry Sparrows?
You probably want to fix it sooner rather than later. If the u-joint seizes or the centering ball on the driveshaft seizes, it could literally split the transfer case in half. It's not likely to destruct in the next few days, but it could well happen.

If you are currently just driving it on road, go ahead and remove the driveshaft until you can replace the u-joints and grease or rebuild the centering joints. It's perfectly safe to drive at all speeds without the front driveshaft in 2wd. Only that 4WD won't work until you reinstall it.

Once you get it off, replace the u-joints and grease the centering ball and bearing, and rebuild the centering assembly if necessary. (Get it re-installed before you think you might need 4WD again.)

Also check the pinion on the transfer case after the driveshaft is removed. If that's what is squeaking, the transfer case may need rebuilding. Depending on what is actually making the noise, removing the front driveshaft might actually eliminate the noise until it gets rebuilt.
 
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Gblabla

Gblabla

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Well, the squeak wasn't going away and with 80k on the odometer I figured I'd rather be safe than sorry so ordered the parts for the front driveshaft and tore it apart. Now some cleaning and then the fun of getting it all back together starts. I did check the pinion at the transfer case and everything is smooth and rock solid. The u- joints and centering yoke didn't look all that bad but I am sure new ones will look much better.

Any tips from anyone other than go slow and be careful!

20191203_190537.jpg
 

Steel City 06

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Well, the squeak wasn't going away and with 80k on the odometer I figured I'd rather be safe than sorry so ordered the parts for the front driveshaft and tore it apart. Now some cleaning and then the fun of getting it all back together starts. I did check the pinion at the transfer case and everything is smooth and rock solid. The u- joints and centering yoke didn't look all that bad but I am sure new ones will look much better.

Any tips from anyone other than go slow and be careful!

View attachment 127648
One piece of advice I learned here is once the u-joint is installed, lay one side if the yoke on a hard surface and strike the other side of the yoke next to the u-joint with a hammer to spread the caps slightly. This releases the compressive force on the u-joint so it can move more freely.

Make very sure the clips are fully seated. I lost a u-joint cap once from improperly seating the clip. (The result was I had to drop $450 on a new driveshaft.)

Did the squeak go away when you pulled the shaft? Might be worth going for a test drive with it out if you haven't already. At least it will eliminate a lot of the possibilities of where the squeak came from
 
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Gblabla

Gblabla

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Good point on taking it for a drive to confirm. I'll do that for sure. And I had seen the tip on setting the caps but thanks for the reminder.
 
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Goatman

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Try a test drive in 4wd. With the ds removed it will help determine if it was (is) the transfer or the ds. If you still have a squeak then you know it's the transfer. But you can never go wrong with new Ujoints installed.
 
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Gblabla

Gblabla

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If you haven't purchased your u-joints yet, I strongly suggest you use Spicer sealed u-joints and avoid store brands. Here's a good site from which to obtain the correct u-joints, and note that your Rubicon uses different u-joint model numbers than non-Rubicons use. https://www.dennysdriveshaft.com/c457_cv_driveshaft_parts.html
If I've learned anything in my research it's that the Spicer Sealed U-Joints are the way to go. I did order the correct U-Joints for the Rubicon and went Spicer Sealed all the way around including the DC Centering Yoke.
 
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Gblabla

Gblabla

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For those following along or that care I just went for a test drive without the Front and there is no squeak. Tested 2wd and 4wd and everything was quiet so it does appear the culprit was the Drive Shaft U-Joints / DC. None of the U-Joints nor the centering yoke were visually bad and all. This started to occur after some time in the mud and water so not sure if that was part of it or if the parts were just beginning to wear out. Either way I'll soon have a newly rebuilt Front DS that will be ready for another 80K miles!!
 
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