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U-joint squeak, un-greased wheel bearing, or dying front driveshaft?

N4SH

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Aug 31, 2022
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32
Location
Asheville, NC
So I’ve been doing some research and everything I find on squeaks,creaks and leaks seem to be missing the mark on my issue.
This especially happens in the mornings when the jeep is cold. I have this ungodly squeak which sounds a bit like crickets that doesn’t start until I reach 15mph and is VERY loud until the jeep has warmed up. It will get quieter around 30mph, be non existent at 50+mph and will go away when the jeep has been driven for around 30 mins or more. Gets louder going downhill or on level ground and be a lot quieter going up hill. Clutch in and rolling above 15mph it’s still present. Brakes on clutch in it will completely go away from 20-0mph. It sounds a bit rotational but doesn’t get any faster after the first 20-30mph meaning it will be in rhythm with the rotation of the wheels from 15mph to 30mph then hold its rhythm no matter how fast I’m going. I’m thinking front drive shaft u joints but I’m not sure and having a hard time locating exactly where it’s coming from.
Inside the cabin it sounds like front passenger side. Stick my head out the window while driving it sounds like front driver side.

Any thoughts on this? I’m sure someone will know exactly what it is just by the video I’m linking below 👇🏽

 
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N4SH

N4SH

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Joined
Aug 31, 2022
Messages
32
Location
Asheville, NC
I can’t tell from the video what it is, but I would check the front driveshaft U-joints right away, particularly the double-Cardan joint. You don’t want that thing seizing and destroying your transfer case.

what exactly should I be looking for when i check? My drive way is on a hill so i had to find level ground but when I did, I got out and tried to rotate the front DS. there's slight play when twisting it clock wise and counterclockwise wise but id assume that's normal. no side to side play and the joint its self doesn't seem compromised. other than just going for it and replacing the ujoints is there any visibly thing I should be looking for when checking them?
 
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Jerry Bransford

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Back & forth rotational play with the driveshafts is 100% normal which is caused by the backlash (slop) required between the ring & pinion gears. What I'd try first is disconnecting the front of the front driveshaft and after securing it up securely so it won't fall down, drive the TJ and see if the noise is still there. If the noise is gone you have a front driveshaft problem. I'd suspect a front driveshaft problem before a bad unit bearing hub (which is not serviceable) or a bad u-joint. Bad u-joints usually only make noise when you're turning left or right.

And as above I would not delay seeing if the problem is caused by a bad u-joint on the front driveshaft, especially one of the two u-joints inside the DC joint next to the transfer case. If the DC joint seizes it will take the transfer case out with it.
 
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N4SH

N4SH

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2022
Messages
32
Location
Asheville, NC
Back & forth rotational play with the driveshafts is 100% normal which is caused by the backlash (slop) required between the ring & pinion gears. What I'd try first is disconnecting the front of the front driveshaft and after securing it up securely so it won't fall down, drive the TJ and see if the noise is still there. If the noise is gone you have a front driveshaft problem. I'd suspect a front driveshaft problem before a bad unit bearing hub (which is not serviceable) or a bad u-joint. Bad u-joints usually only make noise when you're turning left or right.

And as above I would not delay seeing if the problem is caused by a bad u-joint on the front driveshaft, especially one of the two u-joints inside the DC joint next to the transfer case. If the DC joint seizes it will take the transfer case out with it.

Yeah i figured that was a bit normal for there to be some kind of play in the front DS. Im going out to disconnect the DS from the front now and will figure out how to hang it and take it for a drive. If this is my issue is it ok to drive with it disconnected until i can get parts in the next week or so?
 
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N4SH

N4SH

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Aug 31, 2022
Messages
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Location
Asheville, NC
Squeak is non existent after removing the front of the front driveshaft!!! So at this point what should I be replacing while I have it off? Sorry if you’ve all answered this 1000+ times. I’m still learning the anatomy of Jeeps 😫
 
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N4SH

N4SH

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Joined
Aug 31, 2022
Messages
32
Location
Asheville, NC
Thank you guys so much for the help! luckily i work at a shop and have a few buddies there that are will to give me an hour or two of their time after work to fix car stuff. Just ordered from Denny's so hopefully it should be fixed by the weekend.

Very much appreciate you all! :coffee:
 
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