Whining noise coming from front end at 30 MPH and up

njklife

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Aug 2, 2021
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Arizona
So I have a 1998 Jeep wrangler Tj (170,000 miles), and I'm running into a issue after I bought it used. When I got back home, started it up and drove down the road the next morning, there was a higher pitched whine coming from what is sounds like the front end at 35-40mph and above. The pitch gets higher when speed is increased. It's definitely prominent. Seems that engine rpms have no effect on it. 4wd doesn't seem to effect it either. There was fluid in the front diff. It has a 4in lift. (Not sure if that helps any) Check for play in wheel hubs, seemed fine. Noise didn't change when braking suddenly, or turning sharply left and right. If there are any questions, please let me know. Any help would be great.


Here's a video of the problem
 
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Gotcha. Anyway I might be able to narrow down from where?

Also here is a video of the issue.
 
Well that certainly sounds exciting
So I have a 1998 Jeep wrangler Tj (170,000 miles), and I'm running into a issue after I bought it used. When I got back home, started it up and drove down the road the next morning, there was a higher pitched whine coming from what is sounds like the front end at 35-40mph and above. The pitch gets higher when speed is increased. It's definitely prominent. Seems that engine rpms have no effect on it. 4wd doesn't seem to effect it either. There was fluid in the front diff. It has a 4in lift. (Not sure if that helps any) Check for play in wheel hubs, seemed fine. Noise didn't change when braking suddenly, or turning sharply left and right. If there are any questions, please let me know. Any help would be great.


Here's a video of the problem
I've got the same exact noise. Did you find the issue?
 
Same, mine started about a month ago. It sounds like its coming from the front of my tranny but it doesn't change with engine rpm or even shifting to neutral while moving. Only actual speed makes a difference in pitch. Mine is a 4.0 42rle. Last year I changed the front diff fluid with Lucas and everything looked pretty good in there when I did it. I guess it's time to take the cover off and inspect again.
 
Mine just started doing this on my 08' JK. Very similar symptoms; only above 10mph, only when warn, acceleration/braking do not effect the noise, constant pitch regardless of speed.
I can't replicate the noise on jack stands. And nothing obvious I can see to date.
Draining the front diff tonight.
 
I put mine up on jack stands and ran it up to 30mph in 2wd, no noise. Ran it up to 30mph in 4wd and there it was. Not being smart and laying underneath it while it was running the noise was coming from the transfer case. I drained the fluid and it smelled really burnt. I filled it back with Dex6 and about 1/3 qt of Lucas I had laying around and now it doesn't do it until you drive it for a while at speed. Just driving around the back roads like I mostly do it doesn't make any noise but if I get it out on the highway at 65mph then when I slow down it's back. From what I can gather online it's probably the bearings that hold the shaft going out to the front diff. I am pretty handy but I really don't feel like tearing in to it. I think I may just buy a reman and put it in.
 
Good to know.
I drained and filled the front diff to no avail. Noise persists, now I might know why. T-Case, not the Diff.
I don't think I'll be under my truck while running ;) but narrowing it down.
 
It could be your serpentine belt tensioner puly. Mine was making a whinning noise until it gave out.
If it were the harmonic balancer you would hear it whenever the engine were running when the pulley were moving towards the timing chain cover. You might also see the serpentine belt fraying due to misalignment.
You can inspect the balancer to see if the rubber between the balancer and hub is separating or the balancer is moving inward / outward on the hub.
In an extreme case you might see aluminum particles where there is rubbing on the timing chain case.
IF you determine this is the problem; I would suggest replacing the crankshaft pulley seal pressed into the timing chain cover.
 
Wouldn't the tensioner pulley or harmonic balancer change with engine rpm. On mine at least it only changes with wheel speed. Doesn't matter what engine rpm, what gear I am in, or even if I am in gear. Only the wheel speed.
 
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You need to pull the front driveshaft
I was actually hoping it was the back joint on the front driveshaft, its' the only one I haven't changed yet but I thought if that's what it was I wouldn't have noticed a difference by changing the tcase fluid. It's going to be nice this weekend so I will probably go ahead and pull it and check it anyway.
 
I was actually hoping it was the back joint on the front driveshaft, its' the only one I haven't changed yet but I thought if that's what it was I wouldn't have noticed a difference by changing the tcase fluid. It's going to be nice this weekend so I will probably go ahead and pull it and check it anyway.
You don’t want a front shaft failure- it goes very bad typically and takes out the transfer case
 
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I did some reading on the oil in the transfer case subject and since I already had oil in the garage and it was only 10 minutes of work I decided to go ahead and do it. No change in the noise. I pulled my front driveshaft this morning and nothing obvious jumps out that is wrong with it. The output shaft spins freely with no noise. I am going to go ahead and replace everything on the driveshaft while I have it out. It appears to not have been out for years.