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Clicking noise at low speed from front axle wheel


 
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Joh's jeep
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Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Location: California bay area

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 8:35 pm    Post subject: Clicking noise at low speed from front axle wheel Reply with quote

Hello,

I need some advice: since a few weeks, and getting stronger, my 97 Cherokee Country 4.0 L, 4WD, makes a clicking noise from the left front wheel, especially when starting up in the morning. Slightest touch of the brake pedal and this click is gone. At more than 10 mph, the click-click-click disappears. Also, this noise seems to come up especialy after getting the steering wheel back from strong angles into neutral (parking).

Has anyone experienced this and can point me towards the problem? I wonder whether it's a U-joint or the brake caliper (piston stuck?) ? I also feel a little shudder in the steering when the "click" noise happens.

Thank you for your advice!

Johannes
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JeepinNH
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:58 pm    Post subject: noise Reply with quote

Could be either but most likely the u-joint. Lift the front wheel with it turned a bit and spin it. If it feels notchy the u-joint is seizing up. Will probably sound like a scraping crunching noise wehn you spin it. You can band aid it by working in some kind of lube or penetrating oil. The parts are cheap but it's somewhast labor intensive to replace. Good luck.
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Mike

Present: 99 Cherokee
Past: 86, 87 Cherokee; 94 Grand Cherokee
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beaumecxxx
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Joined: 21 May 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a similar problem and already posted a comment under the "Clunking front end" topic. My problem was the right front wheel making a clicking noise.

After I raised the front wheel I found that the front axle U-joint (at the wheel) was very worn. There is a lot of play both laterally and front to back (into the axleshaft). The wheel hub assembly (which I initially suspected) turned out to be solid, no play at all. I also checked the left wheel U-joints and there is also a lot of play (but no clicking yet).

So this means I will be replacing both U-joints as soon as I find the time.

QUESTION:

Are there any bearings holding the axleshafts (both left and right) in place inside the axle housing? Or do axleshafts just slide into the axle housing and "float" inside?

My 4WD Jeep Cherokee 1988 with 4.0 engine and 5 speed has the vacuum disconnect on the front axleshaft. That works correctly.

Cheers

Beaumecxxx
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JeepinNH
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:40 pm    Post subject: u-joints Reply with quote

Best bet is to get a book detailing what you need to do. If I remember correctly you pull all the brake stuff off. Then remove 3 bolts that hold the hub/bearing assembly to the steering nuckle. There is also a nut in the center for the shaft itself that you remove. After these are removed you pry the hub/bearing out of the nuckle, this is the hard part. After that is done the shaft slides right out with a sharp pull to release the clip inside (unless it's cv joints that have this clip?). Have a rag ready to stuff into the hole the shaft comes out of or oil will drip out.
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Mike

Present: 99 Cherokee
Past: 86, 87 Cherokee; 94 Grand Cherokee
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beaumecxxx
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Joined: 21 May 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi JeepinNH, your suggestion to get the books is good. I already have both Very Happy the Chilton and the Haynes for my Cherokee. I find the Haynes is clearer but it's great to be able to compare both books.

Specifically about front axle U-joint replacement, neither book indicates how the shaft is held inside the axle housing. Your explanations are correct as to the general procedure, but I was not sure how the shaft is kept in place inside the axle housing.

Also I was not aware there was any oil in the shaft disconnect motor (there is grease). The front axle has three shafts: the left, right and intermediary shaft (between the differential & the shift motor).

If I remove the left or right axle shafts, will I be flooded by oil? Will this empty the differential?

Thanks to all and cheers

Beaumecxxx
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JeepinNH
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:23 pm    Post subject: u-joints Reply with quote

Thinking back I think the axle just pulls out after the hub is removed. I think it has splines in there. As for the oil, it will just ooze out from the differential depending on how much is in there. Makes for a mess, all it takes is a rag stuffed in a little. The last one I did had the old style vacuum disconnect axle which yours doesn't. Maybe the oil came from that. It's been awhile but I will be doing mine in the near future.
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Mike

Present: 99 Cherokee
Past: 86, 87 Cherokee; 94 Grand Cherokee
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beaumecxxx
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Joined: 21 May 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Cherokee (1988, 4WD and 4.0 liter engine) has the vacuum disconnect also described as the shift motor. I did not think there was any liquid oil inside the shift motor. Am I right?

Maiting to get the U-joints to install them this week (I hope).

Cheers to all.

Beaumecxxx
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JeepinNH
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:15 am    Post subject: oil Reply with quote

There's some oil in there, it's a moving part so needs some. I think it just seeps in from the differential. I could be off though, been awhile.
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Mike

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Past: 86, 87 Cherokee; 94 Grand Cherokee
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jppilot61
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Joined: 06 Mar 2004
Location: Tappahannock, VA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just replaced the inner axle seal on my 92 XJ (NOT Vacuum Disconnected though) DANA 30

There is NOT supposed to be oil in the axle tube. Diff Lube Oil on one end, and Uni-Bearing/Hub with permanent manufacturer's lubrication on the other end of axle shaft. The Inner seals (about 2" in from Differential) are supposed to seal differential so no Diff. Lube Oil leaks out of differential. This is why I had to change mine, I was not aware or very careful when I pulled my axles out to install a Lock Right Locker. IF you remove axles be VERY CAREFUL placing them back in. If you are wreckless or not mindful of inner seals you too will get to expereince the pleasure of tearing it all back apart to replace these $4 seals. As I unserstand the Vacuum Disconnect only makes whole job more difficult!

I also installed aftermarket Axle Seal units on outer end of axle tube hopefully to preserve inner seals. The outter units keep sand, dirt and water out of axlew tubes. This is normally (stock) only slightly pretected by a plastic slinger disc.
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Joh's jeep
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Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Location: California bay area

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, it turned out that the "clicking noise" was the brake caliper, though I still do not understand what exactly made the noise; had it changed and the noise was gone.... thank's for the advice anyways!

Johannes
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