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  #25  
Old 12-28-2011, 05:10 PM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

haha, yeah it didn't narrow it down too much. Here is an update-

I dropped it off at 8:30 am yesterday morning. A Jeep Certified tech took it and I talked to them to make sure they wanted to tackle this with the lift and all. They said no prob, the tech was actually kind of excited about it (yay!)
They said they start right away and would call when they had an update...
I called at about 3:30 pm, they said the tech found loose subframe bolts and tightened them to get part of the noise fixed but there was something else he was still chasing. It was raining and he needed to drive it with the windows down so they asked if they could keep it overnight. I said go for it.

I called at 3:00 pm today and they said they had taken it to an empty parking lot and had one tech drive while one tech hung on from underneath while laying on a creeper. Then they were driving with the passenger tech hanging out the window trying to better grasp the noise. I offered the videos I had taken with my phone but they seemed to think they had a handle on it without them...

In a nutshell, after two complete days of searching I'm not sure they have made much progress. The service rep I talked to didn't know what "loose" subframe bolts the tech had found. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt that this is a complicated issue to track down. I would just feel more confident if they were inspecting bearings, cv joints, diff, shaft, etc instead of riding around trying to find the source.

I hope they don't charge the full shop rate for ghost riding my whip in empty parking lots.

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  #26  
Old 12-28-2011, 05:27 PM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

Kinda sounds like fun! Hope they find it!!
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  #27  
Old 12-28-2011, 05:49 PM
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I just got a call. They said they fixed most of the noise by tightening the loose bolts and they dimpled the exhaust where it hits the driveshaft under heavy torque. He said there is still a noise that they simply cannot find.
Grand total is $300.00+tax for 3 hours labor.

I'm on my way there now and I'm not paying until I drive it. Even after
That I'll try and cut that labor rate in half.
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  #28  
Old 12-28-2011, 07:10 PM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

Hmm. Let us know what you find out. Hopefully it's gone. Still the grabbing of the front wheel and such doesn't seem indicative of loose sub frame bolts. Hopefully the point out which were loose.
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  #29  
Old 12-28-2011, 07:17 PM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

I picked it up at the dealership and was allowed to circle the parking lot before paying...I heard no noise, so I talked them down to $211+tax for tightening the subframe bold (right next to the rear bolt of the front driver's LCA). He also bent the exhaust hanger closest to where the bend has to be placed in the exhaust for the front driveshaft when the Superlift is installed.
I told the Service Associate that the exhaust hit the driveshaft at full throttle due to the physical front end "lifting" under heavy torque and wasn't associated with the problem, but still thanked him for taking care of it. I also showed him the under-car video posted above and showed him the driveshaft does not touch the exhaust when the noise is happening.

I left at closing time of the Svc Department and sure enough, when I got about a mile away, the same noise started up

I have a new issue that goes with it. When I accelerate hard my driveline is rough as a cob! It feels like I'm driving over miniature speed strips that are cut in the shoulder of the freeway. It also reminds me of "buffeting" when the back windows are cracked while at highway speeds but in the drivetrain. That is as best as I can describe it.

The end result is I have SOMETHING going on and 3 days, two dealerships, and $235.00 later I am no closer to an answer, insteadthe problem is worse. I will call them back in the morning but I'm pretty sure they are going to say they have done all they can do with it.


I need a beer.
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  #30  
Old 12-28-2011, 07:34 PM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

Man! Sorry to hear - kinda sounds like a tooth broke off in the front diff or something. Did you ever open that up?
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  #31  
Old 12-28-2011, 07:49 PM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

Yikes! Sorry to hear that! I second opening up the diff and taking a good look at the ring gear. Could also disco the front DS at the pumpkin and check for excessive aide to side play. Vibes under acceleration point me more towards DS, cv axle (bad tripon can cause that), or pinion bearing. Hopefully its just a cv axle or something simple. What sucks with the SL setup is you have to remove the vibration dampener on the diff. I notice a little vibe on acceleration but not bad. That dampener weighed a good 15-20 lbs. to so who knows with that off how much it affects drive line vibes in the long run. Have you ever jacked the front up to fill the diff yet? Or did they when the SL was installed? The hole drilled into the diff for the rear pinion bearing is pretty high in the diff and you need to overfill the diff some to avoid starving the rear bearing.
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  #32  
Old 12-28-2011, 08:07 PM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

Here's a pic of the hole that feeds the rear pinion bearing in the front diff. Its just to the left of the pinion. Real easy to starve that spot since the SL brackets tilt the front down good couple degrees.
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  #33  
Old 12-29-2011, 09:18 AM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

I just brought it back to the dealership and talked to them. I spoke directly with the tech and asked if he took the diff apart yesterday. he did not. He said he put a hearing device on the diff but couldn't determine the source of the knock.

I asked what it would take to inspect the diff gears and bearings and they said it would be 2 hours shop rate, which is $200. That only includes diagnosing the problem, not fixing anything. He said if there was an issue in the diff that it was recommended to replace the entire assembly (yikes!).

So as of now if I keep it here I'll be $435 into it without even starting repair.

I'm looking up different shops to call as I type...


***another new thing I noticed, it has to warm up before it really starts having the issue. Could that mean it could be more of a fluid related issue?
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  #34  
Old 12-29-2011, 01:38 PM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

It could. Get a 14mm hex key socket and use a 14 mm or 9/16" wrench to turn the key on the fill plug. You'll need to remove the belly pan. The oil should pour out on flat ground. If not its low. When I did my SL install I bought some ramps and drove the front end up on them to fill the fluid. Since it's tilted downward now a couple degrees its crucial to overfill just a hair as no to starve that rear bearing.

I've also heard that Chrysler techs aren't supposed to rebuild these diffs. Why I don't know. I'm sure that if it does need rebuilding a reputable gear shop could rebuild it for 1/3-1/2 the cost of a new diff. I'd def check the fluid first though.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:29 AM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

I'm making progress now. First thing I did was go back to the dealership, have a sit down with the Service Manager and get my $235 returned to me.
Next I got on the line with the guy (Rock Your 4x4) that helped out with my SL install. I should have had him look at it with me in the first place. He is strictly a Jeep guy and very familiar with these diffs, transfer cases, etc.

I'm going to his place tomorrow and he's going to ride with me to have me show him all noises, vibrations, etc and we'll go from there.

Tosh, I'm going to pop the diff plug tonight to see how the fluid level is. Of course, if that is all it is, I'll top it off in a decline position like you said and if that clears it up we'll be finished.
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  #36  
Old 12-30-2011, 11:56 AM
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Re: Troubleshooting bad Half Shaft/Steering Rack/Front Bearings

That's great news that you got your money back. Keep us updated, as I'm super curious now lol. Might actually wanna check the fluid on some ramps as well. It should come pouring out on flat ground and maybe trickle out on an incline.
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