Front end noise, help!
Hey guys, new member here. Actually my first post. I'm new here but not new to jeeps or forums. I just got a 2002 GC limited a month ago, and love it so far. Had Cherokees before and loved them a lot. This one had a set of 20x8.5 rims on it when I got it that needed some cleaning, especially after an axle seal leak and a bad tranny cooler line covered most of the front end with fluid. I replaced both axle seals and added fresh fluid. Everything inside looked good, no uneven wear and bearing seemed good too. Drove it for about 150 miles and decided to put the stock wheels back on so I could take some time cleaning the 20's. After driving for about 50 miles I noticed a low speed clunk, almost like a wheel with loose lug nuts, so I stopped and checked, lugs where tight. I drove it another 10 miles to my parents house so the kids could visit, as I pulled onto their rode the noise developed into a loud rotational grinding noise. Bad enough that I had my mom take my wife and kids home and I called AAA to have it towed home. I thought it was a wheel bearing, nope, both were tight and spun smoothly. Took the diff. out looked it over, no metal in the fluid, was pretty brown and nasty already though. Pinion seemed tight, carrier bearings where good, did notice that it looked like the bearing race had spun against the shim at some point but the race didn't have any marks on it. Gears looked good no strange wear, did notice a good amount of play in the spiders and the ring and pinion which would explain the whine I've been hearing. The u-joint on the front driveshaft seemed ok, no play. I couldn't find anything wrong so I cleaned everything up good and put it back together, this time torquing the bearing caps to 65 ft. lbs. as I had a suspicion that my torque wrench was light and the 45 I torqued them to before wasn't enough and the spinning race was possibly my sound. Also put fresh mobile one in again too. While putting everything back together I did find that I need to replace at least three of my tie rods. Took for a ride and the noise was gone. Drove it another 70-80 miles and it started to make the same noise on my way to work this morning. This is driving me crazy, is there anything I'm over looking that I should check? Sorry for the short novel but I always try to provide as much info as possible. Thanks for your help. Oh yeah it's a 4.0 quadra Trac II.