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Me Fix 12-22-2011 02:35 PM

Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
Trouble shooting help may be needed.

My 2004 Overland has come down with a scraping sound. Driving around by myself at very slow speeds, I have tried to pin down the location of this new sound. It sounds like a scrapping sound that is timed to the rotation of the tires. By watching the rear tire valve stem in my drivers side mirror, I have been able to time the scrapping sound to the rotation of the wheels as it comes and goes per each revolution. My Jeep has 3.73 gears with the trailer package and so if this sound were from either of the drive shaft U joint assemblies, I think the sound would be maybe as many as 3 or more per tire rev. It's not like that, so I am thinking it is coming from the CV joint on the drivers side. With the right side window down, it just doesn't sound like it is on that side of the Jeep. I just put in new hub bearings about three months ago. If this is my problem, I'll be glad I used lots of anti seeze compound. Maybe I damaged the CV joint taking things apart to replace the hub. I did use a hub puller and things came apart pretty good, but ....

So does anyone have any better way of determining which joint, if it is a joint, that is giving the scrapping sound? Years ago, I remember we could hear a squeeking sound from a bad U joint, usually when you back up. Maybe even a spring sound when you put it in gear usually because the needle bearings were either dry or maybe just gone. I don't have any of those sounds right now. My Overland has a front drive shaft with the double cardan joint at the transfer case and a single cardan joint at the front with a slip yoke boot. From my books, they call that a Type 2 front shaft. I suspose the noise could be coming from either end of the front shaft, but like I mentioned, if that were the problem, I think I'd hear the noise come and go more frequently per tire rev. I have not tried to left the front up off the ground yet, but I can if someone has some ideas about trouble shooting this issue. When you jack up anything, you can change the geometry which can change the strain on the different parts which may keep you from feeling or hearing a bad bearing or whatever you hear with the ride on the ground.

Any ideas would be appreciated

01grand 12-22-2011 03:29 PM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
Sounds similar to what I heard when the front driveshaft went out on my ZJ. I was able to jack up the truck and rotate a wheel, and heard it coming from the joint at the t-case end. I think it would be worth a shot to try.

Me Fix 12-22-2011 03:59 PM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
I will do that tomorow and follow up. I think if i left on the axel housing, that would keep most everything in the same position and so any strain on any part or parts would still sound off.

It sure would be an easier job if it were a shaft joint and it would also make me feel better knowing that I didn't do some damage doing the hubs.


comitche91 12-22-2011 05:19 PM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
I have had this same problem before. First thing, first, is to check and make sure its not your calipers and rotors rubbing together. Also check and make sure your caliper bolts are tight.

Me Fix 12-22-2011 09:29 PM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
Thanks for that one too. because I had the calipers off to do the hubs, it's sure possible i didn't get those bolts tight. It's aslo possible that a pad is dragging or rubbing on the rotor. My brakes do not pulse when stopping, so I feel the rotors are in pretty good shape, but you are right in that i should look at this when under the front end.

Again, thanks for the suggestions. You never know when someone will suggest something you overlook. I will report back after I have a look with the Jeep off the ground.


Me Fix 12-23-2011 10:18 AM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
Well, I have got her up on the stands. I have rotated the tires by hand in both directions. I have turned the wheels in both directions to "strain" the CV joints out by the wheels. I have checked all caliper holding bolts. Both calipers look consistant all the ay around on both faces each side. I can hear or feel nothing at each wheel. The only thing I do feel is the wheels seem to turn easy at first and then kinda tighten up as i keep turning, but "I think" that is normal per the Quadra Drive system and the torque couplings inside. Both CV boots just behind the hubs still look good. No cracks or aparent leaks. The seals around the yoke at the front differential and transfer case also look good with no signs of leakage.

The only thing I do feel is at the front end of the drive shaft when I am holding the end caps of the joint that is fixed to the shaft with my finger tips. As I try to turn the shaft back and forth there may be a small back and forth movement or free play there. I could say "clunk" but it's very small to the feel, but I do not think there should be any play there at all and so I am going to remove the drive shaft and go from there. I will mark the orentation of the joint and yoke and I'm hoping that I will not loose any lub at the transfer case with the shaft out.

01grand 12-23-2011 10:44 AM

Yep, the wheels tightening up would be due to quadra drive. Sounds to me like that front driveshaft is looking quite suspicious right now.

Me Fix 12-23-2011 12:09 PM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
Thanks for all the chat here at the forum. Because of all the stuff going on today and tomorrow, I think the shaft removel will have to wait a couple of days. Things are just too busy right now. Level 3 Moderator? Are you or have you been a Jeep mechanic. I know you responded to my emissions code issue a year ago and your idea was right on the money with a cracked hose over the rear axle housing. most people would not know that.

With this shaft yoke at the transfer case removed, I still wonder about loosing any lub there. I have changed that fluid before, but i do not remember it the overflow hole and full level is at, above or below the front output shaft. maybe if I have the front end up a little higher than the back, I can keep from loosing any of that lubricant.

If after I get the shaft out and do feel my problem is with any or all of the joints, is there one kind of joint better than others. I remember in the past, we always looked for Spicer joints without greese fittings. I say without because pumping in greese can push the needle bearing right out and you really never know if you are pushing greese into all four caps. Maybe it's just getting into one. The best joints never had greese fittings. Is that still true?

Thanks Again to Aaron and all for the helpful hints and ideas.
Merry Christmas and Happy new Year to all.

Frango100 12-23-2011 12:38 PM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
You should not loose any T-case fluid, because you leave the U-joint joke on the T-case, isn't it?

Me Fix 12-23-2011 01:28 PM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
You know, that might be right. I have the Tpye 2 shaft with the double Cardan joint in the back. maybe that is how you remove it. I didn't look that close yet.

I did put the back end up so that all tires are off the ground. I started it up and had it in gear with all tires running in both forward and reverse. Not one sound from anywhere. I guess it must come from the strain on the drive train and that's something I don't have with all the wheels off the ground. I thought it was worth a try, but like I said, I couldn't hear that sound I was hearing. With the back end up, I did kinda look forward at the back of the transfer case and it does appear that the sight hole for "full" is at or about the same hight of the output shaft per the front shaft. So if the yoke does have to come with the shaft, I may loose some fluid while I have the shaft out.

Thanks Frank, again I'll follow up later with my findings or other questions per this issue. I just hate vibrations and sounds like this that can come form so many different places. The help from others here can only make the find and fix much easier and maybe even save some money.


01grand 12-23-2011 04:43 PM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
Thanks for your kind words, although I have no formal mechanic training. I am just a Jeep enthusiast, and have had numerous problems with both that I have owned so I have learned a lot. My Grandpa was a mechanic and enjoyed working on cars, and passed that trait onto my father, who passed it to me. Much of what I have learned comes from their help. I have never removed the front driveshaft on my WJ, but I think my ZJ had a similar design, and I had to take it in to have that double joint replaced and the shaft re balanced once. The yokes should stay in the front diff and the front of the transfer case, the only slip yoke I know of is the rear output from the T case.

A sealed joint would probably be the best idea, then you don't have to add that to your to do list with other regular maintenance.

Me Fix 12-23-2011 05:33 PM

Re: Trouble shooting 4 X 4 CV joint or .....
I was under there again before I let her down. I looked at the shaft up at the case as best I could. I say that because there is a skid plate behind the rear support that kinda hides what I wanted to look at, but it does appear that the shaft can be removed by taking out the bolts much like I see at the other end. Maybe the yoke does not slide out like I'm used to seeing on other cars. Perhaps the rear shaft is more like I'm used to seeing.

After letting her down, I went for a drive again and the sound is the same. So it just doesn't sound off without a load or strain. Now that my wife has some time off, I'll have her drive up and down the driveway while I try to listen again. It sure does sound like a clicking or scraping sound that is in sink with the tire revolutions rather than with the shaft revs. Like I mentioned before 3.73 gears on this Overland. I've never delt with CV joints, but my guess is that they might sound off like a U joint if and when they go bad. This overland has something like 124,000, most of which was on it before I took charge last winter. I have no idea who did what to this Overland, although it seems to be in pretty good shape.

Again, I'll continue to watch for any other ideas that might find this thread and I'll follow up as soon as I try something else or actually find the problem. And yes, Spicer is stamped all over the shaft and joint parts. I know they used to be number one and maybe still are. Putting joints in is not too difficult, but then there might be an issue with balance.


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