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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting a pretty bad vibration and whirring / thumping sound between 55 and 70 mph. If I'm going slower I don't really notice it, and if I go over 70 then it starts to smooth back out again. It vibrates the whole car pretty bad, but I'm sure by sound I have narrowed it down to the front drivers side. When I roll the window down though the sound gets quieter due to wind noise... so don't think its a wheel bearing, plus all the front bearings seem tight. The front axles have no leaks, and are both very tight with no play also. The front drive shaft doesn't have any up and down play, but it has about 3/16 horizontal play between the differential and the transfer case. I checked the rear driveshaft for comparison and it have no play in any direction. So the only thing I can assume is that little bit of horizontal play must be the problem. One other thing is the lower control arm busing towards the rear are going bad on both sides. I don't think that would be the problem as it the vibration is focused on the drivers side and really feels like a rotation / out of balance problem. Just though it was worth mentioning. Also I believe it is getting progressively worse / louder. I was just interested in a second opinion from someone who might have gone through a similar problem, or knows if the horizontal play is normal in this vehicle. The only thing I can think to do right now is to remove the front driveshaft and test drive it to see if that stop the vibration. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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Symptoms sound pretty much like driveshaft issues, but could be a tire as well. First thing I would try is rotating/ road force balancing just to make sure. I had a thumping sound after putting on a new set of Continentals, and after road force balance one of the tires was found to be bad, and had to be replaced. The vibration was bad at 60-70, and went away.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Symptoms sound pretty much like driveshaft issues, but could be a tire as well. First thing I would try is rotating/ road force balancing just to make sure. I had a thumping sound after putting on a new set of Continentals, and after road force balance one of the tires was found to be bad, and had to be replaced. The vibration was bad at 60-70, and went away.
Thanks for chiming in. I just noticed that the rubber seal on the back of the driveshaft is split also. Have had these tires on the car for quite awhile with no problem, so a road force probably isn't required... but I did get a regular balance which they needed. It smoothed out the overall ride, but didn't fix the vibration issue. Because of the split boot the driveshaft has a couple things going against it... so I'm going to go ahead and replace the driveshaft. Worst case the driveshaft needed replaced for maintenance ... best case that solves the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just an update on the situation. I ended up replacing the driveshaft due to boot being tore up. That did not solve the issue. I ended up getting help from a local mechanic that explained to me that these 4x4 front hubs wont show normal movement / play when the bearings are going bad and had us do a road test to test the bearings. Basically run the car at slow speed like 20 mph, but I was doing at 50mph too, then turn back and forth like your staring to change a lane. When you go a certain way the sound may change or get quiet. That lets you know it’s the bearings. Pretty sure when you put the extra load on it then it must take the slop of of it for a bit. On this one the passenger side was louder at low speed, and the drivers side that was really bad and was louder at high speed. Turning a certain way when the sound changes tells you which side is the problem, but I’m not sure right off which way that is. So that confirmed that it was the bearings... so replaced both of then and now its good to go. Also when the bearing was off and I spun it you could really hear the problem in the really bad one.
 

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Just an update on the situation. I ended up replacing the driveshaft due to boot being tore up. That did not solve the issue. I ended up getting help from a local mechanic that explained to me that these 4x4 front hubs wont show normal movement / play when the bearings are going bad and had us do a road test to test the bearings. Basically run the car at slow speed like 20 mph, but I was doing at 50mph too, then turn back and forth like your staring to change a lane. When you go a certain way the sound may change or get quiet. That lets you know it’s the bearings. Pretty sure when you put the extra load on it then it must take the slop of of it for a bit. On this one the passenger side was louder at low speed, and the drivers side that was really bad and was louder at high speed. Turning a certain way when the sound changes tells you which side is the problem, but I’m not sure right off which way that is. So that confirmed that it was the bearings... so replaced both of then and now its good to go. Also when the bearing was off and I spun it you could really hear the problem in the really bad one.
Thanks for the update, good info.
If you're still out there, how many miles on the Jeep?
 
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