'97 Rear End Trouble - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 2 Old 06-25-2001, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
Brian's 97 ZJ
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Location: SW Michigan
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'97 Rear End Trouble

Quik question here...

I have a '97 GCL, 4.0L, Auto, 4WD and I've just had some trouble with the rear end. I had the vehicle serviced due to a loud "klunk" and lurching motion in the vehicle while driving one night, which was followed by a growling noise coming from the rear. Upon the dealer inspecting the rear differential they discovered that (2) bolts that hold the ring gear in place had been sheared off (the heads of the bolts were broken off)!! Has anyone else experienced this, or heard of this happening? The driving conditions were: flat level ground, 55-60mph with nothing in tow. As it is right now, the differential was rebuilt with the exception of the ring and pinion gear. Now when I'm driving I hear a continuous "growl" from the differential (dealer said the gears were ok, but worn). I was told that the noise would go away if I had the gears replaced. So, to sum things up...

1.) Anyone heard of or had any similar problems such as this? ...in the same situation?

2.) Since the noise isn't terrible, I'm not sure if I'm going to replace the gears or not. But if I do...
A.) I may want to replace the gears with a different ratio. I believe the
gears are a 3.55 ratio currently and I may want to go to 3.73 or similar
I.) Where can I buy gears from other than the dealer??
II.) Will this affect my anti-lock brakes?
III.) Will this affect the computer in any way?

Anyway, any and all help on the issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


P.S. I've caught wind of people having a "grinding" problem with the differential and it really turned out to be the brakes? Do you think that this is possible? If it is, and it turns out to be my brakes and not a differential....bad bad things are gonna' happen.

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post #2 of 2 Old 06-25-2001, 08:21 PM
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Since the ABS looks at a difference in speed between wheels/axles it wouldn't matter what ratio you used, just as long as front and back are the same.
You should be able to get ring&pinion stuff done at any transmission shop in town, I know here there are several that specialize in only doing r&p.
If you change gear ratios it will have an impact on several things. 1) speedometer/odometer/trip meter will all be off unless you can get it corrected. In the past I believe they used a converter box of some sort to do it, but with newer stuff I think the ECU or some other computer does it, so it would need a reprogramming. 2) Fuel economy will probably suffer, unless the change in ratio brings the motor into its most efficient range of operation. 3) You will lose top speed. Not a big deal for most people, but if you like doing 110mph down the freeway you might want to reconsider. 4) Accelleration/towing power will increase.
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