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Unread 06-21-2009, 08:27 AM   #1
Jeep_Dad
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Axle Howl - This newbie needs your help, please

Hi All,

This is my first post here, and I have been searching for about an hour for an answer. I helped my son pick up a 97 Limited Grand Cherokee with a 4.0L engine, Q-Drive.

Its very clean, 96,000 miles, was wreaked at one time around 61K miles. Drives great, but has the howl around 55mph. We have a '96 GC/4.0L with a bad engine, so I thought we'd be able to swap out anything we'd need to fix the '97 we just picked up.

What I've learned is that it's most likely an axle shaft bearing. Does this sound right?

How do I know which rear axle I have - or is there only one type?

The posts I've found for servicing this bearing look to be for WJ's. How does the ZJ differ?

Thanks in advance - I've always used my HDForums buddies to help out on my motorcycle - I trust this group is just as helpful.

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Unread 06-21-2009, 08:42 AM   #2
JG_Canuck
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Diff howl is not uncommon in higher mileage vehicles. I'd bet it's more likey pinion related though.

The 4.0 is proabably mated to the D35, though a D44a is possible, esp if the vehicle is equipped with the towing package. There should be a tag on the diff housing telling you what kind of axle it is.
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Unread 06-21-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
Jeep_Dad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG_Canuck View Post
Diff howl is not uncommon in higher mileage vehicles. I'd bet it's more likey pinion related though.

The 4.0 is proabably mated to the D35, though a D44a is possible, esp if the vehicle is equipped with the towing package. There should be a tag on the diff housing telling you what kind of axle it is.

JG_C - what's involed in a pinion issue, are we talking the bearing that supports the pinion?
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Unread 06-21-2009, 08:49 AM   #4
TslAtticus
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You're in luck because there is only one rear axle for 4.0 ZJ's (Dana 35 or d35) so everything will swap over from the 96 onto the 97. Hope that helped, i haven't had to replace my bearings yet.
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Unread 06-21-2009, 08:57 AM   #5
Jeep_Dad
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TA - great news - I took a risk on this one as I got the guy down to only $2900 for the Limited, knowing we had the '96 backup. The '96 does have 217K on the odometer, but we'll pop the cover and do a good inspection and clean if need be before putting it in. Should be good enough for a college kid on a budget.
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Unread 06-21-2009, 09:11 AM   #6
TslAtticus
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Yeah it should be fine. I've driven over 30k miles on my d35 with a bad pinion bearing. The thing howls and growls at all speeds and I offroad with it and it's still held up.
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Unread 06-21-2009, 11:58 AM   #7
Jeep_Dad
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Seems that people have a hard time distinguising between the front or rear pinions. Any big secret on how you make a determination?
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Unread 06-21-2009, 03:01 PM   #8
Jeep_Dad
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I took a more deliberate ride this afternoon to see if I could learn more about the sound and when it happens. I had my wife in the backseat, to listen to the noise, not to 'break it in'.

The noise is loudest at 45 mph. If I floated the throttle slightly it would be loudest when getting back on the throttle. My wife reported that the noise seemed to be coming from the very rear of the truck over the passeger side tire. It seemed way too sensative to be a tire. Do axle bearings whine?
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Unread 06-21-2009, 08:02 PM   #9
Jeep_Dad
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bump it to the top
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