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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > ZJ Grand Cherokee Forum > Ok, now that I've pulled the rear axles...

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Unread 11-07-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
congerz83
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Ok, now that I've pulled the rear axles...

I've been having a constant oscillating whine in my 96ZJ. I've got the 242. It is consistant with speed, it only seems do lighten with deceleration. Also if the truck bounces when I make a turn, it seems to be relative to the sound getting louder or softer.

So I decided to pull the axles being that I needed to change the fluid any way. The axles look ok to my untrained eye. Could my wheel bearing possibly be bad? The wheels behind the disc brake were dry as a bone and it seems the bearings rotated without any issues. Could they still be bad.

There were some metal shavings in the fluid, but it was powdery, no large shavings.

My questions are, should I replace the wheel bearings even though they "seem" fine and do not leak?

Could the axles themselves be bad?

Is there anywhere else I can look while I have the axles out. The pinion bearing is not leaking and there is no play in the yoke.

How do I check the integrity of each part I mentioned. What more should I check?

Lastly, there was no gasket on the diff cover. Only RTV. Should I reseal with RTV only, or should I use the RTV + gasket method?

I need to get this fixed. It's very embarassing to drive it like this, and I tired of driving my Delorean every day.

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Unread 11-07-2011, 03:50 PM   #2
melk
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While you've got em out? Re-gear....

Haha but seriously maybe fresh fluid will do it. What do you plan on running in the diffs?

RTV or a gasket, one or the other, not both. Lube Locker makes a real nice gasket.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
congerz83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melk View Post
What do you plan on running in the diffs?
I bought a couple of quarts of Coastal 75-90. So old fluid could really cause my noise?!? That would be awesome if all I had to do was give it a clean and put fresh fluid in it.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 05:43 PM   #4
melk
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Well I'll be honest axles/hubs/bearings are still a mystery to me but no visible problems are a good sign at least.

How did the old fluid look? Mine was pretty nasty at 100k and likely first ever change.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
melk
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Although, I do plan on replacing all my bearings at some point just as general maintenance considering the age & miles on them, and I plan on keeping the Jeep forever.

Is the whine/hum the same in 2wd, 4ft? Have you tried 4pt off road?

Should probably change the fluid in the front diff as well. And the transfer case takes 2qts ATF4. Easy to change.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 06:43 PM   #6
congerz83
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I have not tried it in all ranges yet. I guess being that pulling the axles was so easy, I may as well just give everything a good cleaning and bolt everything back up. Maybe fresh fluid will do the trick. I doubt it though.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
melk
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Well if you can hold off and wait a while see if someone else chimes in. I'm sure there probably is more you can scope out.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 06:56 PM   #8
congerz83
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Oh I've got time. I was curious if a wheel bearing can go bad even if it doesnt leak and spins freely in the tubes? I would think a bad bearing wouldn't always cause a leak if the seal was still good.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 07:02 PM   #9
Foundrydude
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Pinion bearings do that and are a known problem spot.

Would also be worth pulling the driveshaft and making sure the caps aren't dry and the needles are in good shape. Sometimes they get noisy a few thousand miles before outright failure.

With the DS out you can get a better feel for how tight the pinion is.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 07:59 PM   #10
congerz83
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Originally Posted by Foundrydude View Post
Pinion bearings do that and are a known problem spot.

Would also be worth pulling the driveshaft and making sure the caps aren't dry and the needles are in good shape. Sometimes they get noisy a few thousand miles before outright failure.

With the DS out you can get a better feel for how tight the pinion is.
Can I replace the pinion bearing myself?
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Unread 11-07-2011, 08:58 PM   #11
congerz83
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Everything I'm reading tells me it's nearly impossible to do the pinion bearing myself. @$#% I didn't want to have to spend a $1000+ on a rebuild!
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Unread 11-07-2011, 09:17 PM   #12
badbird17x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by congerz83
Everything I'm reading tells me it's nearly impossible to do the pinion bearing myself. @$#% I didn't want to have to spend a $1000+ on a rebuild!
Pinion bearings are pretty easy if you have the tools. I use a posi-lock puller, and an air hammer. Also should have a in/lb torque wrench for bearing preload. Let me know if you have the goods to tackle it. If you can't find a posi-lock, you can find a press too

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Unread 11-07-2011, 09:24 PM   #13
badbird17x
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If your pinion bearings are out you should be able to wiggle the ds. Crawl under and wiggle it. Any play in joint is a simple fix, any play in yoke, pinion bearings. Is there any side to side play in the carrier, or the spiders, which will fall out if the axles are still out.

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Unread 11-07-2011, 09:27 PM   #14
congerz83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badbird17x View Post
Pinion bearings are pretty easy if you have the tools. I use a posi-lock puller, and an air hammer. Also should have a in/lb torque wrench for bearing preload. Let me know if you have the goods to tackle it. If you can't find a posi-lock, you can find a press too

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All I have is a torque wrench. The issue is I'm clueless to what all of this is. Preload, back lash..... I have no idea what any of this means. I was scared to pull the axles out today, but I did, and now I know how.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 09:37 PM   #15
badbird17x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by congerz83

All I have is a torque wrench. The issue is I'm clueless to what all of this is. Preload, back lash..... I have no idea what any of this means. I was scared to pull the axles out today, but I did, and now I know how.
Start by wiggling the driveshaft.

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