Rear Diff? U Joint? Bearings? T-Case? -
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Go Back > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > ZJ Grand Cherokee Forum > Rear Diff? U Joint? Bearings? T-Case?

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Unread 03-04-2013, 06:07 PM   #1
Registered User
1996 ZJ 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Shelton, Washington
Posts: 18
Rear Diff? U Joint? Bearings? T-Case?

Well I did some searching but because my symptoms are really hard to explain (in google language) I am going to hit up the folks here.

This weekend I put my 96 ZJ (4.0 Laredo) in reverse to back out of a parking space and "thunk", it just came to a stop. I thought I actually hit something. Got out and checked nothing was back there. I put it in drive and pulled back into my space, no problem. Back to reverse no problem and drove it home (30 miles at highways speeds). This morning I was heading into work (cold out 28 degrees) back down my driveway (also I park on an incline and use my parking brake to relieve stress on tranny/tcase/drive shafts etc.) No worries there, put it into drive and it made some kind of weird metal-on-metal "sqeak/squeal". It definitely sounds like its coming from the rear end.

As I jump on the highway I begin to hear more noise (from the rear) a sort of hum or whirrr under stress (climbing up a hill at 60mph), then at times I would hear like a "chirp chirp chirp" then it would stop. Got to work and parked it and got a ride home.

No codes btw, my daily driver, no major wheeling or mods done. Bone stock.

So my initial thoughts:
  • Drive line u joint at the diff?
  • Would a u-joint stop me cold in reverse? Could they bind up that bad and still get me home?
  • Low or no diff fluid?
  • Bad wheel bearing?
  • Totally fudged up rear end...grr?
  • Eff'd up t-case or something more mid ship/tranny etc.?

Any idears? Education helps too! Thanks guys! If you are ever in Shelton, WA I got a cold one for 'ya.


1996 Jeep ZJ
Laredo 4.0 6cyl
OME 2.5" lift
ARB Bull bar/winch


'96 ZJ 4.0 Laredo
JoeZedJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-04-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 3,483
id guess its the bearings in the differential. ive read that they can cause a howling noise when they go bad. as for stopping dead, if i had to take a wild guess, id say a tooth on one of the gears is chipped and stopped just right to get bound up. someone with more axle experience will chime in im sure
Reliability is relative
R.I.P. Ratmonkey
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Unread 03-06-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
Registered User
1996 ZJ 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Shelton, Washington
Posts: 18
Hey just wanted to let everyone knows its fixed!

Problem was my e-brake shoes. Yep, they delaminated and fell apart and were bouncing around the caliper. Fun times easy fix. Also my parking brake lever doesnt pull up as far anymore :-)


'96 ZJ 4.0 Laredo
JoeZedJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

rear axle , rear diff , transfer case , u joints , zj

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