On Friday I bought a temporary permit to drive it to my hometown. It was a 3 hour drive at around 70mph. When I slowed down and the wind noise died down I noticed a noise that wasn't there during the test drives. It happened when I was off the clutch pedal. As soon as I put a little bit of pressure on the clutch it stopped. Also, the center console was warm.
Here's one from the inside accelerating from a stop.
Here's one from the inside in neutral while pressing and releasing the clutch.
From outside in neutral.
I posted up a question on the forum. I was hoping someone would hear it and say "That's definitely (insert basic issue here) and all you have to do is (insert easy fix here)." No such luck but I did get a few suggestions from WhiteMtnJeep. Yesterday I tried an oil change. I went around to a few shops until I found 14mm and 17mm hex wrenches, a fluid transfer pump and 2 litres of Royal Purple Synchromax.
I loosened off the fill plug first to make sure I'd be able to fill it back up and then I dropped the drain plug. Looks like it's been a while since the oil has been changed. This picture shows the amount that spilled out of the fill hole.
I drained it completely, filled it back up, started it up and let it get to operating temperature. So far so good. No noise. ...But... I didn't get to go for a real test drive because while I was underneath I noticed that two of the skid plate bolts had let go. I'm hopeful that the noise is was sorted out by the oil change but I'll have to wait until I can drive it again to know for sure.
It's tough to tell from the picture but it looks like the last owner made an attempt to address issues with the skid plate nuts and it had let go at the passenger side front and middle bolt.
I tried relieving some of the pressure on the skid plate with a floor jack and screwing it back in but without the pressure the bolt just fell out. You can see some crappy welds between the washer and nut. I'm not sure what he was trying to do here.
This morning, after another suggestion from WhiteMtnJeep, I ordered the Nutsert replacement kit from Black Magic Brakes. So now it will sit on a jack stand until I can get the nutserts installed.