Okay guys so I finally had time to get a quick video of the engine compartment with this problem occurring. Noise is high pitched, and gets louder with accelerations while I'm driving. Guys on the forum that had read my post (pre video) suggested maybe the idler pulley/bearing, which it may be. Just recently started, and is plain old annoying more than anything else.
Sorry it's out of focus, I was shooting with my DSLR and didn't bother to adjust while holding my flashlight with my chin. Noise is occasional while driving, but does get louder than in this video.
Well I put in a new idler pulley (the 3", not the 3.5") from AutoZone for $19. The main noise has gone away as far as I can tell, but there is a noise left that sounds more belt-like. I suppose I'll replace that this weekend, too. Did the swap in the AutoZone parking lot in North Reading since I carry a socket set in the TJ, but the wind nearly blew the hood down on me.
Also met a nice guy with a 2012 JKU Rubicon while under the hood of mine, and told him about NSJ. Said he'd be interested in meeting up with us at some point.
Photos of the old pulley, and new one installed.
Also a photo of the TJ in yesterday's mini snow fall. Best 'snow' picture I've got so far this winter
First off, a MASSIVE thanks to Clayton and Geoff for spending their day under my TJ today.
Second off, a MASSIVE thanks to my girlfriend's dad for letting me use his heated (70 degrees!) garage. Worked in jeans and a tee-shirt all day. What an awesome thing, considering the temperatures outside.
We started around 10 and worked until 4:30 (including a 1 hour AutoZone/lunch break) and successfully ripped apart my transfer case and removed the extra long output shaft and Slip Yoke. It's great to finally have completed this mod that I have been avoiding for years.
We started off by debating whether or not to put the TJ on ramps in the rear for working room. Due to my suspension characteristics and tire size, this was unnecessary as we had plenty of room to work under there. Then it was a simple process of jacking the transmission, lowering the skid, draining the transfer case, removing driveshafts, removing the harmonic balancer (rent the freakin' tool from AutoZone. Took care of this in literally 1 minute). Then crack the tail housing off, crack the case in half, remove the splined output shafts from front and back, and swap the shaft!
Re-assembly time was quick, and we spent a while waiting for Clayton's (rightfully) excessive RTV gasket job seal. No leaks to be seen here! Filled 'er up, and she is good to go! The needed tools list write up at 4x4explor was worth it's weight in gold for this project.
All that remains now is for me to remove the welded on TC drop brackets, and fab up some new nuts to mount in the frame so that I can have a flush mounted tc skid! Soon enough I'll be building my own, but that's not happening this week.