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Unread 09-12-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
dolceboy1
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Location: Fargo, North Dakota
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Carrier Bearing, Wheel Bearing, or E brake sticky?

Hello all, after reading many posts on Jeep sights I found this one to be by far the most helpful. So after not finding what I am looking for after literally days or searching an reading, I am breaking down and just posting a question that I am hoping someone will be able to help me with.

From what I have read the problem is either sticky ebrake, carrier bearing, wheel bearing, spider gear, low fluid in rear diff

Vehicle: 1999 Grand Cherokee Limited 4.0 w/ Quadratrac

Issue: Grinding noise from drivers side rear wheel

Backstory: This jeep sat outside in Minnesota for over two years, rust has occurred. prior to being parked, the noise was not as noticeable or at least not enough for me to remember it.

Description:

Immediately when the Jeep is moving, there is a distinct grinding noise coming from the left rear wheel. Speeding up only increasing the speed of the grinding sound. Applying the brakes has no effect in any way. Turning has no effect either.

When I jack the vehicle up, there is no play when pulling and pushing on the wheel/tire. However, even when in gear I can roll the wheel forward or backward about a quarter turn and can hear a noise closer the front of the vehicle that reminds me of a chain becoming tight

When I apply the Emergency brake, the wheel will not move at all (does this rule out a slightly sticking ebrake?

Even spinning the wheel by hand produces the noise in the wheel/hub area.

The rear diff looks very clean with no fluid leaks, the transfer case is very greasy on its lower half however.

I have not checked the fluid in the rear dif.

The ABS light is on

The rotor clearly needs to be replaced simply because it is clearly a bit rusty and squeeks but the noise does not change in any way when braking.

So, I have read differing opinions on if it is a wheel bearing, spider gears, carrier bearing, and a sticky e brake.

I have not brought it to be looked at mainly because I like the challenge of it(like most people on here)

Questions based on the information I provided:

Is there a way to verify if it is a carrier bearing without replacing it or replacing the axel?

Is there a way to determine if it is a wheel bearing without replacing it (I realize based on my 'test' one would guess it isnt a wheel bearing but I have read people saying its still possible)

Would a warped rotor make a grinding noise by rubbing on something else other than the brake pads?

If you HAD to take a guess, what would you say the problem is?


I would like to do anything I can to avoid replacing the axle.


I thank all of you in advance for taking a moment to offer your thoughts on this, its been a thorn in my side for 2 weeks. Just so you know I am not just a lazy guy with a Jeep that I let go to hell, I did swap out the motor myself, replaced nearly all of the front end components, and rewired the infamous ATC resistor issue. But I am just not a tranny/differential/transfer case guy...yet.


I can't wait for replies, I will walk directly to my garage and try whatever suggestions people have and report back with results immediately until it is fixed so this thread will be complete from problem to solution and a true benefit to the forum.

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Unread 09-13-2013, 02:59 AM   #2
mycreativename
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Well, as you probably already know, you're gonna have to do some testing and playing around to figure this one out.

First off, check the fluid, a) its simple and b) it needs to be done regardless. No its probably not the source of your mysterious noise. Open the fill hole and simply put your finger in there, the fluid should be up to or right next to the fill hole. If you need to fill it, put 75w-140 in there (though I wouldn't replace it at this current point unless needed to, wait until you're sure you don't need to open up the diff).

While you're at it, go buy some transfer case fluid from your local Jeep dealer. Make sure you get the fluid for the NV247, it will say it on the bottle. (There have been reports of the dealer occasionally giving out the wrong fluid). You'll need two quarts and a 10mm hex socket/allen key. When you go to change it, make sure you loosen and remove the top plug first, don't want to drain the case only to find out you can't refill it. The transfer case has been known to groan when the wrong fluid is put in (is as often the case if the vehicle was ever taken to a common lube up shop), though the sound is not what you describe. This is another case where doing it is easy and relatively cheap and then you know for a fact that the right fluid was put in and have a mileage interval from which to project the next fluid change. (Refer to this: Maintenance Schedule.

Alright, now that we got that out of the way, lets look into the rear. Have you jacked it up and taken the rotor off to see what is going on within there? You say the ABS light is on, do you know why its on? Could be one of the wheel sensors.

What I believe you should do is jack the rear up (both sides), get it on jack stands and then get down to it:

1. With both wheels up, try to spin each. They should spin freely. See if you hear any noise when doing so and can determine further where its coming from here. If you are able to spin both wheels freely, this also rules out the sticky parking brake. If not, adjusting the parking brake may be necessary. Also, just one more time (I know you said you tried), try to see if you have any play in the wheel bearings (do on both sides) by attempting to rock the wheel on the axle.

2. Take the wheel off and begin to take the brakes off of the assembly. I would now again spin the wheels and see if you hear any more noise to determine if it was in the brake assembly or in the axle/bearings. If the noise sounds like its on the outsides of the axles I would bet that its the wheel bearings, if its from the center, you may have larger issues on your hands and need to open up the diff to see whats going on in there.

If you wish to check the straightness of the axle shafts because you believe they may be bent, there is a simple way, to do it at this point. Get something stationary with a straight edge (like a bucket with a piece of 2x4 on top) that you can put up to the axle shaft end (where the lugs are) while someone spins the axle at a fairly constant speed on the other side. Now while the axle is spinning, put your stationary object right up to the edge of the plate where the lugs are and watch to see if the gap between the object and axles shaft plate changes at all. If it goes closer and then further as its spinning, then your axle shaft is bent and needs replacement.

I would bet its the wheel bearings personally, but only because its been an issue with my WJ. I know you don't want to replace the wheel bearing, but its really not a big deal if you have access to a shop press (Some do it without one by using a combination of heating the bearing and freezing the axle shaft, but I had access to a press) and its one of those things that once you do it, at least you know its been done.

Good luck.
__________________
99' WJ, 2.5" Rusty's, Bilstein 5100's, JKS TrackBar, Moog SuperTrailBoss
"With enough fabbing, time & $, it's certainly possible.
That being said, it's like boinkin' your sister...just because you can, doesn't mean you should." - Double E
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Unread 09-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #3
dolceboy1
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Location: Fargo, North Dakota
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Awesome information, I follow these steps this evening. I don't mind a wheel bearing, what I really would like to avoid is having to dig into the rear diff and or transfer case. The noise is strickly in the wheel so I am hoping that means I dont have to pop open the 'pumpkin'
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Unread 09-14-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
dolceboy1
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So, here is my report

I checked the differential fluid and it was very low. So I filled it back up, when I took the wheel and brake caliper off it still made the noise when spinning by hand. I took the hub off and noticed there was an unusual mount of fluid with it and the inside of my tire which leads me to believe the seal perished? My assumption is that the seal went bad thus causing my dif fluid to be low? Can a seal be replaced?

I did notice the noise was coming from the wheel and not the center of the Jeep.
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Unread 09-14-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
monsterwj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolceboy1
Hello all, after reading many posts on Jeep sights I found this one to be by far the most helpful. So after not finding what I am looking for after literally days or searching an reading, I am breaking down and just posting a question that I am hoping someone will be able to help me with.

From what I have read the problem is either sticky ebrake, carrier bearing, wheel bearing, spider gear, low fluid in rear diff

Vehicle: 1999 Grand Cherokee Limited 4.0 w/ Quadratrac

Issue: Grinding noise from drivers side rear wheel

Backstory: This jeep sat outside in Minnesota for over two years, rust has occurred. prior to being parked, the noise was not as noticeable or at least not enough for me to remember it.

Description:

Immediately when the Jeep is moving, there is a distinct grinding noise coming from the left rear wheel. Speeding up only increasing the speed of the grinding sound. Applying the brakes has no effect in any way. Turning has no effect either.

When I jack the vehicle up, there is no play when pulling and pushing on the wheel/tire. However, even when in gear I can roll the wheel forward or backward about a quarter turn and can hear a noise closer the front of the vehicle that reminds me of a chain becoming tight

When I apply the Emergency brake, the wheel will not move at all (does this rule out a slightly sticking ebrake?

Even spinning the wheel by hand produces the noise in the wheel/hub area.

The rear diff looks very clean with no fluid leaks, the transfer case is very greasy on its lower half however.

I have not checked the fluid in the rear dif.

The ABS light is on

The rotor clearly needs to be replaced simply because it is clearly a bit rusty and squeeks but the noise does not change in any way when braking.

So, I have read differing opinions on if it is a wheel bearing, spider gears, carrier bearing, and a sticky e brake.

I have not brought it to be looked at mainly because I like the challenge of it(like most people on here)

Questions based on the information I provided:

Is there a way to verify if it is a carrier bearing without replacing it or replacing the axel?

Is there a way to determine if it is a wheel bearing without replacing it (I realize based on my 'test' one would guess it isnt a wheel bearing but I have read people saying its still possible)

Would a warped rotor make a grinding noise by rubbing on something else other than the brake pads?

If you HAD to take a guess, what would you say the problem is?

I would like to do anything I can to avoid replacing the axle.

I thank all of you in advance for taking a moment to offer your thoughts on this, its been a thorn in my side for 2 weeks. Just so you know I am not just a lazy guy with a Jeep that I let go to hell, I did swap out the motor myself, replaced nearly all of the front end components, and rewired the infamous ATC resistor issue. But I am just not a tranny/differential/transfer case guy...yet.

I can't wait for replies, I will walk directly to my garage and try whatever suggestions people have and report back with results immediately until it is fixed so this thread will be complete from problem to solution and a true benefit to the forum.
Boy jeeps are so fun, lol my bet is that the rear seal on the axle shaft is bad/ rusted. I replaced mine and it did not cost much. Could be wrong though. But it's a good start.
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Unread 09-14-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
monsterwj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolceboy1
So, here is my report

I checked the differential fluid and it was very low. So I filled it back up, when I took the wheel and brake caliper off it still made the noise when spinning by hand. I took the hub off and noticed there was an unusual mount of fluid with it and the inside of my tire which leads me to believe the seal perished? My assumption is that the seal went bad thus causing my dif fluid to be low? Can a seal be replaced?

I did notice the noise was coming from the wheel and not the center of the Jeep.
Yes it does cause your fluid to be low and they can be replaced. Either a local machine shop or a machine shop in a local auto parts store. I believe some napa stores have a machine shop.
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Unread 09-14-2013, 09:07 PM   #7
mycreativename
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If that seal is shot, a lot more of my money's in now for the wheel bearing on that side.

Go on Rockauto to get the bearing and seal and you can get all the parts for ~$30.
__________________
99' WJ, 2.5" Rusty's, Bilstein 5100's, JKS TrackBar, Moog SuperTrailBoss
"With enough fabbing, time & $, it's certainly possible.
That being said, it's like boinkin' your sister...just because you can, doesn't mean you should." - Double E
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Unread 09-14-2013, 09:43 PM   #8
dolceboy1
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Location: Fargo, North Dakota
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Thank you to everyone who is helping on this. I've picked up the seal and bearing and will trying to get it on myself. Any chance I could accomplish this without a press by using a large socket and rubber mallet to hammer the bearing in? Or at that point am I just letting my pride get in the way of something that could easily be done by bringing it to someone with a press?
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Unread 09-15-2013, 12:33 AM   #9
mycreativename
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolceboy1 View Post
Thank you to everyone who is helping on this. I've picked up the seal and bearing and will trying to get it on myself. Any chance I could accomplish this without a press by using a large socket and rubber mallet to hammer the bearing in? Or at that point am I just letting my pride get in the way of something that could easily be done by bringing it to someone with a press?
I personally wouldn't do it that way. Do you know anyone with a press who could do it for you? Even with having to pay someone to do it, a local shop only quoted me $40 to do it. Maybe even cheaper if you cut the old bearing and retainer off yourself.

There have been a few people who have done it without a press by putting the bearing in the oven for a while to hear it up and slightly expand it and putting the axle shaft in the freezer (hopefully a sub zero one) for a couple hours to contract it slightly and then quickly putting the pieces together immediately after taking one out of the stove and the other out of the freezer. I suppose you could always try this method and if it failed, then take it to someone with a press.

Sent from my blimp fortress using my carrier pigeons.
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99' WJ, 2.5" Rusty's, Bilstein 5100's, JKS TrackBar, Moog SuperTrailBoss
"With enough fabbing, time & $, it's certainly possible.
That being said, it's like boinkin' your sister...just because you can, doesn't mean you should." - Double E
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Unread 09-15-2013, 07:22 AM   #10
monsterwj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolceboy1
Thank you to everyone who is helping on this. I've picked up the seal and bearing and will trying to get it on myself. Any chance I could accomplish this without a press by using a large socket and rubber mallet to hammer the bearing in? Or at that point am I just letting my pride get in the way of something that could easily be done by bringing it to someone with a press?
By the way if you end up doing the seal make sure they press them off and on! Do not let them cut it off! It weakens the axle shaft!
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Unread 09-15-2013, 11:35 AM   #11
mycreativename
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monsterwj
By the way if you end up doing the seal make sure they press them off and on! Do not let them cut it off! It weakens the axle shaft!
Cutting the bearing and retainer off is fine, you don't actually cut through to the axle shaft, you cut most of the way through the bearing and retainer and then use a punch to pop it off the rest. The pressure that they are held on with is more than often enough to cause them just to pop off when you give them a good tap with a punch.
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99' WJ, 2.5" Rusty's, Bilstein 5100's, JKS TrackBar, Moog SuperTrailBoss
"With enough fabbing, time & $, it's certainly possible.
That being said, it's like boinkin' your sister...just because you can, doesn't mean you should." - Double E
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Unread 09-15-2013, 05:11 PM   #12
monsterwj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycreativename

Cutting the bearing and retainer off is fine, you don't actually cut through to the axle shaft, you cut most of the way through the bearing and retainer and then use a punch to pop it off the rest. The pressure that they are held on with is more than often enough to cause them just to pop off when you give them a good tap with a punch.
This is true, if its a experienced machinist. But most people are not. I would not take my chances on that and have to worry.
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Unread 09-17-2013, 05:16 PM   #13
dolceboy1
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Update:

So I replaced the bearing, collar, and seal on the side that was making the noise. Its still there after reassembly (always a kick in the nuts) so here are my next questions on plan of attack from here forward:

1. Should I replace the rotor and brakes just because its easy and will cross something off the list, even though I cant for the life of me understand why it could be that?

2. Should I replace axel bearing on other side in hopes that the noise is reverberating that side all the way over to the other one?

3. Should I take the pumpkin off and start looking at the possibility of spider gears or pinion bearings?

4. Should I pack the rear end with dynamite and blow the entire vehicle up completely

At this moment I am leaning toward the last one.

To summarize again what this mystery noise is, I will give the quick recap.

The Jeep sat for 2 years in ND (snow, ice, salt, etc)

I put a used engine in it finally.

When I first started driving it (first 100 yards) it was clear there was a noise from the left rear and possibly right rear.

I took everything off the wheel and noticed the seal has gone to ****, obviously at that point I check the diff fluid and noticed it was extremely low. I refilled it (though not with the special traction stuff I have read about on the board).

I changed the the bearing on the right rear and the noise is still there.

Thanks for the continued advice on this, I rely on it like oxygen and water.
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Unread 09-17-2013, 06:25 PM   #14
mycreativename
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I'm sorry dude. I know how much it sucks when you go though fixing a whole thing only to have the same issue still there afterwords.

When you did this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myself
1. With both wheels up, try to spin each. They should spin freely. See if you hear any noise when doing so and can determine further where its coming from here. If you are able to spin both wheels freely, this also rules out the sticky parking brake. If not, adjusting the parking brake may be necessary. Also, just one more time (I know you said you tried), try to see if you have any play in the wheel bearings (do on both sides) by attempting to rock the wheel on the axle.

2. Take the wheel off and begin to take the brakes off of the assembly. I would now again spin the wheels and see if you hear any more noise to determine if it was in the brake assembly or in the axle/bearings. If the noise sounds like its on the outsides of the axles I would bet that its the wheel bearings, if its from the center, you may have larger issues on your hands and need to open up the diff to see whats going on in there.
did you do it on both sides? "It" being take the wheel and spin it by hand with and without the brake assemblies there. If not, I would recommend doing it to the other side to see.

Can you get a video with the sound of the noise? That may help matters a bit.
__________________
99' WJ, 2.5" Rusty's, Bilstein 5100's, JKS TrackBar, Moog SuperTrailBoss
"With enough fabbing, time & $, it's certainly possible.
That being said, it's like boinkin' your sister...just because you can, doesn't mean you should." - Double E
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