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Unread 05-04-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
Bkhager
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Front end roar and intermittent wobble

Can anyone help me narrow down a situation? 1999 wj full time, 135,000 miles. A roaring noise starts up front around 35 mph, and you can hear it over the radio. I've also noticed that the front end wobbles intermittently. It comes and goes....... What gives?

Thanks in advance for any insight!

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Unread 05-04-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
alwaysHI
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is it lifted?
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Unread 05-04-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
Bkhager
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No sir, it is a stock vehicle
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Unread 05-04-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
ibreb3
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Possible hub/wheel bearing? Get it to the speed it makes the noise, then slightly swerve back and forth, if the noise gets better steering on way and worse the other then it's prob a hub or bearing. Btw if so it will be on the opposite side of the turn that makes it worse, ie. if going to the left makes it sound worse the problem will most likely be on the right side. Hope this helps.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 07:29 AM   #5
Bkhager
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I went out this morning and pulled off the front wheels. I didn't see/hear/feel anything off. So I rotated the tires (there is one odd tire in the group). I didn't notice any cupping, etc. I did adjust the tire pressure (they were all @20 so I bumped them up). I'm going over to Raleigh today so I'll try testing the wheel bearings.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #6
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Just wondering how you made out?
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Unread 05-06-2012, 07:01 PM   #7
Bkhager
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibreb3
Just wondering how you made out?
Well, I did the drive test, and the noise stayed constant. So I have no real idea where to to from here except to tear apart the front difff
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Unread 05-06-2012, 08:00 PM   #8
alwaysHI
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idk what your definition of wobble is, but it could be death wobble, shimmy, or bump steer. you just need to clarify.

as for the roar, read this:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...noise-1017597/
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Unread 05-07-2012, 05:51 AM   #9
Bkhager
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysHI View Post
idk what your definition of wobble is, but it could be death wobble, shimmy, or bump steer. you just need to clarify.

as for the roar, read this:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...noise-1017597/
It's hard to say what the wobble is, I've never had one do it before. I guess I'd characterize it as this sudden and mildly violent jerking of the steering wheel back and forth. It starts suddnely and end suddenly and I cannot make it consistently reproduce it.

As for the article, i think I'm going to agree with it (thanks a ton for posting that link). Yesterday I had the doors off of my JK and met my wife at my mother in laws. We left at the same time and I rode on both sides of her WJ at speed to see if I could hear anything. Of course, my mud terrains were loud enough, but I could not hear any noticeable roaring noise. So i guess my next step is to drop the axle and put it on the bench and rebuild it.

I'll let you guys know how that goes


Thanks!
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Unread 05-07-2012, 07:24 AM   #10
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before you go tearing out the front diff, revert to the basics. No need for work to be done when it didnt have to in the first place.

take the front driveshaft out, if the roar disappears thats the culprit. most of the roaring ive experienced has been from the front driveshaft. Also, jack the front of the jeep up (with the front driveshaft out) and rotate the front wheels by hand. Better yet, have someone do it while you listen to the front diff. Then push and pull the top and bottom of the tires up front to see if you have play in the wheel bearings. Another possibility, check your T-case fluid level, mine was leaking fluid and made a roaring sound when it was low.

As for the wobble.....make sure all of your suspension bolts are tightened to the correct torque spec....bolts loosen over time. Im talking upper and lower control arms, Trac bar (especially), check for play in all of your tie-rods.
Hope this helps,
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Unread 05-07-2012, 07:25 AM   #11
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Roar that starts at 35-40 and doesn't change tone = unit bearing.
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Unread 05-07-2012, 04:48 PM   #12
Bkhager
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Ok, I took the front driveshaft off and drove it around the block. The noise did not decrease (it might actually have increased a little). So I put it back and and have come to the conclusion that the front carrier bearings need to be replaced. According to the carfax on this vehicle, the PO had the front pinion seal replaced. I believe he had his local mechanic do the work. I have my suspicions that things "might" not have been done correctly. I guess my saying is true "just because you CAN call yourself a mechanic, does not mean that you SHOULD". Sooooo, it looks like I'm going to be assembling all the parts to rebuild the front diff. I'm going to take my time, do some research and do this myself (I've got experience rebuilding huge gearboxes for industry, as well as aligning equiptment, so I know my way around a dial indicator, etc). I'll probably be doing this in about three or four weeks, so I'll check back and let you know. Once again, I appreciate each and every one of you guys who took the time to work with me on this!
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