rear end growling -
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-18-2013, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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1980 CJ5 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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rear end growling

Ok to start with, this was my girlfriends jeep and it is a 2002 overland with quadradrive.

Fall-ish of last year she said something to me about it making a weird noise (we all know how that is). After a few months of neglect, i drove it and tried to find the noise with no luck. Mainly because it was winter and i didnt want to be cold. So anyways, she kept driving this thing up until a week or so ago and never really said anything more about it. Well we bought her a new car and i was going to start driving the WJ again until i noticed how bad this noise had become. At first it sounded like tires rubbing something now it is loud growling and popping when going around a turn. (ONLY when turning i might add) So im sure you are all thinking the same thing i was, rear diff isnt unlocking. The fluid in it was getting old (20kish miles) so i figured maybe it was degraded and the friction modifier in it wasn't doing its job. Well tonight i changed it was royal purple and added some extra friction modifier and it didnt change a thing. So now im back to the drawing board. I fully expected chunks to fall out of the rear end when i took the cover off tonight and to my surprise it looked perfectly fine. No chunks, no excess metal in the magnet, the fluid even looked translucent still.

So.....I really dont know where to go next with fixing this. Im beginning to think its not the rear end now. (tcase maybe???) But i guess driving on it so long with it binding could have damaged the variloc somehow. I have no problem putting a new rear axle into this thing, or a tcase or whatever it needs, but i just dont want to throw parts at it. Half my problem is, its hard to simulate the vehicle turning with weight on it while trying to look for the problem. The rear end seemed twitchy and jerky when looking at it while turning before but that could also be feelback all the way from the tcase just as easy as it is the rear end. I thought about pulling the rear DS and driving it but im not sure if the rear tcase shaft will fall out or if bad things will happen.

So if anyone has any ideas please let me know. I really need to get this thing back on the road again. Thanks guys

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post #2 of 9 Old 05-18-2013, 08:18 PM
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Does it only happen when turning in one direction? Like is it louder when you turn left or right? Could be a bearing back there.

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-18-2013, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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1980 CJ5 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Battle Creek MI / Lima OH
Posts: 4,592's worse when turning to the right. Wouldn't a rear axle Bearing howl all the time? This seams like a awful lot of noise and popping for a wheel bearing but I could be wrong. This is a pretty obvious popping and binding, not just a noise
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-18-2013, 09:06 PM
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If it's worse when you turn right, it'd be the left bearing (more load on the left side during right turns). And if you're sure it's coming from the rear, then I'd say that your LR bearing is shot. Get down the and look for leaking fluid or try to smell for fluid/burning.

The growling you described from a few months ago would be the beginnings of the bearing going out. But if the Jeep was being driven with a bad bearing for that long, it wouldn't be out of the question for the bearing to now be making LOTS of noise. Hopefully there's no damage to anything else around it.

If it does turn out the be the bearing, the rear of the WJ is unfortunately a press-in type. So you'd need to take the shaft out, cut off the old bearing and then press on a new bearing/race/seal, which will require a large press (not something the average joe has in his garage). This is the cheaper option, but way more headache.

Or you could go the other route and just get a new loaded axle. I know you can get a new fully loaded axle for the rear for about $300-$350, that option would just be unbolt and slide out the old axle, then slide in and bolt up the new axle.

But then again, I could be wrong about the bearing, I'm just a guy on the other side of the interwebs.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-19-2013, 07:21 AM
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check the pinion bearing mine was doing the same thing and it ended up being that instead of a wheel beaing
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-20-2013, 10:08 PM
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Mine had the same issue, and with lots of trail and error, we took out the clutches in the rear differential, soaked them in the friction modifier over night and put them back in, and its been good ever since. The fluid wasn't getting to all sides of the gears and it was freezing them up, at least for me. Worth a try I guess.

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post #7 of 9 Old 05-20-2013, 10:33 PM
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the other way to work the f/m around is to do 7-10 lock to lock figure 8's. I prefer to do mine in a dirt or rock area though so I don't get any binding.

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post #8 of 9 Old 05-20-2013, 11:18 PM
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anyone have luck with lucas heavy oil stabilizer? i added 25% lucas heavy oil stabilizer with lucas 80/90 gear oil (which is recommended weight for dana 35) but it doesn't seem to help with my rear axle noise.

i was looking for a junk yard rear axle assembly (laredo 4x4 4.0 with selec-trac) and was finding them for $600. perhaps that was with rotors and all. i guess i just need the axle part to replace the spider gears and pinion bearings and everything else in the axle and replace the wheel bearings separately if that is the problem. i might need a new front wheel bearing too. it looks like previous owner replaced one of them.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-22-2013, 03:36 PM
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I have the same problem with my jeep,I am going to change my inner bearings and if that don't work I am going to change the spider gears,as that the gears that work most when turning corners.I change the outer bearings and fluid but the problem is still there.If what I am going to do work, I will post to let you guys know what was the problem

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