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Unread 10-30-2013, 05:38 PM   #1
McGR
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'07 XK Howling When Towing

For the past two towing seasons (aka boating seasons) I've been putting up with some very irritating howling only when I'm towing with my XK. It's an '07 that I bought in 2010. During 2010 and 2011, I was very happy with the my 4.7 Commander's towing. It had plenty of power and was quiet and smooth.

In January of 2012, I started noticing rear axle noise, so I changed the gear lube. When changing the gear lube, I noticed it was sparkly. After the lube change, the noise was still there - no surprise. Since I still had a warranty, I immediately got the Jeep over to the dealer for service. The dealer honored the warranty and proceeded to replace the pinion and carrier bearings. When I got my Jeep back, everything was back to normal again - nice and quiet. As I don't tow in the winter, I drove my Jeep for 3 or 4 months and everything seemed great.

However, last summer I started noticing annoying howling only when towing. Since having my axle repaired, I have put over 35K on my Jeep. I have towed numerous times including a few 1,000 mile round trips. It seems to me that nothing is actually wrong with the axle. I believe if something was, it would have needed to have it repaired by now. Additionally, I have changed the lube a couple of times since the axle repair and the old fluid looks great - no signs of metal or overheating.

What I am basically getting at is that I think my problem is more of an acoustic issue than a mechanical one. I think when I hook up the boat, I have somehow created some sort of rear axle noise amplifier. I have looked around under the Jeep and everything looks OK. I also compressed the rear coil springs and inspected and rotated the spring isolators, made no difference. The only thing that makes a difference is unhooking the boat. Once the boat is detached, my nice quiet semi-luxurious Commander returns.

So... any ideas what is making the noise? By the way, it is most pronounced at around 45 to 55 mph, but I can also hear noise as soon as I start to accelerate. One other note, I am running a Kurt hitch - perhaps OEM would be better??

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Unread 10-31-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
yzjwk
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Have you loaded the rear with a few hundred pounds to simulate the boats weight and driven around ? could be the pinion or cv (at either end) is causing the issue when your pinion angle changes .
if you have QDII , are you adding the friction modifier ?
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Unread 10-31-2013, 01:51 PM   #3
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Have you checked the rear hub bearings?
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Unread 10-31-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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Unread 04-12-2014, 12:45 PM   #5
McGR
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OK... so yet another season of growling howling rear axle noise has started again. As indicated in my post from last year, it only makes the obnoxious noise when towing. Today was the first day I towed my boat since last season.

After taking some of the advice given last year into consideration, I decided to install some coil-over load compensating Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks last night before taking the boat out this morning. I figured the pinion angle theory sounded plausible and that the load compensating shocks should help. Overall, I'm very happy with the shocks they improve the ride height and handling when towing. However, the irritating axle noise is still with me.

Has anyone else experienced this annoyance with their Commander (or GC)? Does anyone have any good theories regarding the source of the noise?
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Unread 04-12-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
DamienW
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Could it be a problem with the trailer bearings or tyres? Maybe vibration/noise is being transmitted to the tow car via the tow bar and hook up.
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Unread 04-12-2014, 03:12 PM   #7
xjokee
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Ahh, good idea. It could very well be a bad TRAILER bearing and NOT the trucks. U-Joint's or cardan's would make a clicking or clunking sound if the bearings were toast so pinion angle is out of the question. The truck's rear hub bearings as the OP mentioned might be the culprit with the trailer tongue weight putting a load on the bearings.
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Unread 04-12-2014, 05:59 PM   #8
McGR
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I pulled the trailer bearings and cleaned and re-packed them last year. They appear to be absolutely fine.

Maybe I should take a closer look at the rear bearings.
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Unread 04-12-2014, 06:37 PM   #9
road_tripper
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can you hear the sound at all under load (perhaps only at high speeds)? My rear end also needed refurbishing, I did the bearings and things quieted down a lot.

however, there is still a howling at 60+ mph, or any time the rear end is under load.
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Unread 04-13-2014, 08:08 AM   #10
McGR
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I can hear the some noise throughout the speed range. However, it really starts to "howl" at around 45 mph. It kinda quiets down if I'm holding my speed on the highway doing 70.

The stupid thing about this all is that it started doing this shortly after having the carrier and pinion bearings replaced.
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Unread 04-13-2014, 08:09 AM   #11
road_tripper
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sounds like the shop that did your bearings might not have set up the ring and pinion gears correctly?
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Unread 04-14-2014, 04:35 PM   #12
McGR
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Unfortunately, I think you might be right. I doubt I have any recourse with the dealership that performed the work. I probably should have brought it back to them two years ago when I first noticed the problem. It just seems odd that I have no problems when not towing.

Maybe I'll get adventurous and learn how to set up one of these Chrysler axles.
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