Dana 44 rear axle locking and noise, caused by LSD?
I have an 6-cyl 2004 TJ Sahara automatic. Since about two months ago I've had problems with something in the rear axle.
First time problem occurred was while going through a roundabout, halfway through the 270 degree to turn left there was a loud metallic bang from the rear. But nothing more. After this I started noting that whenever I go slowly (2-3 mph, sometimes up to 10) and going slightly right or left there is a thudding noise coming at fixed intervals from the rear. I can also clearly feel what resembles the rear axle being locked and released then repeated, at same rhythm as the noise. Symptoms only occurs when turning while going slow.
I went to a local workshop to get a second opinion and they suggested the noise is caused by the the rear limited slip being worn out. And they also suggested that the loud initial bang was caused by the rear axle being completely locked for a short while during the turn through the roundabout. That turn was taken at 15mph+. They tried changing the oil in the rear differential but it didn't help, so in this case the only thing that would help would be a change of the clutch pack. But since they would be charging a ridiculous amount to do this I'd like to get another opinion regarding this.
Does the LSD (Trac-loc) wear out in such way that it locks the rear axle? Could the noise be caused by something else? Bearings? Is it possible to simply remove the LSD functionality and use the rear diff as the regular open diff?
Jeep has primarily been used as DD and on 12-15 occasions for some 3-4 hour long dune bashing trips.