I've got a 1998 TJ 2.5l AT; it's my daughter's Jeep.
Last week it started making a weird almost grinding/gravely noise. At first I thought it may be the transmission; but ruled that out by listening for where the noise came from. To me, it sounds like it is coming from the power steering pulley or pump.
I took off the belt and turned all the pulleys and they seemed pretty quiet and smooth except for the PS. It had a little gurgly sound to it, but I thought that may be the fluid? Now I know that this is not the most scientific experiment, cause the motor turns it faster than I do, but I'm trying...
When the engine is revved and then slows back down, more of this strange noise occurs.
I've linked to a mp3 of the sound for you to check out. I know, it also has a valve or lifter ticking noise too... that's a project for another day.
I told my daughter not to drive the Jeep till I get some more info on the problem...
Thanks so much for your help!