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Unread 11-11-2013, 05:33 AM   #1
peladao
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Rear Axle clunking noise, need help!

Hello all,

I'm a Soldier stationed overseas and a new jeep owner. Bought a 2003 lifted Rubicon about a year ago; and I've loved it ever since. Recently, about two months ago I started hearing a loud clunking noise coming from the rear axle when I turn right (it just started doing it slightly when I turn left). I got underneath to check and notice that the upper control arm bushing on the drivers side is in bad shape. Asides from that, I didn't find anything else loose or worn out that I could see. My problem is, to order parts to Germany takes a while, and there are no affordable 4x4 shops where I can take my car to get looked at. I've attached a video of the rear axle where you can clearly hear the noise. Any help on what it might be, would be greatly appreciated.

The vehicle has a 4" Full Traction Short Arm lift, Tom Woods 1310 CV Shaft, Rubicon Express Rear Upper Arms, and JKS Rear Track Bar.

Video: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frontarea/10797803495/

V/R
Pablo P.

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Unread 11-11-2013, 06:11 AM   #2
Scott_98TJ
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Thanks for serving! Any chance you have access to jack stands and tools? Check that pumpkin fluid level asap. See if there's any play in your pinion by grabbing driveshaft and try to move it laterally. Sounds like more than control arm bushings. I'd be opening up that pumpkin and inspecting the gears and carrier bolts ....
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Last edited by Scott_98TJ; 11-11-2013 at 11:04 AM.. Reason: typo
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Unread 11-11-2013, 10:47 AM   #3
F9K9
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I can only echo Scott's recommendations.
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Unread 11-11-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
RowJ
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Welcome to JF

Wouldn't a lunchbox locker in rear (not advisable) sound similar to this?
Also, if LSD, ever added any friction modifier?

Just a couple of other guesses if pumpkin is full!

And, 'Peladao' - http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/fi...ofiles-402432/

RJ
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Unread 11-13-2013, 06:33 AM   #5
peladao
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Thank you for all the help guys, after checking the fluid level in the rear diff. (it's full) and reading over, I drove the jeep over to a 4x4 shop about an hour away, the guy told me is more than likely my rear locker. My follow up question is, what do you guys recommend or what exactly do I need to get for my 2003 Rubicon. The language barrier between the mechanic and myself made it a bit difficult to communicate, as my German is OK at best. I don't want to get the parts here in Germany as they would cost 3-4 times what they would if I ordered them from the states, just not sure what I need to order.

Thank you,

Pablo
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Unread 11-13-2013, 06:46 AM   #6
RowJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peladao View Post
...... the guy told me is more than likely my rear locker......Pablo
What kind of locker? Factory or after market? Do you know or can you find someone who can tell by pulling the Differential cover?
Limited slip differential should be quiet and just needs more friction modifier if noisey
.
Some after market lockers slip and make noise as they do so.
To test, make these turns with some speed and clutch pushed in... or at least no throttle and therefore no load on drive differential. This technique should eliminate the clunk of locker trying to grab/slip.

RJ
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Unread 11-13-2013, 07:02 AM   #7
RowJ
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Also... since there were other mods performed by previous owner.... it's safe to assume they added a locker to the rear end. First thing I would have done upon buying this TJ is change all fluids, just so I know what's in there and when.
If you did not do so....do it now. Use a high quality gear lube with friction modifier already in it.... two excellent ones are Amsoil or Synergyn's Syngear II.
See if that, and change in driving style mentioned above, has and positive effect.
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Unread 11-13-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
UnlimitedMatt
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The previous posters missed the fact that you have a Rubicon therefore no friction modifier is necessary if the factory locker is still installed.

Sounds like the trac-loc portion of the locker is bad. Time to replace it with another factory front locker or upgrade to an arb or a Detroit.
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Unread 11-13-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
RowJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnlimitedMatt View Post
........Sounds like the trac-loc portion of the locker is bad.
I don't know the Rubicons well, but I am familiar with the Dana Trac-Loc.
In my experience, when the Trac-Locs fail, they just cease to grab due to clutches wearing down. You end up with essentially an open differential.
This scenario would definitely NOT cause the symptoms mentioned in Post #1.
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Unread 11-13-2013, 11:47 AM   #10
biffgnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RowJ View Post
I don't know the Rubicons well, but I am familiar with the Dana Trac-Loc.
In my experience, when the Trac-Locs fail, they just cease to grab due to clutches wearing down. You end up with essentially an open differential.
This scenario would definitely NOT cause the symptoms mentioned in Post #1.
TJ based Rubicons don't have a clutch based LSD. They have a gear based LSD that does fail with some frequency.
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Unread 11-13-2013, 11:53 AM   #11
RowJ
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Thanks and sorry...did not know that!
Just Rubicons or all newer Trac-Locs?
And on related topic....anyone know if Dana Pwr-Locs LSD's still exist.
And if so are they now gear based also?

RJ
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Unread 11-13-2013, 11:58 AM   #12
biffgnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RowJ View Post
Just Rubicons or all newer Trac-Locs?
In TJ era just Rubicons. TJ Rubicons are not marketed as Trac-Loc. I believe they are called Tru-Lok which is the air locker plus gear based LSD.
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Unread 11-13-2013, 04:34 PM   #13
TimV
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Having just gone through breaking a rear locker myself, here's the easy way to diagnose it. Jack up the entire rear end, and spin one of the tires by hand. If it is noisy and crunchy, your locker probably bit the dust. Mine was extra crunchy.
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