So I've been shopping around for a new to me TJ and test drove a 98 Sahara 5spd last night that had a strange noise. It sounded like a chain was being pulled along something metal. I don't know if I would consider it "chain slap" because it is 100% constant...until you shift into 4th gear and then it goes away almost completely.
My question to the masses, are these symptoms consistent with a 231 chain that needs to be replaced or could it be something else completely? ie some mysterious bearing in the transmission or even clutch? The fact that it goes away when you shift into 4th gear is what gets me. I don't think it is speed dependent. The owner said it just started doing this in the last 2 weeks or so, and it isn't his daily driver, but I don't think I want to invest this much into a Jeep that will need a new transmission. I have a 231 that I found for $100 and I may be able to do the swap myself, just don't want to get way over my head.
I live in New England and wouldn't even be considering this TJ except that the frame on it is immaculate. There wasn't even really surface rust on it and he doesn't have a top for it since it is his summer only vehicle. Need your help JF! Thanks in advance.
09-16-2013 08:19 AM
How much is he asking for said Jeep? It could even be a TO bearing as well.
09-16-2013 08:30 AM
176k miles, interior will take a bit of work, but isn't horrible with only a trail cover and mesh bikini top and I talked him down to $4500 from $5k, but that was without a clue as to what the sound was. He said he thought it was U joints making the noise. I think the noise scares him and he decided to sell it instead of investigate it. Any clue what a throw out bearing costs to replace in a shop, or DIY?
09-16-2013 08:39 AM
The bearing (for an all metal one) can be had for around $100 and can be replaced in half a day.
09-16-2013 08:58 AM
So would a throwout bearing be ok in 4th/5th gear but making a horrible racket in 1-3?
09-16-2013 09:01 AM
It is possible. When my TO went bad it made noise sometimes, and others it didn't. Did that untill the day it broke.
09-16-2013 09:33 AM
This is a constant noise, every time you drive it up until 4th gear. Not sure if that is consistent with a throwout bearing or not.