Transfer Case noise or transmission noise?
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.
"Let's Roll!" -Todd Beamer (Last words recorded on flight 93 as passengers took action to possibly save hundreds of lives and sacrifice their own)