Tire chirp on front axle only when 4x4 set - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 20 Old 11-18-2019, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Tire chirp on front axle only when 4x4 set

I've never heard this crazy sound before on my Jeep. Front axle is a Dana 30 and rear is AMC 20. When I set 4x4 (hi and low) on a paved way front left tire starts chirping (nothing is cracking, no metallic sound) it's just the tyre. I opened the front axle and everything looks shiny, no damage at all. Locking hubs working properly.

For the experienced/expert guys to have a clue, Jeep feels like braking but only when moving forward like someone pulling an anchor. But in reverse it rolls smoothly. For me it's a mystery.

Of course all tires same size.

Any ideas? Thanks a lot!


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post #2 of 20 Old 11-24-2019, 08:15 PM
DennisG01
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4x4 hi and lo are typically only recommded to be used in slippery conditions. Otherwise, you will experience exactly what you are expreriencing. The front axle is pulling one direction, while the rear axle is pushing the other way. This is bad for the drivetrain - there's usually info like this in an owner's manual if you wanted to read up on it. Often times, you'll also get a jerking/hopping feeling being transmitted through the car.

Last edited by DennisG01; 11-25-2019 at 07:18 AM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-25-2019, 07:05 AM
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Google "drivetrain windup"

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post #4 of 20 Old 11-25-2019, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for your help!

Hi DennisG01 and jeepdaddy2000! Both explanations are very helpful for me to understand what's going on.

And a last question: It happens to my Jeep as soon as 4x4 is engaged and driving straight, not after turns. So is it normal also when driving in a straight line? Let's say after 50 meters driving. Thanks in advance!
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-25-2019, 10:41 AM
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If the binding up occurs after 50 meters of driving straight either the gear ratios or the tires don't match.
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-25-2019, 10:50 AM
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Yes, it should NOT happen when driving straight ahead. As Red mentioned, the most likely culprits are the tire sizes or axle ratios. Since you made a point to mention what axles you have, I assume they have been changed from stock? If you don't know the axle ratios, jack her up and manually spin a tire exactly one revolution and count how many times (again, exactly) the driveshaft spins. Compare front and back. You may have to wedge the other side from spinning when you do this.

Until you figure this out, though, stay out of 4wd hi or lo.
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-25-2019, 02:30 PM
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In my experience, even straight-line driving will cause tire chirp or drivetrain bind when operating on solid surfaces.

Even if you have identical gearing front and rear, there will still be microscopic differences present. One set will be turning over ever so slightly slower/faster than the other. This will be amplified by the tires being different tolerances as well.

Chirp or slippage is the result of these minute size differences affecting the total travel of the wheel/tire on each end. Sand/dirt/grass/etc. don't bind up because the tires naturally slip.

If you are unlucky, the tires won't slip before you pop a tooth off or twist something up, IIRC.
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-26-2019, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gutthans View Post
In my experience, even straight-line driving will cause tire chirp or drivetrain bind when operating on solid surfaces.
I've never personally experienced that (multiple vehicles), but that of course doesn't negate the fact that you HAVE experienced it. I'm just curious about it. In the vehicle(s) that you have experienced it... where they completely stock? Including stock size tires?
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-26-2019, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisG01 View Post
I've never personally experienced that (multiple vehicles), but that of course doesn't negate the fact that you HAVE experienced it. I'm just curious about it. In the vehicle(s) that you have experienced it... where they completely stock? Including stock size tires?
90 and 95YJ On more than one occasion I have left the beach while still in 4wd (both hi and lo). After a slight turn on to A1A (pavement) bopth Jeeps began to have difficulty driving forward slightly until the tires 'burped', at which point I recognized I was still in 4wd. Had to reverse a few feet to disengage the TC and go the 2 Hi. Stock tires on one and 31's on the other. Both over inflated to 32 - 35 lbs at the time, so likely easier to bust loose than the pressures I use now (24 - 26 lbs).

If you consider that normal behavior is routine slippage while in a giving medium (like sand), then it's not a hard stretch to realize tires will try to do the same thing on pavement, but may not be able to due to friction. I've been fortunate enough to catch it before I popped a u-joint or worse, and had the tires break loose and chirp on a turn (less rubber contact and friction). I've never deliberately run straight any further as I have a budget and really don't want to test out any theories.

Seems reasonable to me, that unless all 4 wheels are turned by one set of gears they can't possibly turn at exactly the same rate. There has to be a tolerance variance between two gear sets, and two sets of F/R tires.

I can't tell whether it was the front or rear that broke loose in either case, nor could I tell if the tires released pressure by 'jumping' forward or one just locked up and slid to relieve pressure difference. But I did have to back up to get the stick out of 4 WD, which tells me that there was a building pressure difference between front and rear. At least that's how I interpret it.
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-26-2019, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
And a last question: It happens to my Jeep as soon as 4x4 is engaged and driving straight, not after turns.
You need to check your gearing. It sounds like there is a difference between the front and rear ratio's. While drivetrains can "wind up" in a straight line, it should take a bit of real estate to build up enough variance to chirp the tires.
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-26-2019, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by gutthans View Post
90 and 95YJ On more than one occasion I have left the beach while still in 4wd (both hi and lo). After a slight turn on to A1A (pavement) bopth Jeeps began to have difficulty driving forward slightly until the tires 'burped', at which point I recognized I was still in 4wd. Had to reverse a few feet to disengage the TC and go the 2 Hi. Stock tires on one and 31's on the other. Both over inflated to 32 - 35 lbs at the time, so likely easier to bust loose than the pressures I use now (24 - 26 lbs).

If you consider that normal behavior is routine slippage while in a giving medium (like sand), then it's not a hard stretch to realize tires will try to do the same thing on pavement, but may not be able to due to friction. I've been fortunate enough to catch it before I popped a u-joint or worse, and had the tires break loose and chirp on a turn (less rubber contact and friction). I've never deliberately run straight any further as I have a budget and really don't want to test out any theories.

Seems reasonable to me, that unless all 4 wheels are turned by one set of gears they can't possibly turn at exactly the same rate. There has to be a tolerance variance between two gear sets, and two sets of F/R tires.

I can't tell whether it was the front or rear that broke loose in either case, nor could I tell if the tires released pressure by 'jumping' forward or one just locked up and slid to relieve pressure difference. But I did have to back up to get the stick out of 4 WD, which tells me that there was a building pressure difference between front and rear. At least that's how I interpret it.
Interesting. Maybe I just never experienced that because I have never driven far in 4 lo or 4 hi. I've really only ever done it to make sure it is operational (in the case of a electronic 4x shifting) from time to time.
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-27-2019, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisG01 View Post
Interesting. Maybe I just never experienced that because I have never driven far in 4 lo or 4 hi. I've really only ever done it to make sure it is operational (in the case of a electronic 4x shifting) from time to time.
JeepDaddy made the point...it does take a little driving forward to get enough 'wind up' when the gears are matched. Maybe the OP has a mismatch, and that's why it happens so quickly.
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-28-2019, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks you very much to all of you!!! Sorry for my total ignorance, but what does it mean OP?

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post #14 of 20 Old 11-28-2019, 09:57 AM
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You are the "OP"... Original Poster.

Did you check your axle ratios... or do the rotating trick?
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-28-2019, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Oh my God! I was googling OP as a part of the drivetrain...

I've just checked the rotation trick and both axles are exactly the same ratio: 2 turns of the driveshaft = 1 turn + 2 marks of the tire

To perform the test I've raised one wheel at a time and rotated driveshafts. Front axle with 4x4 hubs engaged.
The only thing I've found was that left front wheel isn't engaging immediately.

Maybe the problem is that hub on left front wheel, is engaging and disengaging constantly and that situation generates strong pulls. Any other ideas? THANKS!

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