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Let's try this again....New Problem

 
Old 04-12-2019, 06:10 PM
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Default Let's try this again....New Problem

So if you have read my previous post "Death wobble happened to me tonight" then you know that I have been battling DW for a while now. Well, my ball joints weren't showing any signs of needing replacing at first but eventually started having some play in them. I just got it back today from having the Teraflex HD ball joints installed and it seems to have fixed my DW but I have a new problem. I was driving home from picking it up and had the radio playing when I started to hear something. I cut the radio off and rolled down the windows to hear a weird sound. It's really hard to describe it. It was a mix between sounding like a grinding or rattling noise. I just can't put into words what it sounded like. It doesn't do it all the time. Once I stopped it quit doing it so I drove it down and back up our dead end road and noticed that it started back once I picked up speed, around 35-40 mph. The shop that did it is closed tomorrow so it will be Monday before I can take it back to him. Any ideas on what it could be. I know that it could probably be a number of things and I know I didn't describe it great. I just don't really know how to describe it. I looked underneath the Jeep and didn't notice anything and it doesn't sound like it is coming from the ball joints. I checked them and the grease fittings aren't coming in contact with anything. It's making the noise no matter if I am going straight or turning. I'm scratching my head on this one and the Jeep is parked until I can get it back to him.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:23 PM
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So, to replace ball joints, we're talking about removing wheels, removing brake capliers and rotars, removing speed sensor, and most the time removing the bearing bolts and pulling the entire unit bearing and axle shaft out as one piece. Remove knuckles, with which they may or may not have removed the TR and DL from the knuckles. The ball joints shouldn't be making any noise, and you've already observed plenty of clearance with the grease zerks. Assuming that was all that was touched, brakes seem like the most obvious culprit....Or they forgot to torque something.

It's only happening up over 35mph? Does it matter if it's a flat surface or if going over bumps. Is it rotational....as in it increases in frequency as you speed up or slow down?

I know you weren't comfortable with this job.....but I would say, this is one of those reasons I advocate doing as much of your own work as possible. Nobody will every care about the job on your jeep the way you will care about it yourself. Things get missed, people get tired, rushed, or just sloppy.

I'm going to guess this is a simple thing that just didn't get tightened. On a side note, are those TF ball joints tight when brand new? Does it feel like you're constantly having to correct your steering? If you turn, does the steering wheel come right back to center by itself?
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by resharp001 View Post
So, to replace ball joints, we're talking about removing wheels, removing brake capliers and rotars, removing speed sensor, and most the time removing the bearing bolts and pulling the entire unit bearing and axle shaft out as one piece. Remove knuckles, with which they may or may not have removed the TR and DL from the knuckles. The ball joints shouldn't be making any noise, and you've already observed plenty of clearance with the grease zerks. Assuming that was all that was touched, brakes seem like the most obvious culprit....Or they forgot to torque something.

It's only happening up over 35mph? Does it matter if it's a flat surface or if going over bumps. Is it rotational....as in it increases in frequency as you speed up or slow down?

I know you weren't comfortable with this job.....but I would say, this is one of those reasons I advocate doing as much of your own work as possible. Nobody will every care about the job on your jeep the way you will care about it yourself. Things get missed, people get tired, rushed, or just sloppy.

I'm going to guess this is a simple thing that just didn't get tightened. On a side note, are those TF ball joints tight when brand new? Does it feel like you're constantly having to correct your steering? If you turn, does the steering wheel come right back to center by itself?
Everything feels solid in the steering. It's driving like it did when it was stock actually. I didn't drive it very long just because I was worried about damaging anything since I couldn't tell where it was coming from.

It doesn't matter if I am going over bumps or on a flat road. My first thought was that it sounded like the dust plate rattling but I checked both and they seemed fine.

It's like it starts once I get up around 35 and gets louder as I increase speed then it will keep doing it as I slow down but once I start back up from a stop it doesn't do it again until I gain speed.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:56 PM
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Not to just keep asking questions, but this is how "weird sound" troubleshooting works. Guessing it sounds like it's coming from the outter end of the axle since you're mentioning things like dust shield and zerk clearances. Just from one side of the jeep? Possibly a loose/rattly brake pad?
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:03 AM
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I honestly can't tell where it is coming from. I just checked the dust shield because it sorta sounded like thin medal vibrating and only checked the ball joints because I knew the lower ones had to be installed a certain way because of the grease jerks. I would have taken it to our shop and looked over everything real good but I didn't have time. We are going out of town overnight so it will have to wait. I stole my husband's truck for now If we get back in town early enough tomorrow then I will try and look at it.
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:16 PM
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When I did my ball joints, I messed up the long side inner axle seal, (my theory is that is was about shot and pulling the axle out and then putting it back in did it in) that side was extremely difficult to remove, and just as difficult to re-install.

It made a weird rattle grinding noise but only at slower speeds, you could feel it in the steering wheel, it was as much of a feel as it was a noise, and then two days later started puking gear oil out of the axle tube.

One way to pinpoint if it is something along these lines, or at least figure out which side it is coming from, is to jack up one front tire at a time, and spin it by hand. You might not be able to reproduce the noise, as you won't be able to spin the wheel fast enough, but you might be able to get a feel for which side it is. Possibly one side feels rough, while the other spins more smoothly or easily.

Just guessing, but I would be suspicious of the inner axle seals, and the unit/hub bearings.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tjkamp View Post
When I did my ball joints, I messed up the long side inner axle seal, (my theory is that is was about shot and pulling the axle out and then putting it back in did it in) that side was extremely difficult to remove, and just as difficult to re-install.

It made a weird rattle grinding noise but only at slower speeds, you could feel it in the steering wheel, it was as much of a feel as it was a noise, and then two days later started puking gear oil out of the axle tube.

One way to pinpoint if it is something along these lines, or at least figure out which side it is coming from, is to jack up one front tire at a time, and spin it by hand. You might not be able to reproduce the noise, as you won't be able to spin the wheel fast enough, but you might be able to get a feel for which side it is. Possibly one side feels rough, while the other spins more smoothly or easily.

Just guessing, but I would be suspicious of the inner axle seals, and the unit/hub bearings.
Thanks for the tip. I'm planning on taking it to our shop as soon as I get back in town today so I'll see what I can find.
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:38 AM
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Hereís my thoughts on your described situation. I know you checked your rotor dust/heat shields, they are thin metal and can be bent easily. It may not look like it sitting statically that itís making the slightest contact with your rotor, it is possible though. I bent my dust shield when I changed axle seals, and it squealed a little at higher speeds. Pulled the dust shields away from the rotor and problem solved.

Other thought is to check your exhaust cross over pipe under the Jeep. There are small heat shields on this pipe that have welds that crack and vibrate only at certain RPMs. You should be able to isolate this one by sitting in Neutral and revving the engine. Itís how I discovered mine was cracked. Having two people makes this much easier as one of you is under the Jeep putting a screwdriver or other tool on the heat shield to dampen the vibration. Good luck with your troubleshooting.
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:18 PM
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Found the culprit....pulled both front tires and found that the passenger side dust shield was pressed up against the rotor on the top and bottom.

I'm glad it was a simple fix but it just pissed me off cause you know us Jeep people dont like being without our Jeeps and I had to go on a camping trip this weekend in my husband's truck. Plus there were other Jeeps there rubbing salt in my wounds. Lol.

Just goes to show that resharp001 was exactly right when he said you should do the work yourself. If I would have had the tools and been more comfortable with the job I would have done it myself in a heartbeat. This definitely taught me that if I have to absolutely take it to a shop to always check behind them.

Thank you to everyone who chimed in! Here are a couple pics of what I found.

And FYI resharp001, I drove it for just the second time today since the HD ball joints were installed and I did notice the steering being a little stiff but nothing major.




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Old 04-15-2019, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by JoyMarie View Post
Just goes to show that resharp001 was exactly right when he said you should do the work yourself. If I would have had the tools and been more comfortable with the job I would have done it myself in a heartbeat. This definitely taught me that if I have to absolutely take it to a shop to always check behind them.

And FYI resharp001, I drove it for just the second time today since the HD ball joints were installed and I did notice the steering being a little stiff but nothing major.
That steering will improve quickly. Most BJs with have little break-in period.

I'm getting ready to help someone else replace ball joints. Your comment reminds me of them. They were waffling. They asked if I'd help and essentially do a tutorial if they came to my location and I agreed. After a lot of back and forth, he decided to just have a shop do it. My response was along these lines:

no skin off my back if you have them do it, or I help you, but you're never going to get comfortable working on your jeep if you keep having other people do the work. If you plan to wheel or overland this jeep, you're gonna find yourself in places there are not mechanics, and if something breaks, you're gonna need to know how to do some basic things. It's easier to learn in your driveway than it is on a trail in less-than-ideal conditions.
I went on further, but the general premise is the same. You have done a lot of troubshooting already, and I can see your willingness to do the work. I only bring this up due to your comment about being comfortable with the job, and submit that they way you get comfortable is by doing . With some basic tools and a nice outline of the steps (including tips and/or tricks), I have no doubt that you could have replaced these yourself. I'm not judging....but, if there is ever anything that comes up like this, I'm sure myself and/or others can help walk you through whatever process it is. Replacing BJs kinda sucks, but what you do get experience with in the process is removing brake, removing unit bearings (which requires a 12pt 13mm socket which most don't have in a set), and pulling axles shafts. Should you ever have to change one of your front axle seals, which is highly likely, this is all labor you have to do to the guts of that job. It's also labor you need to know should you need to replace an axle shaft u-joint.

Anyhow, glad you got the issue resolved and it was superficial. Hopefully smooth sailing from here on out for a while.


Random comment for all - I removed those POS dust shields years ago. I got tired of getting rocks stuck between those and my rotors when wheelin'. It's probably been about 4.5 years running without them, and I can't say I've ever noticed any ill-effects.

Last edited by resharp001; 04-15-2019 at 04:31 PM.
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