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Loud Clicking in drive - Clunk and Wheels Seize in Reverse (sometimes)

 
Old 03-13-2019, 06:14 PM
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Default Loud Clicking in drive - Clunk and Wheels Seize in Reverse (sometimes)

Hello, first time poster but long time lurker. Hopefully this is the right forum. Iím having an issue that makes me think our 2015 JKU isnít safe to drive. Iíve searched the forum and googled quite a bit today, but havenít found anything that sounds like the problem we are having.

All of a sudden yesterday in 2-wheel drive we started hearing a clicking noise and thumping that seemed like it was towards the front passenger side. It vibrated the whole vehicle and seemed somewhat in time with the wheels rotating. There also seemed to be a lot of drag slowing it down on the highway. I also heard a loud clunk once in reverse that felt and sounded like I ran over something big and metal, but it only happened once.

By the time we got home the noise was almost gone and driving was much smoother. I thought maybe some road debris had gotten caught and that was it. However, we got about a foot and half of snow today and I went to back up in 4x4 and I heard the same loud thump, but this time it felt like the rear passenger side wheel locked up completely. When I put it in drive I heard the loud clunk again, but no wheels seized. I tried putting it in reverse and again, loud clunk and felt like a wheel wouldnít turn no matter what I did. Iím able to repeat this with some consistency, but the distance I can travel in reverse varies (Iím guessing 2-10 ft). The clicking noise in drive seems to be somewhat more quiet, but obviously something is very wrong.

Any advice on what could be wrong would be greatly appreciated. I donít have the tools, space or knowledge to fix myself and we need to decide whether we can take this to an independent shop, or should go to the dealer. We just passed 65K miles and Iím not sure whether this could be anything that could be considered a warranty issue under the 100k mile warranty.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:43 AM
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Between a dealer and/or a shop, I think I'd be going to the dealer since it only has 65k miles. You didn't mention if this was modified, and if so, to what extent. I'm presuming you haven't re-geared, replaced axle and driveshafts, etc. Whatever it is, it doesn't sound good at all. Could be u-joint related, brake related, gear related, DS related....but since you say you don't have the experience or space to diagnose or work on it, take er on in to the dealer. What I would do is take what they tell you, and post it up here before giving them a green light to fix it. Depending on what they say, members her might have a suggestion or two of a better route to take in regards to a repair.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by resharp001 View Post
Between a dealer and/or a shop, I think I'd be going to the dealer since it only has 65k miles. You didn't mention if this was modified, and if so, to what extent. I'm presuming you haven't re-geared, replaced axle and driveshafts, etc. Whatever it is, it doesn't sound good at all. Could be u-joint related, brake related, gear related, DS related....but since you say you don't have the experience or space to diagnose or work on it, take er on in to the dealer. What I would do is take what they tell you, and post it up here before giving them a green light to fix it. Depending on what they say, members her might have a suggestion or two of a better route to take in regards to a repair.
Thanks. The JK has an aev package that was installed by jeep prior to going into inventory. I haven't done anything too it other than replacing some lighting and replacing a bent rear axle (or some part of the axle) through an independent Jeep shop that charges an arm and a leg to do anything and takes 4 weeks to get an appt. I'll look around for a dealer out here. It's my daily driver, so I don't have much time to get it fixed since its the beginning of our big snow season. Thanks!

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Old 03-14-2019, 08:12 AM
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Assuming you can drive it to the dealer, the worst case scenario is they may charge you a small diagnosis fee if they tell you the issue and you chose not to let them fix it. I'd rather take my chances with that and it being a warranty issue rather than heading straight to an aftermarket shop. That's coming from someone that hates dealers and avoids at all costs. In this situation, I think that might be the best bet though.

Now, how you proceed after a diagnosis, I might have a different opinion about, depending on what it is.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:26 AM
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I made an appointment at the closes Jeep dealership about 30 miles away. The soonest they could see me is Monday. I'll reply back with details. Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:20 PM
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So the dealer found that stud backed out from the axle and a nut fell off the control arm, which resulted:
  • A bent a G2 axle that I just recently replaced due to a previously bent stock rear axle
    • I've heard that tell-tale squeak the last few months, so not sure if it's related or a separate issue (the dealer says the angle of the stud may have caused the bending, but says it takes a lot to bend a G2 axle and it's impossible to say if it made an existing situation worse or caused the issue
    • I do drive over a ton of horse-trail type roads and badly wind / water eroded roads to get to and from home every day though and probably go faster than I should, which caused the stock axle to bend. I was told the G2 axle would be able to tackle just about anything I ran into on a day to day basis...
  • Damaged the traction control sensor
  • Damaged the TPMS or monitoring system (not clear on which)
  • Damaged the rear passenger wheel by turning the hole into an oval
All parts are AEV other than the G2 axles and the dealer isn't an AEV dealer, so they are working on finding parts. The G2 axle has been replaced by a newer model (even thought its only about 6 - 8 months old). I normally don't trust dealers, but the service manager I'm working seems very responsive and easy to talk to. So far he has advised me against replacing two parts unless they find its absolutely necessary, which may mean he is honest...although I've yet to meet a dealer who possesses this trait. He also sent over some photos that I'm including to show me what they found.

I'm not sure whether to get the work done at the dealer or not. I hate dealers, but they are able to do the work as soon as they locate parts and any independent shop I've worked with takes a few weeks to get an appointment. I haven't gotten a quote yet and won't know what to tell an independent shop until I get a breakdown of parts and labor, but this is a daily driver and I'll probably have to rent a car while waiting for it to be fixed. Also not sure how safe it is to drive the extra 30 miles to one of the independent shops I know of that do decent work. I'd imagine the dealer will cost more than an independent. Although the reputable independent 4x4 shops are certainly not cheap, not sure if the quality of the work is better than a dealer, but I always assumed it was.

Thoughts or recommendations?







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Old 03-18-2019, 03:17 PM
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You need a bolt ($8 at the dealer), wheel speed sensor ($24), and I'd also replace all 5 of the wheel studs even though only one is backed out. That should be $20-25 for bolts but they come from particular sources (Jegs, G2, Strange motorsports).

As far as having the work done- you could have it put on a tow truck and moved across town but they've already got it apart, I'd likely just let them fix it. You pay for convenience and diagnostics.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:20 PM
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Good grief. First, I thought my Nitro axle shafts were about the only ones with screw in studs, which I just had to replace recently. Didn't realize the G2 shafts were the same. I'd have a couple questions in general. Who was the last person to put that wheel on, cuz that had to have started with a lug nut that was not torqued properly, coming off, then allowing the stud to back out. Also, a control arm bolt that should be torqued to 125 ft lbs doesn't just come off like that? Is there someone that had touched that somewhere along the lines? Is this jeep new to you, or something you've had since new? Just curious if you know the full history or not.

Are you saying that entire axle shaft flange is bent? If not, seems as simple as replacing a wheel stud(s), replacing the ABS sensor, and replacing a wheel or using the spare wheel....in addition to buying a nut for that control arm? Maybe having to replace the whole axle shaft if the flange is bent. All in all, easy fix unless I've missed something. Mainly going by the pictures there. I can't tell if that parking brake assembly is damaged enough to warrant a replacement.

Do agree with Karl - if replacing 1 whee stud...you do all 5. It's amazing how quickly the 4 remaining get damaged once one is gone.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:33 PM
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Thanks for the feedback! So, I've been buying my tires from discount tire for a while due to their tire warranty and they did the last rotation and balance...and did a horrible job. I brought it back and they found that the tires were off by 5 to 10 grams each. I talk to the shop that put the G2 on and they said that the bolts are self tightening and shouldn't be loosened by a properly installed tire. They think that discount tire didn't thread the bolt correctly with their pneumatic driver, but ended up getting enough bite to torque the lug nut and inadvertently ended up driving the axle stud out, which is what caused most of the issues. The shop did say that this none of these issues should have bent the axle and they will replace the axle for free if it's actually bent, including parts and labor. While its there they will take care of the rest, which should be pretty cheap since they are taking most of the damaged parts off to get to the axle anyway. The shop also said they doubt the wheel needs to replaced since its hub centric, but they would check everything out.

I'm going to call the dealer in the morning and ask them to put it back together and I'll drive it down to the 4x4 shop. I'm still out the $195 diagnostic fee, but hopefully the dealer won't give me any grief about putting things back together since I'm sure they can't match the 4x4 shop price. Plus the 4x4 shop has the axle in stock and said the dealer would probably have to end up ordering it from them anyway if they needed it in a hurry.

Long story short on the jeep purchase - I've had it for the last 3 years and put 60K miles on it without any issues. I got it from Hendricks Motorsports in NC with 8K miles on it. The story I was told was that VP of finance had it built for his son, but his son didn't want to take it to college (this sounded like BS, but I talked to a few folks and got the same story). I was moving from Georgia to Colorado for work and needed something I could drive in snow and cold weather. Hendricks made me a deal I couldn't refuse when I was shopping around my CTS-V DD with lots of aftermarket love for a trade. I wondered for a while if there was something wrong with this jeep because they offered me $10K more than anyone else was for my trade, but I've put a lot of miles on it and it's been extremely solid up until this issue (and first bent rear axle at 55K miles).
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