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#2545684 - 09/04/18 01:16 PM Grand Cherokee clicking problem
TC@HP2 Offline

Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 4941
Loc: Pikes Peak Country
I have a '99 Grand Cherokee with Select-Trac with Vari-lock. On my shift console I have 2wd, 4wd part time, 4wd full time, N, and 4wd low. The previous owner I bought it from had the front end replaced because he quote "burned it up". He really couldn't expand on it much more than that other to say it started making a lot of noise and he had a reputable local shop replace the entire front end.

When test driving it, I noticed a clicking sound that made me think the cv joints were going out. It only occurs on sharp right hand turns, not on left turns at all. Used it as a point to talk him down a bit, so I bought it.

Thinking it was a cv joint going out, this is what it sounds like, I replaced the half shafts last week only to find out the clicking was still there. It is not as pronounced as previous and it takes a tighter turn to produce than before. Drove up some paved switch backs locally. Clicking only occurs on sharp right hand turns, while acellerating, going up hill. It does not occur on left hand turns. It does not occur on sharp right hand turns going down hill with no throttle. I can make the noise on sharp right hand figure 8s on flat pavement, which also has some throttle engagement.

I have noticed the steering feels like its in 4wd despite the shift selector being in 2wd. Putting the front end in the air in 4wd part time, and spinning one wheel causes the other to spin the opposite direction. The driveshaft does not turn. However, after about 3/4 of a revolution of either right or left tire, there is a small click and then the tire becomes increasingly more difficult to turn into it almost lock ups. This is what I would interpret a Vari-lock axle to do simply by virtue of its name. I cannot spin either tire manually to duplicate the clicking I'm hearing.

I'm not positive its an axle problem, but it is occurring at or forward of the driver's seat area.

I've also noticed a audible hum at speeds over 40. The noise does not increase in volume with speed after that, but is not noticeable at speeds under 40.

Thoughts on if this is an axle problem, transfer case problem, or something else?

#2545925 - 09/04/18 09:54 PM Re: Grand Cherokee clicking problem [Re: TC@HP2]
BlwnCrcab Offline

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 118
Loc: IL
my brother had a 99 Grand Cheroke
his daughter drove did the same thing never did find problem
drove it for 3 years that way never left her standed
body rusted away

#2545975 - 09/05/18 12:00 AM Re: Grand Cherokee clicking problem [Re: BlwnCrcab]
rhad Offline
super stock

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 778
Loc: garnett kansas
pull the diff cover and have a look see
my ladder of success is missing some rungs

#2546465 - 09/05/18 10:05 PM Re: Grand Cherokee clicking problem [Re: TC@HP2]
hemi70 Offline

Registered: 08/05/03
Posts: 309
Loc: Mass. USA#1
Take a close look at the RF wheel speed sensor wire.
Tire can rub it on tight right turn.
If is routed on top of brake line it can rub the lugs on the edge of tire and make a distinct noise.

It's better to burn out.....Than it is to rust. 1970 Road Runner 2001 Ram quad cab 2012 Wrangler Unlimited "Arctic" 1992 Yamaha V-Max

#2594209 - 12/19/18 10:14 AM Re: Grand Cherokee clicking problem [Re: TC@HP2]
TC@HP2 Offline

Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 4941
Loc: Pikes Peak Country
After much checking, finally got this corrected. Due to mileage, the suspension bushings were pretty soft and fairly worn. When making turns, bushing compliance allowed just a slight amount of lateral movement in the front axle. When turning right, it would push the axle to the right and allow the front differential flange to contact a heat shield on the exhaust system. As the bolts in the flange rotated by, it would snag the heat shield, slightly pull it out and then allow it to snap back.

New bushings eliminated the slop, no more axle displacement, no more clicking.


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