My 98 Cherokee POS strikes again. It has a nasty sounding knock that started suddenly. I would describe it as a loud, "metallic" sound. It is not in the valvetrain.
I had a guy listen to it; he was the head mechanic at the local Chrysler/Jeep dealer for many years in the 80s and 90s. He said his first thought was a broken piston skirt, but that when that happens, the sound usually gets quieter by pulling the plug wire on the affected cylinder, which this doesn't do. He mentioned the possiblity of a cracked flexplate, but he and his co-workers all thought it sounded like it was coming from the engine, as did a couple mechanics at the Jeep dealer, who also listened to it. Bottom line, everyone who has listened to it says, "Ooh, that doesn't sound good...", but no one feels confident about what's causing it.
I should also mention that it runs the same as it did before the noise started, and it runs well.
I know sounds can travel in metal, and I sure don't expect anyone to be able to diagnose it by my description, but if anyone has any tips to help narrow it down, I'd be grateful. Thanks!