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Worn TransferCase Chain / driveline issues

Old 02-14-2019, 04:19 AM
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Angry Worn TransferCase Chain / driveline issues

Dear members,

I have a 99 Cherokee sport country (xj) with some driveline issues which I am not sure if they are call related to each other or they are all due to one faulty issue.

My symptoms is as follows:
1) The Front drive / prop shaft has some play in it - its the same as shown in the youtube video someone else posed here->
2) The other symptom is almost the same sort of noise you get from a car with worn CV joints, like something jumping or such. Currently it only happens when I pull way with hard throttle. When pulling away gently it's not always there if all.

the transfer case is a NV231 (NP231) as far as I can tell because the car has an option to select high range temporary 4 wheel drive.

I tried sticking my head out the window and listen, it seems to come from the bottom "center" of the car.
Question 1) Is my guess right that the transfer case chain is worn?
Question 2) Would a worn chain also e the cause of the play in the front prop shaft
Question 3) This car is unfortunately my daily driver and in South-Africa where I live, jeep spare parts like that are not readily available, would it be advisable to remove the front prop shaft, and chain temporarily until I have the part, in other words making the car 2 wheel drive always until i get the chain?

PLease can someone give some advice?

Thank you.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:19 PM
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1 - The driveshaft shown in the video is pretty typical front driveshaft behavior. In other words, normal and not likely to be your root cause.
2 - Please describe behavior more specifically. Does it feel like a binding or like the vehicle is in 4wd when it's not?
Q1 - Probably not.
Q2 - Play can come from many places, a stretched chain is one. Typically you will hear a stretched chain hit the case of the unit if it's really bad.
Q3 - Yes, you can pull the front shaft and drive without it. I'd mark the yokes so you can re-install in the same orientation when re-installing.

That said, I am skeptical that there's a problem with the front shaft. My gut feeling is that you have an issue with the axle u-joints (the ones that sit inside the axle tube and connect the front diff to the wheel hubs), but more details will be needed to provide a reasonable recommendation.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:08 PM
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Hi PatHenry,


to answer your question1:
, i'll try to b more specific.
it is weird though. i'f i'm very gently on the throttle (awlays in 2 wheel drive mode), it does not happen. although it also seems to get louder when i turn left and accelerate ar the same time - the clucnking sound is quite noticeable.
Your question 2: Sometimes yes, when I'm hard on the throttle theres like a vibration comeing and going...
when I am doing 100km/h, there is a sligtht whining noise from the rear.

But coming back to the clunking sound, it goes away after i have accelerated above 20/30 km/h , but maybe the other road and engine noises are louder than that.

I did put it into part time four wheel drive today for a km or so to see if it makes it any worse or not, but I can't tell. Perhaps I ca try again.

Regards


Originally Posted by PatHenry View Post
1 - The driveshaft shown in the video is pretty typical front driveshaft behavior. In other words, normal and not likely to be your root cause.
2 - Please describe behavior more specifically. Does it feel like a binding or like the vehicle is in 4wd when it's not?
Q1 - Probably not.
Q2 - Play can come from many places, a stretched chain is one. Typically you will hear a stretched chain hit the case of the unit if it's really bad.
Q3 - Yes, you can pull the front shaft and drive without it. I'd mark the yokes so you can re-install in the same orientation when re-installing.

That said, I am skeptical that there's a problem with the front shaft. My gut feeling is that you have an issue with the axle u-joints (the ones that sit inside the axle tube and connect the front diff to the wheel hubs), but more details will be needed to provide a reasonable recommendation.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:47 PM
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Based on what you're describing, look at your front axle u-joints. You can do this by crawling under the Jeep or jacking it up. It's easier if you take the wheel off since the u-joints are right behind the hub. Do you see any play or looseness? Holding one side firmly (or with the wheel on the ground), is there any play if you twist the shaft?

I suspect you'll find that one or both of the axle u-joints are bad. The u-joint should have zero play when twisted. You can also see if the driveshaft u-joints might be bad as well. Hold the axle yoke and twist the driveshaft, there should be no play. If you do take the driveshaft off, move the CV/Double cardan (the part near the transfer case with 2 u-joints in it) and see if there's any play. Rotate all the joints and see if they move smoothly and are tight.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by PatHenry View Post
The u-joint should have zero play when twisted. .
Common, one of the few things that regularly needs attention with a Jeep in my experience. Fronts make noise while turning hard. To me the drive-line joints feel like having a small trout on the line, the vibration accelerating as they fail. I carry a spare one of each right in the center consul.

Zero play. You can put your fingers on one while moving a jacked up wheel back and forth with your toe to feel for any play.
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by DFlintstone View Post
Common, one of the few things that regularly needs attention with a Jeep in my experience. Fronts make noise while turning hard. To me the drive-line joints feel like having a small trout on the line, the vibration accelerating as they fail. I carry a spare one of each right in the center consul.

Zero play. You can put your fingers on one while moving a jacked up wheel back and forth with your toe to feel for any play.
Ah thank you - I will check that certainly and let you know ASAP
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by PatHenry View Post
Based on what you're describing, look at your front axle u-joints. You can do this by crawling under the Jeep or jacking it up. It's easier if you take the wheel off since the u-joints are right behind the hub. Do you see any play or looseness? Holding one side firmly (or with the wheel on the ground), is there any play if you twist the shaft?

I suspect you'll find that one or both of the axle u-joints are bad. The u-joint should have zero play when twisted. You can also see if the driveshaft u-joints might be bad as well. Hold the axle yoke and twist the driveshaft, there should be no play. If you do take the driveshaft off, move the CV/Double cardan (the part near the transfer case with 2 u-joints in it) and see if there's any play. Rotate all the joints and see if they move smoothly and are tight.
Thanks - will check that too
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:17 AM
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Keep us posted on how it goes!

Just one more thing to add, a trusted member mentioned that he experienced an issue with the front axle u-joints where they appeared to be tight, but "crusty" and sticking (leading to roughness when turning). While I don't think that your issue is this - clunking usually means the joint has failed and likely needle bearings have fallen out, leading to slop in the joint that clunks as it hits the inside of the bearing cap - it's something to keep in mind.

I'm actually going to be changing out my axle joints in the near future since I'm getting a very minor "roughness" in the front end and literally everything else is new while the axle joints -look and feel- tight, but are definitely pretty "crusty" and I have no idea the last time (if ever) they've been replaced.
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Old 02-15-2019, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PatHenry View Post
Keep us posted on how it goes!

Just one more thing to add, a trusted member mentioned that he experienced an issue with the front axle u-joints where they appeared to be tight, but "crusty" and sticking (leading to roughness when turning). While I don't think that your issue is this - clunking usually means the joint has failed and likely needle bearings have fallen out, leading to slop in the joint that clunks as it hits the inside of the bearing cap - it's something to keep in mind.

I'm actually going to be changing out my axle joints in the near future since I'm getting a very minor "roughness" in the front end and literally everything else is new while the axle joints -look and feel- tight, but are definitely pretty "crusty" and I have no idea the last time (if ever) they've been replaced.
old uni joints can still be "tight", but when u get them apart, there is no lube, and the needles will be showing signs of rust.
They can presumably last quite a long time like this

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Old 02-15-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by awg View Post
old uni joints can still be "tight", but when u get them apart, there is no lube, and the needles will be showing signs of rust.
They can presumably last quite a long time like this
Yeah, I'm thinking -I- may have this ^^^ problem. The O.P. is reporting clunks, so I suspect he's got the kind of failure where the needle bearing fall out and there's slop in the joint.

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