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Help! Sounds and feels like something is banging around in there

Old 05-14-2019, 09:24 AM
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Default Help! Sounds and feels like something is banging around in there

Just got a "new" 98 jeep grand Cherokee zj last week, since we got it it's always had a hard time making sharp turns like the 4 wheel drive is always on, catching and fighting the turn. (Its all wheel drive bit that seems odd) then yesterday it started sputtering while in drive idling (like at a stoplight but not in park) and making a loud banging sound at various times, only at low speeds (in town driving) but not on the highway. I'd say it sounds and feels like a metal rod banging around or like a rock in a bucket Haha feels like its catching up on something, like I can feel it alot. Sorry i know next to nothing about vehicles so hope you can understand my descriptions
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:40 AM
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you have a full time all wheel drive transfer case. they usually came in V8 models, but i've seen a few with the I6 4.0L. those jeeps came with CV front drive axles. sounds like yours have come to the end of it's life. it's a pretty simple job to replace one, or both (front axle shafts). some have swapped out the CV shafts for shafts with U-joints instead, as those came in non all wheel drive models, and if failed, can simply replace the U-joint and keep the shafts. but CV joints typically are better and smoother when wheels are turned and on the gas in 4wd.

as for the loud banging, if that sound is coming from the engine, i'm not sure, but if the sound is coming from the front axle shaft, that makes sense as the CV shaft runs on ball bearings and once separated from the race, they bang and thump like crazy.

i would get on that axle repair, you don't want it to cause more damage.

good luck, and welcome to cherokeeforum. bunch of good people here, willing to lend a hand. where are you located? someone in your area would be willing to come to give you a hand, or just verify the problem.

cheers
Rog.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:20 PM
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Oh man thanks! Sounds right to me lol and ya this site is awesome, definitely gonna use it more often! This 98 just had to get me through a year or two till I upgrade really have my heart set on a Rubicon 😍
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by caged View Post
you have a full time all wheel drive transfer case. they usually came in V8 models, but i've seen a few with the I6 4.0L. .
I have that on my 2002 Grand.


Erica, welcome. Good advice above. One more thing: Since you have to pull the hubs to pull the axles, you should be sure they are in good shape before you pop them back in. Maybe just go ahead and replace them while you are there, since it will be zero extra labor. Aaaaand you might want to take a look at your rotors and calipers while you're there.....

Yes, I don't mind spending your money at all!


On the "engine noise", here's something to remember: Fix known problems first.

If your CV joints are shot, fix them, THEN worry about other noises. In other words, one thing at a time.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:53 AM
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Being a 98, I would assume you have the NP249 constant 4wd transfer case, which is known to have problems with the viscous clutch failing and creating that "hitch & jump" on turns you're experiencing. You can remove the front driveshaft to see if that's the cause, but be aware that when you do that, the jeep may roll in park so you'll need the parking brake. Of course if it does work to fix it, you can put the driveshaft back in so park will work. The viscous clutch can be replaced, but it's an expensive part and requires complete disassembly of the transfer case. Many people take this opportunity to switch to the NP242 or NP 231 transfer case.

The "rocks-in-a-dryer" sound has me worried that you've lost oil pressure and the engine is destroying itself. If that is the case, in my opinion, that engine is toast. I'm beginning to wonder if the seller KNEW the jeep had a problem and sold it to you anyhow! This sort of stuff makes me furious! I think it's time to get professional help.
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