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Discussion Starter #1
I've read the threads on here, and have some questions. I've had a chirping sound that yesterday my mechanic identified as a u-joint with just the tiniest amount of play in it. I was going to replace it, but I wasn't sure if I should use OEM or if it really mattered. Thoughts?

The threads I've read on here all confirm that this is the case. However, when I got under it I shook it and never really saw it move. However, the flange connecting to the transfer case sees to have some play. Then I was reading about changing/upgrading that, but nothing was real specific.

What's the deal here? I just lifted it and spent some $$ on new tires. I don't have money sitting around for a big replacement right now. U-joints are simple enough, but I don't want to replace them if it's really the flange housing. Can anyone point me in the right direction here?

How much play should there be on that flange? I get that there will be some looseness in the transfer case output (and that might be all I'm feeling). I read that spraying WD-40 on the u-joint would make it stop squealing temporarily as a check to see if it's bad - is that accurate?

I'm thinking this is a weekend project, so any info would sure be appreciated.

Happy new year everyone!!
 

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If it is loose at the flange on the TC end, tighten that up first!!! There should be NO play at the flange. Then see if your noise is still there. If it is then I would proceed with changing our the U joint or further diagnosis. FWIW... there are lots of good u joints out there, but a good stand-by is still a spicer. If you can get a greasable Spicer then that is what I would use unless you wanted a fancier u joint. But I have seen the Spicers come both greasable and un-greasable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When I refer to play at the flange, I mean the ability to spin the drive shaft clockwise/counter clockwise a small amount until the gear grabs it. The flange itself is bolted securely.

Are you suggesting I shouldn't even feel a little rotation slop out of the TC? I thought that was fairly normal.
 

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Red06LJ said:
When I refer to play at the flange, I mean the ability to spin the drive shaft clockwise/counter clockwise a small amount until the gear grabs it. The flange itself is bolted securely.

Are you suggesting I shouldn't even feel a little rotation slop out of the TC? I thought that was fairly normal.

Oh ok... yes it is normal to have some slop there. I misunderstood. :oops: Is this the stock rear DS or a CV rear DS?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's all stock. It's an unlimited, so it's got the SYE.

1.25" BL, 1" MML, 2" spring suspension lift (so, just the springs and shocks were changed). 33" BFG AT tires. Other than that, she's all stock.
 

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Are you sure it's not the front driveshaft?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ric - maybe i'm missing something here... I'm in 2 wheel drive going down the road. The front shouldn't be spinning, thus not making noise, right? Am I overlooking something?
 

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If we're talking about a Rubi, the front drive shaft always spins unless you install locking hubs on the front axle. I heard chirpping under mine and had to replace my front drive shaft.
 

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Yes, unless you have a hub conversion mod on yours, the front DS spins all the time. You can disconnect it at the axle, tie it up out of the way, and drive the jeep for testing purposes and see if the sound goes away or is still there.

I am not familiar with a LJs rear DS, is it just a standard DS like the OE TJs or do they come with a factory CV rear DS?
 

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It's not unusual for a u-joint to squeak and to not have any play. It usually means the grease has failed and the rollers have turned to rust. If you take the shaft out, you will usually find one of the joints hard to move back and forth.
If you can duplicate the noise at low speeds, have someone drive it and walk alongside. You should be able to determine which shaft is making the noise.
In our local club, which has several late model TJ's and Rubi's, it is usually one of the CV joints on the front shaft. The factory doesn't seem to put enough grease in them!
 

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It's most likely a u-joint -- as Blue said -- start with rebuilding the front DS or swapping it for a TW or HAD with greaseable joints.
 

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I have a load squeak also, I isolated it back to the front drive shaft rear CV centering ball.
 

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Oh yea it squeaks in 2WD also
 
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