Knocking while in 4x4

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KJBart

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Recently bought a '07 Sport w/6spd manual and a 3" lift kit installed. Currently has 31x10.50R15 mud tires on. Here's the issue I'm consternating on.

When I put it into 4x4 Hi or Lo and then accelerate a bit hard, I get a light to medium (knocking?) noise coming from the front half of the truck.
(see video)
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Some notes:

Only happens in 4x4, either Hi or Lo
Other than the noise, 4x4 seems to work normally
Shifts into 4Hi or Lo without issue
Doesn't happen in reverse while in 4x4
Doesn't make any noises while turning
Have to push it a little to make it happen

Previous owner (a mechanic) replaced the following with new parts before selling, both lower control arms, front drive shaft, both front CV axles, front wheel bearings, upper ball joints, rear u joints, left outer tie rod.

Any thoughts on what the noise could be? Was thinking maybe where the front shaft mounts to the transfer case but the shaft is new. I'm not a mechanic so any help to narrow it down would be appreciated.

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ltd02

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You don't happen to know if the PO changed the front intermediate shaft? I think the splines can wear and get a bit wobbly. I've never had that happen to mine so can't really say what it would sound like but would probably be worse under load.

I've also heard that aftermarket front half shafts can be a poor fit. I believe they tend to run a bit shorter than OE.
 

lfhoward

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I was thinking the intermediate shaft too since it wasn’t on your list. That’s also true about the CV’s sometimes being too short for lifted KJ’s if they were not good quality ones. ltd02 has good advice.
 

KJBart

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You don't happen to know if the PO changed the front intermediate shaft? I think the splines can wear and get a bit wobbly. I've never had that happen to mine so can't really say what it would sound like but would probably be worse under load.

I've also heard that aftermarket front half shafts can be a poor fit. I believe they tend to run a bit shorter than OE.
I was thinking the intermediate shaft too since it wasn’t on your list. That’s also true about the CV’s sometimes being too short for lifted KJ’s if they were not good quality ones. ltd02 has good advice.

I got ahold of the PO and he said that he didn't replace the intermediate shaft, so now definitely on the list of likely suspects. Appreciate the input, thanks!
 

Btownpreacher

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Mine made the same noise a while back and I never knew what it was until one day the rear joint on the front driveshaft blew up. It torn the rubber out and spit the bearing balls out of the joint. had to limp it home, and remove the driveshaft so that i could drive it to work while I waited for a new one to ship in.
 

reload40s

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I had the same noise issue that turned out to be the rear joint of the front shaft as well. I had replaced it once already with a cheap one from Detroit Axle. After 18 months the noises started and it nearly seized up. My Napa Replacement shaft has given me no issues. If that turns out to be the issue don't go cheap on the Replacement. Just fyi there are also kits to rebuild the back joint. It doesn't look very difficult but it is made by Dorman so YMMV...
 

KJBart

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Mine made the same noise a while back and I never knew what it was until one day the rear joint on the front driveshaft blew up. It torn the rubber out and spit the bearing balls out of the joint. had to limp it home, and remove the driveshaft so that i could drive it to work while I waited for a new one to ship in.
I had the same noise issue that turned out to be the rear joint of the front shaft as well. I had replaced it once already with a cheap one from Detroit Axle. After 18 months the noises started and it nearly seized up. My Napa Replacement shaft has given me no issues. If that turns out to be the issue don't go cheap on the Replacement. Just fyi there are also kits to rebuild the back joint. It doesn't look very difficult but it is made by Dorman so YMMV...

Thanks for your input, much appreciated. Was under my rig today and hand tested the front drive shaft for play and found none. Some rotational movement but none otherwise. Then when I tried moving the right side CV shaft I got this:

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So to me it's looking like an intermediate shaft, would others concur? Is it ok to drive in 2WD with this till I get it fixed? What's the chances the inner CV will need to be replaced along with the intermediate shaft? Only had about an hour of 4x4 on it since the CV was replaced and that's counting testing it for the noise I was having.
 

ltd02

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Seems that way to me. That thing rocks quite a bit. Never had one that loose. Won't be able to tell if the CV was damaged until you get it and the intermediate shaft out. Considering the small amount of load time on it, you may be ok. You'll probably be able to drive it in 2wd for a while but probably not too long if you want to save the half shaft splines.
 

KJBart

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Seems that way to me. That thing rocks quite a bit. Never had one that loose. Won't be able to tell if the CV was damaged until you get it and the intermediate shaft out. Considering the small amount of load time on it, you may be ok. You'll probably be able to drive it in 2wd for a while but probably not too long if you want to save the half shaft splines.
Thanks a lot for your help. I'll probably order up a new CV shaft along with the intermediate shaft. When I look at the parts manual I get two numbers for the right CV half shaft (52111780AB / 05066020AA), do you know which one I should get?
 

KJowner

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Looks like the splines are toast already sadly. I'd strip it down before you order anything and see what's going on, trip to the scrapyard may be in order.
 

ltd02

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Thanks a lot for your help. I'll probably order up a new CV shaft along with the intermediate shaft. When I look at the parts manual I get two numbers for the right CV half shaft (52111780AB / 05066020AA), do you know which one I should get?

I hope someone will chime in if they're sure, but it looks like the 05066020AA is listed for the 3.7l gas with 3.73 gears. The other one is listed for 4cyl and diesels and they list 4.10 gears. That's really weird since I would think they'd all be the same.
 

Btownpreacher

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I hope someone will chime in if they're sure, but it looks like the 05066020AA is listed for the 3.7l gas with 3.73 gears. The other one is listed for 4cyl and diesels and they list 4.10 gears. That's really weird since I would think they'd all be the same.
The 4cyl needs the extra power so they get 4.10s. My diesel has 3.73 , and if I remember the v6 gets 3.55 or 3.73
 

klc

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My 06 has the 3.73.
 

ltd02

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The 4cyl needs the extra power so they get 4.10s. My diesel has 3.73 , and if I remember the v6 gets 3.55 or 3.73

Yeah I wasn't clear. I get that, I'm just surprised the half shafts would be different. Would think the only difference would be the ring and pinion.
 

KJBart

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Yeah I wasn't clear. I get that, I'm just surprised the half shafts would be different. Would think the only difference would be the ring and pinion.
This helps explain the difference.

"CRD Libertys have a different front cradle that lowers and leftward shifts the differential to provide more clearance for the diesel engine. The lowering results in better half-shaft constant velocity joint angles but too little clearance for a differential collar. The leftward shift requires different length half-shafts than those used in the gas Liberty. Due to the shorter left side half shaft CRD models cannot be lifted as high before the CV joints begin to bind."

source: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Jeep_Liberty/Dana_30a
 

KJowner

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Where are the manual diesels? As far I know in the USA the CRD wasn't optioned with a manual; the manual in the liberty isn't strong enough for CRD torque
Common in Europe, NV3550 5 speed 2.5 or the 6 speed Mercedes gearbox in the later 2.8 ones.
 

KJBart

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Update:

Unfortunately, the saga continues. I found a used CV shaft along with it's mated intermediate shaft out of a low mileage '05 Lib. All splines looked in excellent condition and the boots were in perfect shape. Then got it installed at a small local shop. Drove off and gave it a go in 4x4 and presto, knocking was gone, so figured that was that. Drove a few more miles in 4x2, then found some dirt again and gave 4x4 another go. WTH, damn sound was back! Only this time it was less than 50% as loud as it was before the swap and sometimes made no sound at all when giving it a go. :confused:

That was two weeks ago and it's still the same today. It makes the exact same sound I had before but is half as loud and occasionally will make no knock at all in 4x4.

A few notes:

The splines on the replacement shafts looked to be in great condition, deep with sharp edges.

Outer spline on the previous CV shaft was worn to about half of what was put in and somewhat rounded off. That shaft is less than two years old.

The previous intermediate shaft's spline going into the diff was in good shape.

A new feature of the attempted repair is my rig now makes a new knocking noise when turning right and in 4x2 but only for the first couple of miles then the noise goes away. Sounds like it's coming from the replaced right CV shaft. :(

Doubt it matters but also installed new tires while in the shop, going from Cooper STT Pros to AT3 XLTs.

Was curious to anyone's thoughts on what they'd do next?
 

KJowner

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Plenty of grease in the cv joint? Maybe worth popping the boot and adding more to see if it helps.
 
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