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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Odd Vibration between 35-45mph

Sorry for being inactive for a while and now dropping in with a problem. To say things have been busy for a long time is an understatement. In a week I am about to change careers and move to another part of the country. So in the small time I have before then I was hoping to fix my "vibration issues".

My 04 Wrangler has around 55k miles on it and within the past week or so my wife and I have noticed that when I get into 3-4th gear and around 35+ mph the steering wheel starts to shake, and this continues until 45mph. Then it tapers off a bit.

If I push in the clutch, it stops. If I am in neutral and I give rev 3k rpm's I have no issues with the engine.

When this is happening there is no indication on the tac that the engine is seeing the same issue.

I thought it may be my tires were off on rotation. So I rotated in my spare (full size) and did a full rotation as per the manual.

I am thinking this could be a number of things, and I was hoping to get some feedback before I took it to the almighty dealer for warranty work (since it's only got 55k on it and the warranty is good till 75k).

Could the tires be off balance?
Could the clutch be slipping?
Could it be an alignment issue?
Could it be my ball-joints?

I just did not want to take it to someone esp. the dealer without having an idea, could avoid a nice shock that way.

Thanks all in advance.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 09:31 PM
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Re: Odd Vibration between 35-45mph

Sounds like something in the front end. Take it to an alignment shop you trust or have heard good things about and let tham have a look. You can always double check their recomendations yourself and do the work yourself.

You can also check the ball joints and tie rod ends yourself. To check rod ends lay under the ffront of the Jeep (preferably) while it is shut off and parking brake engaged. Have a second person wiggles the wheel back and forth and watch for play at the rod ends. To check ball joints, jack up one front tire at a time, just an inch or two off of the ground. Take a large pry bar or pipe and pry upward between the ground and tire and watch for up and down play at the joints. It may take a second person to do the prying while you get underneath again and watch.

If you rotated the tires as the manual suggested I would think that you can probably rule out that being the cause. After chaing the tires around, the shaking should have at least changed some or "moved" to where you feel it differently. However, have balance checked on tires is cheap.

I doubt it's drivetrain related, but the clutch issue is interesting. Are you certain that the transfer case shifter did not get bumped partially, or got left in 4wd? Maybe a problem with one of the front hubs?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 10:55 PM
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Re: Odd Vibration between 35-45mph

What recent changes have you made? The speed range and the fact that pushing in the clutch kinda suggests driveline....have you lifted it?

The alignement shop is a good suggestion....but before you go you might want to crawl underneath and have a look....have the wife/girlfriend turn the wheel from side to side while you watch the front end...you will be surprised at what you can see this way....next, put it in gear and then rock it back and forth while watching the driveshaft....this will let you know if you have a bad u-joint.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 11:08 PM
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Re: Odd Vibration between 35-45mph

My YJ started doing that last week. At first I thought I had a bad front wheel bearing or ball joint. It would vibrate the steering wheel back and forth and could be felt in the floor. Turned out to be a bad rear driveshaft u-joint. Changed it Tuesday night and the problem is gone.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Odd Vibration between 35-45mph

Thanks all for the replies, I've got some stuff to check out today.

To answer one question, I have not done anything to it. It's never been lifted, and I haven't made any changes.

I am also getting a "thud" from time to time when I go over any bump/ or hit a pot hole. It sounds like it's front suspension related. I should grab a picture of the sway bars, the small gromet looking piece between them looks rather compressed on one side.

I don't really have a trusted shop in the area, so I may need to ask around to get some feedback.

Thanks again all, I'll give all this a shot later on.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2006, 07:52 PM
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Re: Odd Vibration between 35-45mph

If it were a front-wheel drive car, I'd bet on a bad CV joint. Those are typically speed-specific and happen only when under power - not when coasting - similar to your 'clutch in' mode.
Newer Jeeps don't have unlock hubs, so your front axles are always turning. Not quite like a CV, but kinda close. I'm putting my small bet on a drive line matter. Internal carrier bearing or something??
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Odd Vibration between 35-45mph

Turns out it is probably the rear driveshaft u-joint. It's at the dealer for a warrenty fix. Thankfully I got the extra warrenty, for something like this it seems to be helping out.

There also seems to be an issue with the front sway bar right side. The gromet looks to be rather compressed. I don't think this is causing any of the drive issue, but will probably need to be fixed some time soon.

Thanks again for all the input it's been really helpfull. When I deffinitely have a fix i'll make sure it makes it into the thread for future searches sake.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-16-2006, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Odd Vibration between 35-45mph [FIXED]

It was the rear u-joints on the drive shaft (rear).

Thanks all for the input.
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