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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friday night my Jeep ('84 CJ-7) developed a noise which sounded like I was riding on a flat tire. The noise usually would begin after I hit a bump (around 35-40mph) or swayed to the side of the road. When I would come to a stop it would go away, until I hit another bump or swayed. I checked for play on both sides but it was tight. I did notice that the driver's side was not engaging all the times when I flipped the 4x4 selector. I am assuming it is something with that, and to prevent the noise from happening I left the hubs locked since Friday. At this time the noise hasn't happened, but Saturday I decided to unlock the passenger side, (the good side), and the noise started happening again shortly after. Also, in 4X4, the driver's side tire wobbles when it's rotating on a turn. Any ideas, and can I fix it myself?


 
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Friday night my Jeep ('84 CJ-7) developed a noise which sounded like I was riding on a flat tire. The noise usually would begin after I hit a bump (around 35-40mph) or swayed to the side of the road. When I would come to a stop it would go away, until I hit another bump or swayed. I checked for play on both sides but it was tight. I did notice that the driver's side was not engaging all the times when I flipped the 4x4 selector. I am assuming it is something with that, and to prevent the noise from happening I left the hubs locked since Friday. At this time the noise hasn't happened, but Saturday I decided to unlock the passenger side, (the good side), and the noise started happening again shortly after. Also, in 4X4, the driver's side tire wobbles when it's rotating on a turn. Any ideas, and can I fix it myself?

STOP DRIVING THE TRUCK IMMEDIATELY!! The wobbling tire is a major safety concern for you and anyone on the road. A tire should never wobble, assuming the rim is true. Check those wheel bearings and bearing retaining nut for proper tightness. My guess is the driver's spindle bearings are shot and/or the retainer nut is loose. If you lucked out, the log nut are loose, but doesn't sound like it based upon your description.
-Drew M.
Regardless, the wheels need to be pulled and the spindle assemblies instected for damage.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Drew, the tire is fine. Their is no play in the hub, no noise, etc. I believe that when I'm in two wheel drive, the front alxe is trying to engage somehow. Like I said, I get a noise like the tire rubbing on a fender, more of a growl then a metalic noise. The driver's side is not engaging when switched to 4x4, WHAT WOULD CAUSE THIS? The selector? The wobble comes when the front alxe is engaged, so I'm assuming the spindle bearing is shot. What's the chances of the spindle being destroyed from the bearing exploding? The tire rolls fine when the front is not in 4x4.

 
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Drew, the tire is fine. Their is no play in the hub, no noise, etc.
-something has play - why else would it wobble?

I believe that when I'm in two wheel drive, the front alxe is trying to engage somehow. Like I said, I get a noise like the tire rubbing on a fender, more of a growl then a metalic noise.
-sounds like a bearing still

The driver's side is not engaging when switched to 4x4, WHAT WOULD CAUSE THIS? The selector?
-cause? Anything that interrupts power to the end of the axle shaft; bad axle u-joint, broken axle grinding up inside housing,or broken hub selector.

The wobble comes when the front alxe is engaged, so I'm assuming the spindle bearing is shot.
-Odd that it only wobbles when the axle is engaged. Wheels bearing do not operate differently if in 4x4 or not. Don't have an answer on this. (Now if the truck rocked front and back while going under 20mph - that's driveline geomerty being off and the rocking is caused by the off angle u-joints as they turn).

What's the chances of the spindle being destroyed from the bearing exploding?
-I think you meant bearing pieces scaring the machined spindle surface, well, that answer depends on how long you drove it like this. Spindles are tough and can handle small nicks ect - as long as they are not on the seal edges. nedd to inspect the bearings.

The tire rolls fine when the front is not in 4x4.
-Raise the tire and spin it by hand and then with the hubs engaged and the transfer in neutral and feel for grinding as the wheel turns. If it only grinds in 4x4, then the spindle bearing (inside the spindle) is bad ($5)- very rare since most 4x4's spend little time in 4x4. Hmmm. . . lots of sand or water in the truck's past? Sand/washouts require frequent diff. oil changes and spindle re-greasing.

Then tear down the spindle for inspection - I assume you repack the grease regularly right? Have at it. Hope the damage is minor.

BTW: M29/M29c mean anything to you? Just wondering . . . .
-Drew M.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Never heard of M29/M29c, sorry. I think I know what happened. The spindle bearing took a dump, thereby giving me some play in the shaft. The shaft is riding off the inside of the selector. When I took the selector off, there were shavings in the grease, but they weren't metal. By locking it in 4x4, i stpped the noise but probably screwed up the shaft or spindle with the shot bearing. Well, I'm tearing it down this weekend, just ordered everything for the front including new Warn hubs. The problem is that the spindles are on back order, so I hope there was little or no damage. Live and learn.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Never heard of M29/M29c, sorry. I think I know what happened. The spindle bearing took a dump, thereby giving me some play in the shaft. The shaft is riding off the inside of the selector. When I took the selector off, there were shavings in the grease, but they weren't metal. By locking it in 4x4, i stopped the noise but probably screwed up the shaft or spindle with the shot bearing. Well, I'm tearing it down this weekend, just ordered everything for the front including new Warn hubs. The problem is that the spindles are on back order, so I hope there was little or no damage. Live and learn.

 
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Off topic a little . . .

When I saw you nick name I wondered why "Weasel." I hoped you had a M29 Weasel. During WWII Studebaker made tracked vehicles about the size of jeeps for snow and marshes and also for open water (M29c). The vehicles were called Weasels/Water Weasels and are becomming rare as their tracks fall apart (rubber covered cables). Weight about 3000lbs, max speed 30mph and less ground pressure than a person walking.
-Drew M.
 

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I have heard of this, although not on a jeep. My '95 Trooper had this same problem. It has auto locking hubs, the kind you have to stop, shift to 4WD , then start slowly. What happened was the front C-clip holding the hub/shaft in place came off. Remove your hub and take a look. It's common on Troopers, especially my model genre. The remedy is to put a new C-clip on, there shouldn't be any damage to the spline (hubs are weaker) unless you drove it a lot in 4WD, then you may need a new hub. A lot of people with Troopers also upgrade to the Milemarker (Warn & Superwinch don't make them) manual locking hubs at the same time. The side is not engaging (it will occasionally) because the splines are not making full contact with the hub, only partial contact. With mine locked in, I couldn't get above 1 mph, felt like the whole front end would vibrate off, really started shaking violently at speeds approaching 5 mph, even in 2WD with the hubs in. I hope this is the same problem you're having and it's that easy to fix. Good luck.

JEEPN
'81 CJ-8 Scrambled!
GM151/SM465/NP205 twinstick/7"Lift/33"TSL's/IHC D44's 4.10's Lock'd
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Drew, NY Weasel (wild weasel was taken) was supposed to be Wild Weasel, the nick name my mom gave me cause I used to go 4 wheeling in the woods at night by myself. Every morning she'd wake up for work and my truck was covered with mud and branches, I could hear her yelling to my father, "the wild weasel was at it again." It stuck.

As for the wobble, assuming the spindle bearing is blown, the axle will not rotate true when turning, because of the play. The axle is turning "loppy" so the tire is compensating for the play by moving a bit when I turn. But straight it would not be affected. All assumptions, but I will know this weekend. Thanks to both you guys for helping me brainstorm the problem.


 
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