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Old 03-19-2011, 10:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Loud bad grinding noise in 4x4 on Samurai

I have a 86 Samurai and when I put it into 4 wheel drive it vibrates a little at first and gets worse the faster you go. When you hit about 30 mph and you let off the gas, there is a horrible clanking and grinding noise. I changed out the transfer case and I get the same noise from the new one. I checked all of my u-joints and they are good. The noise is the same with the hubs locked or unlocked. It does it in 4-hi or 4-lo. The grease under the hubs in the axles looked good and didn't have any metal shavings in them. I know it could be bearings, or ring and pinion, or unbalanced drive shaft but I was wondering if anybody has had this problem and what it turned out to be, or any quick ways to troubleshoot what it could be.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I removed the rear driveline and drove it in 4x4 and it still makes the same noise. I had a new flange with a different u-joint in it for the front driveline and changed it out and still had the noise. Since I changed out the transfer case already, I suspect something in the front axle but I crawled under it with it jacked up and running in gear and the noise is coming from the transfer case. Maybe the sound can transfer up to the transfer case from the axle, I don't know.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I jacked up the motor and the transmission and it looks like all the mounts are bad. Could that make the bad grinding noise?
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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wow your quite the speed poster. sounds like you've ruled out the front hubs and the rear drive and the ujoints. are you sure that the front drive shaft is in phase. there should be two dots that line up on the two halves of the drive shaft. If they're out of phase they will cause a lot of shudder and clanking that will destroy the rubber mounts. The wrecked mounts are probably a result rather than a cause of the problem. I would suspect the front output shaft on the transfer case, but if you put in a new case then that probably isn't the problem.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The spare samurai I have for donor parts had the extra transfer case in it, but the front u-joint on the front driveshaft was toast, so maybe I have two transfer cases that need new bearings on the front output shaft. My original transfer case front output shaft looks good, no pitting or anything but it is the 6.5 to 1 gear ratio and I think I want to go back with the stock gear ratio. I still think it might be something in the front end or the angle of the driveline that is causing the noise.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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did you check to see if the two halves of the drive shaft are in phase with each other? If they aren't in phase then they will rattle around like crazy as the u-joints fight each other.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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there are no marks on the driveshafts, one has a white line but the other has nothing that I can see, not even the little dot punched in the end, they are lined up so that the yokes are faced the same way and the flanges are the same compared to the yoke. I have no idea if it is the right driveline or not because when I got it, it came with extra drivelines and one had bad u-joints so I took the best ones and replaced the u-joints in them and used them. Maybe I have a driveline that is way out of balance or something, I don't know. How would I get that checked?
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I looked at the front driveline angle on the Sammi and the pinion side where it hooks to the front differential is a slight angle and the flange that hooks to the transfer case is at a very steep angle, would that be the culprit? Do I just roll the axle to try to get the angles more the same or get a cv joint for the transfer case end?
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok, I think I know the problem. Last year the springs were sagging pretty bad so I changed them out with some spares I had and I took out the wedges that were under the springs to roll the axle. Problem is I found one and must have thrown the other one away or lost it. I guess I will have to re-do the whole front end alignment and springs and everything.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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sounds like the ujoints are phased correctly, You could get it ballanced at a shop, but that's probably not going to be a huge issue. Your geometry is a much more critical issue. If that's off then you could be putting way more stress onthe drive train than necessary. It will also affect your handling and stability.
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