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just bought an 86 Samurai with a grinding noise in the rear end. I removed the rear drive shaft and drove in 4wd, the grinding noise remained. I got a know good differential and replaced the old one, as well as one axle with a bearing grrr. Buttoned it back up and the metallic grinding noise is still there. I have eliminated the rear U joint question by removing the driveshaft, any ideas??
 

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Have you checked your brakes?
If you have replace the diff, I know you pulled the axle shafts, but you may have missed something in the drums or in the pads. Next step is the t-case. It is close enough that sounds from the back could also be coming from the center...
 
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