So here's the thing...
I haven't posted here in forever. I kind of got away from posting or replying but I did utilize many of the posts here in the interim to solve many issues with my Commander.
I did want to post about this however because to me it seemed very unusual and in all my searching, I hadn't found anything about it.
Fair warning: This is long-winded. Read at your own risk.
I have a 2007 4.7L flex-fuel with QT-II - 150K miles. Have the Rocky Road lift and for the longest time, I ran 245/70/17's with 1 inch Spidertrax spacers - various brands of tires but always the same size.
I've had the normal issues: MAP sensor, TPS, brake light switch...etc. Even had a door fall off... All dealt with and all good.
About six months ago, I began to have problems with what I thought were bushings in the front. Lots of squealing and squeaking and rattling around on bumps and what-not. I did several inspections, but found no visible issues. I replaced the sway bar bushings, but the problem didn't go away.
This September, I needed new brake pads, disks, and tires, so I dropped a few bills on those and made plans to spend a few hundred in January to replace all the bushings. Caveat: I went up in tire size to 265/70/17 - and chose the General Grabber AT2 heavy duty model. Yes, I had to grind the pinch welds and cut away a lot of the plastic fender lining in the front but they don't rub at all anymore
Everything was good until about three weeks ago when I began to get the "SERVICE 4WD SYSTEM" and "EPS/BAS - Traction Control" lights. No codes however and no noticeable change in how it drove or ran except cruise wouldn't work when the lights were on. And they would go out if I restarted the Jeep. One day shortly after this starts happening, I'm turning into my neighborhood and there's a loud "crack" and suddenly it feels like the front passenger tire is blown. I get out and look, but it's got plenty of air...
Jack it up, inspect it, and find that all but one of the lug bolts is sheared at the hub. Trip to the parts store and $200 later, I have a new one installed and it's all good. Three days later a rattling noise from the driver's side wheel - same lights, and cruise stops working. All my searches point to "bad wheel speed sensor". So jack it up, inspect it and find one lug bolt sheared and rattling around between the wheel and the spacer. Park it, order one online for $50. When it arrives, I replace it and I'm back up and running with everything working normally again. No lights, no codes, no nothing - just lots of squeaks, squawks, and rattles from the front from the worn bushings...
That same day, I'm leaving for a short weekend trip and as I pull into the gas station, I smell something like burning plastic. Thinking it was the jalopy in front of me, I pump my gas, start my car and drop it into gear. But it's REALLY sluggish - like it doesn't want to move at all. I look down at the panel and see it's in "4" instead of "D" and no amount of shifting will change it. I'm in "limp-home" mode. Quick check of the DTC codes with the key and I have P0884 - TCM lost comms with the transmission. Limp it to my mom's and borrow hers for the trip.
When I get back, I go over the whole front end - every piece of wiring with my eyeballs and find nothing. No blown fuses, no loose wires, no bad grounds. So I crank it back up and it drops into "D" with ease. Park my mom's and take mine. Five miles later, the "SERVICE 4WD - ESP - and TCS" lights are back on. Cruise isn't working either. But it stays in "D". Works like this for three days before suddenly going back to "Limp".
Now I have several codes - 0884, 0129, 0572 and a couple others I can't remember. But I'm pissed so I disconnect the ground from the battery and leave it disconnected for about ten minutes while I calm down. Once I felt sane again, I reconnected the battery and cranked it back up.
No lights. No codes. Normal drive mode. So I drop it in gear - which it does very quietly for a change - and I drive on down the road.
About fifteen minutes pass before my daughter asks why it isn't squeaking any more. I shook my head and replied that not only that, it's running and handling better than it has in a very long time and it even seems to have more power. So when we got home, I did all the things that would normally cause it to make the most noise: I turned very sharp circles in the cul-de-sac; I ran over the curb a few times - slow and not-so-slow; I turned the wheel quickly back and forth as I was driving about 20 mph... Nothing.
It's been almost 300 miles since I did the battery reset. And it's running like it did the day I bought it.
My theory and some questions:
The QT-II at some point six months ago disengaged the front diff. Without it, the front suspension was just hanging there loose - which I'm sure it's not designed to do - and this is what was causing all the rattles and squeaks. When I added the tires, the additional weight and dimension was too much for the lugs to handle with the front end just hanging and they sheared. If this is the case, why were there no lights or codes until months later when the "SERVICE 4WD" lights began to come on intermittently?
When I replaced the front hubs, should I have disconnected the battery and re-set the computer? I didn't - it didn't dawn on me that I should - but I guess in retrospect it makes sense to reset the computer with the new speed sensors.
Has anyone else run into anything remotely like this?
when the computer passes 300 miles - will the problems start again? If they do - why? It's literally running like a brand new car right now. The gas mileage is up, no squeaks, no rattles, lots of power... It just seems weird that suddenly it would stop working again.
Told you it was long-winded, LOL