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Discussion Starter #1
I fear I've got some major issues in the front end of my 07 Limited. It's suddenly developed a pretty severe grind, especially bad and "chunky" when I left off the accelerator. Doesn't seem to matter what gear the thing is in, even shifting into Neutral doesn't help. Stopped at the first gas station and noticed a few drips coming from near the front diff.

Down the road, I dropped it into 4L just to see if that made any difference. It pretty much ground to a stop as soon as I left off the gas.

Any thoughts on this?
 

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Sounds like the ring and pinion in one of the axles to me. Perhaps the XFR Case. When you go from power to coast, the ring gear contacts points shift from the front face of the ring gears to the back face of the gears, so its likely to make a change in the noise when that happens. A good differential you can't hear it, a bad differential you can hear it. But bearings can go bad as well and make noise but NOT change from power to coast.


Did the frequency of the grinding sound change when you shifted into 4LOW? Since the parts in the XFR case will spin at different speeds in 4LOW than normal, the sound could change with the different speed. Of course, some parts of the XFR spin at the same speed regardless if its in 4LOW or NOT.


The coming to a halt as soon as you let off the gas in 4LOW, depends on how much experience you have with 4LOW. 4LOW has a huge torque multiplication, it will engine brake vehicle when you let off the gas, like shifting in 2nd at 45mph with your foot off the gas. If you know that, and the reaction you got is NOT this, then yea, a clue its the XFR Case.


Luckyse7ens isn't wrong, it could simply be a bad wheel bearing. Wheel bearings typically change noise when your turning, I guess they could go bad in a way to change noise from power to coast, but I'd think not likely.


You could drain and replace the fluid in each axle and xfr case, strain the draining fluid with a coffee filter, see if there is any metal in the fluid. If one those has metal in the fluid, that's a huge clue that component is the problem.


Another thing you could do is put the vehicle up on jack stands for all 4 wheels, run it in gear to get the wheels to spin, put a sawed off broom handle up against each component and put your ear to the end the broom stick and see if you can hear noise. Be careful, because you have massive and powerful things spinning near your head.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I'm scheduled to take it in to a local shop after the holiday weekend. I'm just trying to get a sense of what to expect.

The frequency of the grind/vibration/clunking definitely seems related to speed.

Are the ring & pinion something that can be replaced, or is it a package deal with the whole differential? I thought I read something somewhere about it being a sealed unit...
 

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Perhaps the ELSD's in the QDII system might be sealed units, for the differential, I would think you could still pull the ring and pinion off of it.


I've seen posts about folks having ring and pinions replaced in Commanders, it would be very rare NOT to be able to do so on any vehicle.


Here's the thing, it requires special tools, and tremendous precision for it to be done correctly. Not just any guy can do it. So, NOT only are the parts expensive the labor is high, so its a very expensive repair. I won't be surprise is your local shop tells you they don't/can't do it, you have to go to a specialist to swap out the ring and pinion.


This is assuming your problem is the ring and pinion, it might be something else.


Some folks that have had it done might be able to tell you what it cost them, I'd be surprised if its less than $1000, and wouldn't be surprised if you get some quotes for more than $2000.
 

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ring and pinion can be replaced... plenty of people have changed gear ratios in these vehicles. I'd be surprised if that was your problem.
 

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I've seen more than a few posts where people had axle problems and needed a rebuild or repair of the ring and pinion. BUT, there are quite a few things that could making the noise, so we shouldn't be conclusions its definitely a bad axle.

It could be
Wheel Bearings
Drive Shafts (or their U-Joints)
Transfer Case
etc
 

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Another thing you could do is put the vehicle up on jack stands for all 4 wheels, run it in gear to get the wheels to spin, put a sawed off broom handle up against each component and put your ear to the end the broom stick and see if you can hear noise. Be careful, because you have massive and powerful things spinning near your head.
I don't think I would try that one.....LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just got word from the local shop. Sounds like a new front diff, at the very least, is what it needs. They didn't even want to deal with it, gave me a pretty high ballpark estimate of $3k+. Recommended me to a differential specialist, but seemed more intent on talking me out of keeping the beast.

Ugh...
 

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Just got word from the local shop. Sounds like a new front diff, at the very least, is what it needs. They didn't even want to deal with it, gave me a pretty high ballpark estimate of $3k+. Recommended me to a differential specialist, but seemed more intent on talking me out of keeping the beast.
Ugh...
I'd talk to the differential specialist and get their take on it.

Is your local shop a Jeep dealership?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'd talk to the differential specialist and get their take on it.

Is your local shop a Jeep dealership?
No, just a normal repair shop. I'm not convinced they performed a thorough check, kind of came off like they just didn't care to deal with it.

One thing I did realize: The current differential isn't the original. It's marked up and numbered like it's used and from a salvage yard or something. Makes me wary of going the used route again...
 

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No, just a normal repair shop. I'm not convinced they performed a thorough check, kind of came off like they just didn't care to deal with it.

One thing I did realize: The current differential isn't the original. It's marked up and numbered like it's used and from a salvage yard or something. Makes me wary of going the used route again...
Since your local shop was not a Jeep Dealership, I would take it to a Jeep Dealership first and see what they have to say.

The differential specialist would be a fall-back option.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well... it's looking like quite a bit of work (and money) are in store...

Had it dragged to the differential shop last week. New ring/pinion, new bearings & seals. Rebuilt from guaranteed/warranteed used parts: $2100-2200 + tax. Apparently still lees than parts alone from dealer.

Not ideal, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. At least the Heep will be back on the road and better off. I can then (hopefully) start investing in upgrades for it...
 

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Well... it's looking like quite a bit of work (and money) are in store...

Had it dragged to the differential shop last week. New ring/pinion, new bearings & seals. Rebuilt from guaranteed/warranteed used parts: $2100-2200 + tax. Apparently still lees than parts alone from dealer.

Not ideal, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. At least the Heep will be back on the road and better off. I can then (hopefully) start investing in upgrades for it...
ouch. Thats steep. Reminds me I gotta change diff fluid!
 

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Well... it's looking like quite a bit of work (and money) are in store...

Had it dragged to the differential shop last week. New ring/pinion, new bearings & seals. Rebuilt from guaranteed/warranteed used parts: $2100-2200 + tax. Apparently still lees than parts alone from dealer.

Not ideal, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. At least the Heep will be back on the road and better off. I can then (hopefully) start investing in upgrades for it...
The way I see it, if it gets her back to 100% functional, it's money well spent.

When you have an older vehicle and you love it and want to keep it, sometimes you have to bite the bullet and spend what you have to spend when it needs a repair that you can't do yourself.

That's just my opinion of course.
 

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Just put 700.00 into our old Jeep that has 266,000 miles and counting, not even a payment and my time. For that I got a new oil pump, new oil pan, new starter, new rod bearings and mains. It took 2 1/2 days but I got 50 psi oil pressure and peace of mind. This 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4.0 was the 1ST. year WITH QUARDRADRIVE and it was MECHANICAL NOT ELETRICAL and is still AWSOME ON THE TRAILS. Next move on that is Rockers and fenders.


Swanny
 
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