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Rumble/vibration after pinion seal change, help!!

Discussion in 'Wrangler JK (2007-2017)' started by Stillmacrae, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. Dec 15, 2020 at 11:05 PM

    Stillmacrae [OP] Member

    Sep 1, 2018
    2018 JKU Rubicon Recon
    Hey guys I could use some help. I apologize for the longish post.
    -------Background info-------
    I have a 2018 JKU Rubicon. Slight mods, I have 35" tires and the Old Man Emu 2" heavy lift kit (there's others but those are the relevant mods). After the larger tires and lift I felt like the power was a little lacking, esp on the freeway. Upgraded my gears. I got 4.88 yukons front and back... I debated the 4.56 but figured the 4.88 would give me room to grow. Gears were great. Did a nice 1000 mile break in period with plenty of warm up and cool downs. At the end of that took it back to the guys that installed it. They pulled off the diff covers inspected the gears for wear and said it was good to go.... about 800 miles later...

    -----Current problem--------
    So I had a leak in my radiator, and had it scheduled to go to the dealer to be replaced. Prior to bringing it in I noticed a decent size front passenger side axle leak also oil on the back of the front diff. While at the dealer they came back and said it had a R front axle leak, and pinion seal leak and a drivers side rear axle leak (which would be covered under warranty) I told them that I had recently re-geared it (which meant it wasn't under warranty)... I thought about taking it back to the guys that installed it but the problem is I supplied the parts got the gears during a sale on northridge 4x4. So if there was an issue with the parts basically none of it would be covered. On top of that if their instillation damaged something I wasn't sure if I'd want to pay them to tear it apart again. So I had the dealer do the repair... so 3 seals, 1 radiator and $2000 later I got my jeep back.

    The next day while heading into work getting up to 50mph I started to feel a vibration, the faster I got the worse it was by the time i was at 60-65 it was audible and felt like the whole front end of the vehicle was vibrating.. i say more of a vibration and not shake. And it was audible like a loud rumble, at least to me. Usually in the jeep on the highway wind noise is the loudest but this is way louder. I took it back to them and initially they thought it was tires out of balance (i forgot to mention they rotated the tires). Tires were out of balance, they re-balanced them and test drove it and said they thought they still felt something but it was less than before. So they put all the tires back to the way it was initially and tested it and I was told it was fine, they didn't hear anything and they wanted me to drive it for 500 miles then look at rotating them again to see if it comes back.

    I got my jeep and took it on the freeway... still there. So I got the rep to drive in it with me and pointed out exactly what I was noticing (a very loud, very obvious vibration starting around 55-60mph and increasing with speed). So they pulled the front drive shaft off and test drove it and he called back and said it runs perfect just like I had told him... No more noise or vibration, slight tire noise, slightly more wind noise and nothing else, pretty quite really. So he tries to tell me it's the drive shaft that's bad and It must have been caused by the barely 2" OME lift... But from my perspective I gave them a great running jeep, and picked up a massively vibrating jeep after they changed 3 seals. There's no way in my mind that the drive shaft went bad without going anywhere... Could it have been over extended while on the lift? Is it possible it was installed wrong? Is it more likely that they didn't put stuff back correct when installing the new pinion seal (I think you have to take off the nut for that)? Maybe didn't torc stuff completely? Maybe dropped the drive shaft?

    ----------Less important after details-----------
    They wanted me to purchase a new driveshaft, one from quadratec that was meant for lifted jeeps, parts and labor around $900. I asked shouldn't it be under warranty because I have less than 60,000 miles. He tried to say that wouldn't be covered because of the lift and I told him that a 2" lift doesn't void the axle and they'd have to prove that was the cost of the problem. secondly it was completely fine before they worked on it. On top of that On dash cam I have them test driving it and calling me crazy and the jeep drove fine. This was before I drove it with them and pointed out the clear problem. It shocks me that they couldn't identify what they claim is a bad drive shaft. The bigger problem he said was that mopar front drive shafts are on national backorder (from covid) for the dealership and he has no idea when they can get one. I'm worried I could replace the drive shaft and have it vibrating just as back only to find out that they didn't put thing back together right and now I have a damaged pinion bearing and damaged ring and pinion.

    Thoughts? What are the things it could be? Possible causes? Ideas on how to identify or how to proceed?


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