Driveline "crunch" at highway speed - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 11th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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Driveline "crunch" at highway speed

So if anybody has noticed the frequency of new threads I've posted over the past 2 months, my truck seems to be in one of those Rover "maintenance cycle" where everything is just deciding to break or cause a headache. My latest issue is a crunch- like noise coming from the drive train that only occurs at highway speeds over 55mph and mainly happens when lifting on and off the gas. Occasionally I'll get it at WOT from 55-70 for example. There is no noticeable vibration, just the crunching/grinding like noise. It's fine around town and everything below highway speed. Shifts great, t-case engages fine, diff lock works fine but was a little sticky unlocking (but I was on pavement so might have been bind). My first thought was output bearing on T-case? however, there are no leaks on the case at all. about 40 miles ago the following work was done to the truck by me:
1. New R&P front and rear with a GBR thrust bolted housing
2. New GBR axles F&R
3. New swivel ball on driver side
4. New ball joint on rear axle A arm
5. New Radius arm bushings frame and axle
6. T case drained (no metal bits whatsoever) and replaced with Amsoil 75W-90
7. Diffs filled with Royal Purple 75w-90
8. Front and rear driveshafts were greased at each joint including slip yoke until grease was oozing out of seals. and bolts were replaced with new Grade 8 zinc coated hardware
9. All wheel bearings were repacked with the driver front receiving new inner and outer and races.

What I've checked so far:
1. Driveshafts are tight
2. No leaks from T-case, Trans, or Diffs
3. Each hub was checked for play, no wheel has movement 12-6 or 9-3
4. Fluid levels in trans case was verified at the fill hole.
5. Torqued lug nuts at 100 ft-lbs

It did not do this prior to the work. It's only gone up and down the street around my house since completion. Don't know how the case would get damaged in that time.

What am I missing?
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  #2  
Old September 11th, 2014, 04:47 PM
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can you post a sound file? It's difficult to understand what kind of noise you are experiencing.
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  #3  
Old September 11th, 2014, 04:54 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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I can try yea. might put a contour camera underneath the car and see if the mic can pick it up over the wind noise.
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  #4  
Old September 11th, 2014, 05:06 PM
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This sounds similiar to what happened to me at the AZ border earlier this year. Turned out to be the center u-joint in my front GBR driveshaft had failed because I didn't realize there was a grease point there. Couldn't tell the u-joint was bad until the shaft was removed. Try removing the driveshafts one at a time, lock the t-case and drive on the other. see if it continues. failed u-joints crunch.
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Old September 11th, 2014, 08:18 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
This sounds similiar to what happened to me at the AZ border earlier this year. Turned out to be the center u-joint in my front GBR driveshaft had failed because I didn't realize there was a grease point there. Couldn't tell the u-joint was bad until the shaft was removed. Try removing the driveshafts one at a time, lock the t-case and drive on the other. see if it continues. failed u-joints crunch.
Honestly at this point. I would LOVE for this to be a driveshaft issue vs. a rebuild the t-case/trans issue.
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  #6  
Old September 11th, 2014, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflash868 View Post
Honestly at this point. I would LOVE for this to be a driveshaft issue vs. a rebuild the t-case/trans issue.
I spend most of expo West in 2WD thinking I neeed to rebuild my tcase. thought it was the front output shaft bearing went out. Even talked to Rob Dassler about a replacement.

Then my hero from AK checked my driveshaft and determined it was a ujoint.

Best of luck.
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  #7  
Old September 12th, 2014, 07:59 AM
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This sounds like drive shaft to me as well. The rear shaft can give you a growl as well when lifting off the gas at higher speeds. The fix is adjusting the trailing arms. I've had the center bearing go on a front shaft as well for the same reason but I didn't get the same results as you've described. I had vibes in the lower mph range. Check your tcase mounts as well. I had one split and that added to my misery for about a year.

Clay
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Old September 12th, 2014, 08:49 AM
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Ultimately, the concensus from everyone I talked to was surprise when I suspected the t-case, as it is a very sturdy reliable component. It should usually be the last thing you suspect, not the first thing.
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  #9  
Old September 12th, 2014, 09:09 AM
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My cheap bastard approach says start by greasing your UJs and checking all the driveshaft to axle/TC are present and correctly tightened.
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #10  
Old September 12th, 2014, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
My cheap bastard approach says start by greasing your UJs and checking all the driveshaft to axle/TC are present and correctly tightened.
I'll go back over it again but everything was greased and tightened before I posted here. Since posting this though it's gotten worse. I'm now getting a light vibration through the pedals and seat at medium speeds under constant throttle. I know these are all the symptoms of a shaft failure but nothing is moving under there. The slip yoke on the rear shaft has a little play in it but I think that's normal.

What's this trailing arm adjustment you speak of? Not sure how I'd go adjusting that. You mean putting a spacer on the end of it? I doubt it's geometry issue/pinion angle issue. only have a 2 inch lift and it's been like that for years with no issues.

It's getting worse. Something is about to let go for sure...
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  #11  
Old September 12th, 2014, 05:12 PM
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you need to pull those driveshafts asap or it can take out your tcase. while out you can check the play in both output shafts.
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  #12  
Old September 12th, 2014, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
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My cheap bastard approach says start by greasing your UJs and checking all the driveshaft to axle/TC BOLTS are present and correctly tightened.
Edit in bold. Took me ages to figure out what was causing the vibration. Missing bolts.
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #13  
Old September 15th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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Spent some time on this over the weekend in addition to chasing all the other crap wrong. Anyway, all the bolts are tight, the U joints are fine but I did find play in the slip yoke of the front driveshaft. I really had to shake it which is why I didn't notice it before but I now have about an 1/8-1/4 inch of back and forth movement at that joint. Rear shaft has zero movement no matter how hard I yank on it so I'm guessing this is probably a place to start. I have another shaft and will swap that in tonight. Did notice one thing though.. when I shook the shaft I noticed the flange on the t-case wiggle slightly too. Is there some designed movement in that flange or is there something else broken or on it's way out?
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Old September 15th, 2014, 02:19 PM
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I had a little (few mm) play in my front t-case output flange, which is why I initially thought my t-case bearing was bad. it's normal. nature of the center diff.

does your front diff pinion have play? crunching grind sound usually involves bearing needles getting pulvarised
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  #15  
Old September 15th, 2014, 02:24 PM
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The front diff is brand new. GBR rebuilt it literally 30 miles ago. I didn't even think to consider the diff so i didn't look at it closely but I didn't notice any movement whatsoever in the pinion.
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Old September 15th, 2014, 02:32 PM
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hmmm. I think it comes down to us readers trying to understand the grind. you wrote no vibration, only at hig speeds, mostly on accel/decel sometimes at WOT.

I'm starting to wonder, given a new front diff, if you are having an issue with your new diff shimming where the pinion mates with the ring. if that was off, the teeth of the pinion gearing might be "grinding" against the teeth of the ring, and that wouldn't cause vibration, just crunch..and wearing on metal at the ends of the teeth.
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Old September 15th, 2014, 02:40 PM
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With the extra information, the focus should be on that front diff.
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I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #18  
Old September 15th, 2014, 03:18 PM
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You should contact GBR asap since it's their diff and tell them what you're seeing/hearing. If the backlash is off, they'll know it by the symptoms. No organization is zero fault.
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  #19  
Old October 5th, 2014, 07:02 PM
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An update. I've replaced the front driveshaft, changed all the bushings tied to the suspension, changed the fluids and gone through the rear shaft which is tight. The problem persists. On further evaluation. The grind only happens at highway speed when the driveline is unloaded. Under power it's fine and under engine braking it's fine. Clutch in or out doesn't matter. In neutral or 4th or 5th makes no difference. Up hill, flat or down. No difference. I took a sound recording and I'll upload when I get to a computer. It has to be a bearing in the t case. Can I swap the output bearings without removing the case?

I can't imagine it's the diff. The noise really seems to be directly under the cubby box
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  #20  
Old October 5th, 2014, 07:12 PM
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take a photo of your rear pinion angle and post up please
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