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  #1  
Old October 9th, 2016, 07:44 PM
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Jon
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Drivetrain Noise

Hello. I could use some help/advice if possible on drivetrain/gear noise. I have owned my 94 defender ST for 2+ years. Love my truck and have done most of the work to it since I have gotten it myself or with the help of others. It's a great hobby. That said from when I bought the truck in 2014 it seems like on the highway it makes a fair amount of drivetrain noise (some to be expected given the type of vehicle). I just got back from a 550 mile trip this weekend and I am questioning if the amount of drivetrain noise is normal. The only other defender I have ever ridden in is a 97 SW with carpet so it's not a fair comparison. The whine is most prevalent on the highway especially when letting off or feathering the throttle to maintain speed. The truck has 130k on it. Just looking for others experiences with what these similar trucks sound like at highway speed. Below is a link to a video from in the truck at about 60 MPH. Thanks!https://www.dropbox.com/s/xu838x40ee...%20PM.mov?dl=0
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  #2  
Old October 9th, 2016, 07:58 PM
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Jay Geaney
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I would check the play at the driveshaft input to the front diff. I had a similar vibration and the front outer pinion bearing was worn and creating said vibration when not under load.
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  #3  
Old October 9th, 2016, 08:06 PM
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Jon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genie90 View Post
I would check the play at the driveshaft input to the front diff. I had a similar vibration and the front outer pinion bearing was worn and creating said vibration when not under load.
Excellent, thanks for the quick reply.
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  #4  
Old October 9th, 2016, 09:54 PM
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Chris Davis
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To me, that is normal. What has been heard can't be unheard...moors the pity...
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  #5  
Old October 10th, 2016, 09:23 AM
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Jon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis View Post
To me, that is normal. What has been heard can't be unheard...moors the pity...
Thanks for the reply. Not trying to search for a something to fix by any means. More just trying to understand if it's normal or not. Thanks.
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  #6  
Old October 11th, 2016, 03:17 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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In 5th gear a I have a pretty hearty gear whine at 60 mph as well around neutral throttle. I always checked the fluids and the play in the T-case and output bearings. Everything is good and has been for years and years. I think this is just one of those "they all do that" things.
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  #7  
Old October 11th, 2016, 03:21 PM
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Robert Davis
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Check all the driveshaft bolts to make sure they are tight.
Then check the driveshaft splines and U-joints for wear.
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  #8  
Old October 11th, 2016, 03:55 PM
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Do you have a lift?
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  #9  
Old October 11th, 2016, 04:38 PM
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Jon
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Thanks for all the helpful info.

I do have access to a lift.

------ Follow up post added October 11th, 2016 04:46 PM ------

Also driveshaft bolts are tight and u joints seem good. No noticeable play in the u joints. Driveshafts and u joints have also had fresh grease installed recently.
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  #10  
Old October 11th, 2016, 05:45 PM
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Jim Henderson
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Drivetrain Noise

My '97 D90 had a drivetrain noise/vibration when under power between 45-65 MPH and then leveled off over 65, or when not under power. I had it looked it at by a drivetrain specialist and the conclusion was that the joints and spindles were all in great shape, but the front prop shaft was out of balance. They balanced it (by welding small weights to the shaft like you would add weight to balance a tire) for $100. The noise is gone. In addition to the noise, that vibration causes a loss of power and gas mileage. The drivetrain is losing efficiency from the motor to the road. Both gas mileage and highway acceleration power are improved with the balancing.
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  #11  
Old October 11th, 2016, 08:00 PM
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Sorry - I mean, have you lifted the truck at all via stiffer springs or spacers.

(not do you have a vehicle lift for maintenance purposes )
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  #12  
Old October 11th, 2016, 08:16 PM
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Jon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
Sorry - I mean, have you lifted the truck at all via stiffer springs or spacers. (not do you have a vehicle lift for maintenance purposes )
Oh haha! I found a sticker on one of the springs shortly after I got the truck. I looked up the numbers on the sticker and it appears that Old Man Emu heavy duty springs were installed at some point by a previous owner. My understanding is that gives something close to a 2" lift. I could be wrong about that though. I would think that would be enough to interrupt the driveline angles, would it?

------ Follow up post added October 11th, 2016 08:18 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by D90884 View Post
Oh haha! I found a sticker on one of the springs shortly after I got the truck. I looked up the numbers on the sticker and it appears that Old Man Emu heavy duty springs were installed at some point by a previous owner. My understanding is that gives something close to a 2" lift. I could be wrong about that though. I would think that would be enough to interrupt the driveline angles, would it?
Clarification: I wouldn't think that would be enough to interrupt the driveline angles, would it?
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  #13  
Old October 11th, 2016, 08:19 PM
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You need to isolate the noise/vibration to either the front or rear axle. Remove the front driveshaft, put in diff lock High, and take for a test drive. if the noise goes away concentrate on the front shaft and axle. Do the same for the rear shaft if the vibration doesn't go away. This way you can isolate where you need to start looking.
If you have a lift and didn't change the front driveshaft to a double cardan that may be the problem. A bad pinion bearing will also make some noise when you come off the power. it will go away when you have tension on the bearing.
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  #14  
Old October 11th, 2016, 08:27 PM
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Thanks. I know sound can travel but it seems like I get more noise out of the front. I will start by pulling the front driveshaft and take it from there. I just checked the OME heavy duty spring specs and it's only a 1.25" lift in front and a 1.75" in the rear.
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  #15  
Old October 12th, 2016, 07:35 AM
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I have a MY13 puma defender and mine does that. Vibration/Rumbling when you off the pedal haha. To make you feel better, mine also whine but only when cold. I recently changed the ujs on the rear propshaft and this significantly reduce drivel9ne vibrations. As others have mentions, mostly likely in your case, it's due to a worn diff.

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  #16  
Old October 12th, 2016, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D90884 View Post
Oh haha! I found a sticker on one of the springs shortly after I got the truck. I looked up the numbers on the sticker and it appears that Old Man Emu heavy duty springs were installed at some point by a previous owner. My understanding is that gives something close to a 2" lift. I could be wrong about that though. I would think that would be enough to interrupt the driveline angles, would it?
A lift could easily create a pretty large angle in the driveshafts - which can lead to wear in the U-Joints, or tcase output bearings or pinion bearings.

The front isn't nearly as sensitive to lift as the rear is, however. That's why I would always recommend starting by removing the rear driveshaft, not the front driveshaft.

What I have found is that the stock Defender is really riding on the edge of U-Joint operating angles, which should be 3 degrees or less.

It's not just about making sure the driveshaft is in phase and the flanges are parallel. That's common advice on the internet and quite a basic understanding of how U-Joints and driveshafts work. For proof, consider that the stock front driveshaft of a Defender is neither in phase, nor are the flanges parallel.

U-Joint equations dictate that any angle other than dead-straight on a U-Joint causes energy loss, and this energy loss is exponential as the angle increases. The energy is lost through noise and through the U-joint structure and bearings. Make the U-joint angle large enough and the U-Joint will snap like a twig. This snapping will occur independent of binding, which is a totally different effect.

If you look at Spicer's U-Joint documentation concerning U-joint life vs operating angle, you'll see that a very large reduction in U-Joint life at comparatively small operating angles. The reason for this is that at as the operating angle of a U-joint increases, so does the sinusoidal amplitude of the output of the U-Joint, as well as the differences in frequency between the opposite extremes of rotation. Because the differences in frequency result in acceleration forces as the U-Joint rotates, by definition, this acceleration must take energy.

Lots of folks live with the ill effects of lifts on Defenders (I did for years before I fixed them at great cost, and even then, not fixed totally), so that's where I would look first.
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  #17  
Old October 12th, 2016, 02:44 PM
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I have seen Defenders with as little as an 1 1/2 lift experience front driveline noise. Most switch over to a double cardan driveshaft and that helps if not eliminate the issue. Keep in mind, all the other driveline components should be in top shape. (especially if the truck has 130K miles on it)
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  #18  
Old October 12th, 2016, 06:50 PM
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Jon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
A lift could easily create a pretty large angle in the driveshafts - which can lead to wear in the U-Joints, or tcase output bearings or pinion bearings. The front isn't nearly as sensitive to lift as the rear is, however. That's why I would always recommend starting by removing the rear driveshaft, not the front driveshaft. What I have found is that the stock Defender is really riding on the edge of U-Joint operating angles, which should be 3 degrees or less. It's not just about making sure the driveshaft is in phase and the flanges are parallel. That's common advice on the internet and quite a basic understanding of how U-Joints and driveshafts work. For proof, consider that the stock front driveshaft of a Defender is neither in phase, nor are the flanges parallel. U-Joint equations dictate that any angle other than dead-straight on a U-Joint causes energy loss, and this energy loss is exponential as the angle increases. The energy is lost through noise and through the U-joint structure and bearings. Make the U-joint angle large enough and the U-Joint will snap like a twig. This snapping will occur independent of binding, which is a totally different effect. If you look at Spicer's U-Joint documentation concerning U-joint life vs operating angle, you'll see that a very large reduction in U-Joint life at comparatively small operating angles. The reason for this is that at as the operating angle of a U-joint increases, so does the sinusoidal amplitude of the output of the U-Joint, as well as the differences in frequency between the opposite extremes of rotation. Because the differences in frequency result in acceleration forces as the U-Joint rotates, by definition, this acceleration must take energy. Lots of folks live with the ill effects of lifts on Defenders (I did for years before I fixed them at great cost, and even then, not fixed totally), so that's where I would look first.
Thanks for the well thought out and detailed explanation. I will spend some time removing each driveshaft and testing accordingly.
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