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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ 4.0L 5-spd manual (349,630 miles and humming . . .!): Well, the humming part presently sounds more like metal Skittles and ball bearings (along with "singing wire sounds") mushing around "somewhere down there".

1. When in gear, all of the sounds are very present;
2. When the clutch is engaged, they go quiet
3. Shifting between/among gears is smooth
4. Except for a) about 10% of the time, after coming to a stop, it does not want to go into 1st gear (feels hard-locked, though I can with a couple of tries get it to go); and b) most times, when shifting into reverse, it grinds (as if something has not slowed down sufficiently for the gears to mesh, though a slight bit of patience and easing, it works).

Otherwise, accelerating and moving up through the gear range is sweet -- but from the increasing symphony of sounds, I suspect sweet may not last too much longer!

Thoughts? Which direction to go?

Many thanks. Appreciated.
 

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I think your throwout bearing is getting dry and loose. And your clutch is not disengaging all the way
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ 4.0L 4x4 5-spd manual (350,000 miles and humming . . .!): Well, the humming part presently sounds more like metal Skittles/ball bearings (along with "singing wire sounds") mushing around "somewhere down there". I (who am not particularly mechanically inclined or experienced) had previously posted what had taken place to that point.
So now, sleuths, here’s more of story:
Clutch/hydraulic rebuild 40,000 ago; when I took it out of the shop then, I could immediately tell something was different — road noise and heat were coming up directly through the shifter; subsequently, my understanding (right? wrong?) is that there is some sort of "cover" that goes over the transmission (can’t locate any info about that); at least that’s what the former "mechanic" told me when I asked about the noise; he said he forgot to replace it when wrapping everything up . . .
Now, a month or two ago, the metal Skittles/ball bearing noise showed up and joined the road noise/heat coming up through the shifter — and was loud enough to be very evident to someone outside of the Jeep (neighbors looking sideways at me driving by . . . ).
How it’s played out so far:
- When in gear, all of the sounds described are very present.
- When the clutch is engaged, things go almost fully quiet; clutch out = my personal symphony.
- Accelerating and moving up through the gear range remains good, though the skittle noise “revs up” along with the motor; no balkiness, hesitation or roughness in this though.
- Took the rig to my transmission mechanic, who took it out on a 20-minute drive and concluded it didn’t appear to be a transmission issue, per se, but that the noise was generated from further up front and was being transmitted back through the drive train and was more evident inside the Jeep because of the shifter openness situation.
- As we stood at the front, hood up, listening to the running motor, it was clear there was an issue with a unit somewhere along the serpentine belt; he recommended starting there and replaced the power steering pump, which proved to have a deteriorated bearing, and the racket was significantly reduced, though not entirely.
- Fluid levels have been checked and upped as needed.
- We’ve been through a seriously hot time this summer here in the Pacific Northwest, and I suspect that has affected this whole business somehow..
- And here's the strange part to me: While driving, when I engage the turn signal, the skittles momentarily disappear . . . then reappear . . .
Side issue, perhaps:
- Can a deteriorating speedometer cable make any of these sounds?
Also, a part of this business is:
- When in motion, shifting between/among gears is nearly as smooth “as when we all were younger” . . .
Except for (and mostly after I’ve been moving for a while):
- About 10-20% of the time, after coming to a stop (typically, stoplight), the shifter does not want to go into 1st gear (feels hard-locked; my work-around is usually that if I go over to 5th, I can get it to engage there and then move quickly down through the gears until I’m back in 1st); and off I go . . .
- Associated with this is that most times, if I attempt to quickly shift into reverse it grinds and won’t engage (as if something has not slowed down sufficiently for the gears to mesh); my solution is to exercise a bit of patience and ease it into gear (guess that’s a good enough principle for life, eh?).
Previous responses have suggested redoing the bearings/synchronizers/gaskets and a clutch job. Are these two different jobs or one and the same? How involved do these repairs get with the transmission itself (as in, does it have to be dropped out, etc.).
Any further thoughts/recommendations appreciated. Thank you.
 

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1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ 4.0L 4x4 5-spd manual (350,000 miles and humming . . .!): Well, the humming part presently sounds more like metal Skittles/ball bearings (along with "singing wire sounds") mushing around "somewhere down there". I (who am not particularly mechanically inclined or experienced) had previously posted what had taken place to that point.
So now, sleuths, here’s more of story:
Clutch/hydraulic rebuild 40,000 ago; when I took it out of the shop then, I could immediately tell something was different — road noise and heat were coming up directly through the shifter; subsequently, my understanding (right? wrong?) is that there is some sort of "cover" that goes over the transmission (can’t locate any info about that); at least that’s what the former "mechanic" told me when I asked about the noise; he said he forgot to replace it when wrapping everything up . . .
Now, a month or two ago, the metal Skittles/ball bearing noise showed up and joined the road noise/heat coming up through the shifter — and was loud enough to be very evident to someone outside of the Jeep (neighbors looking sideways at me driving by . . . ).
How it’s played out so far:
  • When in gear, all of the sounds described are very present.
  • When the clutch is engaged, things go almost fully quiet; clutch out = my personal symphony.
  • Accelerating and moving up through the gear range remains good, though the skittle noise “revs up” along with the motor; no balkiness, hesitation or roughness in this though.
  • Took the rig to my transmission mechanic, who took it out on a 20-minute drive and concluded it didn’t appear to be a transmission issue, per se, but that the noise was generated from further up front and was being transmitted back through the drive train and was more evident inside the Jeep because of the shifter openness situation.
  • As we stood at the front, hood up, listening to the running motor, it was clear there was an issue with a unit somewhere along the serpentine belt; he recommended starting there and replaced the power steering pump, which proved to have a deteriorated bearing, and the racket was significantly reduced, though not entirely.
  • Fluid levels have been checked and upped as needed.
  • We’ve been through a seriously hot time this summer here in the Pacific Northwest, and I suspect that has affected this whole business somehow..
  • And here's the strange part to me: While driving, when I engage the turn signal, the skittles momentarily disappear . . . then reappear . . .
Side issue, perhaps:
- Can a deteriorating speedometer cable make any of these sounds?
Also, a part of this business is:
- When in motion, shifting between/among gears is nearly as smooth “as when we all were younger” . . .
Except for (and mostly after I’ve been moving for a while):
  • About 10-20% of the time, after coming to a stop (typically, stoplight), the shifter does not want to go into 1st gear (feels hard-locked; my work-around is usually that if I go over to 5th, I can get it to engage there and then move quickly down through the gears until I’m back in 1st); and off I go . . .
  • Associated with this is that most times, if I attempt to quickly shift into reverse it grinds and won’t engage (as if something has not slowed down sufficiently for the gears to mesh); my solution is to exercise a bit of patience and ease it into gear (guess that’s a good enough principle for life, eh?).
Previous responses have suggested redoing the bearings/synchronizers/gaskets and a clutch job. Are these two different jobs or one and the same? How involved do these repairs get with the transmission itself (as in, does it have to be dropped out, etc.).
Any further thoughts/recommendations appreciated. Thank you.
Possibly a throw out bearing. When was the last time you had it replaced?

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Sounds like more than just a throw out bearing. Sounds to me that your synchonizers are on the way out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Farkie -

Happenings since the above forum exchanges:

07/10/21:
I realized the skittles noise(s) had diminished to being nearly gone.

07/19/21:
Attempting to back up a short segment of a 15-degree-sloped concrete driveway, I engaged low 4-wheel and shifted into reverse. As I engaged the clutch, the vehicle began severely and noisily (transfer case?) bucking. I immediately stopped, and shifted to high 4-wheel, and was able to back up smoothly without any problem.

Yesterday - 07/30/21:
Driving home after work, I became aware of a new noise emanating from underneath the Jeepster. When I stopped and shut off the engine, the noise continued — sounding like nothing other than one of those refrigeration units often located on the front top side of an 18-wheeler container trailer which run continually. Entirely puzzled, I knelt and looked under the Jeep and attempted to locate the source, which by now was significantly loud. I could not pinpoint the exact location.
I started up and drove on home. There, the situation repeated: Turning off the motor made no difference as the noise continued unabated. By then I had concluded that it was somehow an electrical system problem, so removed the ground connection from the battery — and everything went quiet . . .

My UnMechanic "Wondering" Conclusion
:
• Is the entire issue, from the very beginning, somehow centered in the transfer case?
• Loud skittles noise that tracked with the increase/decrease of rpms/drivetrain rotation.
• Slight and short-duration sounds that can be best described as "singing wire(s)" when beginning to drive.
• Motor function seeming unhindered.
• Gear function unhindered (except for the "lock-out" notchiness and "waiting to shift into reverse" described)
• Clutch action in good condition.
• The turn signal-related momentary "cut-out" of the skittles noise.
• The recent backing up episode with heavy bucking in low-4 but not in high-4.
• And, most significantly, yesterday's requirement of disconnecting the battery in order to terminate the "refrigeration unit" noise under the vehicle.

I'm rather at a loss, as taking the Jeep (prior to yesterday's new noise and battery disconnect matter) to a transmission shop results in "yeah, we'll have to rebuild the transmission, etc., etc." or "we can't look at it until a week or two away . . .", while attempting to describe the scenario I've unloaded on you now to a general repair shop has come up with rather blank looks . . .

Hoping to get the rig into my usual mechanic and see where things go from there.

Thanks for asking. Any thoughts appreciated.
 

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I am baffled on what is running after shut down unless it is the electric fan on the radiator
 
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