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Old 10-20-2019, 12:44 PM
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Mikel Mikel is offline
Join Date: Aug 09, 2000
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 6,308
Front D44 binding

Been working on a friend's '75 Cherokee. Ever since I brought the jeep back from its long sleep, I had a bit of binding when making tight turns. First it was the E-drive that was activated and when that was un-selected, it mostly went away. What little there was left, I assumed it was from the QT clutches sticking.

Yesterday that binding turned into a loud cyclic banging noise when making tight turns. I lifted the front end and it appears to come from the passenger side. It will make no noise when going straight, but as I turn the wheel, it will appear, then becomes worse the tighter I turn. It is binding so bad that I can see the front springs twisting.

I disconnected the front driveshaft and when I turn the front yoke by hand, everything turns smoothly. Under power it does bind quite loudly.

I had rebuilt the front axle (bearings, seals, u-joints) and I thought perhaps that side's u-joint had seized. I pulled it out and it feels brand new.

My thought was that perhaps something I did caused the center axis of the u-joint to shift from the kingpin's center axis.

Any thoughts?? Thanks.
1969 M715 6x6
1963 J300 Swivel frame
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:59 PM
Dave Jeeper Dave Jeeper is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Sep 08, 2019
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 71

If you put bigger tires on (or not) the front tires can rub on the leaf springs when making sharp turns. The individual lugs catching on the leaf spring will cause a vibration and sound that seems to be gears or bearings binding. There is an adjustment screw on the dana 44 front for each side to reduce how far the wheels will turn. If I remember correctly, the screw is on the opposite wheel from the direction the tire rubs. So, if turning to the right, the rear edge of the right front tire will rub on the right leaf spring. Turn the adjustment screw on the left side of the axle out to make it longer and lock the adjustment with the lock nut. That will reduce how far you can turn the steering wheel, and how far the wheel/tire will turn so it won't rub on the leaf spring.

The other possibility is that if you have a limited slip or locking differential in the front, it can lock when making sharp turns on pavement.

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