1996 Jeep Cherokee



February, 6, 2009 AT 9:01 PM

Drive Train Axles Bearings problem
1996 Jeep Cherokee 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 194000 miles

Hi, I took my Grand Cherokee into an ice bank last winter, threw off my alignment and didn't think too much of it after that. Had no issues.

So last week I took it in for an alignment, first guy tells me that he cannot do anything due to my front differential being bent. Said it was throwing my suspension off as well and then asked for $2,000 to fix it. Second place I took it to told me that my front driver side u-joint was on it's death bed and the axle was most likely broken with possible differential damage. He took the time to show me that my u-jont had a lot of give in it and it needed to be replaced. Fair enough.

Also as of right now my 4wd is un-usable. I'm getting an almost knocking noise from the front mid to the passenger side of the vehicle. The mechanic at the 2nd place I took it to said that was mostly likely because of the U-joint.

So to get to my question. How am I going to know if there is actual damage to my differential? Is there going to be a tell tale noise that it is going to make? And is the differential the cause of the 4wd issue or the the u-joint like the mechanic said?

Thanks for the help!


3 Answers



February, 7, 2009 AT 9:02 AM

If the axle is broken likk the 2nd shop claims that will be the 4x4 problem. The u-joint wont keep it from engaging, but will make noise/vibration if engaged in 4wd.A bent housing will prematurly wear out bearing/tires due to misalignment. The easiest way to see if thediff is bent would be when thealignment head are on it. You will see excessive camber most likely on one side. Very hard to see with the naked eye



February, 7, 2009 AT 4:45 PM

So if I were to swap out the bad axle, should I do both sides? And If there is a problem with the differential, besides the alignment, are there any noises that it would make? Or is it something that is just going to slowly wear out my gears?




February, 7, 2009 AT 9:18 PM

I guess you could just fix the bad axle and drive it. Besides tire wear, yes it will wear out the bearings in the diff

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