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  #1  
Old November 10th, 2017, 13:01
Intellect Intellect is offline
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Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

1995 4.0 xj 4wd. It has this weird rattle sound. I thought maybe it was the exhaust, but negative. It sounds like its coming from the transmission/maybe starter area.

Fixing to drive this thing 400 miles round trip. I have all day today to figure this out.

It doesnt sound internal motor wise, it does not go with the rpm or rod pattern.

If the jeeps sitting itll start to ratlle, stop, start to, it SOUNDS like when an exhaust has a rattle, but its NOT the exhaust... Heres a video. Ill be forever grateful to whoever can help


https://youtu.be/3ze5arrv0f4

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  #2  
Old November 10th, 2017, 15:23
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

If it sounds like it's in the transmission bellhousing, remove the thin metal inspection plate from the front lower portion and check that the flexplate bolts have not backed out. Also look up with a flashlight and make sure the flexplate is not cracked.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 17:23
RCP Phx RCP Phx is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

Stay home this weekend!
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  #4  
Old November 10th, 2017, 20:35
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Runnin'OnEmpty Runnin'OnEmpty is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

My 96 has a rattle like that. I too thought it was an exhaust rattle, because that's exactly what it sounds like. After crawling under it with the engine idleing, the noise is coming from the catalytic converter. The stock ones have a history of the insides breaking loose and rattling. I'll eventually replace the cat, but for now I'm just driving it. Doubt if it causes any harm...
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Old November 10th, 2017, 21:13
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

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Originally Posted by Runnin'OnEmpty View Post
My 96 has a rattle like that. I too thought it was an exhaust rattle, because that's exactly what it sounds like. After crawling under it with the engine idleing, the noise is coming from the catalytic converter. The stock ones have a history of the insides breaking loose and rattling. I'll eventually replace the cat, but for now I'm just driving it. Doubt if it causes any harm...
Agree with the above - just hit the catalytic converter with a soft mallet (or your fist) and listen for a rattle.
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  #6  
Old November 10th, 2017, 21:49
Intellect Intellect is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

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Originally Posted by the_weirdo View Post
Agree with the above - just hit the catalytic converter with a soft mallet (or your fist) and listen for a rattle.
I do not have a cat. I deleted the cat. I only have a flowmaster muffler and stock pipe besides where i deleted the cat.


It is def from the engine/tranny area. Thank you though.

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  #7  
Old November 10th, 2017, 21:50
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

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Originally Posted by lawsoncl View Post
If it sounds like it's in the transmission bellhousing, remove the thin metal inspection plate from the front lower portion and check that the flexplate bolts have not backed out. Also look up with a flashlight and make sure the flexplate is not cracked.
Ill check this in the morning

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  #8  
Old November 10th, 2017, 21:53
Intellect Intellect is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

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Originally Posted by lawsoncl View Post
If it sounds like it's in the transmission bellhousing, remove the thin metal inspection plate from the front lower portion and check that the flexplate bolts have not backed out. Also look up with a flashlight and make sure the flexplate is not cracked.
You are a life saver, i watched a few videos online and seems like identical sound. Can i tighten them threw the peak through you described? Or is it a remove the tranny type of job.... If its a remove the tranny job, think ill be ok for the weekend driving like this?

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  #9  
Old November 10th, 2017, 22:33
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

It would not be something to drive with.

The panel you would remove to access them would be the way to deal with them. That is how you would deal with them if you were removing either the engine or transmission.

You will probably only be able to access one bolt at a time. You will need to bump the starter to move the flexplate a bit at a time so that you can access them all, one at a time.
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  #10  
Old November 10th, 2017, 23:32
Intellect Intellect is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

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Originally Posted by lawsoncl View Post
If it sounds like it's in the transmission bellhousing, remove the thin metal inspection plate from the front lower portion and check that the flexplate bolts have not backed out. Also look up with a flashlight and make sure the flexplate is not cracked.
3 or 4 of the flexplate bolts took 1/4th of a turn, solved the rattle! Thank you so much! This has been a bad week for my Jeep and i was so ready to sell it, (angry talk, id never sell it lol), or to slap a new motor in. I had people telling me it was piston slap. But nope, tightened those bolts and it idled without a rattle, drove without one, im sure i should torque them or locktite them, but this was a fix to get me to my event tomorrow at 6am!

Now to chase that fuel issue another day..

But you know what, going from thinking you have to swap a motor, to having to prime it a lot to start it, makes it seem like a lot smaller issue. Thank you so much! I had just laid down to rest for my 6am event and was going to roadkill it hoping the motor didnt blow or tranny didnt give, and i checked your forum right before i closed my eyes, i threw on the ol grease hat and an hour later im in the best mood all week! THANK YOU. I should have researched this one more, i usually am more elaborate with my efforts and should not have written it off as piston slap so quickly. Excuse my lazyness there. But THANK YOU sir. Good day.

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  #11  
Old November 10th, 2017, 23:35
Intellect Intellect is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

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Originally Posted by Anak View Post
It would not be something to drive with.

The panel you would remove to access them would be the way to deal with them. That is how you would deal with them if you were removing either the engine or transmission.

You will probably only be able to access one bolt at a time. You will need to bump the starter to move the flexplate a bit at a time so that you can access them all, one at a time.
Flex plate bolts needed 1/4th turn, no boxed end style torque wrench, so used all my might than used the old wrench on a wrench leverage for that extra umf of a turn lol, not the most accurate method, but stopped the rattle for now... Now to chase that fuel issue another day. Which seems like a lot less of a nuisance after thinking my motor was toast. But nope, healthy motor (besides my little diesel the cherokees are infamous for) (slight lifter chatter)

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  #12  
Old November 10th, 2017, 23:36
Intellect Intellect is offline
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Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

For anyone who comes across this, the slightest bit makes a big difference i learned tonight. My flexplate bolts took 1/4th turn is it. But if you look, you see prior to my tightening, the right of the bolt head is more shiney on the flexplate, hard to describe, bur you can see the head was moving back and forth. Glad i caught it before i wollowed a hole... Or an oval per say.

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  #13  
Old November 11th, 2017, 00:16
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

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Originally Posted by Intellect View Post
3 or 4 of the flexplate bolts took 1/4th of a turn, solved the rattle!
Cool, glad to help. Enjoy the road trip!
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  #14  
Old November 11th, 2017, 10:45
Intellect Intellect is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

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Originally Posted by lawsoncl View Post
Cool, glad to help. Enjoy the road trip!
😀

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  #15  
Old November 12th, 2017, 05:53
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cruiser54 cruiser54 is offline
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Re: Weird rattle from starter/transmission area

If this happens, you should remove them one by one and reinstall the bolts with Loctite.

They will likely loosen up again at some point otherwise.
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