Flex Plate Bent??? Maybe?

Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Tampa, FL
Preamble: I'm a new owner of a 96 FZJ80. I've tried finding info on this, but I have not found a satisfactory answer. If you know of a thread, directing me there would be of great help.

Data: 4.5L inline six, AT, all time 4WD

The Problem: When going at Interstate speeds >70mph and IN DRIVE, there is an audible scraping/whirring sound when I'm not on the throttle. Much like a hung up brake pad, but not coming from the brakes. The sound goes away immediately if the throttle is depressed enough to engage the transmission or if the vehicle is in neutral. There is no harsh chatter or vibrations I can feel, just a really annoying noise.

Potential Issues: Normally, I would seek out a diff or wheel bearing, but the relation to it being in gear leads me to believe it is something else. I did just replace the front main seal due to the thing leaking oil badly. When re-torquing the bolt, I used a ratchet handle to jam the flex plate in place.

Could I have bent or misaligned the flex plate slightly? Or is there something else more likely that I'm missing? What is the best way to check?

Could this lead to more problems rapidly? I can't say I'm eager to drop the transmission in the near future. Could it be driven say 5-10k miles like this or will it destroy other parts.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Tampa, FL
I went through and greased everything and changed diff fluids in front, back, and center. Hopefully that will take care of it at least in the mean time. Haven't had an opportunity to get to speeds high enough to tell yet.

I really appreciate everybody's input!
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
7,329
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
It's definitely NOT your flexplate.
My votes (in order):

U-Joints
DS slip yoke(s)
Rear transfer case output bearing
Pinion bearing
 
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