Front end noise...Need help diagnosing

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Dec 21, 2008
I recently started hearing a horrible grinding noise coming from somewhere up front on my 85 FJ60. More recently it has gotten more frequent and louder. It occurs when I am accelerating in either first or second, and sometimes third right about 2500 rpms. It goes away when I shift or if I just push the clutch in, but reappears if I rev up to that 2500 mark while clutch is in. This makes me think it is not the drivetrain but an engine accessory, possibly power steering pump:meh: Any help in diagnosing? I thought of putting on a shorter belt to bypass power steering pump and see of that is it. Any idea what size belt that whould require? Thanks.
Are you sure it's not your transfer case? I'd get under and make sure that the idler gear retention bolt is still there. For me, it started with a gear wine, then grinding, it got worse and finally my transfer case blew the idler shaft.
GLTH, I think you nailed it. The idler shaft retention bolt is still there and tight, but quite a bit of gear oil coming form the idler shaft retaining plate area (not to mention the front and rear output seals, maybe from the split in the t-case too).

So what am I looking at?

Total Tcase rebuild? I am new to 4WD so this will be a first time project for me. Are there any rebuild kits that will include necessary parts to repair a bad idler shaft?

Thanks GLTH. :beer:
drivers side motor mount? check the tips of the radiator fan blades to see they are hitting the fan shroud.

Another time a loud screeching grinding was due to a loose alternator pulley. I eventually threw the belt off.
Since you've got fluid coming from everywhere, I'd say that a bearing somewhere is failing due to lack of fluid if it's the tranny / transfer. The seal between the tranny and transfer goes sometimes, allowing the transmission to pump fluid into the t-case, overfilling it and emptying the tranny. Sometimes this also happens in the opposite direction. Check your fluid levels, and if one is obnoxiously high while the other is low, then you know your problem.

We're still in the diagnosis stage Pete ;) No need to jump to conclusions yet.
Also, all complete t-case rebuild kits, such as the one Kurt offers, contain the parts to replace all of the bearings and seals within a transfer case.
Ok. Yeah, still in the diagnosis stage.

The transfer case is in pretty bad shape, but I have just been keeping an eye on the oil level, making sure it doesn't get too low, until I have the time and money to rebuild it. It was pretty low when I first acquired the vehicle and noticed the leaks in Nov. I will check the transmission oil level tomorrow.

Alternator you say, I think you nailed it 2mbb ;). Actually, I do need to take a look at that. I broke a belt about 1500 miles ago. and now I have some tractor/industrial compressor/oil rig/something rather belt on there. It just happened to be a wide belt that was long enough, and pretty much the only option Breckinridge had to offer. Also stripped out the alternator threads where the tighten down bolt for the adjuster threads in. I just keep an eye on the tension and seems to be staying tight.

This is embarrassing, I really need to spend some time with the rig. But I do have a baby girl that is two months old. Valid excuse, I'd say.

I guess I will try to replicate the sound whith the engine in nuetral and my head under the hood tomorrow.

Thanks, Guys.

Yeah, I think I will go with cruiser outfitters when I do rebuild that t-case.
Actually, looks like CCOT has a decent kit, maybe more extensive than Cruiser Outfitters for comparable price. Anyone have experience with this kit?

Transfercase Rebuild Kit
Baby girl is definitely a good excuse to be too busy on the truck!! Check the belts and the fluids, but either way rebuilding your t-case isn't that hard, is good preventative maintence and gets you familiar with your truck really quick.

Good luck!
Actually, looks like CCOT has a decent kit, maybe more extensive than Cruiser Outfitters for comparable price. Anyone have experience with this kit?

Transfercase Rebuild Kit
Customer service with Cruiser Outfitters is unsurpassed. Not saying CCOT is a bad place to do business as I've spent a little money there myself and probably will again someday. But Kurt himself will get on the phone to walk you through the details when you need some advice. That's where I'd send my hard earned cash given the choice.

Ended up being the power steering pump. I pulled the belt off and started the engine. I could not get the vehicle to make that noise with the PS pump/alt belt off, whether parked or cruising. The PS pump pulley was pretty hard to turn by hand. Probably real close to going out and taking the smog pump with it.

Anyway, I replaced it with a brand new toyota pump from CDan. Also replaced the alternator due to stripped out threads on the old one. All new toyota belts from Spector. Runs much quiter now. I can even hear when the rad fan engages on the highway now!

Still need to rebuild that T-case. Maybe next month.
The power steering pump is a frequently ocurring topic on this forum. Most people who tried a "rebuilt" pump had the same experience that I did; it sucked and it was expensive. New pumps are freakishly expensive. Saginaw seems to be the logical choice, they are cheap, powerful and easy to find. Search the forum and you will find some good info on the mods required. Mine bolted right up to my Toyota hose without any modification at all, but it's on a 350.

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