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I have a lot of clunking going on when initially taking off from a rest and when decelerating at low speed. I have found the front drive shaft on my 88 YJ has about a quarter turn of play in drive shaft and it sounds eerily familiar to the noise I hear under power when I turn it by hand at the end of play. I have an automatic locker in the rear and this has been with the transfer case disengaged. I would imagine a certain amount of lash but this seems excessive. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
While underneath testing this for play it seemed more like there was some windup before it engaged the differential. The u-joints I will change out a.s.a.p. but I'm worried there may be more to this than just u-joints. Wondering about problems with the diff. Thanks for all your input any more thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks again.
 

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I'm with your assessment of the ring and pinion lash windup and unwind. I don't think U-joints would have that much play without being thouroughly dead. But they are a possibility. Do you hear a gear howl at road speeds?.... even faintly ?
 

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You should check to see if the play is in the driveshaft or the pinion yoke. If the yoke moves the same amount as the driveline, it is probably the gears or pinion bearing. Try to check for side to side or fore and aft movement in the pinion yoke. You might also do a gear oil change in the dif and look for metal fragments.

Good Luck
 

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You have a YJ right? Does the front axle disconnect still function?
Engage that somehow and then turn the front driveshaft and while doing that watch the front axle shaft U joints see how much they move. This should give you an idea where all the slop is. Could very well be in the spider gears.
Anyway in 2 wheel drive the front would not cluck and you should be able to spin the front driveshaft. This goes for a YJ only with the front axle disconnect in the 2 wheel drive position
 

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You have a YJ right? Does the front axle disconnect still function?
Engage that somehow and then turn the front driveshaft and while doing that watch the front axle shaft U joints see how much they move. This should give you an idea where all the slop is. Could very well be in the spider gears.
Anyway in 2 wheel drive the front would not cluck and you should be able to spin the front driveshaft. This goes for a YJ only with the front axle disconnect in the 2 wheel drive position
Ya I have a yj but I'm the the person with the problem lol it's Mikey up top
 

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You have a YJ right? Does the front axle disconnect still function?
Engage that somehow and then turn the front driveshaft and while doing that watch the front axle shaft U joints see how much they move. This should give you an idea where all the slop is. Could very well be in the spider gears.
Anyway in 2 wheel drive the front would not cluck and you should be able to spin the front driveshaft. This goes for a YJ only with the front axle disconnect in the 2 wheel drive position

In a YJ with a working axle disconnect, slop in the front driveshaft in 2 wheel drive would not do much of anything since the driveshaft pretty much freewheels.
 
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