Weird noises sometimes foreshadow impeding doom. Persistent gear grinds or whines are a common example.
Other sounds are just plain annoying. Doug Misch, proprietor of Misch 4x4, has a daily driver JK with a 2-inch lift that made a weird chatter when it hit seams in the road. The sound and vibration only happened when he was driving straight. “So I decided to solve my own problem,” he says.
Since the chatter didn’t happen during side-loads (such as cornering or in a crosswind), Misch narrowed the problem to the steering, specifically the slip joint. The problem seemed worse in hot weather, so he guessed that the steering shaft halves expand at different rates. Packing the slip joint with grease proved to be a temporary fix.
Misch’s ultimate solution is a simple system that uses a spring to apply a constant sideload on the slip joint.
Not all JKs seem to suffer from this chatter/unwanted steering feedback—which isn’t a safety concern. However, JK owners who are afflicted by this weird noise now have an inexpensive and easy cure.