The first time that I really put the Jeep through its paces was when I was out in Moab for Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) in 2019. I was doing full articulation of the axles and overall putting the entire Jeep under a lot of stress on this trip. When the Jeep was transiting full articulation, I was hearing a “popping” sound.
One thing with Jeeps and vehicles in general: sound travels. It travels through the frame, it travels through the hood; heck, it even travels through the seats. By the time it finds its way to your ears, you really can’t be sure of where it’s actually coming from. You may think it’s from the rear, when actually it’s coming from the front or the side.
When I was hearing this “popping” sound, I thought it was coming from the rear. You know what they say? Don’t go looking for something you don’t want to find. I found that my rear AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) differential skid plat was rubbing on my Rock Hard Fuel Tank Skid. So when the rear axle was “flexing”, or transiting full articulation, the rub was occurring. Great. But that didn’t resolve what I was still hearing.
The search continued. Besides visually inspecting the Jeep, I rallied some friends to basically shake the Jeep until whatever screw was loose fell out. Thankfully, no parts fell off, but whatever we had done had resolved the noise I was hearing. AEV had a static display all EJS week at a restaurant in Moab. So, I had them install the lift. Chris Wood, AEV International Sales Director, was also in Moab. I have known Chris for many years and his knowledge of off-roading and the products that AEV produces is intense. In talking with Chris, he looked at my Jeep and came to the conclusion that my driver’s side front shock tower mount needed trimming as my sway bar link bolts were rubbing on the tower. I asked him his opinion on how much we should trim… we ended up trimming off about 1/2 inch.
Since then I have not heard any “popping” so I guess that did the trick! Thanks, Chris.