Question about 1999 Jeep Cherokee

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When on a jack, the back wheels (axle) move side to side about 1/4" - 3/8". This is what I believe to be the source of a "clunk" noise when going over larger street bumps like RXR tracks etc. My wife believes this is causing the jeep to fishtail after these bumps. Are the bearings worn out? Can I replace them with normal shop tools? Is the whole axle bad?

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Those axles are held into the rear gear housing by two c-clips, and kept separated by a steel pin that screws in between them. If your rear axle gears dont have proper lubrication, it will suffer wear and tear internally and likely have that type of sideways play you described. Replacing those parts requires you to have some knowledge of the gears inside that rear housing. It's not too difficult otherwise.

Posted on Oct 25, 2010

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