A reader recently emailed us about an ongoing problem that is common with the V8+QuadraDrive 1999 Grand Cherokees. According to our source, it appears that DaimlerChrysler was putting the wrong fluids in the differential and transfer cases in QuadraDrive Grand Cherokees built before January.
The "bad fluids" are wrecking havoc with bearings that is causing "a very loud whine and bearing noise...vibrations from the bearings or whatever could be felt throughout the car. The whine is loud enough between 40 and 60 mph that it overwhelms the radio when set at a reasonable level. Another problem is when turning the steering wheel more then 1/2 a turn while parking or whatever. The front wheels chatter vibrate very badly. Just like a part time system on a dry road."
DaimlerChrysler has a Technical Service Bulletin on the problem, which states that the fluids should be flushed and replaced 3 times. If this doesn't solve the problem, DaimlerChrysler is recommending that both axles and transfer cases be replaced. From what our source told us as well as what we read in the rec.autos.makers.jeep+willys newsgroup, these replacements are becoming routine for Grand Cherokees built before January.
In a final note, it appears from the messages we've read that DaimlerChrysler is listening to customers who bring in their vehicles that exhibit this problem, as we've read several messages from people who were able to exchange their Jeeps for new ones, or were given loaner cars while the problems were fixed.