Metallic tapping noise in 1997 JEEP Wrangler

When the engine of my 1997 JEEP Wrangler gets very hot while I’m driving, a metallic tapping noise starts - it seems to be coming from underneath the JEEP in the area of the transmission/transfer box. If I put the car in neutral, it still makes the noise but it’s a little quieter. If I stop and put it in park, the noise stops. A transmission guy just drove it 82 miles and could not get the noise to happen. He dropped the pan and could not find anything. He says the shifting is fine and he does not think it’s in the transmission or transfer box. Anyone have any ideas about what could be causing this noise? It reminds me of the noise that happens when kids put cards on the spokes of their bicycle wheels.

Sounds like lifters, eventhough it sounds that it comes from the tranny.

Thanks for your input. I was thinking about doing an oil change and adding some type of additive to help lubricate.


do not add ANY special additives in the engine OR the transmission.

you need to go to a different transmission shop.

get a second opinion

Thanks - the transmission guy who doesn’t think it’s the transmission actually was a second opinion.

It’s not the transmission.

Define “Gets very hot.” You said your JEEP Wrangler gets very hot while you’re driving it. This should never happen. How hot does it get, and how do you know it’s getting hot?

I suggest you need a new thermostat, which costs about $15.

The temperature gauge stays slightly below 200. When I say hot I mean driving more than a half hour on a day 85 degrees or warmer. I have never noticed the noise when driving on days with cool temperatures. Fluids are all up to level. Engine does not overheat.