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PB -PC Challenger 2009 - 2014 Covering 2.5 HP diesel

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  #1  
Old 17-06-12
Glen c Glen c is offline
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Default Challenger vibration

From previous post about driveline vibration MM have decided to replace
Driveshaft , only worry 3 week wait for parts from Japan.
At least I am getting somewhere not getting fobbed of like previous members comments. Hopefully this will fix the issue
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  #2  
Old 17-06-12
barney351 barney351 is offline
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thats good news, lets hope this fixes the problem.
im one of the ones that also has a vibration,been round in circles getting it sorted,some head guy who came out said its just how challengers are, but the mechanics want me to push the issue(just dont have time)the mechanics did say it has been mentioned by lots of owners.
My drivetrain also feel alot harsher when in 4wdh than 2wdh,not sure if others have this issue?
i just tend to keep the fuel tank full and the vibration is not that bad,and only run in 4WDH if the rds are really slippery and no one else is in the car to comment on how rough it feels,(shouldnt be embarrassed of a $50000 car)
Did perform really well over the long weekend with a camper on back and bit of offroad work, the prado i was with didnt make it up some of the mud tracks i did
anyway i hope it all get fixed for you Glen
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  #3  
Old 18-06-12
Glen c Glen c is offline
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Yes well .it is fingers crossed see how we go. Very annoying issue and am going to follow it through to the finish. Thanks for the info
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  #4  
Old 29-12-12
shortSteve shortSteve is offline
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Hey guys, first time poster here, have a my12 30th anniversay challenger manual purchased new, now with 30k km on it with a shockingly bad driveline vibration at 105-110km/h. Has been there since new and reported at each service. Is not gear or engine sensitive (does it in neutral/idle even at those road speeds), tyres and rims have been staticly balanced seperately and are fine, tail shaft inspected and appears ok, dealer has said it is excessive (seems harmonic, almost like a drumming vibration) but MMA says its normal? Drove another new MY12 manual, has same harmonic drumming but on a much lesser scale (if you weren't aware of it, you could put it down to road surface on a short test drive, but definately the same frequency).
Others have suggested it's diff input to gearbox output angle, mine has completely standard suspension and does seem a lil worse if tank is empty/no load or trailer hitched and some weight in/full tank (so either side of middle of suspension travel i guess?). Also seems temperature sensitive (less so in the current 40+degree weather, but still bad).
I am at breaking point, my dealer and others i have spoke to have been fantasic, but aren't getting anywhere with an answer. So before i go and trade a $50k car in that i love and lose a lot of coin, anyone got any ideas/solutions/advice?
Thankyou in advance
sS
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  #5  
Old 29-12-12
fuelconsumption fuelconsumption is offline
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This appears to be a recurring problem with the Challenger, suggesting there is either an underlying design issue, or a recurring manufacturing fault. Fortunately mine does not have this problem, but I am curious as to what is going on here, and would also like to see the problem solved or reduced for those unfortunate sufferers.

The obvious first step would be to do a harmonic analysis of the vibration. For example, if the vibration is at tailshaft rotational frequency, this indicates an out-of-balance tailshaft, while a vibration at double that frequency indicates an issue with the universal joints on the tailshaft. Unfortunately Mitsi service centres are unlikely to have this equipment, so we will need to glean the information by other means.

People seem fairly certain that the problem is at higher frequency than wheel frequency, and wheel balancing does not help, so out-of-balance wheels seems very unlikely. The problem is a function only of road speed, not engine speed or gear selection, so that rules out the engine and gearbox. The problem is not load dependent, meaning the vibration is essentially the same whether coasting in neutral, or with the engine propelling the car. This tends to suggest the problem is not associated with the universal joints on the tailshaft, though can't be certain.

An objectionable vibration/noise can arise in 2 ways. Firstly, something must produce the vibration in the first place. That may sound trivially obvious, but in reality every part of the engine and drivetrain that reciprocates or rotates will produce a vibration, but in most cases the amplitude will be sufficiently small as to not be objectionable. So, an objectionable vibration may be caused by an unacceptably large vibratory driving force, such as an out of balance driveshaft, or misphased universal joints, or out-of-balance wheels or whatever. The second possibility is that there is no obvious mechanical out-of-balance fault as such, but that part of the vehicle structure is resonant at a frequency where a small vibration (which would not normally be a problem) is present. This is much more subtle and difficult to fix, and could be regarded as a design fault, while an out-of-balance tailshaft is more likely to be a manufacturing fault. My suspicion is that the chassis/body structure of the Challenger has some unwanted resonance(s), with the result that vibrations that would otherwise be negligible become amplified and objectionable. The exact resonance characteristics could easily be influenced by factors such as how much fuel is in the tank, as observed. Note also that Mitsi have fitted vibration dampers to the rear diff and the chassis, suggesting that their designers know of vibration issues and have attempted to reduce the problem.

Regardless of to what extent resonance is a player, we would like to know what is causing the vibration, and what can be done about it, either by reducing the vibration itself, or reducing the resonant amplification. Replacing the tailshaft is an obvious thing to try. If the dealer is prepared to replace the tailshaft then well and good. If the problem goes away then problem solved - if not then you are back to where you started. If it was my vehicle I would temporarly remove the rear tailshaft altogether and drive the vehicle 4HLc (4WD High Range, Centre diff locked). This will tell you beyond all doubt whether the origin of the vibration is in the rotating tailshaft and universal joints. If the vibration is unchanged then you have learned a heck of a lot, and you need to search for the vibration elsewhere. If the vibration disappears, then perhaps the tailshaft is faulty and it would certainly be worth trying a replacement, or pehaps it is within normal specifications and the small vibration is amplified by vehicle resonance.

Another thing I would try, which is really easy to do, is temporarily unbolt the harmonic damper block on the rear diff. If this makes a significant difference then you know that resonance is a major player. It is entirely possible that removing this damper could improve the situation, or move the objectionable vibration to some other road speed where it is less of an issue. As it is so easy to do, I would certainly give this a try.
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  #6  
Old 29-12-12
shortSteve shortSteve is offline
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Thanks Fuelconsumption, have removed the rear diff isolating rubber, made the "resonance" considerable worse, infact vibration could best be described as like driving down a corrigated road and started at a much lower speed. Was so bad i only got to about 80km/h before turning back for home to refit.
As you have suggested, i believe it is a body resonance issue, and as MMA have instructed my dealer not to replace any parts (despite them doing it off their own back) I am kinda at a dead end. Interestingly, i drove yet another challenger yesterday, same issue (although so minute unless you were looking for it you wouldn't really think anything wrong, much like the new one i drove recently) and then jumped in a base 4x4 glx triton, the difference in nvh was astounding! So much quieter, smoother. Jumped in a GLXR for comparison again, and besides the much sloppier suspension tune wallowing and floating along like a boat, was also much quieter and smoother, both in driveline and engine harshness. Dealer has also swapped rims and tyres out on my car for some basic steelies, vibration eas the same.
Any ideas if anyone in Perth does the type of harmonic testing you recomend? Have tried varios auto driveline shops but all seem to think i should just start swapping out parts
May have to get the tailshaft out and go from there. Dumb question, is it just a case of unbolting at the flanges or will i have to remove the gearbox output, or secure it somehow? Best way to do?
Once again, thankyou for the input and advice.
sS
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  #7  
Old 29-12-12
fuelconsumption fuelconsumption is offline
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I am reluctant to advise you to remove the tailshaft in case something goes wrong. However, if you are mechanically competent and willing to have a go and take whatever risks there are, then that is up to you. I have never removed the tailshaft myself, and I am sure there are others here that are more mechanically experienced, and may be able to offer practical advice. Clearly the tailshaft disconnects easily at the diff end, just a bolted flange connection with 4 bolts. Somewhere there must be splines to take up changes in length between diff and gearbox as the suspension moves. My guess therefore is that the tailshaft is splined into the gearbox output shaft, and may well just slide out. Can anyone confirm this, from experience or looking at the service manual? If it really is that simple then personally I would have a go, but I can take no responsibility.

The angular phasing of the 2 universal joints (UJs) is extremely important for smooth transmission of power, but you can't accidentally get that wrong because one end of each UJ is welded permanently to each end of the tailshaft. AFAIK the only way the phasing could get wrong is by incorrect initial manufacture (extremely unlikely) or with a twisted tailshaft, also unlikely.

You will have observed that the input shaft on the diff is not parallel to the tailshaft. This is deliberate. What matters is that the output shaft of the gearbox is parallel to the input shaft of the diff, which you should check. In this case, the 'bend' in each UJ is equal, and the rotational pulsations created at each UJ cancel. If the gearbox and diff shafts are not parallel, or the 2 UJs are not phased correctly, then this cancellation does not occur, resulting in severe driveline pulsations and vibration at twice (from memory) the rotational frequency. Thus, being able to measure the vibration frequency is a powerful diagnostic. I don't know who could do this for you, but is within the realms of an electronics hobbyist, requiring only an accelerometer and oscilloscope. Some smartphones and tablets these days have inbuilt accelerometers that could conceivably measure the vibration, and then a suitable 'app' could display and analyse the frequency components. Just dreaming, but who knows what might be available in the future ...

In the meantime, removing or swapping components may be your only way forward.
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  #8  
Old 30-12-12
barney351 barney351 is offline
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hi all, ive often wondered how others were going with their vibration issues,12months and 33000km later the car still has the same vibration,it has also been back a few times for build up of carbon,resulting inwhat starts out as a slight flat spot and builds to a large flatspot and smoke pouring out the exhuast.
the car is due for its 30000km service and the dealer is hopping for a kit from mmal in the new year that the dealer tells me will realign the whole driveline.
i hope this works and you give me hope steve with the results of you driving other challengers and tritons,
i traded a 200 000km MK petrol triton brought new on my challenger and the first thing i noticed was how noisey and harsh the driveline and suspension was, i expected a bit more harshness from the diesel compared to the petrol, but boy was i disapointed, then today driving the challenger after using the wife Verada over christmas made me relize how harsh the challenger really is,(i use to love getting in the triton after the Verada even though the Verada is soooo smooth).
Then to top it off i had the airbag light come on today,and while looking over the car collecting my thoughts ive noticed the turbo is covered in oil.
Looks like i will be back at the dealer next week, and will give you an update on the upcoming fix, might also try and take some other challegers for a spin just to see if its worth me persevering with the challenger
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  #9  
Old 30-12-12
norto norto is offline
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You must have a dud one.
I've owned a lot of 4x4s and the only one that was marginally better than the Challenger to drive was the D3 Discovery.
The Challenger has had the gear knob replaced in 56000k, the only thing not replaced on the D3 in 60000k was the Motor,
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Last edited by norto; 30-12-12 at 06:36 AM.
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  #10  
Old 30-12-12
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PeePee PeePee is online now
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We have had our Challenger for just over 12 mths now and done 20,000 k's. I have not noticed the vibration as such but have noticed the bulbar does vibrate a bit as does the UHF arial, I just assumed it was the road. I have ATZ's on mine as well. Generally been happy with it except for the fuel consumption for the auto, that was very much unexpected. The interesting thing here is that the difference hen towing the Jayco eagle outback the consumption is not much worse than buzzing around Brisbane.
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