Guys, I have been chasing an awful rattle under my YJ for a few years now; I spent untold hours under it removing and inspecting front end parts and changing out anything that appeared to be even remotely worn to no avail. Well today I finally decide to swallow my pride (Certified aircraft/auto mech for 25 years) and take it to a garage here in town that folks say is pretty good.
They said they'd be glad to take a look at it this Thursday, but when I got home, the weather was nice and I decided to take one last tour under it to look for it myself. The leaves are starting to fall here and when I opened the hood, I started clearing some small leaves out from between the hood and the cowl and just happened to notice a small chaff mark where the hood has been contacting the cowl.
So on a hunch, I got two small shop rags, put them under the hood hinges, closed the hood and proceeded to go for a test drive down a bumpy dirt road with my fingers crossed. Low and behold there was not a single rattle! It appears that the rubber seal between the hood and the cowl has become compressed over time and needs replaced; I installed a small strip of rubber over the worn seal for now, until I can get a new one from the dealer.
I will sleep like a baby tonight, knowing that the only rattle that has ever dumb founded me for years is fixed.