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1997 AWD mountaineer frontend noise

Discussion in 'Explorer & Ranger Transmissions, Transfer Cases, &' started by superboat, September 14, 2010.

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    1. superboat

      superboat New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
      1997 AWD mountaineer
      hey whats up guys.i just bought a 97 mercury mountaineer all the time AWD.found out a week later it was missing the front drive shaft.i put one in and now im getting this humming nosie and slight vibration in the wheel.the frontend was a quart low on oil so i added a quart.when i make left and right turns it feels like something is binding up somewhere.last, i was driving down the road and the left tire hit a patch of sand and like skiped.i dont have the slightest clue where to begin.so if any1 can help me out.thanks
       
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    3. imp

      imp Well-Known Member

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      Driving it the first week, were the noise and vibration absent? A quart low is quite a bit for that small front differential, but not so much as to cause gear damage.

      At this point you must decide whether you want to invest the time, and proly money, to try to find the source of the noise, and have 4WD available, or take the driveshaft back out.....imp
       
    4. superboat

      superboat New Member

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      i drove the truck for like a week without a shaft and drove mint.as soon as i put the front shaft in is when it started to make the humming nosie and felt like something was binding in the front also
       
    5. nssj2

      nssj2 Active Member

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      was the dshaft new or used? The front cv joint on the driveshaft is a piece of junk, that is a common problem with these trucks. If the driveshaft is new, the viscous coupling in the transfer case is most likely cooked.
       
    6. superboat

      superboat New Member

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      the drive shaft is used.what can go worng with the drive shaft if its used?i pulled the visous coupling out 2day and i dont see anything wrong with it.is there any way to test it or sign so i know that it is junk or not?also is there any clutchs besides gears in the front diff?thanks
       
    7. OneLever

      OneLever Active Member

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      The drive shaft is a balanced unit like wheel and tire assemblies. If the used drive shaft is not balanced it will cause vibrations. On top of that the aft CV joint on the front drive shaft can go bad and cause clicking noises and vibrations as the bearings die.

      You can balance the drive shaft by placing hose clamps around it at either end and altering their angular position till the vibration is diminished. Effectively using them as counter weights like in wheel assemblies. I believe that's how the manual said it could be done, but I'm away from mine right now so that's off of memory.

      Out of curiosity was the front differential fluid discolored or did it have metal shavings when you changed it?
       
    8. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Elite Explorer

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      And if you remove the driveshaft, realize that your truck can roll away on it's own when parked...
       
    9. superboat

      superboat New Member

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      well the front diff was a quart low on fuild so i just added to it.the color of it was like redish like tranny fuild.

      with the shaft out it doesnt roll away in park.

      would any1 know whats exatly in the front diff that might cause a binding feeling when making left and right turns?and how can u tell if the viscous coupling is bad or not?
       
    10. OneLever

      OneLever Active Member

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      This is a documented problem: click here.

      I infer that you mean there is no binding when the front drive shaft is out. To my knowledge the gears inside the front differential still rotate and engage each other when it is out. They just don't have extra torque coming from the drive shaft to provide power. This would imply your transfer case as the problem if these symptoms only occur after you have installed the front drive shaft.

      Assuming of course, that you have ruled out the used drive shaft as being defective.
       
      Last edited: September 17, 2010
    11. superboat

      superboat New Member

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      thanks for the info guys.im pretty sure its the viscous coupling in the transfer case that is pretty much what everything leads to it.now would anyone know where to get a new viscous coupling for a good price?lol thanks
       
    12. OneLever

      OneLever Active Member

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      I would make sure that it is not your used drive shaft first. Re-manufactured parts are hit and miss sometimes. If you do decide it's the transfer case the two cheapest options would be:

      1. A local junkyard.

      2. A private seller parting out his vehicle like this.

      Make sure if you get a used transfer case (or its parts) that they are compatible with your existing one. That's something you'll have to do your homework on. When you do get it fixed please post the solution in this thread so future readers can learn from your troubles.
       
    13. superboat

      superboat New Member

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      i already took the transfer case apart and took everything out.im going to find a new viscous coupling and replace it with the old one in the case.put it all back 2gether and hope for the best.if i still have that binding feeling ill check out the shaft also.
      thanks
       
    14. superboat

      superboat New Member

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      i took the old viscous coupling to a tranny shop and he tested it for me in a vise.it was frozen solid when it should have a slippage to it.i replaced the viscous coupling and a new chain trucks drives better then ever!
      thanks every1 for the advice and info:thumbsup:
       
    15. OneLever

      OneLever Active Member

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      Glad to hear it! Thanks for letting us know how it turned out I'm sure someone down the line will appreciate that.
       
    16. jimberg98

      jimberg98 New Member

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      Viscous Coupler Seizing while driving

      I have a 97 Mountaineer with a similar problem. The binding doesn't occur until the vehicle has been driven for a few miles, though. If the viscous coupler was seized, wouldn't it have the binding issue immediately?

      I suspect that something in the transfer case is heating up and causing the viscous coupler to engage. I thought maybe it was different tire sizes but I measured the circumference of each tire and they are practically identical.

      I did have the transfer case fluid changed recently thinking the fluid could be bad, but that didn't help. It's possible that the shop used the wrong type of fluid, though. I was thinking about changing the fluid myself and using Amsoil ATF which is supposed to exceed Mercon V specs.

      Any thoughts on what else it could be?

      Thanks. This is my wife's car and I'd really like to get it fixed before winter.
       
    17. jimberg98

      jimberg98 New Member

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      It appears that the shop just used regular gear oil instead of any kind of ATF. I replaced it with the AMSOIL ATF and it seems to work better now. Over time, the issue with the steering is still there, though.

      The gas mileage has improved greatly, too.
       
    18. OneLever

      OneLever Active Member

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      And that is why I do all my own work ;)
       
    19. jimberg98

      jimberg98 New Member

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      Yeah, it's sad that we can't even trust a mechanic to do the correct thing at the outrageous rates they charge. I do most of my work for that reason and to save money.

      I still can't figure out why it still behaves like the front wheels are locked together when the car has been driven for a while. Could it be bad CV joints?
       
    20. OneLever

      OneLever Active Member

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      I would drain the transfer case and refill it with new fluid after awhile to help get rid of any residual gear oil.

      Any time I've had a CV joint go bad it started to make rumbling noises and vibration which would evolve into harsh vibration and loud clicking noises. I would take a look at the front differential fluid if I were you and see if it is low or discolored. Even if its not it might do some good to drain and fill it with new fluid. The first thing that comes to mind when you mention "locked together" is the front differential.
       
    21. mountaineerbeast

      mountaineerbeast Active Member

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      Then just do what i did, i found a good Mormon mechanic that has really good rates!

      ...unfortunately it can take him a while because he's a one man garage.
       

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