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Growling noise in front differential. PLS HELP

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Rahton, April 14, 2009.

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    1. Rahton

      Rahton New Member

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      City, State:
      Lemoore, CA
      Year and Model:
      2002 Explorer XLT 4X4
      The question is: Should I let these guys go ahead and do this maintenance on my truck?

      Here is the estimate from the dealers service department.
      I do not trust these guys, I had my own mechanic look at the truck and he found metal in the front diff case, these guys opened it didn't find any more metal, did not inspect the bearings and they put it back together and tried to charge me 275$ and did not fix a :thumbdwn: thing. I told them to test drive it and they turned and said yes they hear the growling noise.
      Now they are estimating all this work. Now there is still no garantee that this will fix the growling noise. They mentioned that if it is gears it will cost more.
      This is after I got Ford customer service involved and got the Service manager to wipe out the cost for the first worthless "inspection".

      2002 ford explorer 4X4 XLT
      :exp:
      remove front differential case 5.3hr 527.35
      replace carrier bearings .4 39.80
      replace pinion bearings/cups .7 69.65
      check run-out .5 49.75
      replace housing axle bearings 1.0 99.50
      press fit bearings 50.00
      pinion seal 20.09
      ft/rr pinion bearings/cups 89.86
      carrier bearings/cups 75.20
      axle bearings 76.74
      silicone sealer 27.23
      gear oil 68.61
      modifier 6.02
      axle seals 39.37
      sales tax 33.26
      total $1272.43

      Please need opinions on this ASAP. Thank You!
       
      Last edited: April 14, 2009
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    3. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

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      stealerships are starving, . Gear shops sell whats called a rebuild kit only about $200 or so for all of those parts. i'd call around find a smaller shop they will be more competitive. I was quoted $1400 to regear Front and Rears which would included the kits and new R&Ps and a detroit truetrac progressive slip ($400 alone). Based on that local quote no more than $500 or so for one diff.
       
    4. Mark103

      Mark103 New Member

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      I had that problem in my rear differential, and it was the bearings. If you don't trust these ya-hoos I wouldn't let them work on it. I'd ask around and find someone that's dependable and trustworthy.
      Mark
       
    5. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

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      you might also check your junkyards, . . . mine only wanted $200 for a used one. I think any '02-05 should work but you will have to double check also whats the axle code on your door?
       
    6. Rahton

      Rahton New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
      2002 Explorer XLT 4X4
      I'de tell you the axle code but it's at the dealers service shop right now. The mechanic on the base tells me they are charging too much, I had another estimate for 500$ to split the differential open and change the bearings (not including parts) but when I look at what the dealer wants to do it seems his pricing is pretty close just that he wants to change everything. This is just getting more frustrating for me. I should have just put it on a lift my self listened for where the noise was coming from and opened that cover myself. I already changed the front left hub assy.

      Alright so no guarantee that the bearings are even the problem, bearings would make more of a roaring sound and then a constant screeching when shot and ready to seize. This is making a growling noise almost sounds like a lawn mower in the background. My thought would be the CV joint might have play in it??? If thats the case it would be soo much cheaper!! My issue with this is if I authorize the work on this and they break into my differential all the way and not just the cover, I am automatically paying 500$ if it fixes it or not? The mechanics are the ones pointing at bearings and the differential. I am an aircraft mechanic in the Navy, I don't have experience with trucks yet but from what I can see they are taking shots in the dark at my expense!
       
      Last edited: April 14, 2009
    7. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

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      you may want to back up a little bit, based on your first post it sounded like the diagnosis CONFIRMED the front diff. If you’re unsure, the most common problem is the front wheel bearings, and that sound will travel so it may sound like its the diff but it isn’t.

      As an idea to test and help confirm its the diff, if you can do it and have access.
      Put it on a hoist and remove the front drive shaft (research that as you need to unplug the 4x4 module- i'm not sure on this) is the noise gone? Now take it for a spin and see if the noise is gone or changes with the shaft still out. It might help pinpoint where the noise is from.

      I have read about many wheel bearings F/R, a few Rear diff's, but you would be the first post for a front diff - if i remember correctly - which i may not. . .

      Only thing that would worry me is if say the dealer guessed (they all do it type of thing) and did it for the $1200 then comes back and says it was only part of the fix but now we have to replace the wheel bearings too . . .imho.
       
    8. rrgone

      rrgone Active Member

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      I was thinking pretty much the same as jrford when I read this post yesterday. Wheel bearings or rear differential - yes. But front differential - huh? But I thought you had already had it confirmed as the front diff.

      Can you take it to a wheel shop and have them check the wheel bearings? They can be pretty tricky to diagnose.
       
    9. Ted22

      Ted22 Active Member

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      You ever get to the bottom of this? Mine doing something very similar... 05 4WD. As soon as I go 4wd, it growls...

      Thx!
       
    10. DeezNuts7

      DeezNuts7 New Member

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      I have the same issue with an 01 ranger I just bought but I knew it had the issue. Bottom line....screw the dealer and go to a bone yard and get a used front diff but absolutely make sure that your getting one that has the same gearing IE. 4:10 in mine. Drop old one and install new one. When you are done go order parts that you need to rebuild the old one and learn something. Happy hunting!!
       

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