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Wheel Bearing spindle questions.

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by Currency, October 30, 2011.

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    1. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      Well this post will run long with all the information since I have spun three bearings on my front drivers side within one years time.

      Been having issues regarding my wheel bearings on my driver side for a year now. Have repacked six new bearings just for the drivers side in one year. Last time was only an hour ago, new seals of course and I did pack both sides.

      When I went over to the drivers side. I first noticed the piece that slides on after the C clip had excess wear on it. It had been rubbing or something. The time before last when I replaced the bearings was only a few months ago, not even 3,000 miles ago.

      I've spun to inner bearings and the first time it was the outer bearing. The second time the bearing scared the spindle which should have a certain measurement to fit the bearings just right. I have to take an orbital sander with 80 grid to smooth out the spindle to get the inner bearing to slid in. Today the inner bearing was pretty much gone. Fell apart once I pulled the seal off.

      I also noticed the back side of the rotor had been rubbing against the ABS sensor and wore a nice grove around those little gear looking things on the inside of my rotors.

      First question is, is it possible that I'm just too much of a country boy to pack bearings properly with a full time mechanic standing behind me and a Ford tech a phone call away?

      I've been told, you cannot purchase new spindles, is this true? I just checked rockauto and they have everything spindle related but a spindle. I plan on heading to a local, 30 miles one way, junk yard tomorrow that's to lazy to tell anyone over the phone if they may or may not have any rangers, broncos, or explorers in their tiny yard.

      What is a fair price to pay for a used spindle?

      Are they universal, meaning the drivers side will fit the passenger side, or one seperate for each side?

      What kind of grease am I suppose to use? Have tried two thus far and believe they are the same just different brands. My father has used the same stuff and never had any issues.

      Have a headache now from the explorer. Returning to work Thursday with nothing else to drive and my drive will be highway around 25 miles each way. Once the shipping increases I'll be traveling more for work and may even be using the explorer to deliver packages again this year.

      Hope its worth it to everyone shipping through UPS :p:
       
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    3. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ..I'll give it a shot..:scratch:

      ...You didn't mention what brand bearings..Timkens seem to be the ones that are the best..

      ..From what you have mentioned I am seeing a couple possible choices as to what the problems are..

      ..My first guess would be you had ran the bearings to tight or, with not enough grease..Some people run thin on bearing grease worrying to much about grease build up in their hubs..Having the spindle nuts a hair to tight will heat the bearings to the point of cooking the grease first..The grease eventually fails and then so does the bearing..

      ..I've recently run into a bearing grease problem on my Ranger (only because I believe) the new drilled and slotted rotors coupled with the dual piston rotors and a long mountain highway downhill drive and extremely good braking may have heated the grease up a little more than spec operating temperatures..

      ..The reason I mention that is, I'm still running the "Moly" blend for Ford's with disc brakes, bearing grease..The next step up is a synthetic blend which is also commonly found in most any parts stores..

      ..The other thing I noticed from your description is, it sounds like you are on either the stock rotors or at least old rotors..

      ..I mention this as it sounds like you have wore the area between the inner/outer bearing in the rotor...I actually wore mine till I would thread the spindle nuts on by hand and run out of thread to tighten them..

      ..Sounds like you are just about there with wearing your sensor (although that could have been a rock or mud damage to that)..Also, if the wear between the bearings in the rotor, (or even the bearing races in the rotor) is actually the culprit, this would also give you just enough play after tightening them for them to start heating up..

      Well...some things to think about till some others chime in..;)

      BTW..The parts..

      ..Since you have the sensors, you will need to grab them off 93-94 X or 95-97 Ranger..they fit either side so no problem there..

      As for price..I sold a pair for $40 then 2 days later had a p.o.s. valucrap bearing go out on my X and I couldn't find any around..Luckily, after my buddies at the the local jy's ran it over their inter-radio all day, I found one for the cheap price of $150 so I could drive my X home..:rolleyes:
       
    4. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      Never thought about it but over tightening could be the problem.

      My father owns his own shop, but pretty much only does body work these days. Had at one time cleaned cars for a living when the economy was better in the late 80's early 90's.

      So we bought the socket to remove the nut with, but we do not have a one inch drive for it, also do not have a 3/4 to 1 inch or even a 1/2 to 1 inch socket. Therefore it is mostly turned by hand, then tightened a hair more to fit the key in place.

      The new drivers side bearings are the value ones from Autozone, the local car quest is cheaper but closed on Sunday's. Therefore I paid $6.99 per seal and $7.99 per bearing. The seals were Timkens, orange, normally the ones I get are red.

      My father had valvoline grease that came in a long tube, used that the first two times. This last time he had something like this,

      http://www.amazon.com/Valvoline-VV632-Fortified-Multi-Purpose-Vehicles/dp/B000GAD07O

      I make sure I pack them until grease comes out the other side, I pack them with the grease in the palm of my hand and rolling the bearing through it many, many times. Never have cleaned my hubs, factory auto's, but plan too in the spring when I drop my tranny pan for a new filter and gasket and go even further by replacing my main seal.


      The rotors were purchased new from Advanced around the time I got the explorer in June-September of 2009. I purchased it in June, traded, but didn't have all the brake work done and the truck legal until September. New brakes all around, already replaced front pads and need them again :(

      http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/we...er_19200318-P_221_R|GRPDRUMAMS_1635121012____

      The wear on the inside are the fins on the back as shown in the photo on Advanced site, see link above. They are still good, no real grooves other than on the fins on the back. Unless that will cause weight and/or balancing issues is another question.

      The past two times I have replaced bearings on the driverside. The bearing nut, the big one, could be removed bare handed because of the excess play from the bad inner bearings.


      Perhaps too much pressure pushing the inner bearing back against the spindle to far?!?
      Still wanting to replace the spindle, not sure about making a 50 ish mile round trips tomorrow though.

      Thanks for the information T-Bars. Perhaps I need to go shopping for a 1 inch drive torque wrench. $167 from snap on.
       
    5. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    6. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      Will read through them here in a few.

      Been having some driver issues, or game issues, with battle field 3. First it would crash during multiplayer, now that's fixed with an older video driver. Now I am having issues with losing sound when in tanks and such. Requires several computer restarts. Just updated sound drivers, going to play a bit and if it doesn't help the video drivers will be updated again.

      I've only been going cheap because of the economy, out of work. I start Thursday back at UPS. Working in a local hub, along with extra seasonal work once things pick up for Christmas. I worked as a seasonal employee for them last year and they offered me a full part-time position this year. Other than that, I only worked 7 weeks this year for another company. Can't sell much ice in the winter :D

      Forgot about the Walking Dead. Will read them after the show and everything listed above :)
       
    7. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ..I'm just cheap..:D

      ..But what I meant was, it's probaly none of your fault but for the price of the cheap bearings, you now get to buy a spindle, rotor, new bearings and races, and so on..

      ..The links I posted are to let you know you are not alone in this..;)
       
    8. Roadrunner777

      Roadrunner777 Well-Known Member

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      Fair price for a used spindle... for baseline purposes, you can buy a new one from diffsonly.com for $178. It is not clear if these have the ABS cutout or not. As mentioned, the spindle has cutouts for each side, so they can be swapped side to side. Junkyard, you pull it, anywhere from $10 to $50 would make me happy.

      There is something wrong with the rotor, I would not reinstall it. Maybe one of the races is cocked or just plain messed up. New rotors all over the place for under $40.

      I would hand fit the new bearings on your spindle and see if they are going to run straight. If you have been using abrasives on the outside of the spindle, there may now be too much play for the bearings to run right.

      I'll tell you my thoughts on bearings: I changed out a rotor a few weeks ago. New bearing options were the cheap ones at $6, or National brand for $19. I bought the cheap ones because $19 for this bearing is robbery. (Particularly in that it takes 2 of these bearings!) I installed the cheap ones just long enough to get an order in to rockauto for Timken bearings at $9.72. Those bearings should be on my doorstep today, and I will change them in, and throw away the 2 week old cheap ones.

      Now, in 35 years of working on vehicles, I have never had a failure I could attribute to grease. I use the palm technique until grease comes out the ends of the rollers. My new favorite grease is Mystic JT-6 High Temperature because it works on everything from tie rods to rotor bearings, and it's something like $4 a tube at Walmart. It's red, it's sticky, it's good stuff.

      Wear on the axle spacer (splined washer, whatever the name is today) I think is a function of the seal on the axle, which seals against the back of the spindle. I am about to replace those seals this week and will report back. I think wear is not unusual... in the J**p use of this axle, they actually put a needle thrust bearing there, and I am looking at doing the same thing.

      Summary, I think you are in a situation where bad parts are killing other parts. I would get a new or very nice used spindle (if your junkyard has a couple of trucks, I would try to find the best of the lot, maybe get 2 if the price is nice.) BTW, if they had manual hubs sitting in the grass next to it, I'd grab those too, but I'm a manual spindle type. I'd grab the spindle nuts and locking nuggets too.

      New rotor, new bearings, premium bearings.

      In terms of bearing installation, grease them, torque to 30 ft/lb while spinning the rotor, back off to loose, and then tighten to the right spot. If you don't have the feel for this, then ask someone experienced to show you. It's a touch, and a sound, once you get a few perfect, you know what it feels like.

      Manual hub types, when you set the final bearing pressure, note the inner nut position. You may have to set it slightly loose so it goes to the right spot when you torque down the outer nut. Yes, the lock washer is supposed to take care of this, but it allows too much slop for my cares.
       
      Last edited: October 31, 2011
    9. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      Thanks for the replies Tbars and Roadrunner.

      I will change the bearings out again soon. Trust me, I'll be dealing with the ball joints soon but this brings about more questions.

      I always thought, perhaps I was doing something wrong, but considering I only spin bearings on the driver side, never the passenger side. Perhaps it is the parts. I will say the amount of time I spent just on bearings in the past year does eat at me.

      With the spacer wore out, needing replaced, the piece that slides on before the C clip. I have noticed the axle? length on the driver side is shorter than the passenger. Hopefully I'm making this understandable. I can manually slide it in so far I cannot put all the parts back on without pulling it all of the way out. I literally have to place a long flat head screw driver behind it in the area behind the universal joint to keep it from sliding in. Because like I said, if it slides in I cannot place all of the parts back on.

      I never, ever, have this problem on the passenger side. I know the universal is bad on the driver side. Nasty thumping sound when in four wheel. Anyone ever have this problem?

      I can also say, the front end needs a bit of gear oil. I have not used the four wheel in a year or so but winter is coming.

      So I need to;
      1) Replace bearings with better brand. Timkens from Rockauto, $9.72 each.
      Which means,
      2) More new seals. $1.69 each.
      3) universal's front, need 2? $5 to $18 each. Which brand?
      4) Ball joints. Already have them. AUTO EXTRA / CHASSIS RITE Part numbers in my explorer registry, link in sig.

      Sorry guys, I know a lot about my explorer but some of the part names are just not drilled in yet. When I first sanded the spindle down, I do believe I got into the alxe shaft? The grooved shaft you place all of these wheel bearing retaining parts on, thrust spacers, axle shaft spacer, wheel bearing adjusting nut.

      I cannot find a price on these from rock auto. I believe if I replace the spindle, add new brand name bearings, universal's, and ball joints in a few weeks. That I can put off doing anything like tearing into the D35.


      Basic summary.

      Could the bad universal cause the length to shorten where I have issues replacing all the parts from installing new bearings?

      Which brand of universal's should I buy, and how many for just the front end?

      Alignment is off a bit, caused by a bad RA and RA bracket perhaps Tie Rod on passenger side as well. Want to replace this stuff come spring. Overall I can do the Ball joints in a few weeks time along with other things mentioned above. But I cannot afford to let the explorer sit until spring to tear into the D35 at which time I plan to replace a lot of steering related things. Tie rods, drag link, RA, RA bracket.

      Also just gonna throw this out there. My rubber brake lines are tearing on the front. Excess wear since 1994. What rubber lines are suggested for a lift kit 4+ inches? Mine is not lifted but may as well go ahead and get them.
      I think they are F250 or F150 like 1999 lines. I cannot remember but thought I would go ahead and ask.

      EDIT: I also noticed excess brake pad wear on the passenger side, side I have alignment issues with. Never clearly stated which side before but it is the passenger side with bad alignment. Anyone know other than brake caliper issues would cause excess pad wear? The brake pads were put on this spring. Came from NAPA. Had the explorer since fall of 2009. Have put one easily used set of pads and one set of brand new pads. The used pads lasted longer then the new ones. Used ones were free when I purchased a used brake caliper from a local junk yard for the passenger side.

      Thanks guys.
       
      Last edited: October 31, 2011
    10. Roadrunner777

      Roadrunner777 Well-Known Member

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      The part that is keeping the axle from sliding out more is the rubber seal that is on the axle. It seals the axle to the back side of the spindle. I am working on this problem this week... right now, it was very difficult to get enough axle showing to seat the C clip. If you look at the sticky item for spindle, u-joint, etc... that's exactly what I am doing starting tommorow, and it would be a good path for you too, I believe.
       
    11. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      I have just enough room to put the C clip on, but that is about it.

      On the passenger side I have on problems what so ever, plenty of room with room to spare. :(
       
    12. Roadrunner777

      Roadrunner777 Well-Known Member

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      That's good! I had to beat my C-clips on with a hammer... one reason why I am working on it this week. The C-clips and spline washers were missing when I bought it... I guess the axles just stayed there by sheer luck and grit.
       
    13. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      Sounds like it Roadrunner. I normally take a flat head screw driver and smack it once, kinda hard but not really hard and they snap in just fine.

      Went to a salvage yard today and they have the spindles I need, 94 explorer. Sitting there in the mud, no tires. I checked the spindles and they were not rusted and the drivers side had no grooves. The passenger side still had the caliper and pads on it but no outside bearings thrust nut or any of the other four wheel stuff. They also have an early 90's ranger that appears to have the same spindles. I think it was the STX model, my cousin has one sitting somewhere rusting away.

      They said $35 per spindle and I can get shiny coils for $10 pair. Thinking about grabbing the pretty blue shocks but not sure which brand those are. Going hunting on the web for them now. :)
       
      Last edited: October 31, 2011
    14. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      Well. Parents gave me the money, never even ask them. So I'll be heading out around 7am. Thinking about doing my ball joints perhaps tomorrow when I replace the driver side spindle. Think I will hold onto the other one as a spare. Grabbing the coil springs and shocks. Should end up around $80. But at least I won't have to buy new shocks for a while.


      Already promised myself one thing. If I spin one more bearing, an SAS may be on the way. Depending on my options. D44 or D60, full size maybe. Like rhauf1 done with his Explorer. Not exactly sure yet but I believe the D35 is going to be pulled out come spring time. Depends on my work and money situation though.
       
    15. Nedwreck

      Nedwreck Active Member

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      I run large tires (33's on 15x10 wheels) and get by with replacing inner bearings about once a year in the fall, and a repack in the spring. This is a 10,000 a year daily driver, with some wheeling involved. I do run cheap bearings btw. lol

      Were I you, I'd get the new (salvage) spindles and freshen it all up just like you're talking about.

      Tightening the bearings properly can be a big deal on these. I snug mine up by hand with the socket, spin the rotor a dozen or so times, loosen and repeat a time or two.. then tighten down to the next key slot after the last spin.

      After a few days of driving, it's a good idea to jack up the front and check the bearings for play. If there is any play I tighten it up a slot and check again after another week or so.

      It can be a worrisome thing, but it's worth it.
       
    16. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      I'm won't mess anything up changing out the spindle will I?

      Don't have the cash for the ball joint press kit or to purchase new tie rod ends unless they are cheap ones. Going to try and do it tomorrow but I have to do the brakes on my mothers husbands S10. :rolleyes:
       
    17. Tony H

      Tony H Well-Known Member

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      The spindle is an easy change out IF you have the spindle Socket and Slide Hammer.
      http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/products/?product=95
      I keep thinking.. It's always the Drivers side. Keep in mind if you do not put back that little Keyway that slides between the slot in the Spindle and the round slot in the Spindle Nut that Spindle nut will keep tightening as you drive forward.
       
    18. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      IF you don't have rust issues, the spindle is easy to pull. I can pull my spindle in < 10 minutes.

      Jack/support the vehicle,
      remove tire
      remove brake caliper
      Remove nuts holding outer bearing and pull outer bearing
      Remove rotor
      If you have Front ABS, remove the ABS sensor. This can be a pain on vehicle with rust as that little nut that holds in the sensor is small. I don't have to deal with this on our '92
      Once the ABS sensor is off (if you have it), you just pull off the 5 nuts holding the spindle on.

      On our X, I just grab the spindle or hit it a few times with a rubber mallet (or block of wood) and it comes right off. At the junk yard I've used a putty knife and a hammer to get behind the spindle. In the rust belt, you may need the real tool pictured in the post above mine.

      I always put anti seize between the spindle and the knuckle when I put the spindle back on which may contribute to it coming off so easy (plus I'm in Arizona).

      ~Mark
       
    19. DeRocha

      DeRocha NEX Vice President Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      In my opinion it seams like you were never initially seating the bearings (torqing the axle hub nut to 35ft/lbs, backing off a 1/4 turn and then finally 16in/lbs {basically hand tight as you were doing}..

      If there is any play in the keyway or the key isn't used then: The drivers side is "more" likely to have problems since when traveling forward the wheel rotation is counter clockwise which is like a constant loosening force on the axle nut.. The passenger side has a constant tightening affect.
       
    20. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      Thanks for the information guys. I got one off yesterday, other one I could not get the ABS sensor bolt out. The drivers side one had a screw in it instead of the bolt. These had metal covers around the ABS sensors, mine does not and I do not believe mine even has the holes to put the metal cover around the ABS sensor.

      The problem I have had when tightening the axle nut is the 1" drive socket I have for it, I do not own any tools larger than 1/2 to properly use the socket. I looked online for 1" torque wrenches and closest I found was a snap on 1/2 inch for $170.

      Would these items help?

      http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-t.../7-piece-impact-socket-adapter-set-67937.html

      http://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-quarter-inch-drive-click-stop-torque-wrench-808.html

      3/4 inch torque wrench and adapter set which includes a 3/4 to 1 inch drive.

      I have hand tightened them, and also tried a pipe wrench to help tighten it. Used only that was available to me at the time.

      Paid $26.75 for the spindle and got some nice shocks @ $2 each for the front, already put the shocks on. Had changed out the passenger side RA for a junk yard on two years ago. Someone welded a washer on the RA so my Autozone grade 8 shock bolt kit had to be forcefully removed with a 3.5 inch grinder. Took an hour to grid through. Could not get the inner bolt to break lose for nothing.

      Bought a 5/8 by 3 inch bolt from Lowe's, put it in backwards, and now it seems fine. Shocks are a bit stiffer than the XD ones I removed, still had part of the old tag on it. Passenger side shock would stick at times.
       
    21. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Get the adapter kit you posted above, its just good to have..

      And get a 1/2 drive torque wrench and use the adapters. Its much cheaper that way and for most things, the 1/2 drive is plenty big.
      http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-inch-drive-click-stop-torque-wrench-239.html

      I checked my HFT 1/2 drive torque wrench on a calibration unit a few times and it was consistently 10% off. I checked in at 30, 50 and 100 ft lbs.. I haven't checked it in a year or so though..

      ~Mark
       
    22. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      Will do, Thanks Maniak.

      Since the Harbor Freight store finder says the closest store to me is around 70 miles in almost any direction, I cannot do get them myself.... But, a small mom and pop shop opened up in town recently that will get the stuff for me. Just have to give them a bit extra. Since I am returning to work I could have them pick them up along with the four wheel ball joint press.

      Any opinions on them?
      http://www.harborfreight.com/four-wheel-drive-ball-joint-service-kit-4065.html

      They have another kit which comes with everything that one has minus the two socket looking things in front of the big C clamp thing. Same price as well. I figure I should buy the kit for $69 instead of shelling out $100 every time I change Ball joints to rent a kit. May take a month to get this stuff but its cheaper to have them drive up and get it when they are after a cargo van load of other things then for me to go get them.

      I start back to work tomorrow, and will be off every weekend but don't want to get up in the early AM to make the trip when I work late second shift. 4 to 10. Around Thanksgiving I'll start working on the package cars before going into work in the hub at the times listed above. UPS gave me a part-time position this year since I proved my worthiness last Christmas shipping season. :)
       
    23. Albino 94LTD

      Albino 94LTD Recovering from Moab 2016 Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      June 24, 2003
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      Year and Model:
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      KG7PKQ
      I carry the 3 in 1 press in my rig and have used it many times for U joints and ball joints.
       
    24. Roadrunner777

      Roadrunner777 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
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      Year and Model:
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      My life has been centered around one of those kits for the last 2 days (ball joint and universal replacement). The local Orielly's gave it to me as a free loaner. It worked great, but a little awkward to set up until you see how it all goes together. You will definitely want a 3' breaker bar and socket to match the drive screw.
       
    25. Currency

      Currency Active Member

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      Yeah I think the kit will be helpful for years to come.

      Planning on replacing that spindle this weekend.


      Completely unrelated question that could be placed in another thread but am about to go to sleep. Long day tomorrow.

      What would cause my explorer to have a fairly decent vibration in it when I first start it?
      It does not happen every single time, I thought it could be universals in the drive shaft but it even does it when in park. Gets worse when I put it in gear. Bad enough to make my already broken exhaust rattle even more.
       
    26. Roadrunner777

      Roadrunner777 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
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      Motor mounts, trans mount would be my first thought, telegraphing drivetrain vibration to the frame.
       

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