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Growling, grinding noise from front end

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Old 03-20-2008, 08:02 PM   #1
1998explodersprt
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Growling, grinding noise from front end

vehicle: 1998 ford explorer sport, 5spd, 2wd

problem: i have a noise from the front end of the vehicle. it is sounds like a grinding-ish growling type of sound

when: i have a slight growling noise that is there when im driving straight ahead. when i turn left or right, the growling/grinding noise gets much worse.

what ive done:i figured, "well duh, its the wheel bearings, time to replace them". so i bought brand new timken bearings (2 inners and 2 outers with races) new cotter pins, and valvoline "ford" wheel bearing grease. removed old bearings and races, but the old bearings looked just fine, no scoring no blueing, no nothing. i said, "eh, maybe i just cant see it with my eyes". put the news ones in, followed fords wheel bearing torquing procedure, but instead of using an in/lb wrench which i dont have access too (only 2 snap-on lb/ft wrenches) i just used my feeling and made sure there wasnt any play but the wheels spun freely with no noises. the symptoms CONTINUED. i remember having the tires replaced way back at walmart all the way around, and when i drove it home on turns i noticed some noise. not a lot though (i think, i dont quite remember) and certainly not as much as it is now, or i would of taken it back right away. when the car is jacked up, there is no play when rotating the wheels, or any growling, grinding, binding.

could tires cause a noise like this?
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:49 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard!

Since you replaced wheel bearings, I am sure this is a stupid question, but did you check the brake rotors? A bad caliper comes to mind. I'm sure you woulda noticed that though.




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Old 03-21-2008, 02:17 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard!

Since you replaced wheel bearings, I am sure this is a stupid question, but did you check the brake rotors? A bad caliper comes to mind. I'm sure you woulda noticed that though.
thank you! i appreciate the response as well.

yup, in fact i did check the rotors, pads, etc. now that im thinking about it though i dont think a grinding sound is the best way to describe is as i would assume people are imagining metal to metal. its not quite like that. i think a growling or groaning is much more accurate. when i turn i can feel it in the steering wheel a little bit as well as my floorboard. its not shaking but there is a slight vibration which is noticible and the cabin of the explorer fills with the growling sound.

when im on the freeway going about 70, and straight the noise is much quieter, and it doesnt sound like much of a groan. but when im exiting onto an off ramp, at about 45-50 is when it gets louder (still going straight), 25-35 id say its the loudest (loud groan that disappears as speed increases when going straight, and just a loud ass groan when making a left or right) and at 5 or so you cant even notice it, EVEN if im turning left or right.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:05 PM   #4
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I'm stumped!




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Old 03-21-2008, 05:13 PM   #5
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Tires??




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Old 03-22-2008, 02:53 AM   #6
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..............

Last edited by ignoreme; 03-22-2008 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:36 AM   #7
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well yes, thats one thing i thought about.

i tried deflating them a bit as well to see if the noise would change, so that i could kind of narrow it down to them, but no dice. its just really weird to me that tires could make this type of noise. maybe ill deflate them even more, or just do a tire rotation tomorrow.
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:22 PM   #8
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Is it like a rumble kind of noise or is it a like metal-on-metal grinding? I had a rumbling noise coming from my front end that I assumed was a wheel bearing and had planned to replace over the summer when I got home from college. Got new tires because mine were dangerously bald and the noise disappeared...




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Old 03-22-2008, 03:16 PM   #9
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When mine did that, it was tires, it was nearly deafening when I was on new, fresh pavement going 35-40mph. Got new tires, I can now hear myself breathe while driving the same stretch of road.
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Old 03-22-2008, 04:37 PM   #10
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Is it like a rumble kind of noise or is it a like metal-on-metal grinding? I had a rumbling noise coming from my front end that I assumed was a wheel bearing and had planned to replace over the summer when I got home from college. Got new tires because mine were dangerously bald and the noise disappeared...
yea a rumble is a accurate way of describing it as well. its not quite like a metal to metal grinding but if you use you're imagination it could be close but only when i at a quick speed, the sharper the turn the louder the noise. the thing is though mine arent bald, infact they are still in what i would call, perfect shape. i got them replaced because the old ones were screwed. the tread is perfect on them in my honest opinion. did yours get louder when you made turns? btw, these are goodyears, if that makes any difference.

daffy: cool thanks man. i have to wait for a buddy to get off work and i'll ask him if i can use his jack to swap my tires from front to rear. hopefully the noise changes so that i can narrow it down to it being the tires. thanks for all the suggestions guys.
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:35 AM   #11
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Check the tires for any "cupping" or uneven wear, especially on the inside of the tread, by running your hand around the top of the tread in one direction, then back the opposite direction. It should feel even and about the same in both directions.
If the tires are cupped, rotating them to the rear may only change where the sound is coming from but they will still make noise.
Wouldn't be the power steering pump growling would it? Just a thought....




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Old 03-23-2008, 06:37 AM   #12
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I just talked to a guy a little while ago about your problem. could it be that one of your cv shafts is wearing out like all the grease is gone?




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Old 03-23-2008, 04:27 PM   #13
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Check the tires for any "cupping" or uneven wear, especially on the inside of the tread, by running your hand around the top of the tread in one direction, then back the opposite direction. It should feel even and about the same in both directions.
If the tires are cupped, rotating them to the rear may only change where the sound is coming from but they will still make noise.
Wouldn't be the power steering pump growling would it? Just a thought....
will check the tires. i havent been able to get it as of yet (swapping the tires) .i hear you on the noise just moving to the back, but at least this way i know its not a big deal. currently im a little nervous that it isnt something more dangerous.

as for the power steering pump noise, im gonna have to say negative on that one. although i dont know exaclty what a bad steering pump sounds like, if im at a standstill, turning a full turn from lock to lock only results in that standard ford steering pump sound, like Chewbacca from star wars that i have become accustomed to since i was a child riding in my dads aerostar

millerman23: i dont think it is my CV shafts...because this generation 2wd explorer doesnt have any. your buddy probably assumed i owned a REAL explorer (4wd), but unfortunatley i own the soccer mom version lol
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:59 PM   #14
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http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...+bearing+noise

Still having problems with the same thing... haven't figured it out either, I'm guessing its CV's as I've replaced my wheel bearings, pulled the drive shaft and it did it before/after I swapped diff's

Oh, and I replaced the driver's side caliper and flexible brake hose because it was hanging up.

So I'm not sure what to tell you about yours doing it and its a 2WD truck




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Old 03-23-2008, 09:37 PM   #15
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OK Here we go... I have this same problem and I'll tell you what I know so far..

Does it sounds like about one revolution of grinding woosh per every 50 ft or so you drive ?

My problem started about a year ago , I have 2 exes so I hardly drive the grinding one.. at first I tought the same thing , its the wheel bearing but I changed the wheel bearings over from my 96 which were new and the sound didn't go away.

Weeks went by , after almost buying a new CV shaft I decided to take both apart and switch
them around, still no results , even with the 96 shaft in the 2000 the grinding was still the same or worse.. I noticed my CV boot was torn and I tought for sure this was the problem, but again the 2000 shaft that I changed the boot on is running silent in my 96..

So final analysis , its gotta be the damn bearing on the other side of the shaft.

I came to this conclusion just recently , my noise was always coming from the pass side but recently after driving it for a month I can no hear it from the driver side as well so its gotta be something that exists on both sides..

I called the dealer , $250 or so.. I will pull one from the junkyard and expirement this week.

Looks like a pain in the ass job , its like doing the brakes, joints, bearings, shaft and more all in one day..

PS: It is not your tires. if you pulled out of wal mart and it got louder it is because you bought a cheaper tire , it is normal for new cheaper tires to make noise.. trust me this is not tires..




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Old 03-24-2008, 01:16 AM   #16
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http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...+bearing+noise

Still having problems with the same thing... haven't figured it out either, I'm guessing its CV's as I've replaced my wheel bearings, pulled the drive shaft and it did it before/after I swapped diff's

Oh, and I replaced the driver's side caliper and flexible brake hose because it was hanging up.

So I'm not sure what to tell you about yours doing it and its a 2WD truck
i will be reading through that right now and will edit this post afterwards.

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OK Here we go... I have this same problem and I'll tell you what I know so far..

Does it sounds like about one revolution of grinding woosh per every 50 ft or so you drive ?

My problem started about a year ago , I have 2 exes so I hardly drive the grinding one.. at first I tought the same thing , its the wheel bearing but I changed the wheel bearings over from my 96 which were new and the sound didn't go away.

Weeks went by , after almost buying a new CV shaft I decided to take both apart and switch
them around, still no results , even with the 96 shaft in the 2000 the grinding was still the same or worse.. I noticed my CV boot was torn and I tought for sure this was the problem, but again the 2000 shaft that I changed the boot on is running silent in my 96..

So final analysis , its gotta be the damn bearing on the other side of the shaft.

I came to this conclusion just recently , my noise was always coming from the pass side but recently after driving it for a month I can no hear it from the driver side as well so its gotta be something that exists on both sides..

I called the dealer , $250 or so.. I will pull one from the junkyard and expirement this week.

Looks like a pain in the ass job , its like doing the brakes, joints, bearings, shaft and more all in one day..

PS: It is not your tires. if you pulled out of wal mart and it got louder it is because you bought a cheaper tire , it is normal for new cheaper tires to make noise.. trust me this is not tires..
the revolution noise is not as you describe. its pretty much a constant sounds and just gets worse when turning. there isnt any "rotational" noise, its just a rumbling sound. as for the tire comment, well there was absolutely no noise that i remember of before i got to walmart (going off my shitty memory though ha). when i drove out i remember there being noise (i just dont remember if it was this loud or not) and i THINK it got worse over time. i remember hearing noise from them and thought "oh well its just because my old ones were bald as hell so its probably just the new tread and how it actually grips the road now" lol. im sure if it was this loud i would of went right back.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:37 AM   #17
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Mine gets louder with vehicle speed and changes tone when turning... which is why I was guessing CV's

Mine seems to be coming from the driver's side, I know the bearings are good but I'm almost tempted to put a new bearing in it and a new cv... I don't want to start throwing parts at it but I'm getting tired of dealing with it.




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Old 03-24-2008, 12:23 PM   #18
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Guys its gotta be the inner bearing... There is nothing left in there. Think about , it does't make a noise when you steer standing in one spot and it doesn't make a noise when the engine is just running so there is nothing there left there but the moving parts which are the axle and bearings.

I changed both bearing and CV , absolutely no difference , infact those parts when put back in my older 96 are dead silent so I know for sure it wasn't the CV or the hub and bearing.. What is left that rotates when you move ? the inner bearing

I'm sure everyones sound will be different , I have a sport so it wont sound like the 4dr , also the extent of the damage will determine the sound. Like I was saying I first heard it from the pass side and then 9 months later from both sides..

And it seems to be a problem after 98 , my 96 has 300,000km and its silent. The 00 has 200, and it growls like hell




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Old 03-24-2008, 12:27 PM   #19
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hokie , read my post about the CV , its not the CV, my boot was busted , there was no grease left and after I changed the boot and put it on my 2nd ex it was silent while the silent one I put on the problem car was just as noisy ,,, nothing changed with a CV swap , its not the CV , I'm 99% sure




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Old 03-24-2008, 02:06 PM   #20
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Guys its gotta be the inner bearing... There is nothing left in there. Think about , it does't make a noise when you steer standing in one spot and it doesn't make a noise when the engine is just running so there is nothing there left there but the moving parts which are the axle and bearings.
Are you talking about the bearing that the CV 'floats' on where it enters the diff?




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