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Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers For questions related to the base Ford Explorer. Problem solving, maintenance, TSB, service bulletins, owner reviews, specifications. No modification questions.

Whining Noise When Accelerating

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Old 05-27-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
94EddieBauerRock
Champaign, IL
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Whining Noise When Accelerating

I have done some searching but haven't found anyone with the same problems as I have.
When I accelerate there is a loud whining sound coming from the transmission/driveline area. It only makes the sound when I accelerate and when I am cruising. I don't notice the sound at speeds lower than 40mph. It is a very annoying humming whine. When I let off the accelerator the sound goes away. The transmission seems to be shifting fine. I checked the tranny fluid (warm engine, flat surface, idling), it seemed a little low so I added some. This didn't help anything.
I am no mechanic but have some theories.
-Transmission?
-wheel bearing?
-Front axle?
If anybody could give me some help I would really appreciate it. Also wanted to mention that I searched for a vacuum leak and didn't find one.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
91ROKKRAWLER
Bend, OR
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check your fan blade. it may be locked up if its coming from underhood. when its off and warm, it should turn fairly easy. when cold it'll be a bit harder to turn. also when its running you'll feel a lot more air going towards the engine. have someone rev it while you are lookin and you should be able to pin point where the sound is coming from.




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Old 05-27-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
94EddieBauerRock
Champaign, IL
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Thanks for the info. I'll try that. The sound doesn't seem to occur unless I am moving though. I'll try what you suggested though..don't think I've listened to it rev, just idle.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:57 PM   #4
matts91XLT
Summerfield Nc
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mine is a five speed and wines in every gear except 4th. when in accelarating. i was told it was normal since the trans had been rebuilt and beefed up.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:51 AM   #5
RobClay
Arkansas
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My 02 explorer sport also has the same problem, it runs fine.
Just when im up in higer speeds above 40mph i get this humming noise when accelerating, but when i take my foot off it stops completely. Cant figure out what it is.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:34 AM   #6
doonze
Fayetteville, Ar
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There's a good chance your gears got warm once and pitted, or warped slightly. More or less that's what makes the manuals whine for some people. The auto's have gears too, and the same thing can happen.

In the manuals, it's often because:

A.) Someone ran it low on fluid as some point, or it is STILL low on fluid. They heat up when low and whine. Once they start they never stop, the gears now will wine no matter what. I heard that some people have gone over 200K with the whine and been ok. Others have had the manuals fail after 200 miles once it started whining. I guess it most likely depends on if the cause is still there or not. In other words if it's still overheating or not. In an auto if the problem is still there then most likely you not going to be moving at all. So I would say it was a past issue. When did it start?

B.) They just plain flat overworked it. The manuals are much less likley to overheat, but they can. They have no cooler so if you overwork it big time (think long uphill towing way over limit) then you get the same affect as running it low on fluid.

Now I honestly haven't heard the auto people complain about this. But in the end a gear is a gear. My guess the lack of reports from auto owners is because the autos stop working once they are low enough on fluid to pit/warp the gears. In other words they fail before they get to that point unlike the manuals. However I guess in some cases it could happen though. Or it was toasted, then they rebuilt the clutches so it goes again, but the gears whine. That tranny ever been rebuilt?

As far as beefed up goes, I do know that some "beefed up" rear ends will whine. My other hobby is my trans am, and it's a built autocross car. Some just whine it if it's lashed wrong (messed up install). But some "super tough" rears whine, no matter what you do. In the end a rear end is just gears like a tranny. So if a rear can do it, so could "beefed up" tranny gears. Any chance your tranny has been "beefed up". I know there are parts for the weak autos out there to do just that. They may whine, but haven't seen reports of that.

I'm no expert, just passing on what I've read on here. So others with more experience maybe able to answer you with more authority.

Last edited by doonze; 08-10-2009 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:03 AM   #7
94EddieBauerRock
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Thanks for the info doonze. My Grandpa owned the Explorer before me and I'm pretty sure he didn't over work it. I may have a couple times, but not too bad I wouldn't think. I've driven it about 2500 miles since the wine started and it seems to be operating just fine. We'll see how long it lasts like this.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:40 PM   #8
doonze
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I'd change my fluid and look for signs of burned fluid. If they start whining, there's a reason, you want to make sure that reason is no longer present. You don't want to grenade a tranny, back in my home town of Springfield, Mo there was a 15 year old kid who died because the Chevy truck he was working on grenaded the tranny. Was a big story and has always stuck with me. That's why I don't trust funky acting trannies....
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:10 AM   #9
nitro71
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I'd swap the u-joints out. Can't hurt and could be the source of your noise.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:07 PM   #10
94EddieBauerRock
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Sorry to awaken an old thread but I thought I would post a video of the sound. I have barely driven this vehicle since the sound turned into a roar which is too bad because it is my baby. I don't want to go replacing stuff that doesn't need to be replaced so I figured I would post them on here and see if anyone has heard this sound before.
The sound occurs in all gears. For a while I thought it might be a pinion bearing or u-joints but now I am thinking it may be coming from the tranny/transfer case area. Anyone have any idea what this sound may be?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs9WZhIDcXI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3UGKzkBIcc
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:21 AM   #11
PatBennettAZ
Scottsdale, AZ
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US Any updates? See below please

Quote:
Originally Posted by 94EddieBauerRock View Post
Sorry to awaken an old thread but I thought I would post a video of the sound. I have barely driven this vehicle since the sound turned into a roar which is too bad because it is my baby. I don't want to go replacing stuff that doesn't need to be replaced so I figured I would post them on here and see if anyone has heard this sound before.
The sound occurs in all gears. For a while I thought it might be a pinion bearing or u-joints but now I am thinking it may be coming from the tranny/transfer case area. Anyone have any idea what this sound may be?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs9WZhIDcXI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3UGKzkBIcc
I have a 1994 Ford Explorer that has a "new" catalytic converter and also had the modulator valve (I think that is what it is) replaced about a year ago. It has started "whining" when I drive and I am hoping someone has an idea of what to do. I can add transmission fluid, I had that problem before, could it be that again??

I hate to be like this - I am a female and well, sometimes I don't get the most honest answers - should I head to an AutoZone or someplace like that to see if they can run some kind of diagnostics first?
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:33 PM   #12
Roadrunner777
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Welcome to the forums, Pat. LOL, it's a shame Arizona isn't abbreviated to AR. That would make your handle something very different.

Anyway, down to business. Check your transmission fluid level. The method is in your owners manual, and honestly, I forget if you do it in idle or park. I think it is stamped on the dipstick as well. If you need to add to it, you have to use Mercon V. Ford went through some issues back in the day and played with other formulas. This causes confusion with mechanics these days. I myself added the wrong fluid and things did not end well. Mercon V is the ticket, it's on the shelf at your local Walmart or wherever you get stuff. If you have to add fluid more than every year or two, you might have to look into where it is going.

Ok, all that said, tell us more about the modulator valve, what led up to you changing it. what else, if anything did they do? Flush the trans fluid perhaps? Filter?

Can you locate the sound? Low/old differential fluid can do this too, the noise would be more from the back of the truck.

Pull the transmission dip stick and describe what you see. Is it clean and pink or clear and nasty looking.
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