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Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers Questions related to non-modified 1995-2001 Explorer, Mountaineer, Ranger and '02+ Sports and Sport Trac. Problem solving, maintenance, TSB, service bulletins, owner reviews, specifications.

Loud clunking noise from rear end when turning and when shifting into reverse!!!!!

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Old 01-29-2011, 10:05 PM   #1
UWBadgers27
Menomonee Falls, WI
2001 Ford Explorer Sport
 
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Unhappy Loud clunking noise from rear end when turning and when shifting into reverse!!!!!

Hi I have a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport and i'm getting a very loud clunking noise from my rear end. I had my gf go slow with the front wheels turned and it seems like the drive shaft is getting stuck and then breaking free causing it to clunk. Now the clunk just started the other day when I turn. But the clunk also would happen when I would put it into reverse when I first bought the truck over the summer. We're predicted to get about 10 inches of snow tomorrow so I need an idea of what to look for before this snow starts flying. Please help
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
Mr. JEX Limited
Tucson, AZ
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I am having the same problem as you. As everyone would suggest, check your u-joints and if those are good then you need to grease your slip yoke. I already replaced my u-joints and the clunk is still there so I'm going to have my slip yoke grease next week. Hopefully someone else can chime in
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:20 AM   #3
UWBadgers27
Menomonee Falls, WI
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can I grease up my slip yoke by myself? If so how do I go about doing that? Cause I might as well do it while i'm down there
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:57 AM   #4
UWBadgers27
Menomonee Falls, WI
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Wait... does your explorer make that clunking noise in the rear when your making turns?
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
Mr. JEX Limited
Tucson, AZ
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can I grease up my slip yoke by myself? If so how do I go about doing that? Cause I might as well do it while i'm down there
It depends on if your driveshaft has a visible black boot on it secured by clamps or if your driveshaft is one long metal shaft. This tread will help you out: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=106307
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:01 PM   #6
UWBadgers27
Menomonee Falls, WI
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So here's what happened. I jacked the truck up and got underneath it and checked for play in the u joints but there was little to none play in the u joints right before the rear diff. So now I'm thinking that it would b the slip yoke but after thinking about it, it doesn't make sense as to how that would b causing the problem. What i'm getting from my truck is whenever i take a turn or turn my front wheels and move in any direction i get this random hard clunking in the rear end of my truck. Well i was laying underneath it and had my gf go in reverse so i could see it. What happens is it seems like the driveshaft is being like held up and then it breaks free and clunks. Also while your turning it feels like the outside wheel of your turn doesn't spin fast enough and it feels like its being held up and then comes the clunk. So i took my rear diff cover off and drained the oil out and checked my c-clips, my s spring, and my spider gears as well as all the other gears, everything looks fine, i'm completely ####ing stumped and i don't know what to do. I need help really bad and i need it fast.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
madbrad104
wausau wisc
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sounds like parking brake is stuck on one side check parking brake cables to see if they move
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:11 PM   #8
UWBadgers27
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my parking brake doesn't even work really. idk if that would b it. i figured i'd need to tighten it up later on in spring but if its not that then what else could it b. Its not like a weak/quiet clunk its pretty loud and it shakes my truck. Its because that drive shaft is getting stuck and then its breaking lose and clunking. Its really weird. My 70 year old uncle couldn't even figure it out and he's rebuilt alot of rear differentials. So i'm completely stumped
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:24 PM   #9
Mr. JEX Limited
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So here's what happened. I jacked the truck up and got underneath it and checked for play in the u joints but there was little to none play in the u joints right before the rear diff. So now I'm thinking that it would b the slip yoke but after thinking about it, it doesn't make sense as to how that would b causing the problem. What i'm getting from my truck is whenever i take a turn or turn my front wheels and move in any direction i get this random hard clunking in the rear end of my truck. Well i was laying underneath it and had my gf go in reverse so i could see it. What happens is it seems like the driveshaft is being like held up and then it breaks free and clunks. Also while your turning it feels like the outside wheel of your turn doesn't spin fast enough and it feels like its being held up and then comes the clunk. So i took my rear diff cover off and drained the oil out and checked my c-clips, my s spring, and my spider gears as well as all the other gears, everything looks fine, i'm completely ####ing stumped and i don't know what to do. I need help really bad and i need it fast.
I am not having the problem with the wheels making a hard clunking sound, so I don't know what to tell you there, but with the clunk coming when the truck is put into reverse I am having the exact same problem and did so deep research into it and I kept coming back to that I needed to grease my slip yoke. If you decide to tackle it, here are the part numbers: Ford Teflon Blue Grease *part no. D2AZ19590A* and the newest kind: Dow Corning's Molykote EM-D110 *part no. F87A-19A506-AA*

I went to Autozone, O'reilly etc. and I was told that I had to go to a Ford dealership to get the specific grease. I hope this helps you out a little bit more.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:36 PM   #10
wrench707
whitby ontario
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sounds like you may have some play in your rear end does is vibrate on the highway at all? there shouldnt be any play in the u joints, my ex clunks going into reverse as well and i replaced the u joints and greased everything over and over again and now got a new posi carrier and new bearings so i will see how that goes




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Old 01-30-2011, 10:54 PM   #11
DV8
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chances are, thats a limited slip rear end.. put some posi-trac addive in it (available at advance auto). had a blazer once that did the same thing, and the issue was in the limited slip. threw in a bottle of the posi-trac friction modifier, fixed it right up.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:55 PM   #12
UWBadgers27
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See i had no problem with it clunking into reverse because i don't use reverse that much lol but my main concern is getting this clunking problem when i turn taken care of. i'm stumped on that part, thats what i need help with but i'll probably grease up my slip yoke anyways lol. Does anyone think that the axle splins got eaten up? But i don't know if that makes sense considering that the clunking doesn't happen when i'm driving forward.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:00 PM   #13
UWBadgers27
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chances are, thats a limited slip rear end.. put some posi-trac addive in it (available at advance auto). had a blazer once that did the same thing, and the issue was in the limited slip. threw in a bottle of the posi-trac friction modifier, fixed it right up.
i'll give that a try tomorrow when i put the rear diff back together. is it normal for that rear diff oil to be black as hell and smell like paint almost. cause from what i remember that rear diff oil is like pink almost. i'm going to check the oil for metal shavings just to be safe but everything in the rear diff looks good. but i'll just check to be safe. how hard/loud was the clunk on your truck before you put the limited slip fluid in?
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:34 PM   #14
Mr. JEX Limited
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i'll give that a try tomorrow when i put the rear diff back together. is it normal for that rear diff oil to be black as hell and smell like paint almost. cause from what i remember that rear diff oil is like pink almost. i'm going to check the oil for metal shavings just to be safe but everything in the rear diff looks good. but i'll just check to be safe. how hard/loud was the clunk on your truck before you put the limited slip fluid in?
Any luck with solving the clunking sound with the advice given?
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:32 PM   #15
RomeovilleIL
Illinois
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Normal to be black and stink? Yup, especially if it hasn't been changed in a long time. The new gear oil will smell the same but look cleaner. The fill plug is magnetic to check it for anything other than small shavings. Some guys like to replace the cover with a new one that has a drain and magnet. I recall they sold for less than $50 at most autopart stores.

Limited slip makes good sense for binding while turning and backing up since tires will be turning at different speeds. But if the clunk sound is produced without the vehicle in motion (ie changing gears from drive to reverse and back while parked) then your problem is probably something in the driveshaft.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:07 AM   #16
UWBadgers27
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Well heres the diagnosis. Today it started snowing like a mother ####er so i decided to put everything back together so i can move it when the snow is all done falling. Well i put new fluid in and started it up and took it out for a little test run to see what would happen. Well i still kept getting the clunking noise when i would turn so i was like screw it, i'll just take it into a shop. Well my buddy was with me and he wanted to see what the wheels were doing from outside of the truck so i was going around in circles for him to see and then all of a sudden my truck gave me a loud clunk and then i had no power to the rear end what so ever and there was a really loud whirring noise in the back. So my guess is something just busted apart on the inside and my guess is that it's the spider gears. Cause before i put everything back together i found huge metal chunks in that little valley full of oil in the rear diff and the spider gears looked chipped up. So does anyone know a forum or link that i can go to see how to replace the spider gears?

And since the fluid was so black does that mean the clutch packs are burned up and bad too?

I plan on getting to it asap this weekend so i want to b prepared when i start working on it so i can get it done and over with.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:55 PM   #17
BigShayn87
Patchogue, NY
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I have somewhat of a clunking sound but it only happens every once in a while when i brake. Could the slip yoke be the same solution?
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:02 PM   #18
yavapaires
Dewey, Az
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The slip yokes can cause a lot of noises because they get ignored so often. So can not having the additive in the limited slip rearend. And, if I may add, take the driveline out if you really want to check the u-joints. My front joint started going bad on a recent trip, easy for an ex trucker to diagnose, when I got home I got under the truck, and could not feel a bad joint. I took out the driveshaft, and bingo!, found the bad u-joint.
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:06 PM   #19
BigShayn87
Patchogue, NY
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From what I have read and how the clunk comes and goes I think it might be the ebrake cable or shoes. It doesnt vibrate and there is no noise when driving or even braking itself just when i stop fully or go but before i tap the gas. Im hoping its something simple cuz i dont have money to invest at the moment. I think its simple cuz it was sittin at the dealer a bit so im gonna grease her up and clean the brakes. We'll see what happens.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:26 PM   #20
Wilson Ross
Collins, Mississippi
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Does this vehicle have skid control if so you don't have a problem. If it does let me know and I will explain what is going on also skid control is used in the place of limed slip.
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