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2000 Mountaineer - Whine on acceleration - Quiet as a mouse on deceler

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by pjfsail, January 3, 2019.

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    1. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      How will I know, or is there at know if the viscous coupling has failed? The excess fluid would have to come from the transmission which requiries MERCON V and the transfer case requires MERCON ATF (without the V. If the transfer case was contaminated for an extended period I'm sure that is not good for the coupling either.
       
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    3. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      How will I know, or is there at know if the viscous coupling has failed? The excess fluid would have to come from the transmission which requiries MERCON V and the transfer case requires MERCON ATF (without the V. If the transfer case was contaminated
      One thing I'm still confused about and would like to understand. When you use Redline Synthetic or Mobil Synthetic 75w -140 YOU DO NOT USE MODIFIERS. There must be a reason you don't use modifiers. 1) There are already modifiers in these brands. 2) You choose not to use a modifier when you use these oils based on your experience using these brands of synthetic gear oils. I hope no one takes offense at my questions. Hey, I'm an old guy, I've never used synthetic oils. I'm looking for good solid sound information so I can feel informed and up to date on at least one aspect of my new adventure with my Mountaineer (I love it)
       
    4. donalds

      donalds Elite Explorer

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      Use the modifier no matter what
      It's like five bucks better safe than sorry imo
       
    5. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      The cost is not the issue with me. I have two bottles of it. I want to know WHY.
       
    6. donalds

      donalds Elite Explorer

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      Clutch disks in the diff for the limited slip
      Or it will feel notchey around coroners when the clutch disks are ment to slip the addictive will let it slip smoothly
       
    7. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @pjfsail
      For the reason @donalds says, the modifier allows the clutch discs to rotate against each other smoothly. Modifier has no effect upon gear whine, which originates from the gear teeth, not the clutch plates.

      Transmission fluid CAN leak past the transmission output shaft seal. However, it is very unlikely for it to enter the Transfer Case for two reasons: the T Case has it's own seal on it's input shaft, which is spline-coupled to the transmission output shaft, and, the surface between the output shaft adaptor which accepts the bolting=up of the T Case has a "weep" groove, which allows leaked fluid from the transmission seal to escape and puddle under the vehicle. imp
       
    8. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      donalds, thanks for the explanation.
       
    9. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      Thanks so much for taking the time to explain the information I was looking for. Joining this forum is one of the best things I have done in a long time. I truly appreciate everyone's input. What you have given me is specific information what oil I need in my rear differential, ideas of what to look for to eliminate the whine, and a good feeling about where to go for the questions I will have on my newly acquired 2000 Mercury Mountaineer. (love this truck)
       
    10. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      Imp, thanks for your input. With your detailed explanation of how the rear of the transmission is sealed between it and the transfer case What follows is hard to explain. When I went to drain the transfer case I removed the fill plug, not the drain plug. The purpose of me doing this was to see if the transfer case was full or low on fluid. I didn't want to drain it without knowing the fluid level. I was surprised when fluid came gushing out. It was definitely over full. Of course, I did not measure the amount as I was not ready for it to be overfull. I'm the kind of guy who is always curious about EVERYTHING. How did the oil get there? What affect did the overfilled transfer case have on the viscous coupling? I realize that the answers to these might not be possible it doesn't prevent my mind from asking them.
       
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    11. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      I found the answer I was looking for. It turns out the Synthetic Gear lube you mention are all 3 have the friction modifiers built in to them. No additional modifiers are necessary.
      Skpyle, I haven't refilled it but I know now not to use V but to use Mercon ATF. I have quart bottles of MERCON ATF ready to pump into the transfer case. When I get the Mountaineeer finished with it's oil change and up and running I will change the transfer case fluid a number of times like you suggest. Thanks for your input.
       
    12. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      If that is an AWD 302 truck, the transfer case shouldn't ever have dark fluid come out of it. That is an indication that the tires have been mismatched for a while, at some time prior. The viscous clutch builds heat when the tires don't turn the exact same amount front to back.

      So for any AWD, be very sure that the tires do match front to rear, in total(each pair) diameter. If not the AWD TC will in the long run fail, usually locking up which will hard bind the front tires/diff/CV joints.

      Some high end synthetic brands of gear oil won't need a friction modifier for an LS rear. But old used clutches often don't need it either for any fluid. Use it for sure if you have it, and note many aftermarket gear oils are cheaper than Motorcraft brand. It's near $25 a quart at Ford, and Amsoil is now up to about $15 per. It takes less than three quarts for the rear, and under two in front.

      Hopefully your ring and pinion gears are still good, the bearings(other than pinion) aren't that bad to replace. I do the axle bearings and seals often at the same time as gear oil, I like about 50-75k miles depending on usage. Those are the weakest links, gear oil, axle bearings and seals. Check your u-joints also, those can whine sometimes and 200k is a good level to reach before replacing those.
       
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    13. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Whine on acceleration is most likely bad carrier bearings, and noise created between gears when separated from torque.

      The trans has a drain in the tail housing, allowing fluids into the transfer case. I have to plug that drain after the tcase is removed, when I pull the trans, so it doesn't make a mess. Beats having to work around a drain pan.
       
      Last edited: January 11, 2019
    14. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @pjfsail
      A gross overfill should cause puking out of the fluid through the vent. If the fluid came from the transmission, the transmission should have been low on oil. Overfill on an AWD likely hurts nothing. However, blackening of the fluid surely does, as mentioned by @CDW6212R . Mismatched tires will surely tax the viscous coupling, causing overheating. There are no clutch-like parts in it, strictly a "baby torque converter" without torque multiplication. imp
       
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    15. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @gmanpaint
      That's different than gen III. The "lip" on my '04 trans. output adaptor has a groove to relieve any seal leakage to the outside. Why they put a gasket there, I suppose, was to keep out as much dust as possible. The T-case front seal is double-lipped, meaning the outside lip faces forward, to prevent possibility of fluid getting past the inside lip, which faces rearward, and seals the T-case. imp
       
    16. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      The front of the 2nd gen transfer cases does have a good seal, and the short trans tail housing will let excess fluid into that space. But an overfill from the trans would have to fill that short housing quite a bit to produce fluid at the TC front seal. I think the seal will stop virtually all fluid come getting in. The trans would have to be very overfilled to put enough at the TC to get any in. The trans overflow vent would be well used before anything got into the TC. It's pretty bad to overfill a trans that much, I doubt that happened but didn't hurt the trans enough that it all got taken apart.

      I'll bet trans hasn't been hurt, and the AWD TC is like all others, bad fluid suggests it had bad tires on it. The question is how long was the truck run with mismatched tires. I got my 98 with 158k on it, and black TC fluid. I changed it then, and about five months later, still black, and about nine months later, still black.

      At around 198k last year, I began to feel a binding in the front while turning. I didn't immediately conclude it was a bad TC. I had new front control arms to put on, and saw a barely torn CV axle a week before. So I replaced the axle and inspected, nothing to see. I got two days off and did the four CA's, driving to the alignment it had major popping backing out and driving straight. Then I decided it was the front diff, I was right, came home from the alignment and swapped a used one in. That "fixed" the bad popping, the old diff/pinion could move a bunch side to side. The binding also was not gone, so after a bit of driving to test, I removed the front driveshaft. Bingo, symptoms gone, the AWD TC had basically locked up and took out the front diff. I've driven it that way since then, gladly the TC is still transferring power. I've read that sometimes when the AWD fails, there's no movement.
       
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    17. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      So the front diff could not take the rigors of getting 4WD action all the time on pavement! And the TC kept showing up black, like clutch overheat. By "no movement", you mean the vehicle won't move? Did you once again change the TC fluid? Amazing story, thanks for it! imp
       
    18. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      gmanpaint, The oil had to have come from somewhere and this sounds like the answer. I would guess from service records I received from the previous owner, the transfer case oil probably had never been changed in 200,000 miles. If this leakage is small over a period of time it would naturally build where the transfer case would be overfilled. So, I wonder now, (always questioning!) what affect the overfilled transfer case would have on the whining noise? I'll be finding out soon when I refill and road test. It's cold here on the High Desert and my shop is outside. waiting for a warm day.
       
    19. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Sorry, I left out the part I meant to include about the fluids from the trans.

      The front 4404 input seal would have to be bad, to allow the flooded tail shaft housing, to drain into the 4404 case.
      (Picture borrowed from Gavin's rebuild thread)

      4404 input seal pointer.jpg

      The cavity you see in front of the seal holds trans fluids to lube the tail shaft as it spins. However, the tail housing is not meant to be filled completely, just partially, as it recirculates the fluids back there.

      The seals on these do indeed fail now & then, but the rear output seal is more common.

      These cases could hold a lot of fluids if filled, and if the previous owner noticed low trans fluids, and kept adding a little at a time, it could explain this somewhat.

      Does the case look wet & dirty like the case in the picture above? If the case had a bad rear seal, or a bad case to trans seal, that would happen.

      If the case is dirty above, that's from the vent tube. The vent is mainly for hot gas, but if the case was overfilled, and boiled over (black in color) it would have jettison out of this tube.


      As I mentioned earlier, your whine on acceleration only, is from rear diff carrier bearings.
      If you had a bad vibration/clunk noise with it, I would say U-joints and/or Pinion bearing, but I don't recall you mentioning a vibration.
       
      Last edited: January 11, 2019
    20. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      The AWD transfer case is basically not heard or felt, even when something's wrong with it. It's basically like a very large open differential with a tiny torque converter powering the front drive. There is a chain and a chain guide, small planetary, and several bearings. Sure if it has a catastrophic failure of chain or main bearings etc, then there will be damage that stops movement for sure.

      But the viscous clutch is by far its weakest link, and that is a self contained part that basically creates heat when the front driveshaft spins at a different speed then the rear driveshaft. It has it's own internal fluid but I think when it begins to be hurt, some comes out and shows as black in the main TC fluid.

      So your whine is still very likely from the diff, ring/pinion/bearings. If the fluid there is old(which is biggest cause of damaged bearings etc), then get into it soon and carefully inspect the ring gear, pinion too, and see if they are still okay. Even with noise, if the ring and pinion are decent, they can still survive for many years(with fresh bearings and grease).
       
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    21. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      My truck never stopped moving, the fluid was just always black since I got it and changed it four times over two years. The possibility of an AWD Explorer not moving at all is from a couple of posts by members here. Those were not big members, but I take those posts as decent proof that it is possible for the AWD TC to fail to transmit any power. I think those cases were likely from bad tires and no fluid changes, plus the people kept driving until it stopped moving.
       
      Last edited: January 10, 2019
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    22. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      What an education on transfer case function, thanks. No, I don't recall a vibration only the whine and there was not any clunking. I just went out and looked at the transfer case to see if it was dirty/oily as I remember it being clean and it is. There is no sign of oil on the transfer case.
       
    23. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      This is good news, when I looked at the ring gear and pinion when I had the rear cover off, from what I could see both looked good. Without putting a dial indicator on to check backlash I would say it was OK too.
       
    24. GLOCKer

      GLOCKer Active Member

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      Yeah, I'm still going with your bearings being toast. I had the same exact symptoms and found my pinion bearings shot.
       
    25. pjfsail

      pjfsail New Member

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      I'll bet you are right. I have my work cut out for me. For right now I am going to replenish the oil in the transfer case and the differential with oils so I can drive it. It is a second vehicle so I wont drive it much but because my shop in outdoors I won't be able to do much until spring. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE ON THE FORUM FOR THEIR INPUT. I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT TRANSFER CASES AND SYNTHETIC GEAR OIL. I FEEL INFORMED. THANKS!
       
    26. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      If you drain the rear diff, again after a short time, the gear oil should be relatively clean. If you find any material in it really, then there is some fast wear happening. If it is, I'd hope that it's the axle bearings, and change them now(plus seals). The main carrier bearings are the strongest, and axle bearing wear usually is the start of damage, wearing the axles and then it affects the main bearings, lastly the ring/pinion gears.
       

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