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Bad Vibration in Steering Wheel/Front End While Driving 60-70 mph

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by hillre51, May 15, 2014.

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  1. hillre51

    hillre51 Member

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    Good afternoon,
    I've a 2003 Ford Explorer with V6 engine, 120K miles. Problem: Feeling vibration in steering wheel & front end (seems like front end also) when driving speeds between 55-70 mph. Noticed that vehicle seems to stop vibrating after shifting to neutral. I'm assuming this is a driveline problem. Recently had tires(22 inch wheels) balanced multiple times (same problem), replaced stabilizer links, replaced upper ball joints, outer tie rods also. Still have same issue but steering is better after replacing tie rod ends. Both original drive shafts have been replaced as well. Have any of you experienced this type problem with your Explorer? Why would the vehicle stop vibrating when taken out of gear? What does this mean? Bad differential? drive axle shaft? cv axle/joints? etc. I would really appreciate your help with this very aggravating issue. Thanks...................................
     
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  3. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    I lean towards the wheel bearings. They are the typical suspect. Road noise and vibrations are their typical symptoms.
     
  4. hillre51

    hillre51 Member

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    Thanks for responding,
    A local shop said it was out of round tire on front of vehicle. Only had the tires 1 year so I will be contacting tire shop for replacement.

     
  5. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    Must be a slipped belt. If it's been long, you'll see one spot on the tire with more wear. What brand tires?

    How did they determine the tire was out of round? I ask because you said the tire shop had re balanced them. Be sure to let us know the end result.
     
  6. xTOM153x

    xTOM153x Active Member

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    Does the vibration go away when you take your foot off the gas? If so put it in 4wd while you are driving and if it goes away after that It is definitely your rear cv axles. Something similar happened to me the vibration felt like it was the front end but ended up being the rear cv axles. IF you have AWD though I would probably suspect it actually is the front end i would check the cv axles they only vibrate heavily after 60+mph if the inners are bad.
     
  7. hillre51

    hillre51 Member

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    The brand of tires is DURUN. They put the tire on a wheel balance machine to inspect as the machine rotated it at a high speed. They also asked me to come inside the shop to show me the tire as it was bouncing up and down. I replaced all four tires and still have vibration at 60 mph but it's not as bad. Very aggravated to say the least. The manage of the Big O claim the vibration is due to the 22 inch rims being offset with the hub. He claim the rims are the wrong rims for the vehicle. ??????? Is this feasible? Course the owner of original shop tells me the 22 inch (low profile tires) don't come with a warrant. Bottom line, being screwed around by shops. Seems no one know how to really terminate 100% of the vibration.(P.S. I didn't have this vibration issue with the factory wheels that came on the truck; I just took them off this Spring, after winter pass). I don't know what to do about this mess now:)). Don't know where or who to take it to due to no one seems to know the actual source of the problem. If I get it resolved, I will definitely let everyone know in case they have this type issue.


     
  8. hillre51

    hillre51 Member

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    I believe so and when I take it out of gear and put in neutral while driving 60+. I will perform this test again. I thought you aren't suppose to put the vehicle in 4wd prior to take off:)). Can the axles be bad without lealking grease? I don't see any leaks but will double check. Thanks, I will continue to attempt to resolve this nagging problem. its most aggravating.

     
  9. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    It would be interesting to spin the rims on the balancer without tires on them. See if they aren't true.
     
  10. hillre51

    hillre51 Member

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    Are you referring to a dented rim? That's a great idea especially considering there were no vibrations when the factory wheels were on there. I'm considering just getting rid of it and get a pickup truck:)). Have to sleep on it but will consider what you said. I will let you know what the resolution is. thanks

     
  11. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    Rim may be out of round, or the stud mounting holes may be off center. Wouldn't take much. When they balance the tires, they use the center hole, not the stud holes. So if it's the stud holes, spinning the rim may not find anything.
     
  12. 2Trux

    2Trux Active Member

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    It might be worth selling those 22's and going back to the factory wheel/tire size. Seems it would be cheaper than buying a new truck.
    Also if you really want a truck you will get a better price for this one if it drives right.
     
  13. ponkotsu

    ponkotsu Active Member

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    2nd that. Lot's of horror stories when going to such oversized wheels like that. The suspension wasn't tuned for them. Vibration and suspension wear problems are very common and sometimes impossible to solve. And you get worse gas mileage because of the weight. I read an actual test study on this a while back. It does make a measurable difference.
     
  14. hillre51

    hillre51 Member

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    You are exactly right:)). I will consider that.

     
  15. hillre51

    hillre51 Member

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    Interesting, thanks

     
  16. hillre51

    hillre51 Member

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  17. hillre51

    hillre51 Member

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    FYI,

    Vibration problem is about good as it's going to get per shop. They aligned the front end, put a different type of lugh nuts on each wheel and remove the hub centric rings. The manager of shop claims the wheels are the wrong type of 22s for the truck. However, it is driving much better but still have a little vibration in steering wheel. Thanks for all of your time and responses. I'm keeping the truck for now:)).

     

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