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Clicking noise while turning

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by masospaghetti, April 1, 2019.

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  1. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    I'm getting a clicking noise but only above about 30 mph, and only turning left. What could this be? It sounds (to me) like a CV axle, but it will make noise even in 4 Auto on dry pavement. I assume there would be no power going to the front wheels and therefore a bad CV wouldn't make noise if it were the problem.

    Is there anything else in the driveline that could cause this? Would a bad transfer case do this?

    98 XLT, 4wd, 4.0 OHV 5-speed, 3.55 open rear.
     
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  3. XLTrunner

    XLTrunner Active Member

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    For one, there is always a small percentage of power directed to the front wheels when in 4Auto. A clicking noise is typically a sign of a bad CV joint. My personal experience with a bad transfer case sounds more like a coarse grinding noise when turning the wheels.
     
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  4. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    The CV axle is always spinning with the wheel and can make noise even if there were only power to the rear wheels. However, I can only speculate that is one possible cause. Usually hubs make a different kind of noise than clicking as does the transfer case.

    I would jack it up and look for tears in the CV boot, a sign it has probably lost grease and worn.
     
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  5. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    I just checked the CV boots and they are all intact. But if it were a CV joint, is there a plausible explanation of why it would only make noise turning left?

    Could a bad wheel bearing cause this kind of noise?
     
  6. XLTrunner

    XLTrunner Active Member

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    It's possible. However, once again, my experience with a bad wheel brg is a grinding sound (not as severe as a transfer case noise)...and is also usually heard when driving in a straight line; although could me made to sound worse in a turn.
     
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  7. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    A loose wheel can cause it but I would think you would have noticed that already.
     
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  8. Turdle

    Turdle exactly like an explorer kind of Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    grab the half shaft ( between cv joints) and try to move it around in any direction. also keep in mind the front drive shaft will spin even in 2wd when turning left due to the increased tire speed of the passenger side tire over the driver side tire.

    do you have the cv joint on the transfer case end of the front drive shaft? Those can also click
     
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  9. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    All good points and things to check.

    1 - I will check the wheel lugs - I actually haven't had the rear wheels off since I got the vehicle back
    2 - The right CV axle has a significant amount of slop when I grab it by hand and move it around. It's a NAPA maxdrive axle
    3 - Great point about the center CV joint on the front driveshaft, I completely forgot about that one! It does sound like its coming from the center of the vehicle (although this has fooled me more than once, hard to tell for sure)
     
  10. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    How can I diagnose a bad center CV joint? I got under the trunk and there's a little bit of play in the shaft that feels like its coming from the CV joint, it kind of "clicks" when I push up and down on it. It's the original Spicer joint and the boot is still intact.

    I know the Dorman replacements are cheap but I also heard they aren't very durable. The Spicer replacements are over $200 even at Rockauto.
     
  11. XLTrunner

    XLTrunner Active Member

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    Maybe the easiest way is to just remove the front drive shaft to see if the noise goes away?
     
  12. 239

    239 Active Member

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    Mine is clicking at speeds below 30, and I’m 2WD. It’ll go away if I turn the wheel suddenly.
     
  13. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    If it changes when you load the wheels in a turn it’s almost always the wheel bearings.
     
  14. 239

    239 Active Member

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    Good to know. I didn’t know bearings clicked, I always thought they made a roaring sound when they failed. I’ll lift the truck and spin the wheels to see if I hear any grinding and I’ll post back.
     
  15. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with that, clicking when turning is more often CV joint failure.

    A different rough grinding or squealing sound when a lane change/etc shifts the weight is more often wheel bearings.
     
  16. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    I think I've resolved the issue and it turned out to be a loose piece of insulation on top of the fuel tank. When turning left, it would slide off of the tank partially and start hitting the driveshaft, making a clicking noise.

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions (I know this was something impossible to predict)
     
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  17. 239

    239 Active Member

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    I’ll check my fuel tank. But I think mine might be caused by the drilled and slotted rotors I have installed. I’m getting new tires this weekend so that’ll resolve a possible tire belt noise. Unless my caliper is sticking though, I’m not sure how the rotors would cause the noise since it does it when I’m not braking.
     

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