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Growling in the front

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by Scatmanbrandt, April 16, 2012.

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    1. Scatmanbrandt

      Scatmanbrandt New Member

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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '92 Explorer XLT
      1992 Explorer XLT 4WD.

      This started about 2 weeks ago but has gotten much worse since. It started as what sounded like a squeaky belt but the sound varied upon speed and not RPM, while driving if you put the car in neutral and turned the engine off it still continued.

      On Thursday the squeaking mostly stopped but per tire revolution it would brake and pull to the left, I then gave it an undercarriage wash to see if I could clean off some grime and see what's going on, the braking and pulling went away.

      On Saturday the truck was fine until I tried accelerating from a stop, it went about 2 feet, came to a complete stop, front end dropped and lifted, jerked forward and sounded like I was running on rim but I wasn't. Pulled into the closest parking lot I could but I couldn't find anything out of the ordinary.

      The sound has persisted since at all speeds 2-65+ MPH, forward and reverse but does seem to quiet down when turning. There's also a vibration that can easily be felt and like the squeak previously mentioned previously it persists with the car in neutral and engine off.

      It seems the automatic hubs are trying to engage without me putting it in 4WD because the sound is similar to the sound of the hubs being stuck on after disengaging 4WD, but even with trying to put it in 4WD it continues. Other then that noise and vibration it drives alright, seems to be a slight loss in power though.

      Ever since I bought the car in October it has always pulled to the right and taking it to an alignment shop they said some bushings and spacers(?) needed replacing and it would cost $500 to fix, I'm not paying that much to fix a car that I bought for $500 for what seemed a minor problem at the time, would that have anything to do with it? I bought new tires (P225 70R 15) about a month ago but I doubt that would have anything to do with it either.
       
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    3. Bruces expo

      Bruces expo Elite Explorer

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      Might Be a Wheel Bearing Or Spindle Issue , Wheel Bearings Are Known To Go Out on these style suspension setups ,

      If You Can Jack it up One tire At a Time Up Front , And Check Up And down play by Putting One Hand on Top And one on Bottom Of Tire And Push Up and Slowly Let it Down To see If You have Bearing Failure , That's about all i Can Think Of To Help You Out Without Costing You anything !

      Post Your results and we can Go From There , Good Luck and good deal for Your First Generation Explorer !
       
    4. Scatmanbrandt

      Scatmanbrandt New Member

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      I just took it down to the local shop and asked them what may be wrong so they jacked up the problem side and we all knew immediately what it was. The wheel bearings went bad. My question is why would they go out that fast (in a period of 2 weeks), what caused it and what was that about on Saturday?
       
    5. Naasau

      Naasau Active Member

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      The Bearings in our 1st gens are picky at best, and evil and terrible at worst. If they get the slightest amount of slack, then the additional play can cause them to blow and eat the races really fast.

      For Saturday, I suspect that the bad bearings caused something funny to happen with the brake pads/caliper on that side. I hate the front brakes that come with our TTB's, because they can act... psychotic in the best of times, especially when combined with our incredibly stupid ABS.

      As for the bearings, I'm a bit paranoid with mine so every time I rotate my tires/work on the brakes/whatever, I pull mine apart, check em over, and repack em. Then torque them down, spin, release, and then re-torque before putting the hubs and tires back on. It took a while to get to know the front that well, but now I can do it when swapping out the brake pads in about 5-10 mins per side.
       
    6. Naasau

      Naasau Active Member

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      Did the shop say how much to fix em?
       
    7. Scatmanbrandt

      Scatmanbrandt New Member

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      They said $300, I've never done wheel bearings before but rent a couple tools from Advance and buy some new bearing and, with the help of Google, I should be able to do them on my next day off.
       
    8. Naasau

      Naasau Active Member

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      There should be quite a few post here about doing them, that's how I figured out how to get it done.

      Of note, do you have auto or manual locking hubs?
       
    9. Scatmanbrandt

      Scatmanbrandt New Member

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      Automatic hubs. I was thinking of switching them over to manual due to all the problems I hear about them but can't really afford that right now.
       
    10. Naasau

      Naasau Active Member

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      Meh, I ran my auto's for about 6 years till I finally blew em, Then I switched to manuals. IMHO, I would say that's the way to go, no sense in throwing out good stuff, just use it till it breaks, then upgrade.
       
    11. Scatmanbrandt

      Scatmanbrandt New Member

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      So I just had the shop down the street do it and I'm glad I did. What happened is the old bearings had no grease in them and the ball bearing fell out as soon as they removed the axle, with the lack of lubrication there was massive overheating and they had welded themselves to the axle. They had to chop off the old bearings and polish the axle until the new ones would fit. Still didn't fix my pull to the right though but that's really a minor issue.
       
    12. Naasau

      Naasau Active Member

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      No matter what I did my X pulled to one side until I did the knuckle out conversion. To be blunt, the front brakes on the first gens suck.

      Before that (cause it's not a fun thing to tackle) a good alignment with dual camber/caster shims and a brake job will help. Speaking of brakes, that much heat didn't warp your rotors?
       
    13. Scatmanbrandt

      Scatmanbrandt New Member

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      They didn't mention anything about it and it doesn't feel warped when I hit the brakes. Maybe I just got lucky this time.
       
    14. Naasau

      Naasau Active Member

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      Awesome, it's good to be lucky.
       
    15. Bruces expo

      Bruces expo Elite Explorer

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      Sounds like my truck , It Pulled to the right before my Lift Coils were installed , and after it Pulled just as bad , Ive Never Had An Alignment Because I Haven't Been Able To Purchase 2 New 33"s and Have The Front End Done at the Same Time , I'm Sure an Alignment Would Fix Both our problems !
       
    16. Scatmanbrandt

      Scatmanbrandt New Member

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      I went to get an alignment done a few months ago and they said it was a bunch of bushing and other stuff that went bad and that an alignment wouldn't help and wanted to charge me $500 to do it. Frankly I can think of much better things to buy with that kind of money like a new PS pump, electric fan conversion, more powerful alternator, ect.
       
    17. Naasau

      Naasau Active Member

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      I hear ya. I've gotten so many bad alignments that I finally decided to just learn how to do em myself. You'll be waaaayyy happier with the results, and it's cheaper too.
       

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