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Noise from rear end

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Cole Krueger, June 21, 2017.

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  1. Cole Krueger

    Cole Krueger New Member

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    96 Explorer xlt v6 4door
    So I have a 1996 Ford Explorer 4.0 4 wheel drive it’s got 168500 miles on it I noticed this start at least 2 months ago when I go around a corner or turning through a intersection say from a turning lane going left or going right or through a drive through it does it when I back out of my drive way as well as soon as I get to the curb I turn my tires and it seems like the further I turn the louder it sounds and it sounds like a moderately loud rubing sound but I can feel it more than I can hear it and it only seems like it does it when I go slow or from a dead stop and when I turn right I’ve made sure my tire is not hitting the curb but the sound is starting to bother me cause it’s in really good shape runs good but I just don’t want something to happen to it and I am 99% sure it is coming from the rear end.

    Thanks for any help in advance I need help ASAP.
     
    Last edited: June 21, 2017
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  3. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    1) Do you have a Trac-lok (looking at the door sticker and seeing what it says under AX will help determine that)
    2) When was the rear end fluid changed last?
     
  4. Cole Krueger

    Cole Krueger New Member

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    The only thing it says under axle is D4
    And I got the car last November so I don’t know when the fluid or if The fluid has ever been changed
     
  5. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    You have a:
    D4 Limited Slip 3200 3.73

    I suggest taking off the rear cover, draining the fluid, clean up with brake cleaner, install the cover with RTV adhesive, add 3 quarts of 75W140 Till the top of the fill hole. While it is open inspect for major play on the carrier bearings. Remove the plug first(before anything) to make sure it isn't seized. When you are done drive in a few figure "8"s to verify the repair. There should be no noise after a few runs.

    This is important: You must also add a special lube called friction modifier. That could be causing the noises you have. You can either buy a fluid with it(I used Valvoline, it seems to work quite well on mine) or you can get the Motorcraft product along with a bottle of Friction Modifier. The bottle will clearly state the words "Friction Modifier or for LS axles" if that is the case. Most synth gear oil in the parts store has it mixed in the oil.

    If this doesn't work you may have to replace the limited slip clutches (or you may want to do anyway as preventative maintenance). I suggest the carbon fiber kit, it is about $100. How many miles do you change fluid? Generally 75k-100K is the interval, unless it was submerged in water.
     
  6. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    From your description it sounds more like an axle bearing(s) to me. I'd start by checking your rear brake pads to make sure they're not worn down. Also make sure the inside and outside pads are wearing normally/equally. It might even be related to your parking brake parts/shoes. Check the easiest stuff first.

    At your mileage, servicing the rear diff would not be a bad idea, but I doubt a simple fluid change will solve your problem. It would give you an opportunity to inspect internal parts, but only if you know what you're looking for.
     
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  7. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    Great advice from koda as usual.

    First thing would be extremely simple, just jack the rear axle and check if the wheels have play by shaking them. That may implicate a bearing, but they could still be noisy. That should take a minute. Then remove the wheels, inspect the calipers and parking brake.

    If you have to change bearings my above procedure to open the axle still stands, but you have to do a bit more work. May not be a bad idea if you plan on keeping it for a long time...new Timken bearings and seals. The parts are cheap but it depends on your skill level.
     
  8. bobflood

    bobflood Elite Explorer

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    If you have to change a wheel bearing, go ahead and change out your parking brake shoes while you have the axles out. It is so much easier to do then!!
     
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  9. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, the service manual actually suggests removing the axles, they can be done with the axles in place but it is quite awkward.
    And check the parking brake cables for binding as well, they should move freely in their sheaths.
     
  10. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Good advice on the parking brakes. BTW, you'll need to borrow a few specialized tools to do the axle bearings. I borrowed them from O'Reilly (slide hammer, bearing puller and a bearing installer). Made the job pretty easy. You'll need new axle bearings, axle seals, gear oil and friction modifier and it would probably also be a good idea to replace your clutch packs for your posi-traction while you're in there. Depending on your skill level you may, or may not, want to tackle these jobs yourself. If you find you need to get into the pinion and carrier bearings you should probably have an diff expert do that work. Again, start by checking the easy, inexpensive stuff that only require moderate DIY'er skills.
     
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  11. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    As our vehicles reach 20+ years old, you've got to expect that you're going to need to replace parts. This phenomenon is not unique to Fords. One of your best tools to know when something is starting to fail is your ears (not to discount your nose and eyes). Never ignore unusual sounds that your vehicle begins making. Figure out where they're coming from, address the issues accordingly and you much less likely to be left stranded on the side of the road. If you don't want to be bothered with this, get yourself a newer vehicle and a AAA membership. I've owned Ford's, Chrysler's and a variety of GM vehicles (not to mention a handful of Honda's) and over the years I've had the best luck with Ford's, especially their V8's. I've divested myself of 3 of our Gen II Explorers this year (for newer vehicles) and I plan to sell off at least one more next spring. Our Gen II's have served us well, but they're getting long in the tooth and no longer justify sinking significant additional money into IMO. Even if you love your Explorer, at some point It just doesn't make sense to put $1500-$4000+ into a vehicle that is only worth $1200-$1500, because if it get's wrecked your insurance company will not give you a dime (you'd be nuts to be carrying collision insurance on a 20 year old vehicle) and if it's someone else's fault their insurance wont give you more than book value.

    The trend I've been noticing on this forum lately is that our base is moving toward teenage drivers, who often don't have the skills, experience and wallets to keep these vehicles on the road. This will lead to more of our vehicles being scrapped when more major repairs are needed. That's just the way it is. Nothing lasts forever.
     

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