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"Rattling" sound from auto trans when idling in gear

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by meternerd, May 12, 2010.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. wproffitt101

    wproffitt101 New Member

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    Got the noise in my new 2002 in 2011! Seller told me it was the heat shield! 100% sure the TQ!
     
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  3. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    I've had a noise since I bought my 03 Eddie V8. It sounds like metal in a blender, or marbles being rolled around in a tin can. (It is not detonation). I only get the noise when I'm light to moderately accelerating, in any gear. Once in high gear and the torque converter locks up, the noise disappears.

    It sounds just like a heat shield rattle. I checked all heat shields, and even smacked most of the exhaust with a rubber mallet, looking for something loose. Smacked all 4 cats, thinking they might be busted up inside. Nothing. Not a single rattle in the exhaust.

    I thought it might be a stretched chain in the transfer case, but I drained the fluid and don't see any serious signs of that either. I'm fairly confident it's not in the engine. The noise doesn't seem to get any better, and maybe only slightly worse over time (35k miles more on it now than when I bought it). What the hell is that damn noise????

    If I floor it, the noise goes away. At idle, I can't hear it. It's only when I'm lightly accelerating, and before the torque converter locks up. It has to be something in the transmission or transfer case.
     
  4. astratmann

    astratmann New Member

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    My explorer is on it's third torque convertor. The factory one I broke changing the motor, the second one replaced under warranty, and the third is going great. All have made this rattle noise. I also know someone who's had his explorer since new, and heard his does it also, he said it has done it since the day he bought it. I just wrote it off as operating as designed, plus I like it when people ask me if it's a diesel :)
     
  5. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    While I'm glad mine hasn't really gotten any worse in 35K, I just can't stand the freakin noise. There's no way Ford built it to make this sound. Therefore something must be wrong. Maybe a cracked flywheel or loose converter bolt or something.

    These trucks are nice, but mechanically these things aren't so hot. Wheel bearings, tranny noises, weak trannies, crap ball joints that aren't independently replaceable, and now I have problems with (apparently) worn out spider gears in the front diff. (I think this might be due to it being an automatic 4wd torque on demand system).

    Maybe a 2wd Expedition would be the way to go.
     
  6. chitown1211

    chitown1211 Member

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    I have this same issue. My noise seems to go away the warmer the engine/tranny get. After about a half hour of running it is almost gone completely.


    I can live with it for now.
     
  7. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    Does anyone have definitive proof of what exactly this marbles in a can noise is?
     
  8. FordExplorer2002

    FordExplorer2002 Active Member

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    i have the same thing going on but it dose it evan when the TQ locks and at idle have no idea what it is and i dont wanna pay a garage a crap ton of money or the dealer i mean any have any idea what it could be ? or is it still def the TQ?
     
  9. JoshMcMadMac

    JoshMcMadMac Well-Known Member

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    If you verify it is not a heat shield, it is the torque converter. It is most likely a broken anti-rattle spring.
     
  10. sethmorgan

    sethmorgan Active Member

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    I had this issue only on cold starts. It went away after warm up. Problem was the honeycomb was starting to break up in the catalytic converters
     
  11. chitown1211

    chitown1211 Member

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    My issue DID end up being a heat sheild. It was the one that surrounds the transfer case. I swore it was my TQ, but I ws wrong.

    The loose sheild is easy to miss. It took a lot of force to move it and see the crack where it was reattling.
     
  12. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    I did have broken tabs on my heat shield, and rusted exhaust manifold shield bolt holes. I took all of them off, just to see if it helped. The transfer case heat shield was contributing to some noise, but ultimately I still have all the same noises. I hate it!

    What is an anti-rattle spring? I have not heard of that before. Do you have first hand information about an issue with these? It's in the converter??

    I have beat on my exhaust with a mallet, and can not ever get any broken substrate noises to reveal themselves, but I feel like I can never truly rule it out.

    The fact that mine goes away as soon as the converter locks up tells me it's likely the problem. For you guys that have the noise go away with engine temperatures rising, I would suspect you might be into something else, like timing chain/tensioner/guide issues. Also be advised that all modular engines tend to "knock" when they're cold. It's a typical Ford modular engine problem, that stems from the short skirted pistons coming out of the bottom of the bore, causing to piston to rock. It makes em knock when cold. 5.4 engines are much worse about it, due to the longer stroke.
     
  13. FordExplorer2002

    FordExplorer2002 Active Member

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    def nt a heat sheild just rechecked. so it may be the TQ? would the TQ also make it whine a lil bit? only when the gas is pressed. drives me insane on long drives lol. i hope to fix this soon. thanks for the info so far.
     
  14. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    Whining at light throttle is probably gear whine from the rear end. Mine does that, and I suspect most of them do. The aluminum IRS rear ends in these things, I think A) Dont hold the noise in as much as a cast housing and B) Transmit heat into the bearings faster, and C) expand when hot, possibly causing more play than what was intended.

    If you suspect transmission whine, try sticking it in neutral. Mine whines only at light to medium throttle positions. On hard accel or decel, it does not.

    While on the subject, mine does it's share of clunking too.
     
  15. FordExplorer2002

    FordExplorer2002 Active Member

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    Its wierd only dose it when im stepimg on the gas peddle havent tryed it in n yet or at a stop light I wanna record it somehow and post it on here but idk how or if its even posible
     
  16. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    Upload it to youtube or photobucket and then hyperlink the link here.
     
  17. NEW2MEEX

    NEW2MEEX New Member

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    Have the "rattle" in my '02 also (95,000). My mechanic called a friend that works at a ford dealership and advised it in fact was the TQ converter. Had it replaced and 2,000 miles later the "rattle" is back! I like my Ex so, like in the in a previous post, guess I'll just turn-up the radio a little more :D
     
  18. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    There must be a fix somehow. If you paid the dealership to fix it, you could just go back under part warranty. If it's the stock converter at fault, somebody must make a converter that fixes this.
     
  19. jaywalk73

    jaywalk73 New Member

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    I think I have the TQ rattle but mine goes away before OD kicks in (I think). it also will not come back if i turn OD off....it seems to be more RPM related but only in gear or park. the fact that it also makes the noise when in Park really has me baffled. while driving and it making the noise, I can put it in neutral and rev the motor...no sound. Does this sound like the TQ rattle?
     
  20. old_droid

    old_droid New Member

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    I think I have the TQ rattle too... at the beginning at idle was nothing to hear, only when I was lightly accelerating and before the torque converter locks up.

    Now it makes a lot more noise. I made a video: http://youtu.be/IVn__ODyoMc

    Does this sound like the TQ or could be the catalytic converter?
     
    Last edited: October 16, 2012
  21. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    Tought to say. Mine makes a noise, very similar to what a loose or broke up catalytic converter might sound like. Rocks in a coffee can or something. Definitely not detonation. I banged the converters with a rubber mallet, and it's definitely not any of them. Nor are the heat shields loose.

    Your video is so much more direct than mine, because you've got it on a lift or something. I'll try to capture what mine sounds like with my phone video camera, and see if it's the same sounding.

    Best guess is that we both have the same problem, and it's likely something in the converter. Maybe a broke off fin or something? Seems to go away when the converter locks up, or at light loads cruising. Most noticeable when lightly accelerating. Heavy acceleration and it goes away, or gets overpowered by the sound of the engine.
     

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