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Rear end noise?

Discussion in 'Modified 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Eric1249, February 2, 2012.

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    1. Eric1249

      Eric1249 Active Member

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      I have an 04 Explorer. I just had the truck in for an alignment and new sway bar links. I rear end is whining. The shop where I took it does not do rear ends. Has anyone else had this problem? Could it cause a vibration when on the gas? When I call the dealership what do I tell them the problem could be?

      How do I look up recalls on my truck?

      Thanks
      Eric
       
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    3. Triton8273

      Triton8273 B

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      1. This is in the wrong section
      2. Nearly everyone has the rear end growl and it has been discussed in the stock section numerous times so use your friendly "search"
      3. It was not a recall, just like every other problem that we have had with our Ex's

      Interesting how Ford never gave a shit about taking care of it's customers who bought the "best selling suv" in the country isn't it?
       
    4. Limited02

      Limited02 Well-Known Member

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      This is actually a common problem with 3.73LS equipped Explorers. Do you hear the whine when lightly on the gas and as soon as you let off, it goes away? Or is the whine constant, it just changes with speed? That would possibly be your wheel bearings.

      If you have a 3.73LS rear, I would change the Fluid and add friction modifier because it will sometimes help quiet the rear down. Factory calls for 75W-140, but I used 85W-140 and felt it worked better.
       
    5. silvio1

      silvio1 New Member

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      I just purchased a 2002 ford explorer 4.6, I had several issues, like replacing all the wheel bearings, transmission rebuilt and the rear axle just started to make a grading noise every time I make a turn,my bad luck! The clutches are bad and I purchased a used carrier from a salvage yard, the only draw back is that the gear ratio is different. The old carrier is 3.73 the new used one is 3.55 and is not even a limited slip or posi traction, any suggestions? Silvio1
       
    6. not8taxi

      not8taxi Active Member

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      i dont think you can use it if its a different ratio...im just guessing on this one maybe someone else can chime in and tell you a def answer
       
    7. therover1991

      therover1991 Active Member

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      i actually just had my rear diff replaced. when i was talking to my mechanic about it he said you have to switch out with the same one. so you will need the 3.73
       
    8. Teejay4490

      Teejay4490 Active Member

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      If its 2wd you can put any gear you want in it. If its 4 wheel drive you have to match the front gear ratio.
       
    9. FORD SUV GUY

      FORD SUV GUY Member

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      I think 3.55 are commonly used in the AWD explorers and is an open differential in that aplication. IDK if your front diff is L/S or an open differential or if there would be any compatibility issues other than matching the gear ratio. I kno it will bolt into your axle housing tho. If you have AWD/4X4 the gearing must match front to rear. Also IMO it would be best to reuse your old ring gear(if still intact/usable) even if the ratio matched because ring and pinion gears are machined together and stamped as a "set" so if you can help it they should be kept as sets.
       
    10. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      As a 12 year Ford dealership technician and a senior master tech for 2 years, I would like to chime in. ALL 3rd gen Explorers had rear diff problems from day 1. Both 3.55 and 3.73 ratios, open and Trac-Loc equipped, 2wd, 4wd, and awd. The front diff is never a lsd from the factory on an Explorer or most Ford vehicles for that matter. Back in the day, when these first came out, we used to replace the diffs with complete drop out diff housings until Ford came out with a new gearset. I saw 2 or 3 very nice and very low mileage Explorers get bought back by Ford when they came out due to these issues. The first problem, was a whine noise while driving at speed, then the chatter on turns noise, now mostly I see bearing failures and whine noises. Even the ones that only have a whine noise usually have bad carrier bearings. Ford only sells a new ring and pinion with all of the bearings as a kit. The parts are fairly cheap, most of the money is in labor. Usually in the $1000 range just for that depending on shop labor rates. Parts are usually around $400-$600. I have personally done a complete rear diff repair in a hour and a half. That is driving the truck onto my lift, removing diff, clean everything, completely replaced all bearings and ring and pinion, reinstall, and test drive.

      I am also not saying that it is for sure your diff, as we all know rear wheel bearings can make some rear noises as well as e-brake shoes braking loose from the backing plates.

      On my personal Explorer, it started life with 3.55 open rear diff. I got a used Trac-Lok carrier, put new bearings on it, pulled in my 190K mile truck, removed the diff, replaced pinion bearings, reused my ring and pinion, and reinstalled it. Now I have a lsd with all new bearings and seals, with the original ring and pinion. Most shops might not do this for you since it might make some light gear noise, but on the other hand, mine was not broken. I just did it as maint, and an upgrade.

      Very long story short, If you need a new rear diff, a Ford dealer is going to sell you a complete overhaul, gears, bearings, seals. That is the most cost effective way Ford can get the parts. I have no problem with used parts, I am a cheapa**, but as long as you keep the ring and pinion matched set together, and no teeth are damaged, you should be fine with used gears, but unless you can do the work, or know someone who can, you will have a hard time finding someone to put them in for you. Some dealerships may just try and sell you bearings, but I doubt it, plus Ford recommends gears in a tsb still. And keep the same ratio on non 2wd vehicles.
       
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    11. joecrna

      joecrna Active Member

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      87350gta, could you discuss setting up the ring and pinion for proper contact pattern. You say that you have done the complete rear axle job in 1.5 hours. I seem to put in shims, check contact pattern, switch shims and repeat over and over. Eventually I take it to someone else to finish. Am I being overly particular?

      My present whine is undoubtedly worn carrier bearings. Suppose I should rebuild the limited slip while Im in there. Perhaps I'll use the carbon fiber discs used in the new Boss 302.
       
    12. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      The Ford pinion depth tools make short work of the pinion shim selection. as far as the carrier shims go, unless you are changing the carrier or housing itself, or you have excessive backlash after assembly, you can use the existing carrier shims. I have done at least 200-250 8.8 Ford rear diffs and I have only needed to swap shims about 25 of those times. Some of the Explorers got the carbon fiber clutches during the early tsb for chatter on turns. I wish I could go back and save some of those countless sets of them I threw away. You could also go for the '03-'04 cobra diffs, there are also carbon fiber. Ford still sells them with the FRPP division, but it is cheaper to just order them for a cobra. I rebuilt my neighbors mustang rear diff a few years back and bought a '04 cobra loaded carrier for about $130. that is the entire diff carrier, carbon clutches and steels, and side gears. They have since gone way up in price. I checked about a month ago for my Explorer and it was almost $300 for me.
       
    13. joecrna

      joecrna Active Member

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      Ah, Ford pinion depth tools. Who would have thought? Maybe I should look into a set of those. I don't set up enough gear sets to be any good at guessing which shims to use.
       
    14. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      I can't find a decent pic to put on here, but I tried.
       
    15. ProjectAviator

      ProjectAviator Elite Explorer

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      I have thought that the noise I get while driving was tire whine but I am not so sure now. Anyway to see what exactly is making the noise the rear, bearings or the tires???

      Tim
       
    16. Gf0rc3

      Gf0rc3 New Member

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      Wanted to chime in

      To projectaviator, I had noise too. I was able to use the car lift at work to narrow down the noise to the carrier bearings. I thought it was one of the wheel hub bearings, but I had a co-worker listen while I was up in the ex pressing the gas pedal. The noise came from the diff, not the wheels. So since I had to do diff service, I swapped in 4.10 gears and a rebuilt trak-loc. :thumbsup:
       
    17. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      Lift is definitely easiest way. If the noise changes when you sway left and right while driving, that would suggest wheel bearings, but not always accurate on which side. I have been burned soooo many times by these bearings. I had one that was loose so I replaced it, however, the other side that was NOT loose was the one making the noise. Go figure. I pretty much do them in pairs now.
       
    18. FORD SUV GUY

      FORD SUV GUY Member

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      Its my understanding that the Ford pinion depth tool is simply a gauge? Meaning it gets you close but not necessarily the correct depth. Wouldn't measuring the original pinion shim thickness and matching that for your initial pinion depth setting get you approximately as close as the super expensive Ford pinion depth gauge?
       
    19. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      The Ford tool simulates the pinion in the housing and mounts to the housing using the bearings you are going to use. It takes into account the production variances in the new bearings, then compares that to the centerline of the ring gear surface, then allows you to select the proper shim to move the pinion surface into the correct location on the ring gear. But, yes, You could just measure the old pinion shim and use one the same thickness, it "should" be very close to correct. If you want to spend an entire day pressing on bearings, installing the pinion with a non reuseable crush sleeve, install carrier, check pattern, remove carrier, remove pinion, replace crush sleev, press bearing off of pinion, change shim, repeat until correct, you can, it will work.
       
    20. joecrna

      joecrna Active Member

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      And that is when I take it to someone else to finish!
       
    21. Teejay4490

      Teejay4490 Active Member

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      Just wing it
       
    22. FORD SUV GUY

      FORD SUV GUY Member

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      I personally was not trying to be CONDESCENDING in my question(possibly unlike others answers) but was simply "asking a question". I was woundering what the advantages are for using the and justifying its purchase. We do not all work for ford w/access to all the factory toys(I mean tools)or have the experince you do but still manage the job. I havent built 250 diff's in an 1.5hrs time, but I have rebuilt 2 8.8's IN MY DRIVEWAY w/no troubles or Ford OEM tools.... I wont insult you w/any more of my questions
       
    23. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      WOW DUDE! I was not trying to insult you or say I am the greatest wrench ever. I said that method would completely work, it would just take awhile, and may be some people's only option. Sorry if you took it that way. I sure don't have the money to buy such a special use tool for my own use, I feel I am lucky with the situation I have and was trying to pass some knowledge along to my fellow Explorer folks. I only mentioned my experience to put some validity behind my words. And I said my BEST was 1.5 hours, at a shop, with a lift, air tools, Ford special tools, and manuals. I have complete respect for the guys doing this in the driveway. Please don't assume I am some arragent a** when you don't even know me.
       
    24. JethroBodine

      JethroBodine New Member

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      When you take your differential out, all instructions say to mark the flange and Drive shaft to keep same orientation. If you are putting in a used rear end, is there any special way to orient the used one with your present drive shaft?
       
    25. css5000

      css5000 New Member

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      I have an '02 Explorer Sport 4X4 - 4.0. I'm getting a rear rubbing sound that used to happen only after braking off the interstate. This had an amount of rotational drag that dissipated the first 10-15 mph. I thought it might be bearings, but maybe something more. At a mechanic friend's house, we jacked it up and it didn't sound good forwards or back. He thought bearings too. While the wheel was stable up & down, right & left, he pulled straight out and got a half inch of play! Does this mean rear end too?
       

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