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2013 Explorer Towing Noise Problem

I have a boat trailer that I have towed for years with two different Mountaineers without any problems or noise. When I tow that same boat trailer with my new 2013 Explorer XLT, there is a humming or grinding noise which sounds like it is coming from the rear of the vehicle. My dealer has pulled my trailer with another Explorer just like mine and the same noise occurs. Has anyone else had this problem or have any ideas about what the cause of the noise is?
 


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Hpnewby

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Just brought home my new Sport last night and pulled my boat around the block this afternoon. Very disappointing to hear the LOUD noise. I'm very sure that its due to the fact that the hitch receiver is directly attached to the (uni)body. Looks like I'll be changing the bearings on my trailer to make it as smooth as absolutely possible. And I'll start looking for some specially damped hitch (or make one and get rich).

BTW - LOVE my new Sport.
 




smallmouth

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Hpnewby - Re: my post above - In an attempt to eliminate the noise, I wrapped the hitch with 3mm foam and inserted it so that it was extremely tight with no metal to metal contact. It made no difference whatsoever in the noise. Please post info about any success you have eliminating the noise.

Smallmouth
 




Hpnewby

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Well, I towed another trailer tonight. This time a 14' utility trailer with a few lawn mowers on it for a friend. The ride was EXTREMELY silent. I'm thinking at this point it has a lot to do with the wheel bearings. I know the bearings on my boat trailer need some help and I already had plans to change them this weekend before an Independence Day weekend trip. We'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, all I found last night after only about 5 minutes of looking was a patent on Google for a rubber damped hitch that was very similar to what I had in mind. Now I just have to find out who makes/sells one.
 








Hpnewby

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Would be nice if this thing was made for a Class III receiver ball mount.
 




smallmouth

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Re: suspecting the wheel bearings - before purchasing your Explorer, did you tow your trailer with another vehicle? Did it make the same noise with that vehicle? Before I bought my Explorer, I had two Mountaineers. I pulled my trailer with both of those and experienced no noise. I still have one of those Mountaineers and it still tows my trailer quietly. How could the wheel bearings be the problem if there is no noise when pulling the trailer with a different vehicle?
 




Hpnewby

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It's the wheel bearings. I took mine apart tonight and they came out in pieces, even though I've kept them full of grease. I'll let you know after I put new ones on tomorrow what it sounds like.

I've towed this trailer with other trucks with no noise. The reason you're not hearing anything with the other vehicles is that they are body on frame construction instead of unibody - meaning you have body mount isolators between the frame rails and the cabin that knock out any noise energy. With the unibody, the hitch is hard mounted to the cabin so any little bumps in the hitch resonate to your eardrums.
 




Hpnewby

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Problem solved. Put new bearings on this morning and the noise is gone. Give it a try, man.
 




smallmouth

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Thanks for the update. I will have the bearings changed as soon as I can and let you know the results.
 




smallmouth

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Had the trailer bearings replaced today and the noise is GONE!! The FORD dealer service manager is amazed. Thanks for your help!!
 




Hpnewby

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Wonderful. Did you get a chance to look at the bearings that were removed? Mine were destroyed.
 




turboexplorer

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Interesting that there was two the same problem and the same fix! Surprised that much is transmitted into the cabin even though its mounted to the subframe. Will always keep this in mind for future issues since there is now a ton of rigs that can pull and are unibody's.
 




smallmouth

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Yes, I saw the bearings that were removed. I'm not mechanically inclined. Always have my car and trailer work done by others. Looked like a pile of greasy parts to me. When the service manager manually rotated them, he said they were "rough".
 




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