95 Explorer - Front wheels 'bind' when turning in 4wd. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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95 Explorer - Front wheels 'bind' when turning in 4wd.


New Member
December 13, 2013
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1995 Explorer
95 Explorer -- My 4wd auto seems to work fine when driving straight ahead, but when I make turns it feels like the front wheels start to bind and a grinding/popping noise starts up. When I shift back to 2wd the problem goes away. Fluid in front differential is ok. Any ideas whats causing this?

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Are we talking on pavement or off?

4wd should only be used on slippery roadways, snow, gravel dirt, etc.
The front axel will bind while turning if you're in 4wd on a roadway with good traction.

This information is located in a mostly unread publication called an owners manual.

I was driving on pavement, but the roads were icy. I had it in '4 wheel auto' (vs 4 wheel low). The driveway was icy but the wheels felt like they were binding up as I turned into my garage at slow speed on dry pavement. However, they had never reacted this way in the past, and certainly had not made the grinding/popping noise.


Does it bind/hop every time you turn, or just some of the time?

If it only happens occasionally:
This is normal, because 4wd auto will temperarly lock the transfer case if it notices slippage. So it really depends on the road conditions.

"When you engage 4auto on a '95-'96, the GEM switches the signal to a vacuum solenoid (insert picture here) which locks the CAD, thereby connecting the front half of the drivetrain and forcing the front driveshaft to turn with the wheels. Then, when the GEM determines that the rear wheels are turning faster than the fronts, it momentarily locks the transfer case, linking the front and rear driveshafts together for a period of time. The GEM then unlocks the transfer case, checks for slipping again, and, if necessary, locks the transfer case again. This produces some clunking and unconventional engagement and disengagement that many people don't like." Read the rest here:http://www.explorer4x4.com/controltrac_mod.htm

If it happens 100% of the time:
There could possibly be a problem, on later 2nd gens the rear axle speed sensor can begin to fail (kinda common). The sensor is located on the rear differential. But I'm not sure if 1995 2nd gens has the same setup.:scratch:
Post #4 might help:http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=201445

Hope this helps:biggthump

Thanks - very helpful. This gives me a starting point to try to find the problem.