96 Explorer Limited Driveline Thrumming noise | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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96 Explorer Limited Driveline Thrumming noise

bb56

Member
Joined
October 17, 2008
Messages
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City, State
Grafton, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Explorer Limited 4wd
I need help with this one. 174,000 miles.

The noise is not a whirring or grinding sound. It isn't constant. It is more of a rum-rum-rum noise noticeable between 30 and 45 mph. It sounds like it is in sync with wheel revolution. I hear it a little more when I turn left at those speeds and sometimes it seems quiet when I go straight. I get no shimmy or shake.

I've replaced right rear wheel bearing. Front right CV Axle and hub. While it seems slightly different, it is still there. I can't really pinpoint it to front or back. I replaced rear wheel bearings (both) about 3 years ago when one was leaking and the fluid that came out this time was still golden blue like new. Front hubs were changed less than 2 years ago when I started softly hearing this noise occasionally. Changing the front hubs made no difference so I kept the old ones. But the noise was very slight and I let it go.

Since it is now worse and the rear bearing didn't change it, I put one of the old front hubs back in on front right as a troubleshooting step. No real difference.

I'm thinking it may be a front axle bearing, but I don't see why it would increase the noise when turning. I do have a leaky front left axle seal but the CV axle feels solid in there (future project).

I'm thinking of disconnecting the front drive shaft to see what difference it makes but it seems like a wild guess at isolating the noise.

Any suggestions are welcome as I don't want to just keep replacing things willy-nilly until I hit on the problem part. I've gone through this forum and most noises are described as a constant whirring or grinding or screeching dry bearings that increase with turning.

My 21 year old baby needs some attention - she's been good to me and I need to return the favor. She's been a good companion and a real keeper all this time.

Thanks for any hints on this one..
 






May want to check u joints. I had one go bad in mine, sounds similar to what you are experiencing.
 






May want to check u joints. I had one go bad in mine, sounds similar to what you are experiencing.
Thanks. I just checked the front driveshaft and it seems pretty tight. The u-joints themselves seem solid. I would expect that the u-joint vibration would be 3-4 times the wheel rotation though even with harmonics. Am I off base in my thinking?
 






Thanks. I just checked the front driveshaft and it seems pretty tight. The u-joints themselves seem solid. I would expect that the u-joint vibration would be 3-4 times the wheel rotation though even with harmonics. Am I off base in my thinking?
I'm not sure if you're off, I believe mine was the front of my rear shaft . It was bad, but not always noticeable while driving.
 






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