97 Mounty AWD 5.0L moaning HELP | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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97 Mounty AWD 5.0L moaning HELP

iancc

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Mercury Mountaineer
I bought this truck used with 160k on it. Other than the interior, it wasn't taken care of well.
The Moaning!!!! Omg is it annoying.
I drained the transfer case, put Valvoline high mileage atf in.
I drained the front differential, put 75w90 semi synthetic in.
I went to drain the rear differential but to my surprise it was bone dry. Looks like it was dry for a while... I put 75w140 full synthetic in and limited slip additive.

Still moaning, sometimes worse than before.
I picked up a duralube friction modifier for atf. Put the directed amount in the transmission, and even some in the transfer case.
Still moaning!!!

I've replaced both front wheel hub & bearing assemblies. New rotors and brakes all the way around. Regressed all the calipers.
Still moaning!!

When I accelerate I can feel it start to vibrate around 30mph. When I get to 50mph or so, and let off the gas, I can hear and feel the moaning and vibration to go with it.

Did I miss something? The rear differential seems to be holding oil well. I got the type of oil right... and it feels more toward the front like the front differential. The oil it was black black black. The transfer case atf was black as well. I know that rear end sounds and vibration can make their way to the front end and make it tricky to diagnose.

What's my next step here guys?
Thanks In advance.
 
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MAS Tequila

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2000 Mounty 4WD 5.0
For me it was the tires.

They looked good and were less than 1 year old.

The noise sounded like a bearing was on it's way out.

As soon as I pulled out of the shop with the new tires I couldn't believe how quiet it was.

Have your tires checked for cupping.

Down here in the heat of south FL they cup very easily.

MT
 
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iancc

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Not kidding about Florida cupping tires. I know the alignment is off a little, but I've driven worse. I did notice today while driving with the windows down that there is a clicking that speeds up with my acceleration and slows with deceleration. I'm thinking CV axle... but can't be positive. I don't feel any play in it. I saw a repair kit on eBay and wondered if that would actually work to repair a CV axle.
 
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CDW6212R

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98 Limited AWD
If it may be the axles, usually the boot will be ripped a bit, and the lack of grease wears out the CV joint. It'd be hard to find one that goes bad and doesn't have a ripped boot, exceptions being serious off-roading where the joint got way out of range.

If it is kind of vague in location, consider removing the front drive shaft to isolate the noise. You can rebuild that CV joint, Dorman makes a kit, I put one in my 98 a couple years ago, $80ish.

The tires are a good idea, but you likely have moved them around already, or have a good idea of the tread(cupping) etc.
 
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iancc

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I don't see any ripping in the axles. Driver's side looks worn though .
 
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CDW6212R

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If nothing else is obvious, try taking the drive shaft out and test that for the noise. Most times if that CV joint is bad you can feel it. I think it took me about an hour to replace the CV joint on mine, odd to work with it the first time.
 
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MAS Tequila

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The clicking is probably the front driveshaft.

I'll bet if you pull it the CV end is extremely loose.

MT
 
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Flash

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I don't know if this is what's making your noise but if your rear diff was dry I'm guessing the damage, especially to the bearings, has been done.
 
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iancc

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I assumed the rear end was done. But it seems to be fine. If I pull the drive shaft, will it potentially isolate the CV axles as the noise if it continues? The clicking became worse today and sounds like it's coming from the drivers side front. When I step on the gas from a stand still, I can hear and feel the notorious popping. But since the drive shaft, CV axles, and differential is all right there it's kinda hard to isolate which is bad.
 
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CDW6212R

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Actually popping noise would point to axle CV's, not bearings and I doubt the center CV could make such a noise(it's held in line without extreme angles like the axle CV's).

Pulling the drive shaft will not help the axles if they are going out. If the mileage is high enough, doing an axle and the hub there would be a good idea, Prices for hubs are better than they used to be, it's not too bad to buy one or both now.
 
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boominXplorer

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I say pull the front drive shaft to narrow it down. If it goes away it's either the driveshaft joints or the tcase.
 
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iancc

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I replaced the two front wheel hubs with bearing and abs. It wasn't too bad. I ordered the driver's side CV axle and I'll see if that solves the noise. The passenger side next. Then the front driveshaft. Removing the driveshaft seems a little involved to isolate the noise.
 
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RandomNerd2000

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Warning, removing the front drive shaft on a V8 AWD will hurt/ruin the transfer case, ruins the viscous coupling in the transfer case. I'm thinking your rear end was let go too long, that'll grenade the bearings at a record rate
 
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CDW6212R

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The 98 Limited I just bought has been without the front drive shaft for almost seven years. The last owner took it out to stop the symptom they had, and never put it back in. It isn't wise to run one without the shaft, but that doesn't absolutely kill the transfer case etc.

The slowly creeping when in park is the biggest problem if you take out the front drive shaft.
 
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iancc

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OK so I pulled the front drive shaft. The noise persisted but was different. Actually made me think both are bad. The left CV axle and front drive shaft. I got the CV axle on eBay for 49 bucks and the drive shaft for 55. Not bad at all. Trusted parts dealers I've dealt with before on eBay. The fluid is holding in the rear differential, which leads me to believe that when the rear end was replaced they didn't bother to fill it up.
 
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iancc

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I replaced the CV axles and the noise persists... Can I safely drive this mountaineer without the front drive shaft? Is there anything I should do besides unbolting it and pulling it out to keep everything from being harmed?
 
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iancc

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Anyone know the size of the hex bolts on the front drive shaft?
 
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CDW6212R

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The front drive shaft has six 8mm long bolts in the back flange, and the two in front are T30 I think. Use a strong Torx bit for those, it's not uncommon to sheer a cheap tool off. Take your time with those six long bolts, get comfortable under there with a ratchet and long extension. It takes a while to remove those.

You can drive the truck without the front drive shaft if the AWD transfer case is okay, but you must not park it on any slopes at all. The parking brake has to be used always, and I hope it works well. The truck will creep slowly if it's parked on any real slope without a very good parking brake.
 
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iancc

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The noise is gone!!!!!! The CV joint on the shaft is gone. It just kind of fell out lol. One of the hex bolts was a Philips?!? There is also white writing on both the front and rear driveshafts. Looks like it was from the junkyard. Probably why there was no fluid in the rear.... Shotty backyard mechanics.
O8Rvb16.jpg

OOvcK4C.jpg

aEHCcdY.jpg
 
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