99 Mountaineer 5.0 AWD Transfer Case? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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99 Mountaineer 5.0 AWD Transfer Case?


New Member
March 31, 2015
Reaction score
City, State
Atlanta, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 5.0 AWD Mountaineer
Great site with great information. I just purchased a ’99 Mountaineer 5.0 AWD with 173,000 miles. It is in very good shape.

I spent the weekend taking care of some issues:
Replaced both front brake rotors and pads, front sway-bar mounts and links, all 4 shocks and the radiator. Changed oil and transfer case fluids too. Got new tires and a fresh alignment today. I also changed the driver’s side front wheel bearing.

When decelerating, there is a metal on metal rubbing sound coming from the front driver’s side. This has been a persistent problem even prior to changing tires and the wheel bearing. I am guessing from searching here that this is the transfer case. The noise mostly goes away with the application of some throttle. If I accelerate from a standstill with full throttle, I get a loud pop like a transmission mount or engine mount is broken—but it’s not.

From searching here both of these issues lead back to transfer case problems. What are the options? My transfer case is a 4404. As it is all time AWD it has no electronic parts.

Am I jumping to the wrong conclusion? By the way, with the tires the car came with the sound on deceleration was MUCH worse. I actually thought for a while that the new tires fixed the issue but that doesn’t account for the pop sound and I really can still hear the metal on metal sound—just not nearly as bad.

I have not taken the front drive shaft off yet but I can feel a good bit of lash in the front prop. I would say 10-15 degrees of rotation. Is that normal? Guessing no. The rear drive shaft has very little play.

Is this transfer case something I can rebuild?

Thanks in advance for reading my long first post,