A4LD goin bad? Bad noises from under my truck | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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A4LD goin bad? Bad noises from under my truck


Well-Known Member
October 10, 2003
Reaction score
City, State
Jeffersonville, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 xl
Over the last several weeks my explorer has been making some interesting sounds. When pulling out at low speed I hear a metallic rubbing sound from 0 to about 10 mph which I first thought was rear brakes. The noise graduates to a loud chirping sound until about 35-40 mph then nothing. As I slow down the noises come back in reverse order. At times it sounds like a squealing power streering pump or failing belt BUT it is coming from the center of the truck. Last summer I over heated the tranny pulling a jeep out of a sand dune. I refilled the fluid and it operated fine since with No slipping or any indication of failure. I am wondering if it could be failing needle bearings in the u joints. The sound increases and decreases with speed and stops like I said when dropped into neutral but applying the brakes doesn't stop the noises, until the truck stops.

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It is a 4X4, which I use regularly, and it has been working fine.

Engaging it doesnt seem to change the noise.

The tranny fluid is in the hash mark when warm and idleing. I don't think it's the diff since the noise stops when coasting in neutral. Don't know if it is the x-fer case since engagaging 4x4 has no effect.


Get us a sound clip


:) I know it's an old topic but I like to post results when I have them to close the thread. My problem was the rear Universal joint. I was pulling the rear brakes to see if the self adjuster dropped and was causing the noises. With the wheel off I got a good look at the U-joint and could see bright metal where the rubber seals should be. Dropped the drive shaft and popped out the u-joint with my handy harbor freight ball joint/u-joint tool. There were NO needle bearings anywhere to be found, the caps were ground out and cracked and the ends that fit into the caps were ground into an oblong shape that approximated the profile of a football. I put in a 9 dollar flaps u-joint, greased it and the xfer case u-joint, put the shaft back in and drove on. no noises, no clunk and no vibration at any speed.

EDIT: I should add I considered parting/junking my Ex thinking the tranny was grenaded.