Bad noise | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Bad noise


Active Member
March 11, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Fort Myers, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
1995 Eddie Bauer 4x4

I have a heavy whining noise in the front end of my 95 explorer eb. The transmission is running smooth and there isn't any other sound than the whining noise. The noise occurs only when I am moving, even in neutral. The dealership told me I needed to rebuild by front differential. I have difficulty believing that this is the problem because when I am traveling up hill, the whining noise seems to wind down, and then shift up into a higher whining. Not sure if the tranny is known to make noise like this or what. Just trying to get some ideas. Hubs?, wheel bearing? What are some things I can check myself?


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

More front end noises

I have a very similar noise in my 1994 XLT. it has been happening for the last 6 months or so and only happens occasionally. Usually it is set off by hitting a bump or taking a sharp corner. It sounds like a loud whining (almost like a when a kid puts a card in his bicycle spokes to make it sound like a motorcycle). The noise is usually accompanied by a clunk (shifting?). This happens in both 4x4 and 4x2. Sometimes it will go away by taking it in and out of 4x4 but sometimes that doesn't work either. It almost seems like the 4x4 is trying to engage

I was told it could be bad u-joints or wheel bearings so I repacked the front wheel bearings and replaced the u-joints on both front axles. I also replaced the ball joints while I was at it. I was driving it to get aligned and herd the noise again. This time I put it in neutral and it sounded like it shifted up and then down and then the noise stopped.

Does this sound like what your explorer is doing? my next thought for this would be something wrong in the transfer case or one of the drive line u-joints going to the transfer case since it happens in in both 4x4 and 4x2 and sounds like it is coming from the front end.

Any other ideas for figuring this out?

Mine doesnt really sound like a ratcheting, it is just like a low whine. Sometimes it won't happen on a cold start until I drive for a little bit. The dealer told me it was the DIFF, but I really don't think it us because I have heard it shift into a higher pitched whine while I was slowing down, or when going up a hill. I am really confused, but 4wd doesn't change it at all really.

noise was diagnosed as a pinion bearing in the front diff.