Bad spider gears? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Bad spider gears?

Mberry0614

Member
Joined
October 28, 2021
Messages
26
Reaction score
13
City, State
Festus, Missouri
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Explorer EB 4.0 SOHC
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Can anyone tell me if these spider gears are bad? I have been getting a loud banging noise coming from the drivetrain. It only happens while accelerating and it happens when driving straight. I had a guy look at it and tell me the spider gears were bad. I was also told that if the spider gears were bad, it would only make that noise while turning? My next question is, if it is the spider gears, should I just replace the whole differential? Sorry I don't know much about this, and I don't have alot of money to put into it right now. Thanks for the help! 20221110_163815.jpg
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Hard to say. They look worn for sure, but how worn is too worn? Kinda odd for spyder gears to wear out…

How many miles on the diff?

Generally, for spider gears to go, it means either abuse or a severe lack of maintenance. Could also be a bad batch of gears, but unlikely esp if OEM.

I replaced mine when I rebuilt my original rear at 328,000mi and they looked absolutely new.
 






Check trans mount, driveshaft may be tapping something if the trans mount is worn.

Front drive shaft CV will also knock and rattle if worn and loose. You might remove it for a short drive to see if noise stops with it removed.
 






Hard to say. They look worn for sure, but how worn is too worn? Kinda odd for spyder gears to wear out…

How many miles on the diff?

Generally, for spider gears to go, it means either abuse or a severe lack of maintenance. Could also be a bad batch of gears, but unlikely esp if OEM.

I replaced mine when I rebuilt my original rear at 328,000mi and they looked absolutely new.
It has 230xxx miles, and it was run low on fluid due to a leaky gasket, just wasn't sure if that could be the culprit
 






If it was run low enough to eat those, I’d bet the ring/pinion and all the bearings aren’t looking so hot either

I’d definitely check the other things mentioned, but if it’s def the rear, that whole thing may not be long for this world

THAT SAID, a full set of spyder gears and cross shaft is cheap and easy to swap out. So if everything checks out and you wanna try it, why not
 






Gears are worn. If money is tight, get a junk yard replacement. Open it up before you leave the yard with it to make sure it looks good. The 8.8 in my aerostar has over 300k miles and the gears look brand new when I pop the cover off to change the fluid.
 






Gears are worn. If money is tight, get a junk yard replacement. Open it up before you leave the yard with it to make sure it looks good. The 8.8 in my aerostar has over 300k miles and the gears look brand new when I pop the cover off to change the fluid.
Do you think that could have been the source of my pop/knock noise? And it would be easier to change the whole rear diff, not just the spider gears?
 






Do you think that could have been the source of my pop/knock noise? And it would be easier to change the whole rear diff, not just the spider gears?
Could you post some pictures of the ring and pinion gears? Running low on oil causes other issues. If the gears were starved for lubrication, then the bearings could have suffered the same fate. As far as the popping sound is your explorer 2 wheel drive?
 






You can easily change the spiders. If the truck has one wheel in the junkyard, why not.

But the rest of the rear was probably thoroughly damaged from abuse/lack of oil.
 






Could you post some pictures of the ring and pinion gears? Running low on oil causes other issues. If the gears were starved for lubrication, then the bearings could have suffered the same fate. As far as the popping sound is your explorer 2 wheel drive?
It is 4wd. I don't have any pics of the ring & pinion but it looked like it had been replaced already. The only thing that looked worn was the spider gears. If I replace just the spider gears, should I get a bearing kit also?
 






If I replace just the spider gears, should I get a bearing kit also?
Yes, a master kit will have everything you need, bearings, seals and items for the pinion seal. I'm wondering if the popping, knock sound could be related to the transfer case? Maybe someone with more knowledge could chime in.
 






Yes, a master kit will have everything you need, bearings, seals and items for the pinion seal. I'm wondering if the popping, knock sound could be related to the transfer case? Maybe someone with more knowledge could chime in.
Ok cool. And yeah I'm not sure, I was wondering the same thing. I'm trying to narrow it down. Thank you for the help.
 






Bearings all the way around are a bit of a big job.
 






Bearings all the way around are a bit of a big job.
Outer are not bad, pinion bearing requires some knowledge and specific tools to set the gear lash, it is a big job in itself.
 






Check trans mount, driveshaft may be tapping something if the trans mount is worn.

Front drive shaft CV will also knock and rattle if worn and loose. You might remove it for a short drive to see if noise stops with it removed.
Noise is still present with front shaft removed
 






Thanks all! The rear end wasn't the issue. It turned out to be the transfer case. So I put new fluid in rear end and it's still going strong 25xxx miles later!
 






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