CV joints? Bearings? You tell me.... | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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CV joints? Bearings? You tell me....


August 14, 2012
Reaction score
City, State
New jersey
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 explorer
I am having an issues with my front end. Due to faulty repair during getting brakes done, our lug nuts weren't put back on tightly and during a trip to VA on 95, all the studs broke off and wheel disconnected. It stayed on, thank god, rolling on the axle or rotor for a hundred or so feet as I pulled over. Now, about a month or 2 later, we still have the spare on the car (with new studs on the pass front side), and now, when I am at a "highway speed", I am hearing/feeling a thump thump thump thump similar to having a flat tire, any time I allow the car to naturally decellerate (as opposed to braking) the sound is lessened by hitting brakes and goes away when i hit the gas. feeling a vibration (very subtle) when driving at 30-50. Help! Is this the cv, bearings etc??? (New sway bar linkage last fall). Looking for any info on time i hve before it truly breaks and i die in the car, pricing, etc. Had new ball joints about 4-5 years ago. 2003 4wd explorer. Thanks!

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probably warped the rotor , or it is out of round,,

i would look at that first,, next would be a wheel bearing check,,

some pictures

please let me know what you guys think :-)

sorry better sized


Well i can tell you right off the bat you need new upper ball joints. Basically entirely new upper control arms actually (unless you really want to press them out - but considering how beat up the control arms are you may as well kill two birds with one stone)

It also looks like your CV boots are leaking grease, which means they need to be looked at, cleaned, repacked, resealed, etc. (unless they're damaged, which means new ones).

Feel those brake rotors - if they're heavily grooved while running your finger against them, it's time for new disks (and probably pads).

I wouldn't bother doing anything with the cv boots it's more economical to go with a new cv shaft they only cost around $70 or so.

I wouldn't bother doing anything with the cv boots it's more economical to go with a new cv shaft they only cost around $70 or so.

Entirely valid point.

So, took it to pep boys earlier in the week, and they confirmed all that- basically that everything is moderately ok but needs to be replaced. New concern- could this be coming from the rear? He did not open it up to look, and we literally drove around for an hour trying to recreate the noise to no avail. This morning I drove my normal commute (didn't hear the noise Monday or Thursday) and now I hear it again, and now knowing my front is fine it could be coming from the back. It's hard to tell. Almost feels like the trans when it kicks, but is a rotational constant on downhill coming down from 50s. Argh! Rear diff is really the only part of the truck where we are weary to replace since it is so expensive. Thoughts/experiences?