explorer 95-01 front end bearing noise | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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explorer 95-01 front end bearing noise


January 6, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
North Wales, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
Explorer 97 Eddie Bauer
Hi everyone,

I have the following vehicle:
Ford Explorer 2001
XLT AWD 5L V8 Engine all standard no customization

I have been chasing a front end bearing noise for 3-4 years and have not been able to find it. Most recently it has gotten much worse and I need to figure it out. Any help is appreciated.

I have replaced the following:
1. Front u-joints 1 1/2 years ago
2. Front Wheel hub bearings 1 6 months ago and 1 last weekend
3. Front Axle with CV joint left side

The following are the symptoms.

The Noise is a constant hum of a bearing noise based on speed of the car not speed of the engine.

When I drive down the road the noise appears to be coming from the right side, when I turn left and the pressure goes on the right wheel the noise gets worse. When I turn to the right and take the pressure off the right wheel the noise almost goes away.

The noise gets the worse at around 40 MPH gets better at 55 but I am afraid to go any faster due to the noise.

When I turn very hard left or right I get no clunking or noise from either side indicating CV joint issues.

I have read other posts on this site that point to the front axle bearing. I assume this is at the end of the hard pipe that connects to the front differential on the right side. Does anyone know how this bearing need to be removed? Do you just take out the CV axle and then you can remove it? Do you need to take apart the front differential to pull out the axles like the rear with the C clips holding in the axles? Should I do all bearings if this is the issue?

Any help is appreciated, I am getting ready to jack up the truck on all four corners and use a stethoscope to attempt to pinpoint the noise.

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Before you tear into all of that, did you a.) get to 215+ ft. lbs. on the axle nut when you replaced the hub, and what brand(s) of hubs did you use?

If you didn't reach full torque spec, you have probably already toasted the hub bearing(s). If you used a less expensive bearing than Timken or SKF, they also may have already failed.


i had a sim. problem,, turned out ot be the transfer case, had bad bearings.. i did the 4406 swap.. to fix this issue... check the out put flange for the front driveshaft on the transfer case,,, bet it has a 1/8 or so movement in the shaft up and down, where it comes out of the case...

Yes I torked the bolt to the specification it was around 190 not 215 as you indicated.

Yes I removed the front drive shaft about a year ago and the noise did not go away.


I pulled the drive shaft last night and the end had some metal fragments on it so I am now thinking bearings in the differential . I am going to drop the differential this morning since all I have to do now is remove the drive shaft and the three bolts that hold it in place.

I will let you know what I find.

if you drop the front diff, you have to use stub shafts in the wheels bearings to hold them together, if not the wheels will fall off,