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Ford Explorer driving stability issues

Joined
June 6, 2019
Messages
26
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City, State
Valley springs, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Ford Explorer 4.0
hi so I have the 96 explorer Eddie Bauer edition, 4.0 v6. So I’ve been dealing with this problem for awhile now and only seems to get worse as time goes on. It’s been 8 months now. It originally started out with a light but loudisb grind noise when I released the gas pedal. That has now turned into being loud even when I drive, when it use to be just when I released the gas. At about 55mph it’ll start to rumble. Whatever it is it sounds loose, like a bolt or two is holding it on or something. It shakes the entire car which honestly makes it dangerous to drive on highways, even when I release the gas it shakes hard for as long as I can let it slow down without the brakes. It’s kinda like a thumping noise and feeling. I also use to get this thumping noise when o would be going down hill and only downhill. It sounds like something wants to roll or whatever, but it’s being forced to stay in place, it’s like a “click....click.......click” it’s not as soft as a click but you get what I mean. It would be about a few seconds apart from the last click, but it felt like my car was about to give or something. That doesn’t happen anymore and I’m convinced it has something to do with this. The rumbling noise and feeling I get on highways and when releasing the gas pedal seems to be coming from right underneath me to the front tire. Any idea what this is? Hoping someone has dealt with this before
 



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masospaghetti

Elite Explorer
Joined
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Messages
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City, State
Huntington Beach, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT, OHV, 4D, 4x4, 5M
2wd or 4wd? Does it vary with engine RPM or with vehicle speed? Based on your description I assume vehicle speed.

It sounds like something is loose in the drivetrain. You need to crawl underneath the truck and give the driveshaft and axles a good shake. Grab the driveshaft near each u-joint and give it a good shake - it shouldn't have any play at all. The CV axles, if you have 4wd, should be nice and tight with minimal play.

If the axles all look good, jack up the wheels and grab each one at the 12 and 6 o-clock positions and see if they have play, then at the 3 and 9 o-clock positions. Rotate each wheel by hand and see if they feel smooth or if it feels rough. My guess is you'll find some loose or worn components during one of these inspections.
 






XLTrunner

Explorer Addict
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City, State
MN
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer XLT 4.0SOHC
Based on your previous threads for pretty much the same symptoms, I'm pretty certain the problem lies within your transfer case. This has been discussed on those threads...yet, I don't recall having seen anything back from you as to whether you took our advice and disconnected the front driveshaft as a first step in isolating the cause of the noise. If you lack the ability to do this kind of trouble-shooting, it's time to take it to a shop. I think you're looking for a simple "aha" solution but, without some more in-depth trouble-shooting, you're going to have to bite the bullet and have someone with experience do the sleuthing for you.

When my transfer case grenaded, it was pretty obvious to me what was going on. I first tried changing the fluid, shift motor and Halls effect sensors...but, to no avail. I then took it to my local reputable tranny shop who ended up rebuilding it for around $800. This was cheaper than buying a rebuilt unit and installing it myself.
 






Jason94sport

Explorer Addict
Joined
April 30, 2001
Messages
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City, State
FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
02 Sport 2WD 5 speed
My bet is the driveshaft u-joints. Had similar issues on a B2 & couldn't believe it was them after getting a new driveshaft for an unrelated problem.
 






fast_dave

Explorer Addict
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City, State
East Bay - Nor Cal / PRK
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 Spt 4.0 OHV 5 spd 4x4
@FireFighter209

Great (free) advice has been offered by multiple Forum Members in your previous posts, now you're just spinning your wheels...

Take your Ex to a reputable Transmission Shop recommended by the guys at your Fire Dept/Station OR by the guys that do maintenance on your fire equipment...

The professionals will sort out what the problem (s) is/are...

Hope this helps - let us know what's the final diagnosis!
 






Joined
June 6, 2019
Messages
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City, State
Valley springs, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Ford Explorer 4.0
Based on your previous threads for pretty much the same symptoms, I'm pretty certain the problem lies within your transfer case. This has been discussed on those threads...yet, I don't recall having seen anything back from you as to whether you took our advice and disconnected the front driveshaft as a first step in isolating the cause of the noise. If you lack the ability to do this kind of trouble-shooting, it's time to take it to a shop. I think you're looking for a simple "aha" solution but, without some more in-depth trouble-shooting, you're going to have to bite the bullet and have someone with experience do the sleuthing for you.

When my transfer case grenaded, it was pretty obvious to me what was going on. I first tried changing the fluid, shift motor and Halls effect sensors...but, to no avail. I then took it to my local reputable tranny shop who ended up rebuilding it for around $800. This was cheaper than buying a rebuilt unit and installing it myself.

Nope, definitely not that, I get conflicting answers, and answers that do not relate anything to the problem. Given I have no clue what it is, I do not know what is right and wrong. You clearly think it’s the TC therefore you see the TC answers as the right one. If I had your mind I’d see it the same way. I do not have the time in the day to take apart the wrong thing, all to rebuild it and still be stuck in the same position. I do not have the time in the day to allow some shop to repair something and take 2 weeks that leaves me without any ride. Maybe if I was retired. But I’m not. I also refuse to pay a shop to do anything on my car, I would find a mechanic personally before I take anything to a shop. I’d take my car to the junk yard and ditch it and buy a new one before I did any stupid shi* like that
 






Mr. Alligator

Elite Explorer
Joined
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City, State
Tampa, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 XLT Explorer
You do not want to pay a shop to work on your truck. Ok, many or most members on this Forum would agree with that.

So you look around different places, including this Forum, for ideas and help. Ok, a good start.

This Forum has a wide range of knowledge, from expert mechanics to hobbyists. You can search the archives and ask questions. Everyone here wants to help.

It is not likely, given the nature of your issues and problem(s), that anyone can read about the symptoms and sounds, and provide a definitive answer. There is no such place, and if there were, it would not likely be free.

When you get answers, you are mostly getting suggestions on places to start trying to figure out the problem. We are trying to help you help yourself.

What have you done to address the issue? Have you got under the vehicle to inspect the drive train? What did you find? Have you removed the front drive shaft in an effort to trouble shoot this? What have you tried?

It might be time to hire a mechanic.

Thank you for your First Responder service. And Good luck.
 






96eb96

Explorer Addict
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City, State
Albany, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
Nope, definitely not that, I get conflicting answers, and answers that do not relate anything to the problem. Given I have no clue what it is, I do not know what is right and wrong. You clearly think it’s the TC therefore you see the TC answers as the right one. If I had your mind I’d see it the same way. I do not have the time in the day to take apart the wrong thing, all to rebuild it and still be stuck in the same position. I do not have the time in the day to allow some shop to repair something and take 2 weeks that leaves me without any ride. Maybe if I was retired. But I’m not. I also refuse to pay a shop to do anything on my car, I would find a mechanic personally before I take anything to a shop. I’d take my car to the junk yard and ditch it and buy a new one before I did any stupid shi* like that

Diagnosing something like this on the internet is like emailing a doctor and describing symptoms. Unless it is something very, very obvious, even a doctor won't diagnose.
Lots of things come to mind like others said. You could also have a problem with your differential. We are talking about a vehicle pushing 1/4 century, so anything is fair game.

If someone posts about misfires and losing coolant with their 96 V6, I'll suggest they may have a cracked head, but it could also be a bad wire and leaking radiator.

What I would do is this. Lots of chains offer a free diagnosis when you drive in. Bring it to two or three and get an opinion.

Also, sometimes putting it in neutral could give some insight.
 






masospaghetti

Elite Explorer
Joined
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City, State
Huntington Beach, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT, OHV, 4D, 4x4, 5M
Nope, definitely not that, I get conflicting answers, and answers that do not relate anything to the problem. Given I have no clue what it is, I do not know what is right and wrong... I also refuse to pay a shop to do anything on my car, I would find a mechanic personally before I take anything to a shop. I’d take my car to the junk yard and ditch it and buy a new one before I did any stupid shi* like that

You say you don't know right from wrong...but then you say the answers do not relate to the problem.

We're offering free advice based on what you're describing. It's impossible to tell you with 100% certainty what the issue is..

In my opinion it sounds like it could be your transfer case, however, I provided some basic troubleshooting to check for worn driveline and suspension components in post #2 of this thread. It costs nothing and just requires you to get your hands dirty. Have you tried them?
 






XLTrunner

Explorer Addict
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City, State
MN
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer XLT 4.0SOHC
Nothing much more to add than what has already been stated. It's a noble stand to refuse to take it to a shop...but, you are painting yourself into a corner since you apparently don't have the time or use of a backup vehicle to do the trouble-shooting yourself. From my viewpoint, after reading your threads, it would appear that you've got some significant issues with the truck and the longer you continue to drive it, the more you risk doing further damage. Hopefully, it's nothing more than bad u-joints...but, I wouldn't bank on it without further investigation. And, that is where removing the front driveshaft might help isolate the problem. It's not a big deal to remove it...and, doesn't need to be replaced immediately if you don't have the time...or, need 4WD. We're all here to help...but, can't go any further without more definitive information.
 






GLOCKer

Well-Known Member
Joined
April 30, 2018
Messages
549
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Location
ATL Area
City, State
Marietta, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer Limited
These guys are trying to help you man! You say you don't want to take the time to diagnose the problem but you don't want to take it somewhere to have the problem diagnosed!
 






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