Front end transfer case 99 awd????? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Front end transfer case 99 awd?????


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July 26, 2002
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Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Explorer
99 v8 AWD, full time awd not normal 4wd. I am getting a loud noise from the right front end that sounds like a badly out of balance tire.

-The tires are balanced and close to new, I moved tires around to eliminate tire issues as a cause.

-I just installed a new bearing assebmly in the right front end

The CV joint boots are in good shape. I have no knocking or popping at extreme steering wheel deflecting running foreward or backward.

-To me that leaves the transfer case. Perhaps a spot on a gear with the hardfacing worn through?

Can I change the transfer case lube and add some kind of anti friction miracle goop to see if that makes a differece and confirms a transfer case rebuild/replacement is in order??

What else should I check?

Thanks ,


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Sounds like you could have a problem with the front differential, which sucks BTW.

Transfer case bolts to the transmission in a Ford Explorer SUV.

You had this problem before you replaced the wheel bearing and that did nothing ?

Yes, I replaced the wheel bearing assembly to elimate it as the cause.

OK, so what is next? Taking it to a shop is not possible financially. Replace the CV-joints? Transfer case? I see they run about $500.

Is this going to be a weekend home garage project? I am pretty handy and have worked as an auto mechanic in the past. Are there special tools needed? Just buy a transfer case on line and install it?

How do I decide which one? I see there are several to choose from. Is there a database I should use to pick the right one?

Can I take out the front drive shafts? I see no reason for full time AWD. IMHO it is a stupid idea. I envision removing the transfer case and putting a cover plate where it was. Is this possible?
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More information

I got under there and looked around carefully. The front diff is leaking a little. It is wet around the driver's side CV joint seal and the input shaft seal.

I guess I should change the gear oil and make sure it is full? Second, should I mess with friction modifiers? At shis point I am more hoping to diagnose the issue than perminaltly solve the problem.

Does one fill these until the overflow at the filler?

check it , and refill with fresh, friction modifiers are not required it is an open diff, not a ls .

check absolutely everything, brakes and all, on the right front before taking it all apart , put the Ex up on stands all 4 wheels, and put it in gear to see if that helps,,

....Can I take out the front drive shafts?Yes, you can. But unless the noise is originating in a driveshaft component, removal of the shaft will not eliminate it. I see no reason for full time AWD. IMHO it is a stupid idea.AWD is actually a pretty good idea, for those unable to physically cope with the old style manual transfer case/decision-making process for snow, mud, etc. The main problem with the concept used, the "viscous clutch", is that it was an inexpensive way out. To operate more reliably, a third mechanical differential is really a much better design approach. I envision removing the transfer case and putting a cover plate where it was. Is this possible?[COLOR="Blue" No, not unless you intend to leave the vehicle standing around in disuse forever.[/COLOR]


Maybe the front diff is in need of rebuilding? (Carrier/pinion bearings/seals, outer axle bearings and seals?

Oh, and yeah, trying to remove the t-case is a bad idea. If you really feel you have no need for AWD/4wd, then sell it and buy a 2wd Explorer. They shouldn't be too hard to find in CA.

Also, don't get the "bright" idea to yank the front driveshaft either:

You also can NOT just remove the front cv axles and drive around that way, as the front wheel bearings will promptly tear themselves apart, and you will watch one or both of your front wheels fall off and pass you by. This assumes you're not already upside down and fire, ya know from catastrophic wheel bearing failure at highway speed.

Yeah, I wish I had bought a 2WD. Very little was available at the time. The Cash for Clunkers program had destroyed a lot of used cars. Out here the price of any decent used car skyrocketed. I have a real 4WD for real 4wd driving, a 1970 Toyota Land cruiser. It will go anywhere a non tracked vehicle can go. This AWD explorer is an odd machine. Full time high range four wheel drive. I can not see andy reason to have that. Maybe a person from snow or ice country that does not know much about driving? Dunno...It seems to me that the front and rear wheels are going to be fighting each other all the time. Is what why the milage is unusually poor? It also seems these units have more than their share of mechainincal problems.
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205k miles here and the only problem I've ever had are a couple wheel bearings and ball joints.
My timing cover is also seeping a little coolant now, but all the powertrain is factory original.

I think I can drive pretty decent but where I come from a 2wd Exploder is useless as **** on a bull we use the AWD to go where we need to when it snows, we also have tracked vehicles called sleds that we use.

Poor gas mileage ? Eh its a V8 thing. Full time 4wd does not help I guess, but its good to know that your in locked and loaded in the right gear when the times comes.
I personally dont go for buttons, switches and lights for 4wd, and my wife doesnt go for levers and lockouts so here we are.
Never been let down, stuck or stranded in my 99 and to me thats a good thing.

I guess in my travels working on junk I have driven those clapped out and junk Explorers and my condolences go out to you if you bought one of those.
My 99 with all its miles is not clapped or junky looking or driving I drove a 99 Sport in very nice shape with only 95k miles and it made me wish I was driving a 1974 Granada. And I normally drive a Jeep so I'm use to weird driving vehicles.

Getting all 4 wheels off the ground and running it would be a good start, how does the front wheel feel when you turn it by hand ?
Removing the diff cover for inspection would also be a good idea as well.

It is a very nice looking car. The previous owner took care of it. It is not abused and nasty.

I did have the rear lift gate door crap out. The hinges and hinge attachments are inadequate. That was very expensive. A couple months after the new lift gate and hinges were professionally installed, $2-grand, it is again creaking and acting weird.

My previous Explorer died of plastic intake manifold disease. The 4WD never worked properly.

I wish I could afford a better quality car. IMHO these are poorly designed and only meant last a little while. They then very expensive to repair. Many aspects of it stink of cheap and shoddy. It was my poor judgement that caused this pickle.

Back to business. I changed all of the fluids. Trannie, both diffs and the transfer case. It made no difference. We are back to put it on a rack and see what is out of balance. That is next.

Turning at extreme limits of the steering is smooth. There are not hitches in steering wheel movement. Backing and going foreward with the steering all the way over does not make the CV joints clunk or pop.
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