Grinding on turns, bad shaking, wheel paly... | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Grinding on turns, bad shaking, wheel paly...


Well-Known Member
September 11, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Windham, Maine
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT 250k miles
1993 Explorer XLT 4x4 249k miles.


-When driving 0mph - 75+ the steering wheel shakes, the front end vibrates, the whole truck does....
-There is atleast 2" of play turning the wheel back and forth.
-Turning right there is a grinding/growling, vibration, right wheel grabs sometimes. When this happens the wheel doesn't return like it should. But this doesn't always happen.
-Power steering fluid (ATF) leaks all over the pitman shaft 1/4 quart every oil change.

What's been done recently:

-Radius arm brackets and busings (239k)
-Brakes all around (240k)
-Shocks all around (240k)
-Full tuneup (245k)
-Passenger side wheel bearing (week ago)
-Rear spring shackles (239k)

It doesn't get worse with braking. The noise / rumble / vibration gets faster with speed. Ball joing and steering components all seem to be tight (havn't had the wheels off the ground to really test. But pushed the truck side to side HARD and ball joints didn't move.

It growls / grinds pretty good when the wheels are turned lock to lock parked. When wheels are turned lock to lock parked the axle shafts turn?

Really stumped here!

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If the last time these things were done was 140K, and it's at 240+K now, don't assume they're still okay after 100K. Re-check the shocks, bushings, brakes, etc. You also might want to check your work on the wheel bearing, and check the other side too. All it takes is a little bit of looseness to get vibration at high speeds.

A fair bit of steering wheel play is common on pitman type steering systems, vs. rack and pinion systems which are pretty tight.

You won't be able to tell if the ball joints are loose without jacking the truck up and wobbling the wheel/tire top and bottom, or taking a long bar and prying up on the bottom of the tire. Chances are pretty good at least the bottom joints need replacing if it's never been done.

I'd also suggest checking out the bushings on the steering linkage, they do need to be lubed regularly with a grease gun for smooth steering. If theres one that's seized or binding, it'll make for rough steering, power steering or no.

The pump might be ok even if it's leaking a bit, but if everything else is tight and good, it may be a hydraulic issue and the pump might need to be replaced.

Damn sorry for the typo!

I meant 240k!

Thanks for the info.

Soon as the rain lets up I'm going to go dink around more.

X2 and like he said I'd check the wheel bearings, also is it 4 wheel or 2 wheel drive?

X2 and like he said I'd check the wheel bearings, also is it 4 wheel or 2 wheel drive?

4 Wheel drive baby!

I dont see why the wheel bearing would make the noise with the truck in park going lock to lock....

Oh I didnt see that you said it was in park:eek: Hows the power steering fluid level?

Well piss.

Got it off the ground and the passenger side ball joints are loose and drivers side wheel bearing is loose.