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Ratttling and Clunking Noise

neftali45

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Vi-Lou!
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'99 XLT 4L V6
Hello,

My name is Neftali Palma and I own a 1999 Explorer XLT OHV. I had been experiencing issues with a clunking and rattling sort of noise coming from one of the wheels. It finally got to worse and the noise grew the loudest. I removed the hubcap off the driver's front wheel and out comes out the middle piece that is surrounded by the lug nuts. Not only that but a pin and a nut comes out. I was close to home so I took the nut out and popped the metal cover back on the middle of the wheel and pressed the hubcap back in. What is going on.
 


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bobflood

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1997 Eddie Bauer V8 2WD
Hello,

My name is Neftali Palma and I own a 1999 Explorer XLT OHV. I had been experiencing issues with a clunking and rattling sort of noise coming from one of the wheels. It finally got to worse and the noise grew the loudest. I removed the hubcap off the driver's front wheel and out comes out the middle piece that is surrounded by the lug nuts. Not only that but a pin and a nut comes out. I was close to home so I took the nut out and popped the metal cover back on the middle of the wheel and pressed the hubcap back in. What is going on.

Sounds like a wheel bearing failure. 2WD or 4WD?? If 2WD, the first piece was the dust cap, then the cotter pin and nut that actually hold the hub on the spindle. The hub and wheel should come right off, so you should not drive it any farther until you fix it. If 4WD, I don't know because i don't have one.
 




RomeovilleIL

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DO NOT DRIVE UNTIL FIXED! Your tire is only being held on by friction and the brakes. It will fall off when driving if not fixed.

From your description you have 2WD instead of 4WD. That nut should be bolted down with the pin going through the middle to keep it from backing off. At a MINIMUM put the nut back on tight and replace the cotter pin - there is a hole in the center bolt that will be exposed when the nut is all the way on that the pin goes through. Bend the corners of the pin sideways to keep it from falling out again. If you drove very far on it without the nut the bearing may be damaged and need replacing/repacking.
 




neftali45

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yes it is a 2WD and I drove it 10 miles and then at the 4th mile I pulled over and opened the hubcap and took off the loose bolt and pin and kept driving it is parked now. Should I just torque it back in?
 




bobflood

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yes it is a 2WD and I drove it 10 miles and then at the 4th mile I pulled over and opened the hubcap and took off the loose bolt and pin and kept driving it is parked now. Should I just torque it back in?

Nope - per the other response you are lucky the whole wheel didn't come off!! If you have to take it somewhere to fix it, do as the other post said and replace the nut and cotter pin (there should have been a "castle" over the nut that the cotter pin goes in to keep the nut from turning). If it was already making noise, you almost certainly have to replace the inner and outer bearings, and maybe the whole hub - depending on damage. You are very lucky!
 




neftali45

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how much does that cost around. I guess I was scared I drove less than 20miles an hour. *Sigh* Do you think this would have to do anything with an alignment I just had on it.??
 




bobflood

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1997 Eddie Bauer V8 2WD
how much does that cost around. I guess I was scared I drove less than 20miles an hour. *Sigh* Do you think this would have to do anything with an alignment I just had on it.??

Cost will depend on amount of damage, where you are located, and who does the work. Worst case, you have to replace hub, both bearings/seal, and spindle. Best case, you can reuse spindle and hub and just replace bearings and inner seal. The bearing races can be pressed out of the hubs, which does give a better chance that hub can be recovered. An alignment should not have caused this, as there is generally no reason to mess around with the hub for an alignment.
 




my98nnj

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Put the nut back on, torque it correctly and reinstall a new cotter pin.
If it drives OK, your in luck. If you start to hear any strange noises, you might have a bad hub/bearing.
 




bobflood

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Put the nut back on, torque it correctly and reinstall a new cotter pin.
If it drives OK, your in luck. If you start to hear any strange noises, you might have a bad hub/bearing.

I repsectfully disagree. OP has already had bad noises, and the nut has come off. He didn't mention either the castle cover or the big washer behind the nut, so not sure if either/both are missing. This needs to disassembled and inspected before he starts driving normally.
 




RomeovilleIL

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The clunking was very likely the nut and cover banging around under the hubcap. I'd go with my98nnj's suggestion - first and foremost put the nut back on and replace the cotter pin (it is very likely broken or wouldn't have come out in the first place - they cost ten cents).

After you have it tightened down, raise the tire off the ground with your jack and check for play. The tire should turn freely with no noise or play. Hold the tire on the sides at 9/3 and try to move side to side. It should be solid. Assuming everything checks out, take a test drive in a parking lot. Make a few slow sharp turns and figure 8's. If there is damage you will notice it very quickly in the form of squealing, grinding noises, vibration, or loose play in the wheel. If nothing appears, you may be in the clear. Pay attention over the next few days driving for any noticable changes. If anything comes up have it checked at a garage.

Edit - Since you arent familiar a little FYI on cotter pins: they should go all the way through the hole and stick out at least 1/2 inch on other side. You then bend down the two halves sticking out to keep the pin from backing out of the hole.
 








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