Rubbing/humming sound from front left tire on right curves | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Rubbing/humming sound from front left tire on right curves

05_Sport_Trac

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January 8, 2016
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Ford Explorer ST
Hello all, I've never seen a forum like this before. Exciting to see people who love the Sport Trac. I wave when I can on the road.

Anyways, I've got an issue I was hoping one of you may know something about. I drive an '05 Sport Trac with 137,000 miles on it.

The Issue
When I'm on a freeway ramp that curves to the right I get a rubbing/humming sound that comes from the front left tire. I can sort of feel it as well as hear it. It persists whether accelerating or cruising and whether braking or not. I can also replicate the sound if I weave (nothing intense either) a little bit while driving straight. When the weight swings to the left as I'm turning slightly to the right I can hear it.

Relevant Info
I have taken the truck in to my local mechanic who checked out the bearing and he said it looked fine. He repacked it and put it back in but that didn't fix the problem. When I brought it back he replaced the bearings and that didn't fix anything either.

I had a broken sway bar link for a little bit (left side) and had it repaired. The issue was not any different after the repair.

I just replaced the tires today and the issue still remains. My front tires were rather worn, particularly the front left.
(Irrelevant detail: Had Michelin LTX M/S's on it and replaced with M/S2's. The M/S's were fantastic and like the M/S2's so far.)

I did some measuring of the distance between the tops of the front tires and the very highest part of the wheel well (the outside edge of it). Imagine the top of the wheel and the top of the wheel well (the outside edge part that's visible). I measured the distance between the two.
The left tire seems to have about 6 inches between it and the top of the arch of the wheel well, whereas the right tire has a slightly smaller distance of a little over 5 inches. I'm not sure if this is helpful, but I figured it may be relevant.

Also, I do not hear anything if I make a right turn at an intersection where I turn the wheel a lot. It seems to only happen when on curves and sweeping rights.

Ford Dealer
I want to take it to my Ford dealer since the local guy (who is quite good in my opinion) couldn't figure it out. However, I haven't been pleased with the prices there and don't have confidence they'll be able to fix it on the first try.

Does anyone have any ideas besides the bearing or worn tire? I would appreciate any ideas.

Oh, here's a pic of my Sport Trac.

kdyPQcx.jpg
 



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do you feel the noise in the seat, the floor, or the steering wheel?

jack up your truck by the frame, so that the suspension hangs freely. Grab the tire and try to wiggle it back and forth, first from the top and bottom, then from side to side. side to side play suggests a bad tie rod, top to bottom means a bad ball joint.

check to see if your cooling fan is rubbing anywhere on the shroud. a bracket may be broken, or possibly one or multiple of your body mounts have collapsed.

these are all things that I would think a good mechanic would check, but I've been wrong....
 






do you feel the noise in the seat, the floor, or the steering wheel?

jack up your truck by the frame, so that the suspension hangs freely. Grab the tire and try to wiggle it back and forth, first from the top and bottom, then from side to side. side to side play suggests a bad tie rod, top to bottom means a bad ball joint.

check to see if your cooling fan is rubbing anywhere on the shroud. a bracket may be broken, or possibly one or multiple of your body mounts have collapsed.

these are all things that I would think a good mechanic would check, but I've been wrong....

I suppose I feel the noise most closely to the floor, but it's not very strong. It's definitely not strong enough to be felt up through the seat and there is no vibrating/hum coming through the steering wheel. I would have to say that I hear it more than anything.

Thank you for those tips, I'm hoping it won't be an expensive fix.
 






I think the tire is rubbing the inner fender on turns. Take off the tire and look at the inner fender for rub spots. Maybe a week shock could cause the front to drop in turns. How old are the shocks? Dave P.
 






Watch video. That's my 2002 Trac.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEqtT8WKEJk

Take your front wheels off and check for vertical and lateral play like I did in the video. If you're seeing more tire wear on one side than the other your alignment is off. Ball joints alone may or may not fix the alignment. If they don't the control arm bushings need to be replaced. I'm in the process of sourcing used front control arms so that I can install polyurethane bushings and swap my Moog ball joints over (or get new ones if I have extra $$ to play with). My right front tire is getting chewed up. If the control arm bushings are bad you can't get an aligmnent done.

11215837_10153312173538178_7495305503619041535_n.jpg


Bad ball joint.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af0jCrSH6sU
 






If your tie rods, sway bar, and other suspension parts are on solid and proper, check out that rubber mud flap skirt that covers the engine and is held on by those plastic Xmas tree style clips. One time mine came loose at a few clips, but b/c that rubber is so stiff, it stayed propped up like it was attached, but when I would turn left, it would lean over and rub on my tire. I couldn't figure that noise out for a few days until I started pulling on the rubber skirt.

Also, usually if the tire is rubbing anything, get a bright light and look for scuff marks. The usual places for tire rub are the sway bar, inner fender directly being the foglight, or the corner of the grey cladding right under the driver door. You may also want to see if your suspension is sagging and not holding up its end of the bargain. Do a search on torsion bars. Good luck!
 












Might be a bad tire. Rotate the tiresm
 






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