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Strange Rumbling from Front End


New Member
January 16, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Buffalo, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 Ford Explorer
Hi Guys,

I have a 2004 Explorer and recently, there is a rumbling that is coming from my front end, more specifically the drivers side,and it sounds very similar to what over sized tires sound like when they are on a truck. It happens only when I turn right, but when my tires are turned left, there is no rumbling at all. It is progressively getting worse, so I would like to fix it as soon as possible. I am going to check out it out this weekend, but I was hoping you might be able to give me your opinions.

Thanks all.

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Absolutely wheel bearing. There is a great thread on here how to change out, I just did both of mine, one twice in about 3 days because the new bearing seals went out and it went bad in 3 days. Not nearly as difficult as it sounds. Buy a deeply offset 15mm wrench (I bought a whole set of deeply offset wrenches at harbor freight for about $15), get a loaner hub puller, loaner 30mm socket, and loaner torque wrench (assuming you have none of these)from the parts store where you buy the new bearing and it goes pretty well. The trick I found is, assuming that the axle shaft can move freely in the bearing, is to use your hand to push the shaft in a little way and you can easily get the wrench on the 3 bolts holding the bearing hub assembly onto the car. I've got it down to about 25 minutes from pulling hub cap to snapping it back on.

+1. I've had the same problem and changed it out myself in less than 2 hours. Real easy to do with a hub puller and a set of ball joint separators.

Quick question...when the hum goes away is it because you turn into the bad bearing or away. I hear the hum and turn slightly right and the hum goes away...which bearing is bad?

Tough to say. You have to identify it by sound, could be either one if you're trying to figure which way turning it makes it louder or softer.

Quick question...when the hum goes away is it because you turn into the bad bearing or away. I hear the hum and turn slightly right and the hum goes away...which bearing is bad?

Check both bearings, if one is shot the other is probably in line right behind it. When mine went out it showed all the signs of the right side being the culprit, but it turned out to be the left.

use heat

As I read on here on another post turning the steering wheel will help you to reach the bolts easier.....MUCH easier!! My husband used a map gas (little torch) to heat the bolts while he unscrewed them and that helped more than you know. He spent quite a while yesterday trying to loosen them with no luck and with the heat he had all three out in 15mins.

We were hearing a seriously loud clanking/grinding noise coming from what we thought was the front drivers side. We were sure that it was the hub assembly since we recently had to change the drivers side rear. We replaced the front this morning and the noise is still there. Now we're thinking it's the cv joint but not sure. How can I tell without changing it? this process of elminiation is getting expensive!!! we can't take it anywhere to get looked at since the noise is so severe that is sounds like the wheel will fall off at any minute. The noise does seem to get worse when you turn the wheel in any direction and the wheel seems to get stuck. any ideas??