Vibration and whine drivers side | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Vibration and whine drivers side


New Member
October 9, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
N. Tonawanda, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Explorer Sport
Hope you can help. loud whine and vibration on floor board above 15 mph. Removed drive shafts - u joints are all OK, front and rear dive shafts. Balance weights are on shafts.
Removed front shaft and drove vehicle. Noise still there. New hubs and calipers working OK. Raised front end and disconnected rear drive shaft. Put into 4 wheel. At 15 mph the drivers side makes a small klunk and the vibration and whine start. I stopped the driver side wheel (with my foot) and the noise goes away. Stopped passenger side wheel (with my foot) and the noise continues.. I placed my hand on the front differential and accelerated. When the noise started the differential rocked a little. Can't go far as it is bolted to the frame. ANY THOUGHTS AS TO WHAT IT CAN BE??




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Identical Sound

1998 Explorer 170,000 miles. Replaced both outer hub bearings (twice). Both 1/2 shafts (new) with the 2nd set of bearing hubs. Noise still there. But as you say, heard from inside of the vehicle. No change in sound when jumped on in wet conditions and all 4 tires are engaged. Sound is more prominent at lower speeds but tends to go the the drivers side at 65-70 mph. And when coming to a stop, more of a bad tire noise, whump, whump for lack of spelling the sound. Front pinion play is not out of the norm either. Front drive shaft good, removed for a test drive and still had same sound. No grinding, no "gear" sound. Good luck......

Vibration gone on 98 ford explorer sport 4x4

As a last resort, I took the driver side hub bearing off and low and behold it made a very small metal grinding sound as I spun it around. Still had 2 months warranty left on it so I took it back. They replaced it with a new one. Installed it and and hooked up the drive shafts. Went for a ride. I thought I owned a new SUV as the ride was great. Problem solved!! Original bearings were $135.00. LOVE MY EXPLORER. I'M WAITING FOR SOME WILD SNOW STORMS. WE GET A FEW AROUND BUFFALO. THANKS FOR YOUR SUGGESTIONS. HAPPY TRAILS

Sweet glad you got it fixed!!! I have kind of a vibration and maybe thats what mine is I have done both half shafts and things to so......

torque question

Happy to hear it was the bearing. How much did you torque the bearings. Spec is 175-214 ft lbs. Just curious.

Hub bearing torque

My best calculation is 200 ft/pounds. My pneumatic wrench won't go any higher than that.

Sweet glad you got it fixed!!! I have kind of a vibration and maybe thats what mine is I have done both half shafts and things to so......
I put the vehicle up on jacks with 4 wheel on. Had a friend accelerate (no higher than 35mph or the tires could blow) and used my foot on each tire to stop rotation, one at a time. The bad side stopped vibrating when the wheel stopped spinning. That will help you determine which side is the problem. Listening with your ear you can't tell which side it is. I thought it was the passenger side, turned out to be the driver side. Good luck.

PS. I only did this on the front end.

(no higher than 35mph or the tires could blow)

Tires are spun faster than that even when they balance them. They won't blow. You can go 100MPH on tires with several thousand pounds on them and the torque to push the truck all through them at the same time.

Running tires of the ground

Not to beat a dead horse... The Ford Service Manual suggests that you go no faster than 35 mph when the tires are off the ground. This distorts the tires when you are testing the front end for problems. And yes the tire balancer travels about 65 mph. The machine has a cover that goes over the wheel in case the tire lets go.

Very true. Reasons for covers, and isn't safe at all when you are next to it on stands either. :) (At speed anyways) That would be dumb on any ones part.