Went to look at a sport trac today, humming from front axle. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Went to look at a sport trac today, humming from front axle.


Well-Known Member
September 27, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
Richmond, BC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer XLT
A local wholesale dealer (which the prices don't seem to reflect their name) had a 2002 sport trac fully loaded, leather interior, sunroof, pioneer stereo, etc. any option, and it had it.

172,000km. Engine had none of that SOHC timing chain rattle. Started up fine and transmission was good.

Only issue was a humming noise, seemed to be coming from the drivers side front wheel bearings or even possibily from the front axle itself. Got louder up to about 50-60km/h and then you couldn't really hear it after that. More line a humming noice, not a whine or screech, maybe a little grinding but not much. Mostly humming.

I check, and the 4x4 sport tracs have the hub/bearing assembly as one unit. $140 from rockauto, not too bad. Easy problem I could fix, but I didn't let him know I would fix it. I planned to get a quote from an expensive shop and try and get the price down more. Listed was at $8995, internet price was $7995, and i got him down to $7500 due to the bearing issue.

Is the bearing/hub assy a common problem on sport tracs? Or could I be looking at something more serious like a front cv or the front axle itself? I didn't test the 4x4, didn't want to bring the truck back broken.

I'm hoping if it sits on the lot for a while i can get it down to 7000 or 6500 due to the bearing issue, because if someone test drives it, they should immediately hear that something isn't right.

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I had a wheel bearing go out on my old '05 Trac and it didn't have a lot miles on it, around 40,000 as I recall.

both my front wheel bearings went out at 75k but i wheeled it hard for about 10k

Im up to 2 left wheel bearings and one right and one front axle so far, rode hard for 258,000 kms. (160,000 miles) with 33" tires though. Likley the bearing, if the growl changes tone as you swerve back and forth its the bearing/hub assembly.

I know the ST's are known for front axle noise, sometimes it is normal, but I've but 3 left and 4 right wheel bearings on mine, went to utah and wheeled hard for 6 months with the army.

Yea i know. I'm interested in getting a sport trac soon, or possibly a black 02-03 explorer, Sport trac I know i'd love. Its like a mega ford ranger lifted with 4 doors and back seats!

But i'm going to try and find one for a decent price that doesn't need any immediate work. After driving a friend's sport trac before, it felt like due to the wheelbearing going, i had to push the engine a little harder to cruise.

Plus the leather interior was beat on the truck I went to look at. Something else will come up.

I plan to take a cross canada trip with my explorer in a couple months (Vancouver, to Gaspe), after which point my truck will have over 300,000 km on it. At which point after I get the trip paid off i'll be looking for a newer explorer for a DD.