Wheel bearing or rear differential? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Wheel bearing or rear differential?


July 23, 2006
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City, State
Wilmington, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
'02 XLT
02 XLT 4.6 V8

"woo woo woo" sound coming from the rear. Is this a wheel bearing or rear differential issue? I have read in this forum many others having the same rear end noise but no one is mentioning if the sound is a constant hum or the woo woo sound I am getting. Any help is appreciated.

Check brakes could also be a rotor thats warped.

Wheel bearings - can you change the pitch in turns? As you load/unload a wheel in a turn the noise should get worse or less. Example bad Right bearing (passenger side) in a hard left turn you put more weight on the right bearing and the noise should get worse; hard right turn you take the weight off it should be quieter. They sound almost like riding on mud tires.

Diff's - the pitch will change in relation to the gas pedal, acceleration noise, lift off the gas and it goes away; it can work the other way to, but it will not change pitch in turns.

I had the Explorer checked out by the local Ford shop and the noise was my driverside wheel bearing. I also had the differential fluid change as a precaution.