Need your opinion on something

Transmissions and Rear Ends

  1. rcmaniac791

    rcmaniac791 Well-Known Member

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    So I'm going to start this by saying it's not fmj related, but it is automotive related.

    A buddy of mine has an '05 Furd Ranjer, 140,000 miles. It's been a pretty good truck for him, except now he's having this horrible noise coming from the front end (4WD). After joking with him that he shouldn't of bought a Furd, I rode in it yesterday, trying to figure out what could be screaming. Under acceleration, it has a rumble/groaning sound which goes away at 25 mph, but comes back at faster speeds. It occasionally clunks when he first accelerates, and when he is braking/coasting it sort of has the "tires squealing on slick concrete" sound. I crawled under there once we got back, and looked around. It has independent front suspension, with a CV joint (which appeared to be ok) going to each front tire. He told me he had the brakes done in January. I also rubbed my fingers under the diff cover and they came off covered in gear oil.

    Also, the whole time it's making noises, he's in 2WD. We never went into 4WD.

    Without knowing much more, I think it's either wheel bearings or something in the front diff. Could be lack of lubrication, especially with it leaking. He doesn't know the last time the front diff has been serviced.

    I thought I'd get y'all's opinion on it, just to see what you think.
     
  2. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    Could be a number of things. Check the driveshaft and u-joints for looseness which could cause a clunk on initial acceleration. Those trucks are also known for the clunk being caused by the splines on the slip yoke of the rear shaft. It's a stick/slip thing. Basically the splines bind up and when they finally move, clunk. The fix was (is) to lube the splines with a special grease from Ford. It's been awhile but remember it was a light blue moly grease of some sort. I believe it is a moly type CV joint grease.

    The front noise is most likely one of the wheel bearing/hub assy's. Jack the front end up and put one hand on the coil spring. Then spin the tire (by hand). If you feel any vibration in the spring the bearing is rough. Sounds strange but this method actually works very well to pinpoint a bearing noise. We don't change Ranger (or F-150 for that matter) bearings anywhere near as often as we do GM trucks but they do fail.

    It's possible the noise is from the front differential. I can't recall for sure right now but, don't think there's a front axle disconnect so the axle shafts, ring and pinion and front driveshaft turn while driving even in 2 wheel drive.
     
    rcmaniac791 and Justwondering like this.
  3. rcmaniac791

    rcmaniac791 Well-Known Member

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    Alright I'll let him know. Hopefully it won't be too difficult to diagnose, but at least we know where to start.
     
  4. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    The noise does sound like wheel/hub bearings.

    I agree with Aspen500 about spinning them.

    I also like to get weight off of the tire, then grab tire at 3 and 9 o’clock and move tire side to side feeling for play.
    There will be a small minute amount, but it if feels more than that, then do it again while watching back side of wheel (having a helper helps), to check for play in joints, tie rod ends, etc. If no play then go to next step.
    Next grab tire at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions and do the same thing. Again there should be a very minor amount of play present but anything other than that points to something is loose (ball joints, hub bearing, etc.).
    Generally, if tire feels tight both ways and no noise or roughness when turned, then I look elsewhere.

    I’m not familiar with Rangers - but sense it has a CV joint means it is a 4*4. Most 4*4’s have locking hubs (automatic or manual) – so CV joints, front differential and front driveshaft don’t rotate while driving (helps with component wear and fuel mileage.

    If vehicle does not have locking hubs, then any of those rotating components might be the cause of failure (or in addition to).