Mechanics

NOISE: FRONT LEFT SIDE

1997 Ford Explorer

Noises problem
1997 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 115000 miles

I have a 97 Ford Explorer 4.0L, Automatic 4WD. I recently changed some front end parts.

I added:

New shocks
New Upper ball joints
New Lower ball joints
New Inner Tie rods
New outer tie rods

Then I had a shop do a front end alignment.

I also had a new quieter muffler put on.

Well now I can hear everything on the explorer and I've recently began hearing two sounds from the front left/driver side wheel area. Sometimes it sounds like a thumping sound as if something is hitting the floor board area. It is more noticable when hitting bumps. However, just today I noticed the thumping sound seemed to get faster as my speed increased. I have also been hearing a whining/whirling/squeeling sound from the tire area. I was thinking it was a wheel bearing going bad, but the high pitched noise only lasts for a few seconds and then quits. I also inspected the tire for any knots to explain the thumping sound but I can't find any deformity to the tire. I looked under the explorer at the wheel area and checked to make sure all the new front end parts I put on were still secure and hadn't worked loose and I didn't see any problems. Everything was still tight. I can shake the truck up and down to inspect the new shock and it performs fine, no noise. It only occurs when moving. The steering seems ok, no jerks or hesitations.

Any ideas what this might be? I know it could cause the high pitch noise but could a wheel bearing cause the thumping noise? Thanks for the help.
Avatar
Steadyhand
December 20, 2009.



It could be a bearing. Does the sound change when you make turns?

Negative, it does not change. Every now and then I hear a higher pitch noise like something rubbing. It stays the same when turning or going straight. The thump sound remains the same as well and it is the most common noise I hear. I hear the thumping sound all the time and it gets faster when I speed up. The high pitch noise rarely happens, at least for now.

Tiny
Steadyhand
Dec 23, 2009.
As far as the high pitch noise, make sure the brakes are good and it's not the brake sensor. Also, check the backing plate behind the rotor to make sure it isn't bent, rusted. And rubbing the rotor. As for the thump, if it changes with the speed, it is either a wheel bearing, tire, u-joint, or CV joint. Try rotating the tires to see if the sound changes locations. If it doesn't change, check the u-joints and CV joints. If they are good, chances are it is a wheel bearing.

Let me know what you find.

Joe