Mechanics

REAR END VIBRATION/RUMBLE/

2002 Ford Explorer

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2002 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 117000 miles

At about 60-65mph on up there's vibration/roar I feel is coming from the rear end. I've changed front rotors, turned rear rotors. Installed new u-joints and 2 new rear tires chasing this prob. Initially I had to have the trans rebuilt with solenoid packs and a new converter. The vibration is definitely in the drive line. It's more pronounced on acceleration. At speed 70 mph I can shift into nuetral and still have the vib until I get below 60mph. I've read numerous prob's with this on the internet but, have not found no sure fix. Ford had a number of TSB's on this but, I cannot find their fix. Do you know of this prob? And have you seen a fix?
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Captrivers
January 19, 2008.



Late model Explorers has problems with both the differentials and the wheel bearings in the rear end. My bet would be on the wheel bearings, since the vehicle has a vibration. Most of the differential problems were only a loud howl unless it was ignored for a long time. Then the pinion bearings in the differential may cause a vibration. Check them both and post back you findings. If you need any other info you can poat here or PM me.
Dave

Tiny
Flexy5
Jan 19, 2008.
Thanks, I'll keep you posted

Tiny
Captrivers
Jan 21, 2008.
I am making a trip at the end of the month. About 700 miles one way. Do you think the truck will be ok. Or will I cause more damage.

Tiny
Captrivers
Jan 21, 2008.
You need to have it looked at. If it's the wheel bearings safety is a concern. If it is the differential, you could damage more than just the pinion bearings. If it were mine, I would have it fixed first.
Dave

Tiny
Flexy5
Jan 21, 2008.
OK,
Before I had the trans rebuilt the vibration was there. They claimed to have installed a new converter. Would a converter cause this. And how can I get that checked?

Tiny
Captrivers
Jan 22, 2008.
Probably not since torque converter vibrations tend to be more in line with RPM instead of speed. Also if you put the vehicle in neutral it brings the RPMs down to about 1200 which should eliminate the vibration if it were the torque converter.

Tiny
Flexy5
Jan 25, 2008.
Thanks, that is good info.
I had the driveshaft balanced yestarday. The truck feels smoother but, I still have the same vib. Can the prob be in the shafts going to each wheel?

Tiny
Captrivers
Jan 26, 2008.
I personally have never changed a half shaft on an explorer for this concern, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't happen. If you pull them out you should be able to tell by wiggling the cv shafts. If they're loose they may need replacing. At the same time, you can also inspect the wheel bearings. Keep up the questions 8) I like a good challenge : wink:

Tiny
Flexy5
Jan 26, 2008.
At my regular shop that does most of my work on my cars and my company cars, claimed to have listened to the wheels and rear end. And said they sounded ok. I guess I'll listen to them myself. Can I check the half shafts on the truck?

Tiny
Captrivers
Jan 27, 2008.
You can, but it's a little tricky. You'll need to support the vehicle on all four corners. Make sure that it is safely supported. The further out on the suspension you can get the supports, the better. This will make the vehicle suspension as close as it will get to where it sits when it rides on the ground. Then you can start the vehicle and put it in gear. If you so not have a all-wheel drive transfer case, this will set off the ABS light. Just ignore it for now. It is safest when someone else is sitting still in the car ready to hit the brakes should something happen. You should be able to they listen to both the left and right sides to see if you can hear the same vibration that occurs at high speeds. You can also look at the halfshafts from the rear and see if there is any hopping. There will be a little hop from the center shaft, but if it seems to severe (or different from side to side) then you can choose to replace that halfshaft. You can also listen for the howl of the rear differential. If it is really loud, then you may have some bearing damage or a pinion/ring gear concern. There for a while I was replacing one gear set a week on the explorers for a howl. If the front pinion bearing gets bad enough then it will cause a growl. This is how most shops will diagnose potential driveline noises. Just remember to be overly cautious and don't lay down in front of the wheels just in case something were to happen. After you are done listening, have the person slowly press the brake until all the wheels stop. Then turn the car off and put it in park. This eliminates the chance of the trans jerking enough to knock the vehicle off the stands. Just remember to be extra carefull. I can't stress that enough. It always made me nervous to do this test and I did it on a regular basis. If you need anything else, just give a shout.
Dave

Tiny
Flexy5
Jan 27, 2008.
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