Since the fluid looks good I would eliminate other possibilites before spending the money on the transmission. If the noise sounds like it is coming from the wheel area, the axles or wheel bearing probably need replacement. If the axles have never been replaced, that is more than likely the problem. Bearings tend to las a long time unless they see svere use.
Front axles are not too hard to replace. There might be a tutorial on this site to walk you through it. Although it will be generic and sometimes all wheel drive vehicles can take a little more time as there are more compnents involved.
Go online and get either re-maned or new axles and look for a good brand. A1 Cardone and Beck Arnley are 2 reputable aftermarket remanufacturers. There are links on this site to help you find parts shops that are reputable near you if you want to buy them at a store. This can be advantasgeous in case something happens like a defective or inccorect part being sent. Also replace the axle seals and tranny fluid at the same time. When you change the tranny fluid, use a clean pan and when you have drainned the fluid into a cojntainer, leave just a bit of the fluid in the pan and inspect it for small metallic particles. Don't panic, failure is not imminent, some meatl is normal but al lot or large particles should be soething to look at and addrress if need be.
To replace the axles you will need a lrage socket and impact wrench or breaker bar. If you don't have these, take it to a repair shop as not having the right tools and a manual for specifications like torque and capacities, can create a big problem. The site can guide you to a reputable repair shop as well.
Hope this helps.
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 1:07 AM