Clunking

Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • 2002 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4.0L
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 223,000 MILES

Just recently I noticed when slowing down I would feel a repeated clunking, I would not hear anything and it does not affect the performance at all, it still shifts and accelerates just fine. No lights are on or flashing, it does it with o/d on or off, and with the air conditioner on or off. I hope it is not the transmission going out, I cannot check the transmission fluid because it is one of those maintenance free transmission. I do not know if the differential fluid needs changed or if that would have anything to do with it. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, Thanks.

Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Thursday, August 11th, 2016 AT 2:21 PM

24 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,153 POSTS

Is it coming from the rear end?Has it been a really long time since the rear end fluid has been changed?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, August 11th, 2016 AT 4:33 PM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

I cannot really tell were it is coming from, it is like running over small bumps in the road repeatedly, it makes the truck jerk slightly, as for the rear differential fluid I am not sure, I have had front wheel drive cars all my life, this is the first rear wheel drive/four wheel drive vehicle I have had, I am not even sure when I am supposed to change it. If I had to guess I would say it probably needs changed.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, August 12th, 2016 AT 5:09 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,153 POSTS

You change the fluid every 50,000 miles when the fluid gets moisture and age it can cause clunking in the rear end. The first thing you need to do is see if it is the rear end.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, August 12th, 2016 AT 7:09 AM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

Okay, and is there a front differential that needs changed? If so I will change both and see if that helps the problem. I am just afraid it is the transmission because I do not know how to check it.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, August 12th, 2016 AT 7:45 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,153 POSTS

If you have four wheel drive yes there is a front one also. Make sure you call Ford because there are different rear ends and front ends that need different fluid and a additive.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, August 12th, 2016 AT 12:10 PM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

Ok, I was wondering what type to use, do you think since its got some mileage on it and god knows if it's ever been changed if I should get some lucas for it?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, August 12th, 2016 AT 1:58 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
  • 10,163 POSTS

Have you checked the u-joints on either end of the drive shaft?

Gonna leave you a few pics,

1-2) a pump you can get for $5-$7 at a parts store to make it ez-ier to install the fluid (disregard the type I'm using SATURNTECH9 will tell you what you need)

3-4) checking a u-joint, chock wheels, put it in neutral

I'll let y'all continue!

The Medic

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, August 12th, 2016 AT 3:15 PM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

The u-joints were one thing I thought about, thanks for the images, I'm new to the 4wd drivetrain, hopefully it one of the two, I got kinda confused thought, I asked a ford dealership what type of differential fluid to use and he asked for the last 8 digits of the vin and looked it up and told me to use 80-90 on both front and rear, but autozone's computer recommended a different type, which do you think I should use? And should it be synthetic limited slip? Thanks.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, August 12th, 2016 AT 5:07 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,153 POSTS

I would go with what Ford tells you also you need to ask Ford if you need to add there additive for limited slip for the front or the rear. Also I use Valvoline synthetic gear oil when I change rear end fluid. Usually when a u joint is that bad it will make noise when putting it in drive with your foot on the brake. But check the u joints.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, August 12th, 2016 AT 6:57 PM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

Got ya, thanks for your help, I'll let you know what I find out.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, August 13th, 2016 AT 4:52 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,153 POSTS

Sounds good you can use the Valvoline synthetic gear oil in front differential as well

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, August 13th, 2016 AT 7:17 AM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

Looks like it's the rear u-joint, it has some play in it, it should be an easy job, if I can unbolt the yoke from the rear axle that is, but if all goes well it's gonna save me $$$$$$$$$ in labor, I'll just have to get the drive shaft rebalanced.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 AT 5:34 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,153 POSTS

Glad you found it I would still replace the fluid as well just for maintenance.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 AT 5:55 AM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

Oh I am, I may even change the transfer case fluid too while its warm weather, do you think the u-joints will last about a week when I get the parts? It's only been like this for about a week. I don't drive it a lot and when I do its only to work and the store, my work is about 5-6 miles. I don't do any highway travel either.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 AT 6:05 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,153 POSTS

If there isn't too much play in it I would think it could last especially if you don't drive much.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 AT 6:12 AM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

Ok, thanks for all your help, I'll let you know how it goes.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 AT 6:22 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,153 POSTS

Your welcome sounds good

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 AT 7:44 AM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

I called around some places and a standard u -joint is $16.00?? Loving that, but one thing Im confused on is how many I need to replace, I was figuring two (one at the rear axle and one towards the tranny) like on a ford ranger, but meineke said I would typically only have to replace the one at the rear axle, and napa told me that they could be pressed on to were a shop would have to take em off, what do you think?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 AT 1:37 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,153 POSTS

I would replace both because of the mileage on the Vechile. Next question is your Vechile subject to salt and snow on the road?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 AT 1:53 PM
Tiny
TMCINTOSH11
  • MEMBER

No, right now it's dry (except for a rain spell) I won't be seeing snow until around december or maybe January, I don't know how much snow and salt it drove over before I bought it, I was told the previous owner was a farmer, which is more than likely right because there was a lot of hay to clean out of the back. There is a good deal of rust on the yoke and rear axle tho.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 AT 2:32 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides