2003 Ford Expedition Noise, Flashing 4H and 4L lights

Tiny
MARKAN
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD EXPEDITION
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 95,000 MILES
Dealer has not been able to figure this out yet. So far, replaced 4WD front wheel actuators, vac. Resv, vac. Lines, solinoid, and ball joints.

In 2 wheel drive mode, I have an occasional grinding noise and more often a loud thump when accelerating from a stop and, now, even while driving. The noise comes from, most often, the front driver side wheel. The noise sounds like a rachet is spinning, spinning, spinning, then heavy thump, as if something catches (no handling difference or hesitation in car. Only rachet noise followed by thump.) The noise is identical to the noise one can produce when shifting from 4H to 4L (4L activated when 4L is selected and then car is put in neutral. Thump is 4WD gears shifting).

Typically, but not always, both the 4H and 4L dashboard lights flash, at the same time, just before the thump noises start. However, the lights can flash with no thump and the thump can happen without any lights flashing. There are no codes resulting from the flashing lights.

So far, extended warranty has taken care of the over $1000 bills to repair. But with the problem not repaired, the warranty co will start balking at the fix thinking that the dealer is just throwing darts at a dart board. Any ideas.
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Sunday, October 26th, 2008 AT 1:16 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok you mentioned the actuators and all but you didn't mention the shift motor. See when these fail they do the same thing and usually get stuck in 4x4 low and never comes out but I have seen them just fail to go in. It looks like this


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/249564_466160_1.jpg

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Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 AT 9:18 AM
Tiny
FORDEB
  • MEMBER
I kind of get the same sound from my 1997 expedition but it's my front right side, and when it happens the right front of the truck lifts up as if it's going into 4wd but the selector is still on 2wd. After trning off the engine, there seems to be a hissing noise as if air is leaking from the same front right side. Could it be some type of compressor issue from the 4wd malfunctioning or something? I could use some help in this matter myself.
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Thursday, November 27th, 2008 AT 9:46 PM
Tiny
PHILT2K3
  • MEMBER
While you're driving does it sound like a card in your bike spokes? If so most likely your 4WD hub actuator is losing vacuum due to a leak. May be a broken vacuum hose or a Leaking Hub Seal. The Hubs are spring actuated and are disengaged using engine vacuum. Which means it's most likely partially engaged. If you get under the truck and look at the back on the hub you'll see a small black hose that attaches to a nipple on the hub, remove the hose and connect a vacuum pump to the nipple and pull vacuum and see if it holds vacuum for approximately 2 minutes. If so then you most likely have a bad vacuum hose
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Saturday, March 14th, 2015 AT 4:38 PM

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