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Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator 1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer

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Old 07-21-2003, 01:45 PM
dunsterj dunsterj is offline
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Front drive shaft CV

Has anybody replaced their front drive shaft due to problems with the CV joint by the transfer case?

Thanks
98 5.0 Eddie w/AWD
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:27 AM
JP Arizona JP Arizona is offline
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I just replaced my front drive shaft with a non-Ford model. After 97, Ford bolted the front differential to the frame and put in CV 1/2 shafts. Along with these changes, they went to a new style front driveshaft that has a CV style joint at the transfer case that replaces the U-Joint function as well as the slip joint of a conventional drive shaft.

I was starting to get a little "clunk-clunk" sound from the front and found that the CV joint at the transfer case was starting to get a little slop in it.

Ford wanted almost $500 for a replacement drive shaft and that was more than I felt like paying. No repair kit was available and remanufactured shafts are not readily available.

Was just about to have a custom shaft made at a local driveline shop when I found a replacement from Rockford. The new shaft is a conventional design, with 2 U-Joints and a slip joint. It dropped right in and was less than 1/2 the cost of a new shaft from Ford.

If you need to replace you frond drive shaft, give them a look at:
http://www.rockforddriveline.com

They have been building driveline components for a long time and I was very happy with them on this truck.

Regards ............. John
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Old 05-19-2004, 10:37 PM
Scott J Scott J is offline
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John,

I know this is an old thread, but I was doing a search. I'm having a similiar problem on my 98 Explorer AWD with the clunking noise. I'm pretty definite that I will have to get a replacement drive shaft, but I don't have $500 for Ford. I was wondering if you have had any problems since you bolted up that other drive shaft and if it is durable enough for AWD (which I have) as opposed to 4WD. I heard the CV joint style was better than U-joints. Thanks.

Scott

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Arizona
I just replaced my front drive shaft with a non-Ford model. After 97, Ford bolted the front differential to the frame and put in CV 1/2 shafts. Along with these changes, they went to a new style front driveshaft that has a CV style joint at the transfer case that replaces the U-Joint function as well as the slip joint of a conventional drive shaft.

I was starting to get a little "clunk-clunk" sound from the front and found that the CV joint at the transfer case was starting to get a little slop in it.

Ford wanted almost $500 for a replacement drive shaft and that was more than I felt like paying. No repair kit was available and remanufactured shafts are not readily available.

Was just about to have a custom shaft made at a local driveline shop when I found a replacement from Rockford. The new shaft is a conventional design, with 2 U-Joints and a slip joint. It dropped right in and was less than 1/2 the cost of a new shaft from Ford.

If you need to replace you frond drive shaft, give them a look at:
http://www.rockforddriveline.com

They have been building driveline components for a long time and I was very happy with them on this truck.

Regards ............. John
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Old 05-20-2004, 12:47 PM
JP Arizona JP Arizona is offline
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Scott,

I have had no problems with the Rockford front driveshaft and still feel like I made the right choice. I think that a more conventional style driveshaft works quite well in my 97 explorer.

You wondered if a CV style was "better" than a conventional style and if the conventional style shaft was durable enough for AWD. My experience with both types of driveshafts is that the conventional style with 2 u-joints and a slip joint will always last longer and is much cheaper to repair than a shaft that utilizes a CV joint. Since the Ford front driveshaft in these model years is not repairable at this time, it is a whole lot cheaper to repair the conventional shaft. In my humble opinion the Rockford driveshaft will hold up better on your AWD than the original Ford CV shaft. It may not be quite as smooth, but it should be stronger.

On the conventional shaft like the Rockford, you can replace both u-joints for less than $30 and as long as you put a little grease in the slip joint, it should never wear out. On the other hand, a CV joint will always wear out before the simpler u-joint. I used to have an early short wheelbase Bronco and it was my first experience with CV joints. I had several of the CV joint driveshafts go out on that truck and eventually had a driveline shop make me a custom driveshaft for both the front and rear. After that I never had to make a repair and at the worst I would have to buy u-joints if it had worn out.

The only advantage to a CV joint driveshaft is that you will get a smother transfer of power from the transfer case to the differential. The CV joint insures a constant angular velocity, while a u-joint shaft has an angular velocity oscillation. My experience in changing to a conventional driveshaft from constant velocity shaft is that there is very little impact to the smoothness of the ride.

I never regretted getting rid of the CV shafts on my Bronco and so far am quite happy putting a conventional shaft in the front of my Explorer. The only thing better about a CV driveshaft is the smooth transfer of power, not any improvement in durability.

Regards ............... John
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Old 05-20-2004, 11:16 PM
daerhldgs2 daerhldgs2 is offline
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When does this clunk -clunk occur, my 98 clunks when there are irregularities in the road , not on start up or shifting which is where I would expect a wornout cv to show up.
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Old 05-21-2004, 07:52 AM
Scott J Scott J is offline
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The "clunking sound" in my 98 occurs all the time, but I can usually only hear it when I'm a starting/slow cruise speeds otherwise there is too much road noise. The easiest time to hear it is when I pull to a drive up food place and have to creep in line with my window open, sounds horrible....creaking,clunking. I can kind of feel it in the floor too almost like it's binding up. My car does make any noise shifting into gears, just when I go to drive away.
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Old 05-21-2004, 08:29 AM
JP Arizona JP Arizona is offline
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Testing front driveshaft

One of the nice things about 4WD is that you can remove one driveshaft and see if things get better. I don't have the AWD model Explorer, but I would think that a 10 mile or so test drive would not be a problem with the AWD model. Take the front drive shaft out and go for a ride. It is an easy removal (less than 30 minutes and most of that time is getting the truck up on jack stands and back off).

On my truck I removed the front driveshaft and could tell that the "clunk-clunk" went away. So trouble shooting was over.

I have also replaced the two CV 1/2 shafts on the front end several months prior to the driveshaft. I was getting a little poping sound in parking lots and my ride was getting rougher. I put both axles on jack stands (all 4 wheels off the ground) and at a low engine speed put it in gear. The right front wheel would slow down and the a little pop and it would speed up.

I replaced both CV 1/2 shafts at the same time.

The reason I bring this up is that some front end "clunking" could come from the CV joints in the 1/2 shafts and not from the driveshaft.

Regards ............ John
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Old 05-21-2004, 09:51 AM
daerhldgs2 daerhldgs2 is offline
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my clunking occurs only on rough roads so it's probably not the cv joints, but as stated in a previous post it's easy enough to remove the driveshaft and see. I have replaced the shocks (helped a bit) and the sway bar bushings and lower ball joints, someone said it could be the pads between the torsion bars and the frame but visually they look O.K. -so I'm at a loss to figure out where it's coming from -any ideas would be welcome
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Old 05-21-2004, 09:51 AM
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1996, 2004, clunk, constant, cv, drive, driveshaft, explorer, ford, gl, joint, removed, rockford, shaft, short, taurus, velocity

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