Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer
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I'm stumped as to what the root cause of the dull thumping noise coming from the front end of my 1997 Ford Explorer XL...
For anyone that can help, here is what I know..
The noise is a dull thump, like a heavy gauge piece of steel under pressure being smacked with a hammer. It thumps with every rotation of the front wheels. It does not matter if I am in neutrul or drive nor if the 4 wheel drive is engaged. If I jack it up and spin the wheels by hand there is no unusual sound. The only thing I've really done is a visual on the front end and everything looks good.
I'm guessing it's a bearing problem because it only happens under pressure but I'm not swapping out a hub without someone else's opion first.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, HELP ME!!!!!
Last edited by MadRabbits; 08-28-2003 at 07:29 PM.
I'm not very experienced with Explorers, but from my experience with other vehicles, the noise can be caused by a bearing problem, like the front differential going out. However, I had a similar noise on my Grand Cherokee and it ended up just being the front swaybars needing replacement from having a 3" suspension lift. Anyway, does the noise change with an increase in speed at all or when gradually slowing down? How many miles are on your Explorer? Good luck finding a solution to the problem.
Thank you both. My Explorer has 70,000 miles on it. I did try replacing both front tires with the spare the other day and the noise did not go away or change location.... And to bad for me, my base model Exlplorer doesn't come w/ sway bars....
Last edited by MadRabbits; 08-29-2003 at 06:04 AM.
Years back I had a thumping sound right before the U joint let loose. Next thing I heard was the drive shaft wacking the floor of the Blazer(1981 I think). I really could not tell you how to inspect it but it needs to be seen by a mechanic.
Hey, thanks again. I was afraid you'd say that. But I figured from the start that's where I was heading. I do a lot of work on cars but 4x4's are not my thing. I'll let you know what happens in case anyone else comes into this problem...
Well, we can all be fooled... I swapped out each front tire w/ the spare and the noise never went away. Today after looking at it for a while and finding no trouble I sent both front tires to the rear end and went for a ride. The noise went with it. Turns out both of my tires have bad belts. Now it's back to NTB before the warranty expires... Thanks guys. I really appreciate the help...
for what it's worth...
I've got a '97 XLT with the same problem and after noticing BAD tire cupping on the front tires I installed new Gabriel shocks (this was last July). After a new set of tires (now with 17K miles) the noise/rumble is back. I just ordered a new set of Bilsteins for the front because the Gabriels were shot after 25K miles, and I don't do any off-roading. Car now has 115K and all in all has been pretty reliable.
That's worth a bunch, the folks at NTB sited some cupping on the tires, they could not find any other tire trouble. The ride on my "Exploder" is getting a bit rough and new shocks are in it's future. Gabriel, well you get what pay for. Bilstien, same thing. They are the mother of all shocks and a wise investment.
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