I just bought a 01 4x4 ranger with the 4.0 and 5 speed auto. It seems like there is a howl or slight resistance in the front end when turning slightly. Sounds sort of like the four wheel drive is not disengaging. I can feel a very faint buzz sensation in my foot where the transfer case is or maybe the wheel bearing itself. I don't know much about these trucks, and am wondering if it is normal. The truck has 53,000 miles on it. At first I thought it was just noisy tires, as the dealer I bought it from put some rather agressive treds on it. Any suggestions would be great about this. I will check the fluid levels and see if that is a start.
No actually it is only noticable at low speeds say below 20mph. I never drive it in 4 wheel as of yet, except before I bought it I put it in to make sure it would engage properly. You could say it sounds like a slight rubbing sound with a pulsing caracteristic. Thats sort of why I thought it was tires. I thought that maybe the twisting and turning of the tires caused some of the treads to bind with the road and cause the noise and feel. The tires are not too agressive, but somewhat in my opinion. They are Kumo Ventures
Try rotating your tires diagonally, ie, LF to RR and RF to LR, etc. Also, check the air pressure in the tires. Tires with a more agressive tread tend to develop wear patterns; rotating tires lessens issues caused by the wear patterns and reduces the development of wear patterns. Also, be aware that as the tread get's more agressive, you will hear more noise/howl. They also like to be balanced a bit more often than tires with a non agressive tread. You may need to do this in an attempt to get rid of the buzz you described.
There is always the chance that the tire you have will not work well with what you drive. I've had this happen myself in the past.
2001 EXPLORER SPORT TRAC, EXPLORER SPORT
This article is being republished in its entirety to update the model applications covered.
This TSB applies to 2001 Explorer Sport/Sport Trac 4X4 vehicles, 1998 - 2001 Explorer/Mountaineer 4X4 vehicles (all build dates), and 2000 - 2001 Ranger 4X4 vehicles built after 11/1/1999 only.
Some 4X4 vehicles may exhibit a high-pitched "squeal" or "whistle" type noise from the front of the vehicle at speeds from 16 to 64 km/h (10 to 40 mph). This noise may be caused by the front halfshaft excluder (dust) seals (-3K070-) as they rotate against the inner front hubs. The noise may be more pronounced in cold weather conditions.
Install new front halfshaft excluder seals on each side of the vehicle. Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.
Same problem with my 2001 Ranger. I can only hear the noise from about 10-15 mph. I took the truck to the dealer, they said it was tire noise. I only have 4000 miles on the tires so I took it back to the tire place. They were going to align the front end, and told me that my ball joints were bad, causing excessive and uneven wear. They quoted me $422 to replace both joints on the drivers side. My extended service plan covered them, so I took it to a different dealer (to get a second opinion). I didn't mention to them what anyone else had said, and they called me back saying the lower ball joint was worn. So they replaced the joint, rotated and balanced the tires and aligned the front end. All better, right? Nope, noise is still there. I told them it wasn't tire noise. Because rotating alone should have taken care of that. But would they listen? Noooooo, of course not. I have yet to take it back. I am so frustrated. I found a quick solution though. CRANK THE STEREO UP, that way you can't hear the noise. By the way, wouldn't having worn ball joints put more pressure on the wheel bearings? So if you drove long enough with bad *****, wouldn't your bearing also be worn?
Has anyone tried changing the differential fluid. I have the same noise in 4wd, but with a '98, the pulse vac hubs will allow the front drivetrain to stop spinning when out of 4x4. I know I need change the diff oil and thought that might be part of it. Than again I do have 120k mi. on the truck and could also need ball joint work...but no noise in 2wd!
Well I just put the tires from my brothers truck on mine, and NO MORE NOISE!!! Wow what a difference it made. Too Bad for me because I will just need to live with it for now as I cannot buy another set of new tires. The ones that are VERY Noisy while turning are KUHMO Venture AT...... They Rock off road or in the snow, but on pavement they make you think there is serious problems in the front end of your truck FYI thanks
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