Okay, I have borrowed a friends 1993 Ford Explorer, Eddy Bower edition 4x4.
While I have it I am fixing some things for him since he keeps it just to loan to people that are in need of a temp vehicle.
I have replaced the old battery, and I am going to do an oil change. Both obviously really simple things. However, the front end pulls to the right and you can hear what I would think are bad wheel bearings. When you go really slow and try to turn fairly hard to the left or right the car starts walking. By that I mean you can feel the wheels jumping. Slow enough on soft material the wheel actually snaps hard and starts sliding sideways.
Any thoughts? Any suggestions? Are wheel bearings harder to do on a 4X4 than on a 2 wheel drive?
When you go really slow and try to turn fairly hard to the left or right the car starts walking. By that I mean you can feel the wheels jumping. Slow enough on soft material the wheel actually snaps hard and starts sliding sideways.
This sounds a lot like it's in 4wd. Are you certain you are testing it in 2wd mode? I ask this first because diagnosing the noises and pulling may depend on whether the problem only surfaces in 4wd or both 2wd and 4wd.
I was wondering that myself but on the dash the 4X4 button and light is not active. That of course doesn't mean that it is not in 4X4 mode, I mean maybe the light is out. I cannot find an owners manual to figure out how the 4X4 mode works. Can you tell me what I should be looking for? To figure out what mode it is in?
It's a standard part time 4wd system, so, in 2wd mode, you should be able to rotate the front driveshaft by hand. If it still has the auto hubs, you'll need to jack up one wheel so that wheel can rotate with it.
So we tried the buttons and it appears that the 4X4 button is the only one that has a functioning light. We hit the Low Gear or what ever that button says and it changed the way it drove immediately but the light did not come on or change. So I think it was in an incorrect mode for the gearing. I am still getting a nasty grinding sound on the right and when you step on the brake it kind of pushes back on you.
Fortunatly with the 91-94's the wheel bearings are acutally really easy to replace... since it's not a sealed unit. The problem parts are the autolocking hubs. The auto locking hubs in these years were pretty bad, and many people have swapped them for Warn manual locking hubs. What you may be having a problem with is the hub not unlocking, which presents with the symtoms you described here. If you are getting in there to check/replace wheel bearings, here's some things that will make your life easier.... 1. replace the caliper slides. These tend to hang-up and are really a crappy design. 2. get a decent set of picks... you'll need them to get the cams and hub assembly apart to get at the rear bearings. 3. to get the rear seal off the hub (if you need to repalce the rotor) leave the rear bearing in place, put the axle nut back on a few turns, pull on the rotor to pop the seal out... as long as it comes out clean, and it usually does, you can reuse it and save a few bucks.
Oh and to get the caliper slides out, I found that a good sized straight blade screwdriver and my BFH worked great. The first time I did the brakes on mine, I found the Chilton manual to be pretty good.
Have fun and let us know how you make out.
So what we found was that the Low Range Button was active but it's light did not work. Once we hit it the turning crabing movement stopped.
I just spent this last Saturday working on the front end. What a mess. When I had the front up off the ground and grabbed the left hand tire to see if there was any play in the bearings the dang tire rocked almost 20 degrees in all directions! The movement was so bad that the rotor ABS ring was machining the end of the ABS Sensor. On the right hand side we took off the hub lug nut cover and three of the lug nuts fell out!
To make a long story short the only thing that really ticked me off was that on the right hand side there is a metal plug piece that the ABS sensor slides through. If you don't remove it you cannot remove the Spindle on that side. The Sensor mount is held in with what looks like a 12 point star headed bolt about 6mm. I could not find a socket that would work to get this thing out! I am going to contact the local Ford dealership to see if they can tell me what kind of tool it is or if they have one that I can buy. What a pain. Other than that everything went back together smoothly and works beautiful! No more coffee grinders in the front!
I have the same problem on my friends 94 explorer. Long story short, there is not a wheel bearing anymore. The whole freakin' wheel fell off basically. It looks like everything is in good shape except for the wheel bearing itself and the parts that hold it on. But I have no idea how what parts I will need because it's pretty torn up.