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Old 03-10-2009, 02:40   #1 (permalink)
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Clunking noise from front end when under load

G'day,

I have a 98 Ford Explorer XL Quest 5 speed manual. have had it for about 9 years now but don't drive it much due to having a company car for past 5 years.
Back when I used to drive it daily I started to get a rather loud clunking / knocking noise from the front end when under load, mainly when in 3rd or 4th gear. I took it to my local ford dealer way back in 2004 and they said they never new what it was. After a while the noise got worse and now makes the noise in all gears when under load like going up a slight hill or taking off from the light's. clunk clunk clunk until i get up and going then any time when under load again. It sounds like something is about to break or crack.

I want to start driving my Explorer again and want to get the problem fixed but no ford dealer seems to know the fault.

has anyone else had a similar issue or any idea what it could be?

many thanks

Craig
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Old 03-10-2009, 14:41   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Clunking noise from front end when under load

Most likely a worn U joint. It's more common to diagnose this problem on automatics, for when you change it from park to drive for example with the brake pressed you'll hear a 'clunk' sound. I hear it in my Durango (automatic) when taking off from a stop.

When you give the vehicle fuel the u joints bind back together to turn the rear pinion. I'd bet the rear u-joints are the problem as they're generally the first to go. I wouldn't let this problem go for much longer. If a u-joint is worn enough it will break causing the axle to fall from under the vehicle. If it's a forward joint the axle can fall down and catch a crack in the road and potentially flip the vehicle over. They'd have to be VERY badly worn for that to happen but I have seen it once in town a few years ago with an old F150. The guy was towing a landscape trailer up a hill when the truck turned on its side as it couldn't flip completely over due to the trailer being connected.

I'd take it back to the dealer for another diagnosis. Chances are the staff are all new as it's been five years since you were there.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Clunking noise from front end when under load

Thanks heaps for the advise, appreciate it.
I will book it into a diffrent ford workshop for next week and see how i go.

thanks
Craig
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