Rear clunking noise
First time in this forum.
I have a 2003 Explorer. The rear differential was recently replaced (fall 2005) for a whining noise between 50-60 mph. We had a big snow storm in the East this last weekend. I had to use 4x4 low to get up a very steep hill close to my home, with 18 inches of fresh snow. 4x4 low worked like a charm, and I got up the hill, very slowyly, but I made it up.
The next day, while driving to work, I noticed a sound coming from the rear of my car that sounded like I was dragging tin cans tied to my bumper. I got out to look to see if I had something hanging from the rear of my car... no tin cans...
So I continued to drive with the windows down, and I am getting a very loud metallic clunking noise coming from my rear end. I called my ford dealer, and they said to drive it in reverse for 20' feet to disengage the 4x4. I did this, despite no instructions like this in my manual.
The same noise persists. The Ford Dealer tells me that their tranny shop is backed up for 1.5 weeks. Not what I wanted to hear. I am very concerned about the stability of this drive train on a 2003 Explorer with 42,000 miles. I drive it about as gentle as I can, and rarely have to use 4x4, etc.
Thinking about dumping it at this point. Very disappointed. I had an 1993 Explorer that I put ~200k with no problems whatsoever.
Any advice on what may be causing this problem? Is it a train wreck of a problem? I have and extended warranty up to 48k, but at this point, want to rid myself of the vehicle. I am a US car buyer, but getting more and more discouraged by US made automobiles.