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Old 10-15-2007, 08:32   #1 (permalink)
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thumping brakes???

Well guys, newbie here to the site and hoping you experts can lend a hand...(sorry it s alittle long but wanted to give a good discription).

Most of the time when my wife stops her '98 xplorer there is a thumping sound from under the passenger side - is doesnt happen all the time but about 90% and you can actually feel it through the floorboard. The noise is rotational, as in it occurs in time with the rototation of the tire. No noise while driving, only under light braking right before it comes to a stop?? It does groan a little bit when letting up on the brake pedal too. My head is sore from banging it on the wall trying to figure this out.

In a desperate search for a cure, I have replaced the lower ball joints, pads, rotors, shocks and sway bar end links, and tighten every bolt under the front end that I could see - none of which yeilded any improvement. I even tried disconnecting the sway bar - which didnt help either. The tierods are tight and have no play at all. Also had the upper ball joints checked and replaced the drivers side as shop said it was bad. I did notice the torsion bars were cranked up so that the explorer was slightly higher in the front than the rear. I brought the front end down a bit but noticed no improvement. I did notice the front CV shafts can move in/out a fraction of an inch (enough to feel them move but barely see the movement -maybe 1/8") but I thought some play was normal? My only thoughts now are bearings but I would imagine they would make some noise other than just while stopping?

Also thought of the torsion bar mounts I have read about but thought those noises would happen while driving too?? Any ideas are greatly appreciated as I am more than tired from throwing money/parts at this thing??
Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-15-2007, 18:58   #2 (permalink)
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Re: thumping brakes???

Does this only happen when she gets on the brakes? If so, is there any vibration coming through the peddle itself? I'd take a look at the brake caliper & pads and maybe even the shock while your down there.
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:57   #3 (permalink)
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Re: thumping brakes???

Well guys, took the calipers off last night and filed down the little channels the pads ride in and gently filed the "tabs" of the pads themselves, then put a very very thin amount of bearing grease in the channels. Also pulled the caliper slids bolts out and sanded them down gently with 500 grit, then lubed them up really good. Crossed the rotors (left side to right side, and vice versa) reinstalled everything good and tight.
...And no noise so far this morning (20 mile commute - mixed highway/city).

One of the pads looked like it was rubbing in the channels and I guess it was getting hung up in spots and the noise was it not seating right.

anyways all is good with the xploder now. cheers,
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Old 10-16-2007, 18:34   #4 (permalink)
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Re: thumping brakes???

Good deal!!
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