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Old 07-05-2005, 21:01   #1 (permalink)
Joe Rizza
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'97 Explorer front end "clunk" while accelerating

I just got my '97 AWD V8 back from Ford after they replaced the rear
main seal (ouch). Maybe in my head, but something wasn't right with it
since I got it back.

Today, I was pulling away from a traffic light at about 10 m.p.h, and
stepped on it. As it was accelerating, I heard two loud "clunks" from
the front end. It is usually two clunks, but sometimes only one. It is
driving fine otherwise. If I am at speed, and step on it, it will
downshift, but no clunk. Seems to only be from low speed. It sounds
like front diff, maybe transfer case. Doesn't really sound like
tranny, but who knows - they pulled it to get to the rear seal, so
they coulda screwed it up. It's almost the same sound as when the
universal joint went on the front drive shaft, but that clunch was
constant, and the car was barely driveable.

I did notice *another* leak coming from the pinion seal on the front
diff, but I doubt it is leaking enough to drain it. Probably gonna
need all of the seals in the front axle replaced anyway, so if it is
the diff, maybe only a little more painful than what I need anyway. I
did the rear pinion seal myself, but knowing what I now know about the
bearing pre-load, I think I'll leave this one to the pros.

Anybody have any other ideas from my lame attempt at a description of
the problem? I hate taking it to the dealer when I don't have a clue
what it is, and I hate taking it to a local shop, 'cause they'll
rebuilt the whole darn car on my dime, regardless of the problem.

-Joe


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Old 07-06-2005, 14:01   #2 (permalink)
\ross via CarKB.com\
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Re: '97 Explorer front end "clunk" while accelerating

Joe Rizza wrote:
>I just got my '97 AWD V8 back from Ford after they replaced the rear
>main seal (ouch). Maybe in my head, but something wasn't right with it
>since I got it back.
>
>Today, I was pulling away from a traffic light at about 10 m.p.h, and
>stepped on it. As it was accelerating, I heard two loud "clunks" from
>the front end. It is usually two clunks, but sometimes only one.


Hard to say what your clunk is. I think I would take it back to the dealer
and tell them the noise appeared after they worked on it and you want to know
if something wasn't done right, or something is loose.

Take the service manager for a ride and show him how you make the noise.

If they have to work on the drivelines or transfer case to fix it, it is
probably related to the main seal job. Other parts would be pretty iffy,
since thay would not have worked on those to get the transmission out.


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Old 07-06-2005, 21:02   #3 (permalink)
Joe Rizza
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Re: '97 Explorer front end "clunk" while accelerating

Well, I was debating, but yes, I'm going back to the dealer to take
them for a ride. I've already had it back twice since they replaced
the seal. !st time about 2 minutes after I picked it up 'cause the
check engine light was on, and they bent the speed sensor. Second
time, same light, and I was complaining that it just wasn't the same
as when I brought it in. They swore up and down it was the old gas cap
leak, which I already tried out, but it came back. It hasn't come back
since they reset it.

I don't think they had to pull anything but the tranny. I don't think
they touched the transfer case, but I can keep my fingers crossed that
they screwed something up. I did swamp the vehicle, which is the root
of the problems. I think I just did in some seals that were on the
edge anyway.

Thanks for the ideas. I'll post back with what they say. It's POSSIBLE
that it is the front drive shaft that I replaced 2 years ago. If it's
that then I'll definitely fix it myself, but I'm not going to start
diagnosing it. The front axle and pinion seal are gonna have to be
done at some point anyway.

-joe

On Wed, 06 Jul 2005 20:19:32 GMT, \"ross via CarKB.com\"
<forum@CarKB.com> wrote:

>Joe Rizza wrote:
>>I just got my '97 AWD V8 back from Ford after they replaced the rear
>>main seal (ouch). Maybe in my head, but something wasn't right with it
>>since I got it back.
>>
>>Today, I was pulling away from a traffic light at about 10 m.p.h, and
>>stepped on it. As it was accelerating, I heard two loud "clunks" from
>>the front end. It is usually two clunks, but sometimes only one.

>
>Hard to say what your clunk is. I think I would take it back to the dealer
>and tell them the noise appeared after they worked on it and you want to know
>if something wasn't done right, or something is loose.
>
>Take the service manager for a ride and show him how you make the noise.
>
>If they have to work on the drivelines or transfer case to fix it, it is
>probably related to the main seal job. Other parts would be pretty iffy,
>since thay would not have worked on those to get the transmission out.


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Old 07-07-2005, 01:02   #4 (permalink)
\ross via CarKB.com\
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Re: '97 Explorer front end "clunk" while accelerating

Well, guess I'm not sure how Ford approaches that job. I assumed a tranny
pull, which means the transfer case comes out. Did they pull the engine and
tranny as a package instead?

I have the 99 AWD. I would be surprised if a clunk had anything to do with
the differential itself. And just for the record, my front seal leaks. I
check the fluid occasionally, but even tho the differential is "wet", it is
not losing enough to require adding fluid.

It can be tricky finding drivetrain noises on these things.....
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Old 07-07-2005, 20:01   #5 (permalink)
Joe Rizza
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Re: '97 Explorer front end "clunk" while accelerating

No, it woulda cost a LOT more to pull the engine, and I woulda had a
LOT more done while they had it out. They didn't say anything about
the t-case, but I'd have to crawl under there to see if it was
possible to do without pulling the t-case. I plan to do that anyway
this weekend to see if there is anything obvious to be seen before I
take it in.

Yeah, I don't plan to do the seals unless they have to pull the front
end anyway, so it depends entirely on what the problem ends up being.
When the rear seal went it was dry to major leak overnight. The front
isn't doing that, so maybe it'll hold on for a while. It's the pinion
seal that more worries me than the axle. They will do the pinion seal
for under $170, which to me is well worth it given the crap I went
through, and how I could have screwed up the rear end ('cause I didn't
know what I was doing - i.e. using a HAMMER).

-Joe


On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 06:37:03 GMT, \"ross via CarKB.com\"
<forum@CarKB.com> wrote:

>Well, guess I'm not sure how Ford approaches that job. I assumed a tranny
>pull, which means the transfer case comes out. Did they pull the engine and
>tranny as a package instead?
>
>I have the 99 AWD. I would be surprised if a clunk had anything to do with
>the differential itself. And just for the record, my front seal leaks. I
>check the fluid occasionally, but even tho the differential is "wet", it is
>not losing enough to require adding fluid.
>
>It can be tricky finding drivetrain noises on these things.....


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Old 07-13-2005, 12:01   #6 (permalink)
Joe Rizza
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Re: '97 Explorer front end "clunk" while accelerating

Well, I took Ford for a test drive, and they don't think the problem
is in the driveshaft, but in the axle. I got "the speach" about it
being decision time. Keep dumping money into it, or enjoy the time
I've got left. SO, I think I'll see if I can do the job myself.
Easiest way is probably going to be to buy a used axle assembly, so
I'm checking junk yards. I still want to understand the problem better
- i.e. what if it is just the CV joint? That shouldn't be a terrible
job.

-Joe


On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 06:37:03 GMT, \"ross via CarKB.com\"
<forum@CarKB.com> wrote:

>Well, guess I'm not sure how Ford approaches that job. I assumed a tranny
>pull, which means the transfer case comes out. Did they pull the engine and
>tranny as a package instead?
>
>I have the 99 AWD. I would be surprised if a clunk had anything to do with
>the differential itself. And just for the record, my front seal leaks. I
>check the fluid occasionally, but even tho the differential is "wet", it is
>not losing enough to require adding fluid.
>
>It can be tricky finding drivetrain noises on these things.....


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