Chirping/Squealing noise...I'm baffled! - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 02-03-2015
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Chirping/Squealing noise...I'm baffled!

Hi Guys N Gals,

I have a major issue with my wife's 94 ranger which has just started. I replaced the clutch & slave cylinder package 2 years ago and things were not 100% with the bleeding of the hydraulics but it was working. This past week she began to notice a weird chirping/squealing noise coming from the drivetrain which I immediately thought was the throw-out bearing. So, I dropped the tranny again and replaced the slave/throw-out bearing and this time worked real hard on getting all the air out of the system.

Everything worked beautiful, shifts real smooth and I thought I had the issue licked but I got a call from wifey this morning, and she says the chirping / squeal noise is back once again. What have I missed here???? What other bearing could be making this weird noise???

I am stumped and any suggestions would be most welcomed.....even though I don't relish the thought of having to drop that beast out again.

Help please....

McMuddy
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Old 02-04-2015
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When does it make the noise. Is it all the time or just when the clutch is disengaged?
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Old 02-05-2015
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Hi Gary,

It is intermittent so I'm not 100% what the noise can be. I personally haven't been able to make this happen but the wife tells me that it happens with the clutch in as well as if it has just been shifted into neutral and the clutch is out. It happened yesterday as she was in reverse and then she pressed the clutch in and gave it a little rev to see if it would stop and it continued with the clutch depressed. Wifey tells me that it happens mostly in first/reverse and she thinks it has also happened when in second gear. But adds that once she is rolling down the highway or moving along in third, the noise disappears.

I'm wondering about the idler bearing that sits in the flywheel....I never replaced that guy when I replaced the clutch because I couldn't get the flywheel bolts undone. Or could it be the front shaft bearing on the transmission and how could I find out which one it might be? I really have limited amount of time to get this fixed or the truck is going to be trashed which would be a real shame because it really is in mint condition otherwise. The wife is just plain out frustrated and a little untrusting of the truck and doesn't feel confident driving it anymore.

Thoughts or comments.....

Thanks

Dale
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Old 02-05-2015
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Is there any way you can post a video of the sound it's making?
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Old 02-05-2015
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Hi Ryan,

Unfortunately, I'm not equipped to capture a vid of the sound it's making but I have now been able to replicate the issue.

When rolling up to an intersection (at least this was what I was able to make this issue appear) and down shifting into first, there is a vibration/sound coming from inside the transmission which I am thinking may be a problem with the syncromesh gears somehow. The sound/grinding/whiring noise seems to occur when I'm going into first while rolling and when the clutch is depressed it continues until I pull it out of first into neutral and then release the cluth once again that it stops. Then I can again put it into first and it seems okay. I can feel the vibration/sound in the shifter when it occurs but it seems most prevelant when the above scenario happens.

Like I said, it's not everytime but I was able to make it happen by performing the above.....I know this sounds sketchy but I can't seem to explain it in any other way.

Is the syncromesh gears surrounded by a bearing (I'm thinking it must be) and could oil levels in the transmission affect the problem? I know the fluid level is low as I had some leak out when I pulled the transmission last weekend. It hasn't been driven a lot (maybe 50k) since it was pulled but would topping this up eliminate the problem or would it be a waste of money trying to find out? I don't want to spend the $90 to have it flushed and refilled to just lose it all if this has to come out again.

Also, is changing out any bearings inside the transmission a real technical task or difficult or is that something only a transmission shop should tackle? Or do I go to the wreckers and get a replacement from a wrecked truck? I now think it's an internal problem rather than an idler bearing problem.....

Anymore thought's or comments would be greatly appreciated.....

Thanks everyone for your help....

Dale
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Old 02-05-2015
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Additional Thoughts

I guess I should clarify my last post....

At this point, I need to fix this truck and have no problem opening it up if the job is relatively straight forward as a DIY project. But if the cost of parts and time exceed just putting a replacement transmission from the wreckers into the truck then that may be the least painful procedure. I just hate putting something from a wreck into a vehicle because you never know if the same problem might occur from that vehicle once your done.

What does everyone think in regard to fix or replace?

Cheers

Dale
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Old 02-06-2015
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If it is making the noise when the clutch is depressed, there is a good chance the pilot bearing (what you call the idler bearing) is bad. I just had to replace mine and it only had 80K miles on it when I did a complete clutch job. I thought I had bought all quality parts but the pilot bearing must have been China made.

My symptoms were; a strange squeal/rattle just as the clutch was engaging from a stop. This went on for about a year. I let it go because the clutch worked perfectly. One day I started to have difficultly getting it in any gear occasionally and then it would go away. Then one evening I pulled up to a stop sign and put it in first gear. While I was waiting for traffic to clear the Ranger tried to surge forward, then not and then surged again. I battled with shifting all the way home.

This happened on a Friday night so I decided to pull the transmission on Saturday to find out what was going on. I thought the disc was delamination or something. When I removed the clutch, several worn needles (of a needle bearing) fell out. I checked the pilot bearing and very worn needles were laying across the bottom. It was also totally dry. Apparently the needles were so worn they got crossed up in there and jammed against the input shaft that rides in the pilot bearing.

I don't know if that is your problem but if you didn't replace it, it is a good candidate for the problem. Even if your pilot bearing is a bushing bearing, excessive clearance can cause a vibration that sounds kind of like a squeal. Once the clutch is engaged, the pilot bearing is no longer loaded and will not make a noise. If you are hearing a noise with the clutch engaged (out) you probably have a problem with a bearing in the transmission.
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Old 02-06-2015
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Thanks Gary.....you hit the nail on the head. It's the pilot bearing that's gone.....

I decided yesterday to run the truck up to the tranny shop and let them have a look/listen and the consensus was that the pilot bearing was one of the issues but the tech also felt that the bearings and the first gear syncro were also on their way out. So I let them tear it down and do their thing. I just got a call from him that the pilot bearing was completely non-existant and that there was only metal filings left in the case. Problem is, it has caused damage to the input shaft and now that needs replacing as well......drat.

Anyway, the issues will be all gone by late this afternoon or tomorrow morning at the latest. Happy wife, happy life.......and it only cost me $950.

Thanks for everyone's help

Dale
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