Diff Squeak/ Grinding - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2008
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Diff Squeak/ Grinding

I have been getting a weird squeaking scraping noise and I have determined it is coming from my rear diff. It sounds like a brake that has worn all the way through the pad and is scraping metal on metal, but it's not my brakes. I pulled out the plug on the diff and it does have oil, it doesn't look very good, but it seems ample. I have never torn a rear end apart, so I have no idea whats wrong.
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Old 10-07-2008
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Also, I jacked up the back wheels, left in neutral, and when I turned one wheel, the other turned the same direction. I thought they were supposed to turn opposite? If it was in park, they would turn opposite, but it was really hard to turn
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Old 10-07-2008
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Hmmm i had a funny noise in mine turns out water had gotten in there an eaten my bearings in my rear differential.. not saying that what happened but its something to look into.. does it get louder the faster you go?
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Old 10-07-2008
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If your wheels turn the same way you have a limit slip or posi. If they turn opposite you have an open diff. Did you check the u-joints? Or possibly axle bearings. When does the noise happen?
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Old 10-07-2008
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Not really, it seems to get louder after I have been driving for a while, if I let it sit, it goes away, sometimes. It goes in and out. It sounds like bearings to me, but again, I have never been inside the thing, so I don't know.
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Old 10-07-2008
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I just replaced the u joints like 3 weeks ago, they're fine, the noise is definitely coming from the axle. The wheels seems to turn fine individually, they wiggle a little bit until it catches the gears, I don't know how much play there is supposed to be, but thats how I know it's not the brakes, but the wheels don't have excessive play up/ down or in/ out.

It is a limited slip, I know that for sure. The noise happens whenever the rear axle is moving.
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Old 10-07-2008
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Well its possible you bearings in your rear end.. there are 4 of them and they can go bad.. mine did and it was kinda pricy but most was probably labor on it.. i would check fluids back there and look into new bearings make sure they are shimmed right and make sure you use syn fluid.
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Old 10-07-2008
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Go buy some gear oil and RTV gasket and take the cover off your diffy. See if there is anything obvious. At the very least you do a fluid change (which you say could use it anyways), worst case scenerio, you open it up and you get a early b-day present (to you - from truck).
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Old 10-07-2008
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see, but that's not funny because my birthday is actually in like 2 weeks, and I was hoping to save some money this month, and I've already bought my own birthday presents which is why I needed to save money.

edit: actually my birthday is 2 weeks from today.

Last edited by TRoyBv6320; 10-07-2008 at 12:32 PM. Reason: checked dates
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Old 10-07-2008
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mines 10 days from today =]
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2008
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I pulled off the diff cover, and aside from it smells horrific, and there's a lot of black sludge, the gears look amazing and everything is solid. So, I'm just going to change the fluid and see if it helps, if not, I'll go from there.

Is there something that works good for cleaning this mess out? Should I just use brake parts cleaner or can I use lacquer thinner or gasoline or degreaser?
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  #12  
Old 10-07-2008
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Hmmm i wouldnt know off my head but make sure you refill synthetic is runs way smoother and limited slip usually requires it. i know my 03 does.. but hmm i would either wait for reply or ask ford or autozone.
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Old 10-07-2008
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If you still have it apart you could pull an axle and see if its an axle bearing on an end. Also be a good chance to check the axle seals too for any leakage. Mine makes bad noises too, has for a while, but I'm getting an explorer rear this weekend to swap in.
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2008
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I heard this noise before, sonds like rusty metal scaping metal, to me it sounded like it was coming from the rear diff/driveshaft but it was intermitent and I haven't heard it in a while.
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2008
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That's what it sounded like^

It hasn't made a sound all day and my oil was worse than I thought, so I just changed the oil. If it goes away, neat, if it gets worse, I'll fix it later. Also, while I had the cover off, I decided to throw some paint on it.
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Old 10-07-2008
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there is a plastic thing that protects the pinion seal that can come loose. i will squeak, but it doesn't really sound like metal.
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  #17  
Old 10-07-2008
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Well, the noise came back. It almost sounds like something is rubbing my driveshaft. It sounds like it kinda goes away after 30 ish, and I had to drive for a while before it started again (got warm?) but it also changes when I turn, could it be bearings? which ones?
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  #18  
Old 10-08-2008
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Are you sure its coming from the back? I have made the front <-> back mistake before.
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  #19  
Old 10-08-2008
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I'm about 99% positive it's coming from the back. I crawled under there and turned the wheels by hand and there was a sound coming from the diff. I called a few people today and all anyone can tell me is 'take it to a shop, it's really f'd up' or 'you probably need a new axle' but that just sounds like a lot of 'I don't know what I'm talking about' BS to me. Maybe it's true, but either way, I work out of my truck and I'd like to have it taken care of before it fails on me at a more inconvenient time. I can't really lose my truck for a whole day, on the other hand, I DEFINITELY can't lose it for a week.

I was thinking maybe the axle/ wheel bearings???

I know it's hard to diagnose w/o seeing it, but I hate going to shops, and I'm out of ideas.
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  #20  
Old 10-08-2008
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Pop yer cover pull the axles and find out what the problem is. Pulling the rear wheel bearings isn't that hard. But, as several members on here can tell you, you need to be sure that your bearings are seated correctly before you re-assemble it. As far as the bearings that are pressed on to the carrier, you can mark your shims (which side they are on) pull the carrier and take it to a shop (if you don't have a press at home) have em pressed out and new ones pressed on. All in all, probably a Saturday's worth of work to save you a couple hundred $$$$. NOT TOO SHABBY.
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  #21  
Old 10-08-2008
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I was hoping I could do it at home in an afternoon, I work everyday and I don't want to miss the poker run (harbor hop) this weekend. In the meanwhile, how much damage can I do if I leave it for a week? Will it lock up?
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  #22  
Old 10-08-2008
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Diff bearings (carrier bearings) tend to explode when they get really bad (I've had this happen on an older BMW). I continued to drive it and it broke teeth off the pinion gear and damaged the ring gear so significantly I had to pull the whole diff and replace it. BMW's fortunately don't use axle shafts but CV axles, so no damage there. If I were you, I'd pull the cover and take a look. All you'll lose is fluid and RTV to put the cover back on.

Last edited by Hayn Time; 10-08-2008 at 09:13 PM.
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  #23  
Old 10-08-2008
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I guess I will have to check mine now. I remember only hearing it in the 15-30mph range but with my loud exhaust I might not be able to hear it now. The best way I could describe the noise is grinding a chisel on my rusty driveshaft. Might as well regear and install a LS.
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  #24  
Old 10-09-2008
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I am totally new to rangers...just picked a 95 up the other day. anyway i have a similar problem. When i let off the gas (i have a standard) there is an awful noise like brake pads that are completely worn through and are eating away the rotors(as on a front wheel drive). But it doesnt seem that there is much slack in my wheel bearings however i jacked up the truck and shook the drive shaft and it seems as though whatever bearing that is right there in the rear end where it attaches to the driveshaft, is definently in bad shape. Theres no way there should be that much slack.

Seems to me this might also be your problem. Now is it easier to change that bearing or get a different rear end from the junkyard?

Jarrod
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  #25  
Old 10-09-2008
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Pinion Bearing. You'll have to pull the carrier if the pinion bearing is the problem. If its the wheel bearing, then you'll have to pull the axles.
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