Front end noise... HELP!!!? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-31-2005
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Front end noise... HELP!!!?

Here's my problem. I have a noise coming from the front end of the Ranger that is variable with speed, low pitched, and is now becoming more of a high-frequency vibration than a noise. I believe that it's coming from the right front because the noise disappears when turning left. I do not believe it's the tires because it doesn't get louder when I open the windows and I recently had the tires balanced and rotated with no change in the noise. The noise happens in 2wd or 4wd and is present any time the truck is moving. If I put the trans in neutral and coast on the highway, the noise is still there.

I'm thinking that it's wheel bearings but am looking for ideas from everyone else on what it may be. I'd rather it be something that I can easily replace myself. I called a local parts store and got a price of $449 each for the hub and bearing assemblies.
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Old 01-31-2005
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the best way to see if its your bearings is bad is to get the wheel off the ground and turn it and listen for any noises, or shake the wheel and see if there is any play. it sounds like the bearing but i couldnt say for sure
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Old 01-31-2005
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I tried that and didn't hear any noise but then again I don't know if I was able to turn it fast enough. There's no play in it at all which is aweful wierd.
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Old 01-31-2005
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That could be the front differential as well. I'd open it up if I were you. When was the last time you checked the fluid and all? You go through some pretty deep water -- how high is your vent tube extended?

Just a thought. I'd check it though to be sure.
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Old 01-31-2005
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The vent tube is tied to the brake lines at the ABS unit so it's right below the hood. I had thought it may be the diff so I drained and refilled the fluid which had water in it, but it didn't make any difference. I had kinda ruled out the diff because the noise goes away only when turning left and I had figured that it would go away turning right as well if it was the diff. I honestly don't know tho.
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Old 01-31-2005
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I've heard of problems with the diff that went away when turning one direction over another. CV's on front axles?
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Old 01-31-2005
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possible to be a CV, but on my 99 i had some noises lke that too and it turned out to be the brakes. you just need to take those wheels off and do some serious inspecting!!!
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Old 02-01-2005
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I'm in need of a front brake job so I guess I'll do that first and see what happens. I've checked the CVs and the boots are not damaged. I also checked the front driveshaft and there's no slop in that either. Is there any way to check a CV without ripping off the boot??

It just occurred to me that I had the right front tire off the ground but not the left when I spun the tire to check for the noise. With the right turning faster than the left, that could be why I didn't notice the noise. I'll try it again with both front tires up and see how it goes.
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Old 02-01-2005
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Sounds a lot like my issue with the bearings. If you can, get the thing up in the air, maks shore all tires are off the ground and VERY stable. Put it in drive and see if the noise is there. No noise? Try in 4 hi and low. Noise now? I'm betting it's the bearing. Sorry. :-(
Note: This may not be the safest way to check. It's just what someone told me to do. I was still under warantee, so I just took it to the dealer.
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Old 02-01-2005
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I'll hafta wait until the snow melts to try that one but it's a good idea. I have enough jackstands to pull it off. Fortunately, I am covered by an extended warranty but there's a deductable on it that I can't do right now.
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