Front Vibration - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 05-20-2009
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Front Vibration

Lately my truck has started getting a vibration in the front that comes and goes. Only does it while cruising really, but randomly. From looking at other post, I'm thinking it time to replace the ball joints, wheel bearing, TRE's. The ranger has 124000 miles on it and no front end work has been done except normal brake replacement. What all do i need to replace because not sure I can afford to replace everything up front? Also, does my assumption sound correct that the vibration is coming from one of those components?
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Old 05-20-2009
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Is it really random? Or at a certain MPH?
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Old 05-20-2009
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its really random, its happened any where between 45 and 75, sometimes it does it sometime not, and cant seem to replicate or induce it either. Just seems to happen
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Old 05-20-2009
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Get your front tires balanced before you spend hundreds of dollars replacing stuff.
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Old 05-21-2009
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Balancing my tires was the first thing i tried. The last time it started doing this balancing my tires fixed/delayed the problem for about a 1000 miles and now its back. Balancing this time had no affect. I also had the tires rotated this time hoping this could be the culprit but to no avail. Would the tires themselves be causing the problem? I ask this because these tires have been horrible to keep balanced.
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Old 05-21-2009
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I would check your front end before replacing everything. Cheaper IMO. Also when was the last time a wheel bearing was done? The bearings might be popping out of the races randomly and causing that front end shake. Go in a big parking lot, and give it a few good hard turns to one side. If it starts to shake after, you have nailed it down.
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Old 05-21-2009
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what he said^^^^ rattles/ growls on a left turn = bad right wheel bearing and visa versa.
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Old 05-24-2009
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well, when I bought the truck in 2006 with 42,000 miles, they said nothing had been done up front repair wise, and I haven't had to replace anything other than routine brake work. How often do the bearings go out and are they hard to change? Im gonna go find a parking lot tonight and see what happens, I'll let yall know what I find.
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Old 05-24-2009
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Found an empty parking lot tonight, did hard left and right turns, heard no rattling, growling, groaning sounds...heard some nagging from the passenger seat...but nothing up front. Got on the highway right after and no vibration. Could it still be the wheel bearings? The truck doesn't make any noises other than the noisy engine (another thread for later on) and the only problem I'm having is the intermittent vibration from the front. Should I just live with (not a fan of) or just start throwing parts (and money) at it and hope for the best?
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Old 05-26-2009
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since i have started this thread, haven't had a problem with the truck. Its being too random to diagnose. Does anyone have an idea as to what could cause this? Chainfire...as far as the bearings jumping out of the races temporarily, is there another way to check to see if this is the problem because the parking lot didn't yield anything?
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Old 05-26-2009
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I'd jack up a front wheel from your lower control arm (a-arm). and se if you cant wiggle the wheel, try pushing on the top of the wheel while pulling on the bottom. see if you have any free play in your ball joints while looking at them while you do this. then try to wiggle it side to side and check for freeplay in your tierod ends. to feel for a bad wheel bearing i use a long steel pipe and pry on the bottom of my tire and the ground while feeling or hearing for a small "click". also grab ahold of your front axle shaft and twist it by hand, there should only be a small amount of freeplay in and out of the joints no freeplay in the rotation.

this is how i check for front end vibration
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Old 06-01-2009
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finally got around to checking the front end for any play. The only thing I could find was a popping/clicking sound from the front passenger side tire. The noise only happened when I pushed at the top of the tire. There appeared to be no play in the tie rod ends or any where else. What does the clicking noise from pushing at the top of the tire indicate? Wheel bearing or ball joints?
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Old 06-01-2009
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just re-read the post by EricRanger, I guess the clicking noise is a bad wheel bearing. How hard is a wheel bearing to change out?
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Old 06-01-2009
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Go grab a haynes manual and have at it if your mechanically inclined.If not drive out to a shop and get them to diagnose/replace it.
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Old 06-01-2009
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go back and get your tires balanced again. trust me, its worth another shot
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  #16  
Old 06-01-2009
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but otherwise just get under things and look for things that wiggle or just don't look right
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Old 06-01-2009
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and if you jack it up and you can wiggle your wheel around thats an idication of not good things
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  #18  
Old 06-01-2009
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Dont forget axle stands
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