HELP! New (to me) truck, need advice on Front Diff Noise! - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 02-09-2010
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HELP! New (to me) truck, need advice on Front Diff Noise!

Hi all! I have been a religous viewer of this forum since I purchased my 93 Supercab about a month ago. Overall, until now, I have been able to take care of all of the small things that have come up. I am quite mechanically inclined but yesterday I came across an issue and I have NO CLUE what it is or where to start!!

The truck is a 93 4x4, 4.0 with 135K on the truck and Trans, 35K on the engine and clutch. (5 Speed)
Has a 5 Inch suspension lift and 265/75/ 16's on it.
The Auto hubs have been replaced with manual WARN Hubs

Truck runs like a CHAMP without Question - and I have briefly tried out the 4x4 system a few times with no problems.... Until yesterday

It snowed yesterday so I locked the hubs before I got in the truck to go home from work. While on my way home, it got a little slick so I pushed the 4x4 button on the dash. The 4x4 engaged and all seemed fine until I started to hear a VERY ODD noise from the front of the truck - While driving it sounded a bit like a Rotor being turned on a Lathe!

So I Pushed the button on the dash and turned off the 4x4 (while going about 30) and the noise stopped......

The noise SEEMS to have been coming from the front of the truck and not behind the Driver seat (where I believe the transfer case to be).

I have been under the truck a few times and have not noticed ANY leaks from the front diff or really anywhere.

ANY ADVICE or any ideas would br gratefully appreciated at this point!!!!

THANKS ALL!!!

Steve
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Old 02-09-2010
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get under your truck and look at the u joints on the front axle. i lost the caps off my driver side front axle and it sounded just like that.
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Old 02-09-2010
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PERFECT! I wil check it as SOON as I get home!

Just to be sure that I am clear on what I am looking for - Is it the Ujoint on the front shaft where it connects to the front Diff?

Dude you have NO idea how excited I will be if this is JUST a U-Joint Issue....
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Old 02-09-2010
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no the joint out at the knuckle
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Old 02-09-2010
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Ok Cool. I suppose that it is a good idea to dig around under there and check out ALL of the U-joints.

Thank you VERY much for the advice! I am anxious to find out what the heck is Up!
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Old 02-09-2010
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yea i can understand that it took me 3 weeks to find the damn thing i just happened to have my wheel turned to the left one time i was looking and it was right there. grab your front drive shaft and see if you can twist it at all.
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Old 02-09-2010
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Sweet - Will do! Do you happen to know of any photos of the front end set up, Currently on the forum?
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Old 02-09-2010
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hmmm let me search around i might be able to find you some
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Old 02-09-2010
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Old 02-09-2010
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YES! That is EXACTLY it! I have been under there about 10 times so far and THOUGHT I had taken notice of everything!

I need to check the U Joints on BOTH of the CVs in the front..... hell they are so in-expensive that it may VERY well be worth replacing them BOTH..

I surely appreciate all of the help!!!
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Old 02-09-2010
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yea you have a true dana 35 so rebuild it and call it good
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Old 02-16-2010
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UPDATE!

Well - got under the truck and checked all of the U-Joints - WITH the truck in Neutral and the 4x4 DIS - ENGAGED I Locked the hubs and spun each of the front tires with no Binding, grinding, or issues at all.

Now, I am new to working on 4x4 systems of any sort, but this seems to be indicative that something has gone WAY wrong in the front differential.....

If anyone has any ideas about what to check next, or heck what kinda beer to drink so that the problem is clearer - I would Appreciate it!!


Thanks all!!!
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Old 02-16-2010
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hmmmm man my truck you could clearly see the problem but idk what else to tell you.
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2010
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I Dig man - I appreciate the help! I am going to try and check the fluid tonight to see what it looks like - but I doubt this is the issue -only because it does not appear to have any sort of active leak in the front -

I Suppose that worst case scenario, it could be a T-case issue.... Hmmmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by costeve View Post
Hi all! I have been a religous viewer of this forum since I purchased my 93 Supercab about a month ago. Overall, until now, I have been able to take care of all of the small things that have come up. I am quite mechanically inclined but yesterday I came across an issue and I have NO CLUE what it is or where to start!!

The truck is a 93 4x4, 4.0 with 135K on the truck and Trans, 35K on the engine and clutch. (5 Speed)
Has a 5 Inch suspension lift and 265/75/ 16's on it.
The Auto hubs have been replaced with manual WARN Hubs

Truck runs like a CHAMP without Question - and I have briefly tried out the 4x4 system a few times with no problems.... Until yesterday

It snowed yesterday so I locked the hubs before I got in the truck to go home from work. While on my way home, it got a little slick so I pushed the 4x4 button on the dash. The 4x4 engaged and all seemed fine until I started to hear a VERY ODD noise from the front of the truck - While driving it sounded a bit like a Rotor being turned on a Lathe!

So I Pushed the button on the dash and turned off the 4x4 (while going about 30) and the noise stopped......

The noise SEEMS to have been coming from the front of the truck and not behind the Driver seat (where I believe the transfer case to be).

I have been under the truck a few times and have not noticed ANY leaks from the front diff or really anywhere.

ANY ADVICE or any ideas would br gratefully appreciated at this point!!!!

THANKS ALL!!!

Steve
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  #15  
Old 02-16-2010
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can you explain this odd noise, it could be ther universal joints still. They may be frozen and when they are spining there is a problem verus being static.

The Front drive shaft in your truck is almost the same as mine, They have a dual cardan joint at the tcase. When mine went bad it made real nasty noises in 4wd but was silent in 2wd.
To test it take the shaft out and rock/pull/twist the joint for play.
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  #16  
Old 02-16-2010
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AHHH!!! Yes! It does have what appear to be 2 seperate joints right at the Tcase... I didnt notice any play - but I can SURELY pull the shaft and take a look.

The best way that I can describe the noise...... If you have ever heard a Rotor being turned on a Lathe.... or possible something similar to the sound that a Key machine makes when you are having a key made...

Does that make any sense?
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2010
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UPDATE! Any Ideas!?

Well i figured out what it was - It is the Front differential - damn thing was BONE dry...... i put some fluid in and all was good -

OR SO I THOUGHT -

I got home and pulled into the garage and noticed that there is a significant leak coming form thee top of the differential (facing the underside of the engine) -

I felt around up there and noticed that there is some sort of home-made patch job on the top of this thing......

I have looked at photos and diagrams and cannot find anything such as a fitting or anything like that - that may have broken off -

Any one have any ideas as to what in the HECK this thing may be covering? If not - Any good solid ideas for patching this damn thing with a Bit more reliable of a patch!? Thanks All!
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2010
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what gears are you in your truck i have a true dana 35rd member i will sell you. it has 3.27 gears in it but i have 3.73 gears too
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  #19  
Old 03-08-2010
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Well - I found the issue! I got under the truck and started digging around - Pulled off all of the RTV and Low and behold..... I found a Bearly 4x3 inch HOLE in the freaking Diff case! I really cannot figure out for the life of me what in the HELL happened to this thing.... Only thing I can imagine is that the previous owner's Diff Gears REALLY came apart and came through the case.... Hell if I know really. Anyhow - Being the proud grandson of my depression era Grand-father.... I decided to try and RE patch it - with the thought that I would patch it with LESS thoughtlessness than the previous guy i guess! So I bought 2 packs of JB weld, Cleaned the area 4 times with brake parts cleaner- roughed it up with sand paper - Cleaned all of the RTV away, Bent a piece of 1/16 inch aluminum to fit - roughed It up and went to work -

I figure that the diff is not under any severe pressure and really little heat - so I am Hoping that this stuff Holds like no tomorrow!

here are some before and after photos - Any ideas as to what the HELL happened!?







And here is the aluminum patch used - and JB welded in....


Last edited by costeve; 03-08-2010 at 06:24 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-08-2010
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Is the diff clear of all brackets all the way through the suspension travel? My guess is that at full bump the diff hits a drop bracket.
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  #21  
Old 03-08-2010
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wasnt it the ttb Rancho kits that did that all the time?
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Old 03-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woods-Rider View Post
Is the diff clear of all brackets all the way through the suspension travel? My guess is that at full bump the diff hits a drop bracket.
x2

Ouch!
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  #23  
Old 03-09-2010
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Well I cant seem to find anything that wqould come within about 5 inches of hitting the diff housing - I tried putting a Jack under one side and going up slowly. I suppose it is possible that the previous owner REALLY did something out of the ordinary to cause it. Who knows - Thank you ALL for all the help and advice!!!
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