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Old 07-30-2010
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 65
Possible Differential issue

Well there is a few things going on with my ranger all at once so its been kind of difficult figuring out what exactly is going on.

I finally got a mechanic friend to come look at it and test drive it with me so he could see and feel what its doing, I'll get more into that later.

I guess I will start from the beginning and lead up to whats going on now.

I'de say a couple years ago, I started getting a clicking noise when turning my wheels, the further I turned the wheels, the worse it clicked, while I had my truck in for an oil change I mentioned it, they checked it out but couldn't reproduce the issue, my guess is they did it while it was up on the lift and maybe it only would do it while on the ground.

After that I didn't pay much attention to it, about a year went by and I started hearing a squeay noise start to appear, mainly while I was going in reverse but it eventually started doing it while also going forward, it was about due for another oil change so I took it in, they told me I needed to replace one of my drive-shaft U-joints, while they had everything off they went ahead and replaced both, afterwards there was no noise at all, the squeaking was gone and so was the clicking when turning the wheels, whatever the issue was it seemed to be fixed so I was pretty happy about that.

About a month later I was on the way to work, I pulled into the gas station and my truck just started screaming, not a constant squeal like before, its almost like something would start to bind and then just release with a slight pop and the truck would lurch forward a little bit, almost like pressing on the brake while keeping your foot on the gas, then poping your foot off the brake.

After that I parked the truck, due to economy and being self employed, lost a ton of work so couldn't afford any big repairs and drove my other vehicle, the Ranger sat for most of the winter, started up a few times and driven but the issue remained.

Finally this spring I decided to take it out, and it drove fine, took it out for about half an hour and nothing was going on, it drove like normal, so the following Monday I decided to start driving it to and from work again, it drove pretty normal but I thought I was feeling it bind ever so slightly, I wasn't sure and thought maybe it was in my head as I was trying to listen very closely for any noise and feeling the pedal for anything, I had to drive through downtown traffic and eventually felt it do the bind and release, but it wasn't very bad, it did it maybe 3-5 times getting through downtown.

Afterwards I got on the interstate to head home and holy ****. After a few minutes on the interstate you would have thought a hyena was under my truck, this loud squeak that was pulsating with my speed, the faster I went, the faster it squeaked, slow down and it slowed down, also when I stepped on my brakes the entire truck shook like hell, I mean really bad and the brake pedal kinda jumped a bit aswell.

This new stuff comes and goes, as im driving the squeaking comes and goes and the brakes work just fine sometimes and other times it does the severe shimy and shake.

Back to my mechanic buddy, he came over and we took it out, it drove fine at first, then the squeaking started up slightly, and when he pressed on the brake it shook the hell out of the truck then went away, it did that about 3-4 times while we drove it home.

He thinks i may have a warped rotor, plus sitting for so long i've got alot of rust built up on the brakes so he wants me to put new rotors and pads on the front and thinks that should take care of the braking issue.

Whats anyone's opinion on the squeaking? could that be related to the braking as well? He brought up the front differential and told me to take it to a shop who specializes and that sort of stuff, like a transmission shop, see if I could get someone to diagnose it and figure out what im dealing with, thought I would drop a line here first and get others opinions, maybe someone delt with something similar.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 07-30-2010
c_root's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Campbell River
Posts: 34
I am by no means an expert, but it sounds like loose caliper bolt(s) to me, although that would most likely only be on one side. The binding could be the caliper rubbing against the rim, and the pop could be the momentum of the truck forcing the caliper away from the wheel. Check the inside of both rims for guages inside the rim. the intermittent braking sounds like it could be the same problem.
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