Mysterious undercarriage rattle - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-22-2014
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Mysterious undercarriage rattle

My truck is a 2002 automatic 3.0L XLT 4x2.

A harsh sounding rattle first occurred around a year and a half ago, seemingly right below the cab and possibly close to where the cab and bed meet. The rattle only occurs while I am pressing the gas pedal and does not get louder when the windows are open. The only time it occurs is when I hit a bump or the rear tires break loose. Additionally, the rattle becomes more frequent when I have weight in the bed, winter being the worst from constant weight in the bed and more rear tire spin than normal. At a glance from underneath I see nothing abnormal and have had a quick look-over done at a local auto shop twice with no solution. The issue does not cause any issues with performance as far as I am aware, but it sure has me curious. Anyone had a similar issue or any ideas?

Last edited by blAckAnger; 11-22-2014 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 11-22-2014
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Look at your leaf springs. It could be a cracked spring.
I'd also say your U-joints but I'm sure they would have let go way before this "year" you are saying.

Aside from those two ideas, I'm stumped.
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Old 11-22-2014
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I'd look at the front eyelet of the leaf spring and see if the bushing is shot. That would cause a rattle. I had a mystery rattle and found out it was the front bolt of my nerd bar had come loose, so anything's possible
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Old 11-23-2014
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Also the exhaust hangars use rubber bushings in some places one of which is right under the cab and shares a bolt with the trans mount and that would be related to your acceleration causing it. Mine went bad and had those symptoms also after being on a rack at the tire shop i noticed it would rattle consistently for a few miles after (from the frame flexing on the rack similar to having weight in the back). It took me about 6 months to track it down didn't even notice it till i did my 5 speed swap and it just disintegrated when i took it loose. Up until then it looked perfectly fine so i overlooked it.
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Old 11-24-2014
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Do you have a Flareside (old school: stepside) or Fleetside? If you have a Flareside, check the front step area of the bed, closest to the cab, to see if the side "skin" has come loose; mine have, and I have yet to figure out how they secure themselves to some sort of the inner metal back. This outer skin rattles occasinally against this inner metal on my truck, creating a simular noise as your describing.
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Old 11-24-2014
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I have a fleetside bed, so no step area to check out. One variable I forgot to mention was when the truck is started and the engine first turns over the rattle occurs briefly. It may be my imagination, but that rattle(when the engine starts) seems to sound slightly closer to the front of the truck than when it occurs on bumps/tire slips. I have not been able to replicate the sound any other way.
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Old 11-24-2014
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that rattle might be the inner honeyconb material of the catalytic converter

that stuff inside does deteriorate over time
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