2001 Ford Explorer AWD questions

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  #1  
Old 08-01-12, 05:10 PM
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2001 Ford Explorer AWD questions

Howdy All,
I have a 2001 Ford Explorer XLT
v-8 Auto trans
170,000 miles

Problem: A few months ago I noticed that there was a bit of a squeak when I was backing it up. When in drive, there was no squeak at all. Sounded like a u joint going bad, but there are no zerk fittings on this thing to grease.

About a month ago, the vehicle would squeak in drive, when making a sharp turn, but go away when driving straight.

About a week ago, it started making clicking noises when turning hard, either direction and accelerating somewhat hard. If I turn and accelerate slowly, no clicking. Sounds kind of like when kids clip a playing card to their bike and it hits the spokes!

I put it up on the ramps tonight and took a look for something obviously wrong. When I grab ahold of the front driveshaft and turn it back and forth there is a clicking sound coming from the connection. The connection is not a u joint like on the older vehicles, but rather a thick disc shaped object that the driveshaft goes into.

Could this be the problem? What is this "disc" thing? This is an all wheel drive model. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Another thing about this vehicle. I have been told that the 2001 Explorer with AWD only came available with a 302 V-8 and that is is a Mustang HO engine for some reason. Is there any truth to this?

Again, thanks in advance for any help or tips.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-01-12, 05:18 PM
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Those disc things (covered by a rubber boot?) on the front axle are CV (constant velocity) joints. After 170K they are probably due for replacement. You will find it easier and cheaper to replace both front axles which will include the joints.

You can look at places like Autozone for repair guides for your vehicle. If you are really good with car repairs...probably take about 5-6 hrs if you have all the needed tools.

A few years back I remember plenty of places that would replace CV axles for about $150 ea...but that was for front wheel drive cars...seems like everyone charges more for SUVs and AWD vehicles.
 
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Old 08-01-12, 06:28 PM
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On my Silverado, the disk thing is 6 bolt half shaft mount. Halfshaft attaches to it on one end, and the opposite side goes into the hub/wheel. Takes about 15 minutes to pull it out, because of this, as you do not have to pull halfshaft out of transmission, just undo bolts.
But it's GM, it's user friendly design.

Oh, and behind the disk is bearing and seal.
 
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Old 08-01-12, 07:07 PM
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Thanks

Thanks for the quick response. The cv joints are good yet. I put new hubs on not long ago and checked them then. The disc I am talking about is on the end of the driveshaft, where it hooks to the transfer case. There is a regular u joint where the shaft goes into the front end, but where the shaft goes into the transfer case is where the disc is.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply, John
 
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Old 08-01-12, 09:25 PM
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that disk thing is a type of flex joint, and i have replaced many of them for this same issue. when turing it will put a bind in it causing it to jerk/click. just like ukrbyk said you just unbolt on both ends and its out. no loss of fluid. DO NOT DRIVE WITH OUT, it will bust your transfer case. and try to keep your tires at same tread depth and size. these AWD systems hate wheel speed differences.
 
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Old 08-02-12, 10:03 AM
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How do you replace this. I called around and have been told I need a new driveshaft. About $600.00 from Ford!! Wow!
 
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Old 08-02-12, 10:28 AM
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Ahhh I was confused....now I know exactly what you mean....have the same thing on wifes Tribute (Escape). It's still kind of a CV joint and yes as iceman said...need to get it fixed or it can take out your transfer case. Thats not cheap. I saw reman units for mine at about $150 I think. Turned out I just needed the U joints on the back part of the split shaft...even those were a pain and cost a bit.

You need to get the instructions if you are going to DIY. IIRC it's a balanced unit.
 
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Old 08-02-12, 10:35 AM
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Sorry...last reply was meant to go out 3 hrs ago.

Autozone calls it a CV joint. $130 for Dorman. Looks all new with new bolts...which you should use. When you pull the shaft you should also replace the Ujoint towards the rear.

Whole shaft (reman) is $310 with a core charge of $60. The whole shaft is easier, take out old, install new, return core.
 
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Old 08-02-12, 05:35 PM
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I can get a used driveshaft for $100.00 and it's guaranteed to be good. How good are these AWD systems? It seems to have very good traction. Is this something worth fixing and keeping? I have a chance to swap this for a Toyota truck with about the same mileage and about the same condition. It is the smaller truck. Is the Toyota a better vehicle?
 
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Old 08-04-12, 05:41 AM
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So, I took my front shaft out and the cv joint seems to be not so good. It doesn't appear to be real worn out, but the grease in it was all black and dried out. I took it apart and cleaned all of the grease out of it and tried putting it back together. I did get it together, but there is no movement in it now, I cannot slide the shaft out or push it in. I picked up a drive shaft from the junk yard and the cv joint is good and tight but it is an inch too long. So my next questions are:

Can I slip the cv joint off the good shaft and slip it back on my old shaft?

Is there a special grease that goes in these?

Is there a certain method to putting these cv joints back together?

Again, thanks to all who take the time to read these, and more thanks to those who respond.
 
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