2002 ford explorer thumping noise

Asked by Dec 26, 2010 at 06:36 PM about the 2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

when you left off the gas there is a thumping coming from rear end wheel bearings and tires have been changed any idea

9 Answers

55

Have you checked the drive line? It might be loose or the U-joints could be bad. Blockage in the exhaust maybe, if it has a differential on the back, it could be making the noise. The shocks might be a problem. Considering its just when you let off the throttle probably not. Good Luck and hope this helps!!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
175

I had this same issue when I changed just my 2 rear tires (different brand than the ones on the front). There was a thumping sound in the back when I was in Auto 4. When I changed it to 4 wheel high, the thumping went away. I then went back and got the other 2 tires replaced to be equal to the rear tires and the problem went away. My theory is that the diameter of the tires were off just enough to engage and re-engage the 4 wheel drive Auto. The Explorer was sensing slipage, so it would go into 4x4, but realized it wasn't and would slip back out. I have not had the problem since.

17 of 17 people found this helpful.
65

i also got that problem with my 1992 Ford Explorer XLT RWD until the transmission overheated at 275k miles...that only started to happen after i went offroading in the SUV a little more brutally than usual, but i have not found the solution to it either

sounds like the bearings are bad,or their is a problem in the rearend.

175

I agree that it sounds like the wheel bearings. Common problem in these trucks and expensive to repair. To confirm, jack the truck up on the side you are hearing the noise from and try moving the wheel back and forth. If it moves, your bearings are shot. These are replaced as a complete hub and bearing assembly and require some serious labor. Trust me, I know as I've replaced all four wheel bearings in the last year at around 100,000 miles. It could also just be the rear differential. When was the last time you had the fluid checked / changed?

35

It is not coming from any of the hubs or wheels, sound like under the front seat, got under it and checked the drive shaft no play in it, some rust on the U joints, but not that bad from what i could see. it comes and goes, not sure what it could be. Just know that when it starts i can stop it by letting off the gas and then pushing in down a bit, this seems to stop it sometimes. Just had the tranny rebuilt and it did not do it after, but then came back, hope its not the tranny again

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10,845

Fredd76, Check your transmission mount. From your comment there, it sounds like either the bolts are loose or the mount is bad.

10

I can see this is an old and common problem, 2002 Explorer thumping from under side. I hear thumping while coasting or deceleration at 50 down to 40 mph. It will go away if I push 4High, start again when pushing into 4auto. This is a rythmic sound that stays the same reguardless of speed, dont get softer or slower while slowing speed. I have replaced rear wheel bearings, rear drive shaft and Transfer case. The shop doing work said rear differential sound ok "I know what a bad one sounds like", shop owner said, front drive shaft had no play and back axcels seemed good. After changed out transfer case, thumping seemed gone, or better than it was, now 12 months later, same old thump. Im thinking its in front of transfer case, cuz it goes away in 4high, but all joints seem tight, seems like a backlash while idling down from over 50mph, as if coming up to a stop on a counrty road. Not sure what to change next, maybe front drive shaft then front axcle/ cv joints. Costs in labor are crazy for old vehicle with 180,000 miles, but dang, I love my Explorer.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

I have the same issue with my '03 Ford Explorer. I believe the issue is either the front differential or transfer case. I have already replaced the wheel bearings, axle, rear differential and drive shaft. Any updates on if it was the front diff or transfer case? dkulhan3k

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

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