should all wheels turn on jack stands on 98 explorer with auto,4 hi,4 low


Asked by Aug 25, 2013 at 11:55 PM about the 1998 Ford Explorer 4 Dr XLT AWD SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

one rear wheel turns,one starts then slows to stop,sometimes starts slowly,stops.also makes clunking noise,not constantly, but most of the time.noise seems like its at rear end?axle,spiders,pinion?

10 Answers

Tracy Hooks

For one, you're probably driving the Traction Control system crazy. The condition of pinions, Differentials, and spiders are best determined with the engine off and the drive train disengaged. There's no telling what it will do with all 4 wheels off of the ground - it wasn't made to run that way.

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I have to ask, why did you jack up the entire vehicle, place it on jack stands then start the vehicle and put it in gear? Was there a problem when the vehicle is seated firmly on the ground and put into operation they way it was intended?


Tracey: On an unrelated note. What do you suspect. A friend has a Jeep (the small one which looks like the old Willis with doors). The gas guage works in several modes. Sometimes, Never, and working but not accurate. Never had a gas guage problem in forty years. Don't know where to start checking, especially with a Chryslar.


the clunking noise was happening driving on the road.wanted to see if it was doing it also in the air-to see if I could tell where the clunk was coming from-a very loud clunk,jerk on the road-did not sound as bad in the air but still noticed it.

Tracy Hooks

OJ, it's possible that the rheostat in the sender has worn spots. There's the gauge, the instrument voltage regulator (usually on the back of the instrument panel), the wiring, the sender and the float. The sender is the most likely cause because it moves the most. We used to get F-150s off the train with senders that fail right at the 1/4 tank mark because they rode cross-country on the train with the same amount of fuel and the float bouncing along, rubbing a single spot. You can disconnect the wire at the sender and see what the gauge does when open and when you short the wire to ground - should go full and empty. If you had the specs and a variable resistor, you could verify your gauge's accuracy.


Thanks tracey. I know some of those Jeeps have inspection plates on the back floor to expedite services in those areas. If it does, I'll let you know. If it doesn't, I'll pass along the info to the much younger and stronger owner. Again Thanks.

Best Answer

Fishman. Explorers of that body type with torsion bar suspension are notorious for the clunk. I totally replaced every piece of the front end suspension at 100K because it was shot in my daughter's 99. When putting it back together I forgot to purchase the two stabilizer links which connect the stab bar to the lower control arm. The originals were good so I just reused them. They lasted about a year then fell apart. Check the links. If they are bad you will be able to see they are bad, the bushings will be missing and the clunk you hear is the metal rod bounding around when the wheels move up and down. It's an easy fix. If not the links, then look at ball joints, tie rod ends, etc. But the clunk is usually the links.


OOpse: If you heard the clunk in the air you probably have a loose brake component, maybe a worn out wheel bearing or one that is loose. Is the clunk in the back or front?


Fishman: The more I read your short post, the more I come up with possibilities. If you hear the clunk when it is up in the air, when the clunk happen when in gear and idling? Is it random, a clunk here and there? Or only a clunk when put in gear or when you stop the vehicle with the brake then let it go again? Now I'm thinking a possibility of U joints on the drive shaft, rear end problems, or something in the tranny. I've had three explorers with your configuration. At 96-98-and 2000. All developed the clunk which was related to worn suspension parts. With all of them over 200 K and the 96 pushing 300K never a u-joint problem though.


Question I have a 1997 explorer awd n I jack up the front end and the driver tire turns almost a half rotation before it grabs what could it be. Also clunking when I stop then take off

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