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#4528 of 6400 1997 Ford Explorer - major creeking noises
Oct 26, 2005 (10:18 am)
Hi: I am new to the forum in hopes that someone has the same problem or knows what this could be. I have a 1997 ford explorer that has major creeking noises when I drive. It sounds like my truck is going to fall apart. It happens all the time, hitting bumps, turning the steering wheel or just plain driving. Pep Boys said it's just what happens when the vehicle gets older and there's nothing they can do. There has to be something because the noise is driving me crazy. It has 97K miles and I'm not quite ready to give it up. Can anyone help?
#4529 of 6400 Undercarriage "moaning" sound
Oct 26, 2005 (11:53 am)
I have a 97 Moutaineer AWD that I bought new. It has 78500 miles on it and has been a great vehicle with little or no trouble. However recently I've been hearing a low "moaning" sound from under the vehicle when driving slowly through the parking garage at my work. It maybe happening at al speeds and I just can't hear it. It doesn't seem to be related to the engine or tranny since it does it just coasting down the ramps. It seems much louder when it's colder outside.
Has anyone experienced anything similar or have a clue where to look for the source? So far, it doesn't seem to effect the way it drives but it's making me nervous that it could be something that spells big $$$. I'm planning to trade it next spring so I really don't want to put a bunch of $$$'s in it.
Oct 26, 2005 (1:42 pm)
Ford Explorer radio display dead ?
If your radio LCD display is dead, and you don't want to spend $400-$600 for a new OEM radio, nor do you want to spend $275 on a used one from the junkyard, I recommend you save yourself some money and headache by buying a working, used one on eBay.
For $20, there is a website called, www.fixyourford.com, that will sell you instructions to repair your radio but the process is a haphazzard (no rhyme or reason), time-consuming repair process. There is also a good chance that you will be out $40 - $50 cash before you realize that the "FIX" is not going to work for you and you should have bought the one on eBay for $125. Here's why.
In general, the repair process advocated (and sold) blames the dead display on the manufacturing process of the power circuit board for the radio.
So, to fix your radio, you are to get a soldering iron (and soldering stuff) and re-solder essentially everything on the power board. Again, the assumption is that it's the board that's bad and not the components on it (capacitors, resisters, ect.)
What you don't see until after you've coughed up the $20 bucks is the site's claim that the "FIX" you just bought only works 95% of the time. And then...LO AND BEHOLD!...you've just won the lottery! your radio happens to be one of the 5% for which the website has no idea what's the fix!!
The fine print on the website says that it may take you 2-3 repair attempts before the fix will work. Meaning: up tp 4-6 hours wasted only to find out the fix doesn't work for you. (1-2 hours to pull the damned radio out, open it up, resolder the board, put it back in.)
And then...for an additional $89 bucks, the website owner will sell you a working board in exchange for your "non-working" board.
So, if your time and frustration are worth more than $10 an hour, I recommend you just by a working, used radio on eBay.
Cost of the "FIX" $20.00
Cost of soldering iron 10.00
Cost of solder 4.00
Cost of solder braid 4.00
Your time ($10/hr) 60.00
Gas to buy this stuff 6.00.
TOTAL $104.00 (quantifiable amount)
Frustration $XXX.00 (you figure that out)
#4531 of 6400 Re: Undercarriage "moaning" sound [coloron]
Oct 26, 2005 (1:50 pm)
I have the same problem on the Explorer but I am assuming it's caused by the worn, out-of-balance tires.
Had the same problem on my 2001 F-150 until I bought new tires. With the new tires, the "moaning" or hum was slightly noticeable. Took the truck back and had the place re-balanced the tires--no more hum (moaning).
Since I still have more than 50% of tread left on the Explorer, I'm figuring to pay $40 (plus tax) to have them balanced at Sam's Club.
#4532 of 6400 Re: Undercarriage "moaning" sound [placeinfrance]
Oct 26, 2005 (2:31 pm)
Good thought. My tires are older (about 35K miles) and haven't been balanced for some time.
The sound is most noticable at very low speeds, less than 10 MPH, so I'd never have thought about balancing as an issue. Of course I'm not a mechanic so what do I know?!
Thanks for the suggestion.
#4533 of 6400 Re: 1997 Ford Explorer - major creeking noises [dgould]
Oct 26, 2005 (6:27 pm)
If you put the front end on jackstands and raise/lower each wheel with a floor jack you will be able to hear the creaking if the control arm bushings rubbers are the problem. I bought new bushings but delayed about 2 months and the problem went away so I took the bushings back to PEP boys and never did replace them. You could always spray some lubricant on them and wait for it to work it's way in. What to use . . .Hmm . something that does not harm rubber . .silicone spray . .
#4534 of 6400 2004 Sport Trak radio skips stations
Oct 26, 2005 (6:33 pm)
My 2004 Explorer Sport Trak changes radio channels like it has a mind of it's own. It is the standard radio/single cd setup. I'll be driving along listening to music and in the middle of a tune it will switch to weather channel or news or some other thing. It happens on any station in any area of the country. Ford says they cannot duplicate it and never heard of the problem. I think the phase lock loop circuit in the radio is the problem but they think there is no problem so they won't replace it. Any suggestions?
#4535 of 6400 Re: dakdul [placeinfrance]
Oct 26, 2005 (7:05 pm)
the fix works if you know what you're doing. if you get a blowtorch and a bunch of bar solder, it isn't going to work. done it, it worked.
I must say that I also had some dicey solder connections on the display board, as well, to fix. and that I replaced the filter capacitor for that function, the 100 uF unit, on the power board, because I was there and crummy capacitors are a long-standing issue back to tube days.
it was worth $20 to me to know which boards to get after. I also raised the diodes and power resistors, touched up every SMT connection, and the radio has been solid.
if somebody says you fix low oil pressure in a worn-out engine by replacing the bearings, and you don't know how to do it, then surely, you will mess the job up big time.
if you're that glowery about self-repair, then send your boards in to the guy with, I think it is $120, and let him fix it or eat it. best price elsewhere I saw on Da ISH for refurbing the radio is $225.
#4536 of 6400 Re: 1997 Ford Explorer - major creeking noises [gertrude]
Oct 26, 2005 (7:07 pm)
white spray lithium grease on the bushings also works, and has been the recommended fix for years. although it washes off faster than a thick silicone in road spray.
#4537 of 6400 Re: ENGINE FAILURE [bigdk]
Oct 26, 2005 (9:52 pm)
What you do depends on you to some extent.
If it were mine, I would shop around for an engine from a rollover from one of the junkyards. Quite a few rollovers out there - if you take your time and get some quotes you can find a decent price. They can be started and tested before they are installed in the vehicle.
The dealer here does not sound like much help. I'm guessing a reman block from Ford installed at the dealer is at least 3,500. I think you could do a used engine for somewhere around half that.
If you are not comfortable with a used engine or a local shop, then the price goes up. Ford dealers are the most expensive option.
I think you already have the answer about how much help Ford will be. There is an appeal process you can try at Ford ( look in your warranty booklet) , but I don't think Ford would pick up enough of the tab to reduce your cost below a used engine.