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1997 Ranger awful noise in 2wd help!!


Max R

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Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ford
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Hi, this is my first post here and I'd really like some help if I can get it.

My 1997 Ford Ranger makes this awful noise while in 2wd (sounds like a weed whacker or high pitched electric motor). It sounds like it's coming from the driver's side front wheel. It's kind of hard to explain because it's not really a ratchety or clunky noise. It intensifies the faster I go. It doesn't make the noise while the truck is idling or while it's in 4wd H or 4wd L. My truck has automatic locking hubs. The truck has no problem shifting between 2wd and the 4wds,

The noise is persistent but doesn't seem to be giving me any immediately noticeable trouble while driving. Sometimes the noise stops for pretty random reasons such as

1) I ran over a pothole and the noise stopped for a few weeks
2) After shifting from 4wd L to 4wd H and finally back to 2wd the noise stopped for a few weeks
3) Cranking the steering wheel all the way left and then all the way right until it locks while the car is turn on but parked stops the noise also.

The noise always seems to start back up again after taking a sharp right turn.

Part of me thinks this has something to do with the automatic locking hubs failing to fully disengage or maybe there's something wrong with the transfer case or something loose that's getting knocked around and is causing the noise. When I brought the truck in for a spring tune up last month, the mechanic told me my power steering fluid was pretty nasty (I didn't get it flushed), so perhaps that also might have something to do with it?

Currently the truck is not making the noise but I know it's gonna come back sooner or later (probably tomorrow!)

Any and all help is really appreciated, thanks guys.
 
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97RangerXLT

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Location
Fishers, IN
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2"
Tire Size
31"
Yep, one of your auto hubs is going bad. Happened on my 97 as well. Change them out to the Warn manual hubs, you can get a set for under 100 bucks used, with everything you need to convert it. Probably even someone on TRS selling a set right now. There is a write up in the tech library how to change out to manual hubs. pretty easy.

And Welcome to TRS!
AJ
 

Max R

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Transmission
Automatic
Thank you very much!

I have some free time on Saturday, so hopefully I'll be able to make the switch to manual hubs.

Thanks again!
 


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