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Thread: Whining Noise from Rear End

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    Question Whining Noise from Rear End

    I have a 2001 Ford Expedition with a 5.4 L engine. I hear a whining noise from the rear end and would like your opinion on what might be the cause. The noise appears when I'm coasting. During acceleration or while maintaining speed, there's no noise that I can hear. Once I remove my foot from the accelerator, the whining noise begins, and it slows down in direct proportion to the speed of the vehicle. I changed the gear oil and replaced it with synthetic oil plus one tube of friction additive. What could be causing this noise? I need your experienced advice.

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    was the gear oil contaminated with any metal particles and tidbits other than the normal grey that you get?? the torque applied causing the noise to go away brings 2 items to mind. one being a u joint that is going out or a bearing in the pumpkin giving up the race. bearing, race, get it??
    good place to start is to find out if there is any play in the joints or the pinion. shake the tar out the driveshaft at each joint then at the pinion yoke to see which or either have unwanted play. if the oil was clean when you checked it with very little metal dust, than i would suspect a u joint failing.

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    how are the u-joints?
    4 wheels move the body
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    got to be faster than that leo.

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    Yes, there were some tiny particles in the oil that I removed from the differential. I couldn't see them until I poured most of the oil into recycle containers, because they were in the very bottom of my large pan, and the used gear oil was dark colored.

    I will check the driveshaft in a little bit. I'm babysitting my grandchildren now. I sure hope it's the u-joint, cuz I've replaced them before, but I've never gotten inside a differential. Is it hard to replace the bearing in the pumpkin. I'm willing to try anything.

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    got some potentially bad news if that be the case. if something is in there big enough to sink to the bottom, then you more than likely have a problem in the diff. sorry. you might still check the u joints but i do not believe that you are going to find a problem there. the only thing that should be in the diff is oil and a light grey matter that can be spread alot like butter or heavy heavy oil.
    bearing replacement. first thing you are going to diagnose is which bearing. you could have all the bearing replaced in the diff and not worry about it probably for as long as you own the truck. being that you are finding parts in there makes me wonder if it has gotten into any other bearing. dont know if you can recognize what a bearing looks like when it begins to chatter but it will have spots all over the cylinders in the bearing itself and usually wear patterns in the race. would i suggest this job to an ammetuer?? not unless they have worked something of the like before. you must measure lash and where the teeth fall on the pinion and ring gears. anything out will be devastating to the rear end. i would not suggest yanking the pinion out alone as when you go back in there with the new bearing, the readings will be different. yes, you can do this but do ALOT OF RESEARCH before you do. we have several help guides located in this forum including a diagram on how to read the gear marking compound when setting the ring and pinion. do not let me frighten you. this can be done by someone that hasnt done it before but take this from experience. if this thing does not go back exactly right, you will be doing it again as early as next week. again, i say that from experience.

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    Thank you so much for your advice. I've worked with bearings before and know a little bit about how to read the markings on them, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this particular process. Is it necessary to remove the differential from the vehicle, or could I replace the bearings by removing the differential cover? (I'll look for the help guides)

    Earlier today, I was thinking it might be the differential, so I called and got an estimate for rebuilding the one on my truck. They quoted $750. How does this price sound? And, does "rebuilding" usually include all the bearings, plus ring and pinion? My Ford dealer quoted $2,000 - $2,200 for this process.

    Sooooo many questions.....

    Awesome responders

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    alright. you can do this by dropping the driveline and removing the differential cover. no need in dropping the whole deal. to be honest with you, i dont really know what a good price for this is. last time i had one built was for an eaton which is alot bigger job than what you are having done and it set us back 800. that was with us buying all the parts minus the seals and the extra spacers that it required. 2 grand is too much i do believe. 750 might not include the ring and pinion as this set usually runs between 125 and 200 if you were to buy them seperate. give them a call and ask what all is entailed with this. seals, bearings, spiders, ring and pinion, warranty?? 750 might not be that bad depending on how much they replace and what warranty you have with it.
    also, make sure that if you decide to have this done that the shop is reputable. too many times have i seen things go terribly wrong here. we had one member have hers come apart to the point that the whole rearend had to be replaced due to the amount of damage.
    keep the questions coming. if i cant answer something, give it time. most of the traffic here starts up in the afternoons.

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    look through this page for some helpful hints. the middle part can scroll down for several pages of info. you wont have a dana but it is all the same type ordeal.

    Dana Ring & Pinion Installation Guide

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    I forgot to tell you something. About 2 months ago, my mechanic said the gear oil was low in the differential and that it had been throwing oil underneath my vehicle. He told me he replaced the seal and changed the gear oil.

    When the whining started a few days ago, the fluid level was below the filler hole, so I was going to top it off, thinking that he had not filled it completely. Instead, I decided I should look at the existing fluid, and when I saw it was dark colored, I decided to go ahead and replace the fluid and add the friction additive.

    The mechanic originally told me that if there was a problem with the rear end that he would have to do more extensive repairs. When I picked up the vehicle, he said it just needed the seal and gear oil. Is it possible the mechanic did something wrong?

    I still can't find the "how-to" guides on this site. Any suggestions for locating them?

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