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1999 Lincoln Town Car: It has a rear axle whine..pinion..accelerator

Customer Question

I have a 1999 Lincoln Town Car that I have only owned a few months. It has a rear axle whine under very light load at around 60mph and a little around 40mph. It sounds like a normal ring and pinion whine that you can get out of most rear axle cars around 60mph if you feather the accelerator under light load, but mine is louder than normal. I owned 1992 and 1996 Town Cars previously and they had a slight axle whine around 60 but it was very minor. You can definitely hear the noise in the 1999. It's not real loud like a bad ring and pinion but there is more noise than I think should be there. The ring and pinion look good and the tooth pattern seems fine as best as I can tell by looking at the pattern left in the lube when the cover is removed. My previous Town Cars were Signature models and this one is an Executive. Maybe the others had more sound deadening material but I don't know. I have thought about adding a bunch of sould deadening material in the trunk (there is only a thin trim covering material in the trunk that just lays on the bare metal) and adding some material under the back seat. I have also thought about going from 80/90 gear lube to an 80/140 synthetic. Maybe the pinion bearing preload is off but the gears look good. Has anyone had any experience with this model car and this problem. Maybe there is weighted damper that should be bolted on the rear axle? I don't like the noise but don't want to get involved in the expense of an overhaul when everything looks so good. Any help will sure be appreciated.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  DCM replied 11 years ago.
Why don't you try QUALUBE CLASSIC HYPOID GL5 GEAR OIL straight 90w, it might help you a little bit, here is a site that might help you a little bit, buy my opinion as a mechanic I'll try the straigh 90w. Just copy and paste the link.

http://www.rosskeen-supply.com/gearoils.htm
Expert:  Davo replied 11 years ago.
If the gears look good and the pattern looks good.It sounds by your description that you have a pinion bearing going bad.If the preload is off it would have had to be wrong from the factory unless a repair was performed at a later date.You could change the bearing yourself without changing the setup of the differential to any degree.Do not attempt to change the bearing preload you will cause problems you don't need.You will need a shop press and a bearing splitter to remove the bearing.I would replace all the bearings while I'm in there.Another option would be to pull the ring and pinion out as an assembly and remove the pinion and have a shop do the press work.If you choose to do the repair you will only need to adjust pinion bearing preload.A torque multiplier is a big help for this and you need a beam type or dial type inch pound torque wrench to check the preload.Muffling the noise will just lead to more damage.I'm basing my diagnosis and advice on your description,a different gear oil may quiet it down some but will not fix the actual problem.If this satisfies your question please click on my accept button.

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