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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 41855
Experience:  16 years experience
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2003 Ford Explorer: rear end..jerking and shuttering..low speed

Customer Question

I have a 2003 Ford Explorer. AT 27618 miles they put a new rear end on because of jerking and shuttering during low speed turns. Now it has 54000 miles and it is having the same problem. They are wanting me to spend $1100 to fix it. Seems this is a common problem for the Ford SUVs. Is Ford doing anything to help the owners with this problem?
Is there something else I could do without breaking the bank?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Autotechguru644 replied 8 years ago.

Download this info. This is the problem,and how to repair it.The parts on page two should have been replaced the first time.What was the length of the warranty,it should have been covered the first time it was replaced.Read your warranty.Second, the parts and a new metal tag would have been put on the axle,to show the repair was preformed.,and a new 75W-140 gear oil should be used instead of 75W- 90.Plus a friction modifier.If the dealership did there home work,they should have repaired it right the first time.If I where you I would look at the rear axle to see if the metal tag is there.If the tag is not there then the same original parts where installed.Let me know if you have any questions.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK The first rear end was covered under the warranty. There is a metal tag that has
VG 52K 3l73 The G may be a C not sure.
The numbers stamped on the rear end is
RF1L2W 4025 BA 9

There is also a sticker with

Also SYTH 140

The dealer that did the work is not longer open.

When they told me what needed to be done yesterday
I asked them to pull up when the first rear end was installed.

First the said they could not do it....
but a few mintues later she had the paper
showing the work done on Dec 15 2004.

The paper only shows parts
AXLE ASY RR 050200

It would be wonderful if I could get Ford to pay to fix it. The only small chance would be if the TB that was out at Dec 2004 was updated because it did not fix the problem.

Any iformation is greatly appreciated
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 years ago.

I see you have been waiting some time online and you have not gotten a reply, So I will help. You are going to have one or both rear axle concerns. At speeds around 45-60 do you notice any whinning or howling on accel or coast. Do you feel a vibration binding sensation when accelerating from a stop turning pretty sharp?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I have not noticed and whinning or howling at 45 or 60 mph.
Just the binding sensation when accelerating from a stip and turning.

I had it at Ford and they wanted to work on the rear end. It was replaced under warranty 28000 miles ago and modified to fix the problem. But now it is doing it again.

I know they have several TB on this problem.

It was replaced in 2004 and I am wondering if
they had not figured out the long term fix by then.

I am not wanting to spend $1100 to fix it and then 28000 miles later it messed up again.

I was wondering if the updated TB on the fix was changed from the time mine was fixed?

It is a 2003 4x4 V8

Thank you
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 years ago.

Hello I'm Chris a Ford Employee and Certified Engine/Transmission Specialist.

Thanks for asking your question. I am eager to get your vehicle back up and running correct, I am here to help you out for a small fee far less than a dealership and easier on the wallet, so if this information is of aid PLEASE PRESS ACCEPT and help me out financially by paying the small fee (which you selected). Please reply if further discussion is needed.

I am aford drivetrain master tech. This was the normal procedure a few years back. When a axle concern came in on a explorer or mountainer we would replace it. But this TSB was for howling or whinning noises which are also common in the explorer. The repair they should have performed was to rebuild the differential clutches in the rear axle. Since it was done under warranty free of charge then there is not a extended warranty on this part. There is now a TSB for the whine and clutch chatter. If it whines we rebuild it and not replace it. If it chatters we replace the clutches. In your case they will need to remove the axle assembly and replace the clutches with a updated design and replace the fluid and add friction modifer. If you have an extended warranty this may very well be covered. I wish I could say its covered but it is not per ford guidlines. I know that stinks but I just fix them, I dont make the rules. You do have some options though. Open your manual up and call ford customer service and explain your circumstance and see if they will help out. They may sell you a AWA ESP warranty cheaper to keep you as a valued customer. This would mean you pay 100-500$ for this repair and come out with it fixed and a ESP warranty on the rest of the vehicle. Another option is to get the axle serviced meaning a fluid exchange and friction modifer added back in. I do not do this as a fix since it does not always work. but I have recommended it to customers here on JA and at my dealer and some have replied with good results.
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 41855
Experience: 16 years experience
Chris (aka- Moose) and 8 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for such a quick reply.

I looked into an extended warranty but it just make me mad thinking of pay Ford more money for a bad product.

I am going to try changing the fluid and the modifer.

If that doesn't fix it i will have it rebuilt.

But soon after it is going to be sold.

What is different about this fix then what was done in 2004? Will it be a long term fix or
will it mess up again at 28000 miles?

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 years ago.

The modifer is the problem. Modifer used to be made with whale fat, now that is illegal so it is made synthetic which does not hold up.

In 04 they dropped your complete rear axle assembly and installed a complete new one.

Will it occur again down the road? I cant say yes or no. I can say the vehicles which I replace the clutches in have not returned yet. I do not know about the ones which took my advice on a service attempted fix.

Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 41855
Experience: 16 years experience
Chris (aka- Moose) and 8 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I like the AWA ESP warranty idea.
I will try that.
I am NOT happy with Ford at all right now.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 years ago.
Your welcome
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I got another question for you Chris.
What happens if I don't get it fixed?
What is going on when it shutters in a slow speed turn?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 years ago.
Okay when you make a turn all 4 wheels go different speeds. Your vehicle has limited slip in the rear axle which means if you get stuck in the snow and one wheel is spinning, there are clutches which will slip and try to provide some traction to the wheel which is not spinning. There is clutch for the right and left axle in the rear. Kind works like this. Place your hands together like clapping. Now rub in circles. This is slipping. Now press hard together, this is traction. now press medioccur this is jerking and chattering. Your clutches are grabbing to much. It will not harm anything. You would have to drive it this way for about 20k miles before damage would occur.

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