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MercSled
MercSled, Mecury Mechanic
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 1402
Experience:  Senior Master Ford Lincoln Mercury completed all training in every catagory with honors
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Mercury Mountaineer: my front differential blew due to a bad

Customer Question

my front differential blew due to a bad transfer case,the case.both were changed and now there is a vibration and noise coming from the case.the vehicle is an 04 mountaineer v6 awd
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mercury
Expert:  MercSled replied 2 years ago.

MercSled :

Hi, please explain the noise and vibration as much as possible, also, does it mostly only happen while making a slight turn, or does it happen while driving straight as well?

MercSled :

Also, will it happen all of the time?

Customer:

It happens all the time

MercSled :

Great, now does it happen while driving perfectly straight, or do you have to be turning slightly to cause the vibration?

Customer:

the vibration isa little violent also it happened about 75 mi after the case was changed,it happens all the time

MercSled :

Great, so front differential was changed, was it a complete unit, used unit, or where gears and bearings changed? I think I have a good feeling on whats going on....

Customer:

used unit

MercSled :

Was it made 100% certain that the gear ratio of the front differential matches the gear ratio of the rear differential?, If 2 different gear ratios front to rear, when awd automatically kicks when commanded, the complete drive train will bind, basically feeling like the truck wants to fall apart from shaking. Many different gear ratios availible for this truck.

Customer:

yes its a 355

MercSled :

Great. Also does not hurt to double check by marking the tire and driveshaft to physically calculate the ratio.

MercSled :

Next.. Have you tried removing the front drive shaft to see if the vibration goes away?

Customer:

yes ,there is still a vibration,we put it on jackstands andit still vibrates

Customer:

the vibration is not asviolent w/ the front disconnected

MercSled :

Truck will always vibrate on jack stands, just the nature of the front and rear drive components trying to keep up with eachother. I suggest removing front drive shaft and driving to see if vibration is gone. Has this been done?

Customer:

yes the vib is not as bad,but i pick up a little decelerating and the clicking noise went away also

MercSled :

Also, what was the main problem prior to replacing the transfercase and front differential, basically what exactly was happening? Was it the same exact concern?

Customer:

no i took the car to a transmission shop,i had a humming in the rear and a cackle noise from the case and the wheels in front were binding on tight turns,the idiot told me ir was nothing to worry about and i should bring it back when the noise got worse 2 days later the front blew

MercSled :

Great information, now how was it prooven the front blew? Was it taken apart to see broken bearings, or gears?

MercSled :

Sorry for all the information needed, will help to narrow down whats going on with your truck.

Customer:

the front blew big time,i exploded it on the new jersey turnpike at about 78 mph,even the case cracked

MercSled :

Great information, Sorry that happened, so yes it needed to be replaced. Now, where you able to actually see the transfercase that the old one was replaced with? Did it have a a motor, and 2 sensors, one on the top, and one a little lower? and also was this unit used?

MercSled :

(by unit used, mean the transfercase)

Customer:

yes i did my case had no motors or sensors on it,the unit was used all was the same excet it lookedthe newunit had threads for mounting a motor and mine did not

MercSled :

Great information. Sure seems like you have the incorrect transfercase for your vehice. Any chance the new transfercase also had a seal with a "shaft" coming out of the center of where the bolts where to mount a motor?

MercSled :

5 or so different transfercases will bolt right up to your explorer.

Customer:

its a mountaineer

MercSled :

sorry, mountaineer, basically the same set up being a 4.0 sohc, awd with a 5r55 trans.

Customer:

no it did not

MercSled :

okay good. Now you may wonder why I would like you to do this test, feel free to ask....

MercSled :

have you used a string to measure around all 4 tires, or even a measuring tape for a taylor to ensure the diamator is all within 1/4 of an inch of variance?

Customer:

no

MercSled :

with wheels off the ground?

Customer:

no

MercSled :

I would definetly do this to eliminate the most common cause of the symptoms you are having...

MercSled :

If one tire is is 1/4 of an inch or more in size difference, the awd system that you have with no sensors to monitor drive shaft speeds will mechanically bind at certain speeds. Basically the same feeling as having a different gear ratio in the front and rear, and will vibrate just as violently.

Customer:

ok,do you think thiswill help the case or didi trash this one too

MercSled :

Its probably fine, the t-cases are usually pretty strong. I have seen many cases replaced due to uneven tire sizes.

Customer:

even w/the car off the ground it was still clicking and vibrating when we still had the front shaft connected

MercSled :

(not becaused it was damaged, but due to the symptoms of the t-case being bad like you explain)

MercSled :

Hi, yes it is 100% normal even on a brand new mountaineer in 2004 to make these noises while off of the ground. Truck was designed to drive on the ground not in the air, so front and rear wheels are always trying to catch up with eachother causing noise, and crackling in the transfercase.

MercSled :

I replaced a transfercase for this reason in the past a long time ago, learned the hard way, tires where the problem.

Customer:

this was a loud click

MercSled :

multiple clicks? or just one?

MercSled :

did the transmission seem to come out of gear as well?

Customer:

i got my monies worth out of you !!!!!just one click it seemed a consistent click that it made while on the ground,no the trans did not come out of gear

MercSled :

Great, so seems like the clicking is normal. What I recommend doing is a few things starting with the easiest of course. Feel free to contact me again after doing each recommendation, will still be here to help after an accept, just reply to this same post. FIRST: take the number off of the transfercase thats in your truck right now, and call a local dealer parts department and sweet talk them into seeing if that part number is XXXXX for your VIN. If dealer is close, may be worth it to actually go down there and talk to a parts person. There usually bored in the front counter, and happy to help. If part is bad, need to get the correct transfercase, no way around it. Next, measure all tires as described above, if all tires are within 1/4 of an inch, write me back so I can further help. Will switch to Question format so you can easily contact me back after doing the above tests.

MercSled :

I meant part number, not part

Customer:

one more question andi willlet you go back to your life can it be driven w/the front disconnected

MercSled :

I think yes, but should only be done a short distance. Ford does not recommend it from what I have heard. Ive done it to diagnose, but would never leave it off all the time.

MercSled :

or permanently.

Customer:

thanks for your help-steve

MercSled, Mecury Mechanic
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 1402
Experience: Senior Master Ford Lincoln Mercury completed all training in every catagory with honors
MercSled and 10 other Mercury Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  MercSled replied 2 years ago.

Hi steve, let me know what you find out, just reply to this if help is still needed.

Thanks!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hi,its me again-you were right,tires were over a 1/4 inch took car to goodyear got 4 235 r 70-16s went back to my friends shop hooked up the front driveshaft cat wasgreat.an hour ago vibration came back with a metallic noice from t-case the numbers on my orig casewere4410-8 the newone is 4410-05 that 4410 is the only no. showoing for 04--help!!!!!
Expert:  MercSled replied 2 years ago.

I certainly would double check with the dealers parts department if transfercase is correct, if correct, being a viscous clutch with no mechanical components, I would suspect the transfercase installed is no good. No electronics used at all in your awd to control the transfercase. Many used transfercases can be on there way out due to incorrect tire sizes/ or uneven wear. At this point to make 100% sure possible faulty transfercase once the dealer has confirmed correct number for your vin (needs to be correct for vin, please have dealer check based on number given to me), is to take it out and take it apart to inspect for damage, or even drain fluid into a container and shine a light to look for metal, or clutch particles.

Basically two possibilities, most likely wrong transfercase for your vin, although is an option for your year, or..... faulty used transfercase.

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