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david, Auto Service Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1500
Experience:  Certified Master Technician,Certified in diesel & gasoline engines
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Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4x4: Rear axle noise

Customer Question

Hello! I've just bought a 2004 Expedition EB with 5.4L Triton, about 92k miles. I've noticed that the axle whines when engaging accel or cruise, esp over 60 mph. Axle noise stops when coasting.


Doing some reading, I've learned that this is a very common problem for Exp's of this era. Also noticed that there's a TSB describing an apparent fix for axle whine.


Does the TSB fix really work, in your experience? Or am I going to be back in the shop repeatedly for more rear axle work?


We want to tow a 5000 lb trailer so it needs to be a reliable, safe rig. Can't afford a garage queen, not out of warranty like this.


I have taken it to the local Ford dealer, who wants to charge $900 labor and $1075 to do a rear axle teardown and diff overhaul. 


They also found some noise in the right rear wheel bearing, which they'll fix for $110 labor and $312 parts. 


Are these fair costs, and will they fix my issue?  Thanks.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  david replied 5 years ago.
Hi thank you for your question I can help.

You are right there is a TSP out for this problem. But it is a TSB not a recall so if you do not have a warranty you will have to pay.

I would not recommend letting the dealer do this work. Any reputable shop can do this repair, For a lot less money.

Yes rebuilding or replacing the rear end will fix the problem for good.
The problem is ford used cheap bearings at the factory that are wearing out to fast.

The TSP calls for rebuilding the rear end with new parts Listed.


4630 - Head Bearing
4628 - Head Bearing Cup
4676 - Pinion Seal
386989-S2 - Washer (Slinger)
4621 - Tail Bearing
4616 - Tail Bearing Cup
4222 - Differential Bearing Cups
4221 - Differential Bearings
4209 - Gear Set (includes pinion shims, pinion nut and crush spacer)
4209 - Instruction Sheet

The old TSB 05 -12-6 for this problem called for replacing the rear axle as a hole.
Now they just replace the bearings and seals. (Rebuild the rear end).
This is a copy of the TSB click here

The rebuild kit online or from a 4x4 shop will run about $300 total.
The labot to do the job should not be more than $600

Let me know.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi David,


Some q's:


1) Where would you recommend ordering this rebuild kit? Do I just reference the TSB and the shop will know what I need?


2) Labor is rated 5.9 hrs for the TSB kit install, so you think $600 labor sounds right?


3) Is the TSB fix going to fix my right rear bearing issue as well?


4) Would you think with this kit installed, I'll experience further issues with the rear end? IOW, does the TBS solution really FIX it? I really need to be able to trust this vehicle.

Expert:  david replied 5 years ago.

Think of it this way you need your rear end rebuilt.

If you are looking to buy the parts online use this site
Enter your trucks info. Go to drivetrain and click on Differential Bearing and Seal Kit.

If you go to a shop, Tell the shop about the axle whine, they will know all about it and know what needs to be done.

$600 is vary fair for this repair most shops charge around 90$ an hours.

Yes if you get the full rear axle rebuild kit it will included the axle bearings.

TSB is technical service bulletin It is a way for the factory to tell the dealers there is a problem. It is only inpatient to the dealer.

I have rebuilt and installed the rebuild kit it is not hard but you need to know what you are doing. If done right it will last for the life of the truck.

Hope this helps