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Lou P.
Lou P., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 4965
Experience:  Have been working on Ford GM and Chrysler for 15+ years and ASE master certified.
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I have a 97 ford ranger 4.0, 5r55e automatic trans, BW 1354

Customer Question

I have a 97 ford ranger 4.0, 5r55e automatic trans, BW 1354 electronic shift tcase. When I slow down from fast speeds (45+) I can hear a clanking under the truck. When I hit the brakes the whole truck jolts like its fixing to lock up 7 or 8 times before I come to a stop. My carrier bearing on the rear driveshaft was in bad shape so I replaced it all with a 1 piece driveshaft from a newer ranger but it didn't fix it. I've talked to 2 mechanics and a transmission guy and none of them could pinpoint it. Can you please help me
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Lou P. replied 2 years ago.

Hello. From what you describe it sounds more like a differential issue or brake issue. The best way to test is to drive the truck up to speed and then let off the gas and let it coast to a stop and also manually down shift each gear to put more load on the truck. If the issue only happened when the brakes are pressed then the brakes are the issue. Try that and let me know if it helps. I will do my best to help. Lou

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It does it even without applying brakes. Just slowing down it does it, it just becomes more intense when I hit the brakes. The faster I slow down the harder it hits. And I've jacked up the rear end and ran it and it still does it even with no load. I've pretty well narrowed it to transfer case or rear end
Expert:  Lou P. replied 2 years ago.

Ok I think first you should remove the diff cover and inspect the spider gears and the pinion bearing. Also front diff, maybe just remove the drive shaft. Does it only do it in 4wd?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It does it exactly the same whether in 4wd or 2wd it still feels the same
Expert:  Lou P. replied 2 years ago.

Ok what about driving up to speed and throwing the truck in neutral and coasting or pressing brake while in neutral ? Have you tried that ?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No but I did do that while I had the rear tires in the air. And I got the same clunking
Expert:  Lou P. replied 2 years ago.

Ok then it will be rear diff most likely. I would say remove the rear driveshaft and put it in 4wd and do the test again with the rear driveshaft disconnected and see if it does it. Of course this is with it up in the air. I do believe the truck should drive without the driveshaft in 4wd but I don't recommend that I was just saying. So try that on a lift or jack stands.

Expert:  Lou P. replied 2 years ago.

So far it does sound like a rear diff issue.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm pretty sure it is but I'm done with my mechanicing for the day
Expert:  Lou P. replied 2 years ago.

Ok fair enough. Just trying to do what I can to assist in diagnosis. Your on the right track it seems since every suggestion I have is something you've done or are on the same page with. So just let me know what you find or if you need any more of my suggestions. Have a good night. Please take a second and click the box and rate my service GOOD OR EXCELLENT SERVICE if you feel I have been helpful and please request me in the future. If you feel I have not been helpful please DO NOT RATE BAD OR POOR AND WASTE YOUR MONEY , I will opt out to see if another expert can provide more or better assistance so you're not wasting your money!!. Thanks for choosing just answer. Lou. also , if you feel i deserve one , BONUSES are GREATLY APPRECIATED ! ūüėČ Keep in mind then when you rate it does not end our conversation. you can still return here to me for follow up information if needed, Lou.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One question I do have is that if the rear end is toasted will i need just new spider gears or the actual ring and pinion itself?
Expert:  Lou P. replied 2 years ago.

Well you can have one fail and not the other. So the things you will need to check is the tooth wear on the ring , and the play in the pinion bearing with the driveshaft detached. And when rotating it should not feel gritty. The best way is to use a dial indicator and check for backlash. If you don't know how to do these I can walk you through it. It's easy. Time consuming but easy. So again you can have ok spider gears and bad ring and pinion , both be bad , or vice versa. If you pull off the rear cover and are not sure then do not take anything apart. We can go to a phone chat and I can walk you through what to look for and how to check each.