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2000 Ford Explorer. When driving, I am hearing a "wop wop"

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2000 Ford Explorer. When driving...
2000 Ford Explorer. When driving, I am hearing a "wop wop" sort of sound. It is rotational since it speeds up as driving speed increases. I thought wheel bearing. I replaced the left side a few years ago, so I took the wheels and brake calipers off. I turned the wheels but there was no sound. No play in the bearings. CV joints appear to be good as are the drive shaft U joints. Differential is full. The noise is getting worse, but I can't recreate it when there is no weight on the front tires. I jacked up all 4 wheels and put it in gear, but no sound. While doing all of this, I discovered that the upper ball joints are very worn. Could this be what I am hearing? How can I test the wheel bearings short of pulling them off? Tires have about 8,000 miles, and are wearing evenly.
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Ford
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
12/21/2017
Ford Mechanic: EricFromCT, Ford Technician replied 8 months ago
EricFromCT
EricFromCT, Ford Technician
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Experience: 20 years dealership exp., ASE A1-A9 L1 L2, Ford Lincoln Mercury Senior Master, Diesel Certified
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Ford Mechanic: EricFromCT, Ford Technician replied 8 months ago

The noise is most likely from the tires. You can try and verify that by rotating the tires front to rear and see if the noise changes even a little bit.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I already did that awhile back. It made no appreciable difference. As I said, the tires are wearing evenly. I can hear the noise even while just creeping along at 1 or 2 MPH. Doesn't make any difference if I am on pavement, gravel driveway, snow covered dirt road, or grass. The sound is the same.
Ford Mechanic: EricFromCT, Ford Technician replied 8 months ago

Sounds like tire nose still to me since it goes away when off the ground. The only way I can see an upper ball joint causing that would be due to the camber being off (tire tilted inward) and perhaps not riding flat on the road surface. Sometimes the boots of the cv axle can make a noise similiar to what you describe. Try spraying the cv boots liberally and between the folds in the boot with some silicone spray.

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