Question about 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

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MY 1997 FORD EXPLORER XLT IS MAKING A 'GRINDING' NOISE. IT SOUNDS LIKE A GEAR GRINDING. I WAS TOLD THAT IT IS THE COMPUTER TELLING THE 4WD LOW TO TURN ON EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT TRYING TO TURN IT ON. IT MAKES THIS NOISE AT ABOUT 40MPH AND WILL STOP IF I PUT THE TRUCK IN TO NUETRAL WHILE DRIVING OR DON'T TRY TO SLOW THE VEHICLE DOWN. I REMOVED THE FUSE FOR THE 4WD AND I ALSO DISCONNECTED THE PLUG TO THE TRANSFER CASE, BUT IT DID NOT WORK, CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME FIX THIS PROBLEM. THIS IS MYONLY VEHICLE AND I HAVE TO VERY YOUNG CHILDREN WHO DEPEND ON IT.

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  • rphays Mar 04, 2009

    I have a grinding noise that gets louder after about 20 miles of straight driving and quites back down after it sit for about 10 minutes.

  • phillip01101 May 11, 2010

    Can you coast it down a slight incline, power off, to see if it still makes the noise?

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  • Master
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Did you change any tires? if the circumference of the tires are more than 1 inch difference from each this will cause the 4wd to try to engage because it sees a difference in wheel speed

Posted on Mar 01, 2009

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Why does my 1997 ford explorer xlt 4wd make a roaring noise?


Because something is about to blow up. Try and narrow down where the noise is coming from..if no clue, take it to a mechanic before it blows up.

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My 97 ford exlorer will not go into gear except when I put it in 4 wheel low. transmission has been making a popping noise for a while.


If it won't go into gear, sounds like you've run out of transmission fluid. That grinding sound when you turn the shaft by hand, sounds like you've run it for a bit too long without fluid and wore the gears down. Start it up and check the trans fluid with dipstick. If none on stick, put some in it. You may have already ruined the transmission though. But you never know. Try putting fluid in. Might work.(for a while)

Aug 27, 2014 | 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

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When my 1997 ford explorer 4wd 181000 miles it makes a grinding noise when i let off gas when i gas it it quits what could this be it does it only when i coast like driving 55 or it started in reverse but...


I have a 97 ford explorer sport 4x4. When i drive at a constant speed it's fine but when i let off the gas I hear a grinding noise. if i put in nutral as soon as i hear it the noise quits areif I shoot the gas to it it quits. What could it be?

Jul 15, 2010 | 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

1 Answer

Transmission or transfer case noise


I have the same problem with my 94 explorer with a manual transmission, Just replaced the trans a month ago because of gear failure and now It's slipping out of gear when the engine isn't under load aka Coasting, was Told By a Really good Trans Guy that this is a failure in the Linkage in the transfer case am about to tear into mine tho It's way over my technical ability but will repost here after I get it torn apart with potential prices for worn parts for the do it yourselfer, And Has to be the issue I hope because the gears in the transmission are in pristine condition the other reason for suspecting the transfer case is that when my trans is slipping and making that weird Rattle Clatter sound coming from the trans if I put it in 4x4 low it drives great even tho the front wheels aren't pulling since I have the front drive shaft off at the moment,, Well Here goes Nothing Wish me luck on this teardown gonna need it..

Dec 27, 2008 | 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

1 Answer

4wd not engaging no indicater lgt basicaly no 4wd


I had a prolem with my 1998 Ford Explorer XLT. The 4wd indicator light would randomly start to blink while moving and when I flipped the switch to 4wd hi or low it would engage but easily disengage and the indicator lights would not come on. I was hearing a grinding sound coming from my hubs so I replaced both front hub assemblies and the light stopped blinking and 4wd hi/low works great now. it was about 300 bucks for the hub assemblies and only took me an hour or two to change.

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