Rear end clunk in Ford Ranger

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#1
1999 Ford Ranger, 3.0 litre V6, automatic transmission, 2WD, 70,000 miles. I am the person with the clunking noise only in warm/hot weather. I did some more experimenting trying to find the source of the clunk, and I found that if I push the rear of the truck from side to side (pushing on the side of the bed near the rear of the bed) I hear a clunking noise that sounds like what I hear from the cab. The rear end makes this noise only after the truck is hot. I went out this morning before the truck was driven, and pushed the truck from side to side as I did before there was no noise at all. The noise sounds like someone taping on a brake drum with a hammer, kind of a hollow metallic sound. That's the best I can disobey it. I replaced the brake shoes a couple months ago, and all looked fine. No rear end oil or brake fluid leaks. The pumpkin cover has no leaks, and the rear end gears don't seem to be making any noise. Any thoughts? Thanks, WJ
 
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#2
It sounds like it might be a bad shock, or worn,or loose bushing...the hollow metallic sound you describe makes me think that......Jim
 
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#3
Shocks were replaced about 3 months ago. What bushings should I be checking? I drove about 5 miles today and there was no noise, even when I rocked the truck from side to side. It was about 80 degrees outside. So apparently the truck has to quite hot before the noise starts.
 
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#7
Do I check for end play by taking off the wheels and pulling back and forth on the axles and look for visable and/or audible play, or does this require some sort of more elaborate measurement. Is it possible to have side play in the rear axles only when the truck is hot? If so, should I check the axles when the truck is hot, or can I check it cold also. I have taken out GM rear axles, but this is my first Ford so this is a little new to me. Thanks again, WJ
 
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#8
I pulled of the rear tires and brake drums and I do have noticeable side play in the axles. More so on the drivers side, but also some on the passenger side. As I stated before i have never repaired a Ford rearend before, so could someone just give a quick idea as to what is involved in adding a shim kit. Is this a project I could do myself? I have most of the basic mechanic tools. Thanks
 
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#10
Just to add to what Al posted if a shim is needed removed sides gears by leaving diff pinion spider gear shaft out and rotate the spider gears out, then you can slip out the side gears added shims to the back of gears and reinstall. If the the shaft does not go though with the axles in the shims are to thick. Goodluck!! Greasemonkey :)
 

Jim Davis

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#11
I think one of the things your asking about too is the axle itself being able to shift it side to side and up and down right at the end at the bearing/seal. There is going to be some movement, even with new bearings. look at the seals with the drums off, any weeping or seeping 90 weight oil? You said one side was looser than the other, if your going to pull the diff cover and pull the axles, look at the bearings for scuffing and the axles where the bearing rides for any damage.
 
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#12
First of, thanks for all the replies. You guys are great, and I mean that. I am only talking about in and out play. If I pull and push the axles in and out there is visable movement and you can hear a clunk as I push in and again as I pull out. I did not notice any side play. I checked the grease seals and they were dry and looked to be in good condition.
 

Jim Davis

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#13
Then what Al and Greasemonkey told you was what you need to check, the shims behind the spider gears. Where you get them (dealer,jobber) Im not sure, havent had to add any myself. They mentioned a kit, might come with an assortment of shims. Sure they will let you know more info, like to know more myself.