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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was servicing my ranger and i had the front right side jacked up and when i spin the wheel i hear a clicking or grinding noise in the front diff.I tried the same thing on the left and no noise nice and smooth.
It is not tha propshaft or anythind in that driveline rear of the fron diff because i had it i turf mode so the propshaft was not spinning rather just the axle in the diff.I do not think its in the outer portion of the axle but i know how sounds and vibrations can travel.The best i can tell is its in the diff right side.I serviced it before and put new seals in it and i serviced it again after that and changed the oil.This is probably the only time i ever spun the wheel while up on a jack like that.I just kinda stumbled on it.It does not do it during the full revolution of the shaft but just intermittanly.If i lift the shaft with my hand and a rag and spin the shaft the noise goes away.There is about 300 miles on this oil change in the diff.
Thanks
 

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Are you certain it isn't a front wheel bearing? Bearing noises can travel through the powertrain and sound like they are coming from places other than where they originate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you certain it isn't a front wheel bearing? Bearing noises can travel through the powertrain and sound like they are coming from places other than where they originate.
I am not certain anything is possible I know the bearings are fairly new and they were well greased and i do not go through much water.I will have to check it more closely when i get a chance but it sure sounds and feels like the diff.

I have another question...With the front right wheel up off the ground and in turf mode(the yoke or shaft or other wheel nor spinning,,, and I spin the wheel by hand the only things turning in the diff would be the hub and inner race of bearing correct.
In other words when the axle turns the axle hub in the diff it turns the bearing and the inner portion of the hub in the sprague.It could be a bad bearing ?
 

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It could also be a CV joint or I'm thinking the splined end of the axle is binding in the cup of the front gearbox. Some models have a lot of play there and with the wheel off the ground the angle of the axle is at it's greatest. You might try pulling the axle and applying grease or anti seize to the splines and see if it goes away.
In other words when the axle turns the axle hub in the diff it turns the bearing and the inner portion of the hub in the sprague.It could be a bad bearing ?
Yes, when turning one axle by hand just the inner hub and bearing are turning. Although, the inner hub is turning inside the sprague cage so there could be something going on there. I would try my above suggestion before tearing down the gearbox. It might save a lot of your time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
It could also be a CV joint or I'm thinking the splined end of the axle is binding in the cup of the front gearbox. Some models have a lot of play there and with the wheel off the ground the angle of the axle is at it's greatest. You might try pulling the axle and applying grease or anti seize to the splines and see if it goes away.

Yes, when turning one axle by hand just the inner hub and bearing are turning. Although, the inner hub is turning inside the sprague cage so there could be something going on there. I would try my above suggestion before tearing down the gearbox. It might save a lot of your time.
BPS,I should have pointed out I had the right front jacked up by placing the jack under the a arm and wheel just off the ground so the angle of the axle would be similar to while riding.The splined end of the axle does have some some play in both the hub and the axle .I assembled them in the past using never seize so it should not be binding but i can definately check it.
I find it odd that the noise goes away if I put on a glove and raise the inner part of the axle close to the diff while spinning the wheel.I will check it over real close before deciding to take the diff out.I want to check oil level and look for water as well but the seals all look good and no visible leaks.
My thinking is maybe the hub bearing on that side may be bad and when I take some side load off the bearing with my hand that it smoothens out.
 

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It would be very uncommon to have a problem with the inner bearing, especially if fluid level and quality has been maintained. That being said, I've been doing this for quite some time and I'm always amazed when I see something new that I never would have expected. I like it though, keeps things interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will report back when I do some more searching and let you know what I have found.
I hear you. ive found some odd things over the years as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I rechecked the front diff and wheel bearing area and i was confident it was the diff so i started disassembly.At the point where i had the front apart and axles pulled i wanted to see if i could duplicate the noise by spinning the axle hub by hand but i could not so I made a tool using a dowel that would fit in my cordless drill chuck and on the other end larger using duct tape I wrapped around the dowel aprox. the size of the inside of the axle hub.I then inserted the fat end into the hub and turned the dowel with the drill.I was able to duplicate the sound only by putting the drill down toward the ground a few degrees.I know its ******* but i could get the growling noise to reproduce using this method.
I was sure it was in the diff i removed it for inspection but there is no wear on anything or no water in the oil, no bad bearings everything looked good other than the pinion seal was leaking a bit.
I plan on replacing the pinion seal put it back together and fill it with oil and reinstall.
It sounded like metal on metal like a gear was trying to catch on another gear or something.As bps confirmed what i already though was the case...the only thing turning in the diff when i did my test is the hub in the bearing.
I am lead to believe that when the machine is together even with grease or never seize on the splines where it goes into the hub is that the angle and weight of the axle and wear in the hub and axle alow for some slop and as the peices are rotated they make a noise.The opposite side is not noisy but the axle and hub fits better than the noisy side.
The diff is straight forward and nothing worn other than maybe the splines in the hub so I do not know what else it could be other than that wear and the splines where it goes into the hub.I tried the hub once out and into my hand on the axle and they seem pretty sloppy.I think as mentioned in another thread that mud and sand gets in there and they get worn.
 

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If memory serves me I believe that the two hubs can swap sides. If you still have it out you could switch the hubs left to right and see if the sounds follows the hub or stays on the same side of the case. It would be interesting to know.
 

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The drive hubs in the front gear cases on the 2009 and up Rangers are notorious for wearing out the splines on the drive hubs and the axles. The 2009 700 down here went thru the hubs & axle splines in 300 hours . We had to grind down the top of the a-arm brackets to keep the cv boots from being torn up as the slop allows the axles to droop to the point where they will lay on the tabs of the brackets. The only noise they made was the sound of the hub spinning and the axle not engaging.. What a money maker for POCO .. $400.00 for a new set of hubs ( yes they can go either side) and then a couple hun for new axles ... A stealership will probably get you for another $500.00 for labor.. $1100 for something that again just shouldn't be happening . Pre 2009 , they will go forever with just a fluid change every 100 hours..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info on guys.I am going to put it back together and see what happens.Its sad they wear out so fast and im easy on it .I just put around and only do maybe 300 miles a year.Its hardy ever in 4 wheel drive and i never go out biking to see where I can go .I stick to the gravel roads and trails 99 % of the time.I will run it until it needs hubs and axles and then do the repair myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well i took the diff out and apart and found nothing wrong at all.the pinion seal was leaking a bit so i replaced it as well as both hub seals.I switched hubs from side to side as mentioned and the noise changed from the right to left side and followed the hub.I will chaulk this up to wear between the axle and the splines where they mate in the hub.It cant be anything else.Its not bad and you cannot hear it if you jack all 4 corners and run the machine in 4x4.Only when it is spun by hand and the driveshaft not moving.
Thanks guys
 
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