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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm hoping someone can help me.

I changed the right front wheel bearing about a month ago.

After I was done, I now have a sound when driving at first startup. It only happens when turning when first driving, both forwards and backwards. It goes away when driving straight and if you make the same turn 10 minutes later it's gone.

I have removed both wheels and checked all components. Everything is tight and in good condition. It happens at first start of the day and if you go somewhere and stop and then restart in 30 minutes or so, it doesn't make the noise.

Unsure about the issue so I'm hoping someone can help.

Second issue is about a possible 4WD issue. When driving at slower speeds, under 40 MPH, the wheels sound like they are locking (tire squeal on pavement). Also the front tires have what looks like "waves" on the leading edge of the tread. Rear wheels do not.

Is this a transfer case issue or something else with the transmission?

Read other forum posts about transfer case issues and it mentions changing the fluid. I have never done that and didn't know to. Could the issue be because of low fluid? If so, what is the chance there's no damage?

Any help on either issue is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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If the fluid has never been changed, change it. It needs to be done anyway and if it was the problem, then it's solved. Damage already, you can just change the fluid or you can pay a lot to have someone diagnose the problem and be at their mercy for the right diagnosis and fair cost to fix it.

IMO no sense in waiting to change the fluid. You could wonder if anything is damaged and it is not a reason not to do maintenance or else lack of maintenance will eventually result in accelerated wear, damage.
 

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Only what I already mentioned on that other forum, to jack it up and see if the bearing rotates freely and evenly, check the axle nut torque, and return the bearing for a refund or exchange if no other solution is found. At worst in that case, you spend some time taking it off and putting another on.

I'm not clear on what you mean by "waves on the leading edge of the tread". If you mean cupping that is typically a sign of worn shocks.

You don't happen to have different brand or size tires on it do you? That or a transfer case speed sensor problem could be causing 4WD to kick in. Google search for Explorer Brown Wire mod and you'll get info about how to cut that wire (temporarily, then reconnect, or wire it to a switch to manually disable 4WD while in "Auto" mode and give you 2WD Low too. For your purposes if it cannot go into 4WD, it would rule out 4WD being the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll have to get some pictures. On another board there was suggestions of removing the front drive shaft to see if that solved the "locking brake" problem, which is most likely the cause of the tire wear.
 
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