Grinding noise when front wheels are turned on 2003 Ford Explorer

Own a 2003 Ford Explorer with a full time 4 wheel drive system, but has a lock mode and a two speed transfer case. While driving, when the front wheels are turned there is a loud grinding noise. It is very noticeable when you first take off from a stop and you turn the steering wheel. Two mechanics have checked it out and both say there is nothing wrong, but have not given the reason for the noise. I have had several 4x4 vehicles and have never experienced this in both 2 and 4 wheel drive settings. Does this have something to do with the differential action in the transfer case when the wheels are turned, or is there a problem in the drive train? When the wheels are staight ahead, there is no noise. The tires are the stock size, so I know they are not rubbing on something.

by in Garden Grove, CA on May 08, 2010
1 answer 3 comments
ANSWER by on May 28, 2010
I wanted to find out if you found out what this was caused from. I am having the same problem with my 2002 explorer. (
COMMENT by on June 06, 2010
The fluid in the differential case needs to be replaced. same thing happened to my 2003 Explorer. Once fluid was replaced the sound and knocking was gone - ran like new.
COMMENT by on April 10, 2011
I am having the same problem with my 03.. will this cause it to also eat gas?
COMMENT by on July 24, 2014
my 2003 4xx4 ranger has loud grinding noise when wheels are turned to left only
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