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Discussion Starter #1
'97 4.6l stock wheels, bilstein shocks. Firestone FireHawk tires.

I've had the car since 2000. Been driving for many (20+) years but not familiar with this sound. When driving on the highway, the car starts to make a loud "road noise" at around 65MPH+. Sounds like coming from rear/right rear but who knows?

When I step on the gas, the noise goes away for a minute when tire speed increases but then it comes back. No difference if dropped into neutral at speed. Noise usually drops out around 85+mph. The noise is quite loud, very uncormfortable. I also notice additional vibration in my rear view mirror, but I'm not noticing any real control or ride comfort issues besides the bad noise.

Problem is reproducible at 65MPH+ on same stretches of highway (luckily real close to Ford dealership).

I've had a rotation and high speed balance done but no effect.

I'm going to take it to Ford but was wondering what suggestions I could make to the service advisor as to what might be wrong.
 

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My XR7 has started to do this. I'm suspecting worn rear end gears. My noise starts around 85 and gets progressively worse the faster I go. I'm not positive it's gears, but that's what I suspect. Mine noise seems to eminate from the left rear.

My tires are Uniroyal Tiger Paw AWP, and are supposed to be good for 65000 miles. I'd say they have about 20000 left on them. I rotate and balance them often, so I don't suspect the tires.

I guess it could be a rear wheel bearing or possibly U-joint related, but it sounds like the rear end to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking that if it was a rear end/gear problem that the noise wouldn't be so reproducable on these stretches of road.

I might be wrong but the noise seems to come and go about the same places in the highway, and that was making me think it was a tire/wheel problem.
 

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Well, you are right....a rear end problem would be reproduceable at predictable speeds, no matter what the condition of the roads....
 

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I sounds like it could be a rear wheel bearing. I had one go out a few years ago, and it was hard to tell which side of the vehicle it was coming from.
 
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