FYI, just replaced the rear axle bearings and rear end (differential) to the tune of 1800 bucks at 100K miles. My Ford F150 has almost double the mileage w/o any major problems.
That's interesting about the rear end. It seems like I've heard other people mention rear end problems.
Tonight I got the whim to check my differential and transfer case fluid levels on my 2002 Explorer Sport, because I'm a freak about maintenance.
I had to add a quart of 80W-90 to the rear differential. The front differential was full, and the transfer case needed about 8 ounces of Mercon added to it.
Even though I had both the 60,000 and 75,000 mile schedules performed when I bought the Explorer at 79,000 miles, I think the dealer didn't check those fluids, because it's not part of either schedule.
I guess I could see a quart of gear oil seeping out in 85,000 miles of hard use, although it seems like a lot to me. What surprises me is that the Ford recommended service interval doesn't even have you check the differential fluid until 100,000 miles, at which time, mine probably would have been bone dry. Under those circumstances, I could see how somebody could burn up their rear end by 100,000 miles.
My old Dodge truck recommended that the differential fluid levels be checked at every chassis lube, at 15,000 mile intervals. All machines leak or consume a little fluid, but I think Ford could increase the frequency of checking fluids. From now on, I will stick to the recommended service intervals in my Haynes Manual, which is about half the intervals recommended by the manufacturer.
My truck whistles as well, we say "it's screaming it's so cold!" It also flashes with the O/D, doesn't let the shifter go into park easily, gases into reverse crazily at times, check engine light came on after check gas cap light engaged... oh, rear end squeals, and differential fluid has been changed 3 times to keep the truck from grinding when I make turns. Just annoying.
I do like however how it feels like a truck compared to my prior Jeep Grand Cherokee. I like that it handles amazing on snow road conditions. It does the driving for you almost. But, with all the problems, how will I ever get rid of it unless someone is familiar with Ford's problems.