I have a '97 Ranger with about 120k, 5 spd manual transmission, 2wd. For the last 2-3 months I’m hearing and feeling a clunking or rattling noise (I can’t decide which it is) coming from the rear of the vehicle at random times.
I can’t really predict or find a pattern of when the noise will happen, but it seems like it is most likely to happen when I’m either accelerating up a hill or when I’m braking relatively hard. It happens whether the clutch is in or out. Doesn’t seem to matter. It does NOT happen when idling, only when traveling. I don’t ever remember it happening at highway speed (65mph).
If I have my hand on the stick shift I can feel the shaking / rattling as it happens. There seems to be no impact on the performance of the vehicle - no additional trouble shifting into or out of gear, accelerating, or anything else.
On a recent trip I towed a 1,000 lb trailer and I did not feel or hear the noise at all during that trip (about an hour each way).
Any guess as to whats going on? Thanks…