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Front end rattle F-150

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Old 05-30-2013, 01:18 PM
caleballen95 caleballen95 is offline
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Front end rattle F-150

I have a 97 F-150 4wd and when I drive over rough places on the road you can hear a rattling noise. It also causes my truck to thud loudly. But also as I just coast at about 10 mph with the window down you can hear that rattling noise. Almost sounds like a washer sliding on a shaft or something. You can definatly tell something is loose in the front end when i hit rough places. We've jacked it up and tried to move the wheel and the bearings and ball joints seem tight. Any ideas? Thank you gentlemen.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:03 PM
enriched&beyound enriched&beyound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleballen95 View Post
I have a 97 F-150 4wd and when I drive over rough places on the road you can hear a rattling noise. It also causes my truck to thud loudly. But also as I just coast at about 10 mph with the window down you can hear that rattling noise. Almost sounds like a washer sliding on a shaft or something. You can definatly tell something is loose in the front end when i hit rough places. We've jacked it up and tried to move the wheel and the bearings and ball joints seem tight. Any ideas? Thank you gentlemen.
check the sway bar end links too...Had something very similar to what you're saying...and sure enough one was popped.

If that isn't it...then maybe start looking over shocks and heat shield on the exhaust.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:04 PM
martyshel martyshel is offline
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I've got a similar issue with my '02..... Discovered what it was while changing the oil last weekend. My sway bar end link on the drivers side front had a bushing missing....so basically the bolt that holds the sway bar to the frame was rattling and would thud when I hit a bump. New bushings should be arriving today.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:47 PM
galaxie641 galaxie641 is offline
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I've had those end links snap in half and just looking at them you'd never know it but they make the noises you describe.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:58 PM
artfd artfd is offline
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Exclamation

I had a noise problem a little like yours on my 2001 F150 & thought it might be the front end. Took it to a front end place, they diagnosed a rotted out radiator core support, with the radiator & AC condenser hanging by their hoses. I was one good bump away from my engine &/or auto tranny self-destructing. Surprisingly the thing that was the easiest to see was a lower-than-normal position of the radiator. The core rot was 98% obscured by valances & other parts installed in the front end of the engine compartment. My dealer missed the diagnosis a few months earlier when he replaced the gas tank straps under a recall.
This is an extremely common problem in NE Ohio.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:49 PM
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96f150 96f150 is offline
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Artfd..pics of that rotted out core would help us all out a lot if you could post some of them when you get them...please.......I think I will be looking into my 01 and see whats going on with it
Thanks
Rich
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:14 PM
artfd artfd is offline
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Originally Posted by 96f150 View Post
Artfd..pics of that rotted out core would help us all out a lot if you could post some of them when you get them
Without removing something from the truck there is very little to see. At a minimum, crawl underneath the front bumper and unfasten the flexible black plastic valance between the bumper and the bottom rail of the core support, which is the part that rusts away. There are about 6 Christmas tree plastic fasteners that hold the valance to core support holes. Sometimes if you use a pry bar or a pair of pliers just right, you can pull those plastic trees away and re-use. Sometimes you will break them off and have to use fresh ones. If you do that you will be able to see the entire extent of the bottom of the radiator core support & you can judge for yourself.
This photo is of a junkyard F150, where I slashed the valance apart, but did not remove it from the bottom rail of the core support. The severe rust is not visible: Click the image to open in full size.
This is what the above bottom rail of the core support looked like from above after I removed many items from the front of the engine compartment
Click the image to open in full size. On that particular model, removing the bumper to core support valance would have caused the core bottom rail to fall out & hit the ground!
This is what my particular F150 looked like after I removed the things which obscured the damage:
Click the image to open in full size.
There is a long thread on what I have been doing here: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/12...l#post13186822
with a photo of a junkyard F150 missing the lower rail of its core support. There is a photo of my truck after I replaced the support & before I put everything back on it.
Here's a photo of core damage in an earlier F150 model
Click the image to open in full size.
and another view:
Click the image to open in full size.
Same truck after missing material replaced with sheet metal, welded & painted:
Click the image to open in full size.
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2001 F150 4.2L gas, bought at 11,000 miles & have 108,000 on it. Getting 14 mpg around town & 17-21 mpg on interstates depending on wind & slopes. I personally replaced my rusted out radiator core support in my backyard during winter 2012-2013, it only took me 5 months. If I'm lucky I can use this truck another 3 or 4 years before it falls apart from rust.
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