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  #1  
Old 12-15-2009, 10:23 PM
sunogbahay sunogbahay is offline
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High-speed vibration/grinding noise

Hi all. I've got a bit of a gremlin that I've been trying to track down for a couple of months and I thought that I'd get your input on what might be causing the problem.

The truck is a 2002 F250 crew-cab. When I go over about 70mph, and hit a bump or something that gets the shocks moving, I hear a pretty serious grinding. The "grinding" kind of sounds like a tire rubbing on something - sometimes it sounds a little more like metal on metal. For a long time I thought that it was coming from the front-end but now I'm starting to suspect a problem with the driveshaft. Just below 70mph, the truck kind of starts to vibrate a little - nothing too violent though - just kind of a prelude to the grinding that starts above 70. The truck also vibrates at around 45-50mph, but it is never accompanied with the grinding noise. Both of these vibrations seem to have started around the same time - this past September maybe - and I don't think that they were there before.

Since this problem started, I've installed a new right wheel bearing, 4 new bilstein shocks, serviced the 4x4 needle bearings on both sides, and lubed the steering linkage in the front-end. The grinding hasn't changed at all. I think that my left bearing still needs to be replaced but I'd be surprised if that were the source of the high-speed grinding noise. The tires are all new - installed in the Spring. I can't see any unusual tire wear or rubbing on the wheel-wells. I've got stock tires without any lift and there is plenty of clearance. It seems like the noise happens more often when the truck is loaded or when I'm pulling a trailer. The ball-joints also seem to be fine - although I'm not sure if they've ever been done. I haven't tried prying on them with a 2x4 under the wheel but when I tried to wiggle them with my arms, there wasn't any movement.

So the question is, where do you guys think I should start looking to get rid of this noise. I searched a couple of older threads that suggested some maintenance to the drive-shaft - lubing the transfer case to drive-shaft coupling. What else should I consider as possible suspects?
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2009, 11:06 PM
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Just a thought but maybe a bad carrier bearing, driveshaft's missing a weight..maybe a close inspection of the rear..
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2009, 11:31 PM
sunogbahay sunogbahay is offline
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I pulled the rear driveshaft off this afternoon and found what I think is probably causing my grinding noise. One of the cups (the one on the right in the photo below) on the welded yoke at the rear-most u-joint was broken out. The U-joint isn't so smooth anymore - more like metal-on-metal grinding.
Click the image to open in full size.
Anyway, I'm planning on taking the driveline into a local driveline shop to get the yoke cut off and a new one welded in its place. Was quoted a price of around $200 to replace all of the u-joints, carrier bearing, do the cutting and welding, and re-balance the shaft.
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2009, 08:35 AM
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Mike Allen Mike Allen is offline
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I, too, had a major issue with grinding type noise. It took me the better part of two month's worth of free time to find my issue. Mine turned out to be the passenger side hub bearing assembly. Of course I didn't find that until I had replaced u-joints, balanced the driveshaft and repalced the driver's side hub bearing. I did most of the work myself except the driveshaft balancing, looking back I would have gladly paid $200 to replace just the u-joints. Those suckers were a real PITA.
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2010, 05:59 PM
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did you ever turn your 4x4 on while the grinding was happening?
im having a problem right now that it grinds at any speed but when i lock my hubs it doesnt do it anymore.
or with the hubs free i turn my 4x4 on in the cab and it will stop till the next bump
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:47 PM
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had the same problem with mine. i checked my driveshaft while it was in park no wiggle or movement but later found out that i had a cup that had come loose also. Guess it was in a bind when i tried to move it. Glad you found it.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:27 PM
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I just replaced the u-joints in the two rear shafts along with the middle support bearing. I too was noticing an increasing vibration in the 40 to 60 mph range - smoothed out at higher speeds though. Cause was a cup on the bearing at the differential had frozen and lost all the needles.
I had removed all the u-joints but not the middle support bearing. Asked the drive line shop to remove/replace it - no problem. They also said for $4 each they would punch out and punch in the u-joints. That's a good deal. I still let them punch in the new joints though. Will remember that for the next time.
How many miles on your '02?
Glad you are good to go now.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2010, 08:55 PM
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Ive got the same problem but I havnt found mine yet.
I just live with it and am waiting for something to go BANG!
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerStroke_KiD View Post
did you ever turn your 4x4 on while the grinding was happening?
im having a problem right now that it grinds at any speed but when i lock my hubs it doesnt do it anymore.
or with the hubs free i turn my 4x4 on in the cab and it will stop till the next bump
Front axle needle bearings are bad.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinford View Post
Ive got the same problem but I havnt found mine yet.
I just live with it and am waiting for something to go BANG!

Ken, we're all waiting for that bang one day...


I have a driveline vibration too, but i notice it more while going slow, not fast...mine runs smooth, then has a small vibration that shows up and then goes away...it's almost melodic...has a pattern to it...i just go faster and hope for the best....
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drillerdan View Post
Front axle needle bearings are bad.
i have manual locking hubs if the hubs are free why would the bearing grind
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunogbahay View Post
I pulled the rear driveshaft off this afternoon and found what I think is probably causing my grinding noise. One of the cups (the one on the right in the photo below) on the welded yoke at the rear-most u-joint was broken out. The U-joint isn't so smooth anymore - more like metal-on-metal grinding.
Click the image to open in full size.
Anyway, I'm planning on taking the driveline into a local driveline shop to get the yoke cut off and a new one welded in its place. Was quoted a price of around $200 to replace all of the u-joints, carrier bearing, do the cutting and welding, and re-balance the shaft.
Did this end up fixing the problem? Ive been trying to figure out the same problem with mine. Small vibrations entering 65+ then that annoying rubbing sound when going over dips in the road when going 70+. Seems to only rub when going straight or putting more load on the front left (long sweeping right turns at 70+) doesn't seem to rub when turning left in the same manner.
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:46 PM
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I had a noise for quite a while (months)that i couldnt pin point, i took the truck to 4 different shops including the Ford dealer, they could hear it but had no idea what it was, so i too was wating for a !!BANG!! so i could fix it. I got it fixed it ebded up being the drive shaft just needed to be taken apart and regreased by the carrier bearing. Hopefully this helps someone
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:51 PM
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search noise in front end theres a lot of input in that thread from everyone when they were trying to help me out
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:50 PM
sunogbahay sunogbahay is offline
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Getting that u-joint fixed took care of my problem. They ended up welding in a new yoke, and replacing all of the bearings.

My symptoms were very similar to the ones that you (Jars) described. I was looking all over the front-end for the problem. Turned out that it was the drive-shaft. I'd suggest just pulling the drive-shaft to see if you can see anything abnormal in any of the u-joints or the slip-shaft part, near the carrier bearing. You might find a cracked cup, like I did, or something similar. I never would have found it if I hadn't pulled the shaft off - once it was off - it was obvious that there was a problem.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:50 PM
 
 
 
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