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Are my hubs going out?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by jkkalbers, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    I just got back from plowing and I am getting a sqeaking sound from the front when it is in 4wd I have an f350 with the automatic hubs with the switch on the dash not the lever. What is wrong with them can they be fixed or should I just replace them. is there a way to lube them. I don't know much about hubs, and forgive my grammer I've been up for well over 24 hours. Thanks for the help
     
  2. bwamx

    bwamx Member
    Messages: 30

    How many miles on the truck?
    Is the noise the same as the engine or road speed?
    My 1st guess is check the u-joints on the front driveshaft 1st.

    Iv'e had one start to go in the middle of a storm and it made a sqeaking sound also. :eek:

    Its a little easier to check with manual hubs and man transfercase as you can lock and unlock the hubs and then shift in and out of 4 wheel.

    The front axle knuckle ujoints don't take as much abuse, but they will get more water in them when you are not in 4wheel
    and they are just sitting there.

    Bob

    :waving:
     
  3. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    the truck has about 25,000 miles on it, I also was considering the u-joint but would it squeak like that? Does it have grease zerks on it or what would you reccomed I try?
     
  4. sno-mover

    sno-mover Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    Mine did the same thing, have the u-joints replaced and should do it.
     
  5. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I'd also suspect the u-joints, the noise should be worse while turning. The factory u-joints won't have grease fittings (don't ask me why!), but make sure your replacements do. They're a bit of a hassle to replace, but if you're good with a wrench you'll figure it out.
     
  6. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    shouldn't they be covered under warranty? also they're talking 6 inches of snow tonight, is it something that is gonna bust on me or is it just gonna drive me crazy?
     
  7. bwamx

    bwamx Member
    Messages: 30

    They should not die in 1 nights plowing .
    To make sure grab the drive shaft to see if there is a lot of
    slop.

    Turn up the radio and pop in a good cd.

    The day mine let go we were due for a bigstorm the next day,
    mine made such a noise I thought the tranny was on it's way out.

    If the newer trucks are the same as mine 88-97
    the front dirveshaft will have 3 ujoints, 2 at the transfercase
    cv type setup and 1 at the axle .
    The one at the axle usually fails 1st.
    The ujoints at the transfercase side is NOT a fun job.
    2 guys and some patients(sp).

    The front joint is aprox $12-25.00 max and a 1 hr job.

    And yes this should be covered uder your warrenty.
    Yea lubed for life got to love it.
    When the gease dies the joint fails (life ).

    When you put joints with greese fittings in , even in the summer
    at every oil/lube run the truck up the road (stright only)
    in 4 wheel to rotate and lube the ujoints .
    This will help to prolong thier life.

    Bob
    :waving:
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2003
  8. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    They are covered under the 3/36000 warranty if your truck still qualifies.

    Drive your truck (carefully) with your door opened to listen for the squeak. If it sounds like it's coming from the seat, then it's the driveshaft, from the wheel, the steering knuckle.

    Whether or not it will blow on an overnight plow depends on how bad it is to start. If it's under warranty, the play dumb (What noise?), but if you have to foot the bill, there will be more damage if left to self destruct. At the very least you could end up with a broken yoke or worse depending on how much torque is applied when it lets go.
     
  9. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    I went out and wiggled the front drive shaft. there is no movement at all it is very solid I don't think its the U-joints. It isn't that loud and it is not distinct were it is coming from. When I drive next to a wall is when I notice it most. I really think it is the hubs.
     
  10. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    how about the joints in the front axle? once you lock the hubs there is nothing moving in them. i bet the front axle u joints are bad. take a look
     
  11. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Normally when a u-joint causes a squeeking noise,it will have very little noticable play.It squeeks due to lack of lube,and rust in the joint.Look carefully at all the joints,around the little grease seals on the end caps,and you will probably find rust stains,or residue.If you do then that is most likely the one(s) causing your noise.As they wear further the squeek will turn to a clunk,and you will find noticable play in them.

    Check the ones on the front axle too,the outer ones,as they can go bad as well.

    I would bet it's most likely the front joint (at the diff),on the front driveshaft.This is usually the first to go.You can unbolt the diff end of the driveshaft,and try to move the joint,back and forth,and you will probably find it siezed.It can be replaced right on the truck,no need to pull shaft,if you have a u-joint press,or big c-clamp and a few sockets.Most auto parts stores will loan you the u-joint press (usually the same tool as a ball joint press).
     
  12. SDlawndawg

    SDlawndawg Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    My 01 F-250 had the same problem. I took it to my dealer and they replaced the CV joint and the driveshaft. It was a problem from the factory in my case. The hubs also had problems but did not squeak. Had those replaced too. That was at about 8,000 miles.
     
  13. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    I'm almost positive its the hubs, plowed for 20 hours yesterday didn't make a peep until the last 4 hours then it came and went. sounded mostly like the left front, also it sounds more like bearings or a gear squeaking than anything.
     
  14. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The hubs,when in 4WD turn as one complete unit,so there is nothing in them that is turning to squeek.If the hub was not engaging properly.then I could see it making some noise,but you wouldn't go far plowing as you would not have 4WD.
     
  15. hoagie

    hoagie Member
    Messages: 64

    I have had this exact same problem before!!

    Brand new truck, only happened when (manual) hubs were engaged. Seemed to come more from driver side... most noticeable between 5-10mph. Squeak, squeak, squeak. Barely noticable, unless your listening for it.

    The dealer said it is was common problem, not serious. Hub seal dust covers. They said I could leave it for the day, but I said no thanks... if it was just a noise, I would deal w/ it.

    After a few nights of plowing in 4wd the noise is gone. If the rest of the front end looks ok, I'd say dont worry about it. The u-joints are non-serviceable for a reason... they last longer that way. Suposedly our new "grease-less" u-joints are the bomb.
     
  16. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Is that what they told you?
     
  17. hoagie

    hoagie Member
    Messages: 64

    Nope... most things that the dealer tells me goes in one ear and out the other...

    This has been discussed at length over at http://www.thedieselstop.com

    Lots of good knowlageable guys over there.
     
  18. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I'm a member over there too, missed that one.

    I think you'll find many on this site who disagree.

    Are you a big sandwich eater?;)
     
  19. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The u-joints are non-serviceable for a reason... they last longer that way
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    i dont think so.
    explain to me how a u-joint that gets no grease is going to outlast one that gets greased. impossible.
    just like the tie rods and ball joints that are non greaseable, they'll wear out faster.
    it's been debated that a non greaseable u-joint is stronger, from not being cross drilled, and thier might be some truth to that, but thats another topic.
     
  20. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    In a lot of applications the sealed joint does last longer.I used to think the greasable joints were better,but I have experienced otherwise.

    Look at most vehicles from the factory,all sealed joints,and they last a long time.Sealed joints have better sealing technology and use synthetic grease,for long life.

    Most greasable joints,have less sealing ability,as the seals get pushed open to let the excess grease out,and that lets water and contaminates in.Most people either forget to grease often enough,or over grease them which leads to joint failure.

    In all of our newer trucks,I haven't replaced a u-joint yet.Some are over 6 years old,and lots of hard miles,and plowing.

    On our older trucks,which have all been rebuilt with greasable joints they seem to have a lifespan of only a few years.

    Ball jonts and tie rods can be a different story though,as the shape and range of motion limits sealing ability of the boot.In these applications I would use a greasable joint.