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f350 growls?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by mansf123, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. mansf123

    mansf123 Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 817

    Heres my problem,,, when i speed up or slow down i hear a growling in my front end. It almost sounds like there is something rubbing? I have my hubs locked for the winter so not sure if that could have something to do with it? The sound comes and goes and doesnt really effect driving.
     
  2. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    check your u-joints
     
  3. mansf123

    mansf123 Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 817

    I checked them and they looked fine to me. What does a bad one exactly look like? Thanks
     
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    They won't necessarily look bad. Not too expensive, and not too hard to change out. Might just need to do it just to do it.

    Growling can be associated with the differential and possible bearing failure, but as also stated, it is also associated with U-joint failure.

    What year is the truck and what type of axle/front end does it have?
     
  5. mansf123

    mansf123 Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 817

    its an 03 and im pretty sure solid front axle. The noise gets louder when slowing down and speeding up.
     
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I'd change out your u-joints first, if it keeps doing it after that, then I'd plan on a front differential re-build, really not too hard to do either.
     
  7. mansf123

    mansf123 Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 817

    someone told me front end differential are a few grand to rebuild....is that true? Also is this something i should not be driving around with until its fixed?
     
  8. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    You check the grease level? Do you have it serviced? Some tard may of put ATF instead of 90w grease in it. Or too heavy of a grease. Might have water in it. What's the vent line like? Is it still there? Dust shields intact on the rotors? Could be rubbing because they have rusted out.
     
  9. mansf123

    mansf123 Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 817

    I have not had the grease changed in it recently. I have only owned the truck 7 months. The 4 wheel drive works fine. would that mean the differential is still working?
     
  10. 01lariat

    01lariat Member
    Messages: 96

    Grease in the differential? You mean oil I'm sure.

    I'd start with jacking-up the front wheels off the ground and rotating them by hand. Feel for rough bearings. Start with the ds. Seems the ds bearing like to go first. There isn't much grease in them hub bearing to begin with. If you find one a little dry, you could try pulling the ABS sensor and pumping some grease down the hole. I did it with mine. Quieted them right up. I'll still have to replace them here soon, but I'll get by till I can. Wheel hubs for OEM are roughly $350 a side. Cheaper for generic, but OEM is way better. Add to it, seals you'll replace and your spending a good chunk of change.

    You get that far, you might want to replace ball joints. About $80 a side OEM. Replacements are greasable.

    Opportune time to replace U joints at this time. They don't cost too much and are again greasable

    If your feeling really spendy I doubt your dif needs work, but opening it up and inspecting it gives you satisfaction and the opportunity to replace the oil. Oil isn't the cheapest for the truck. Might check to see what it calls for. Straight 90w doesn't sound right. I forget what it needs.

    Bing bang boom your all done. unless you need brakes serviced. Good time to dink with them or leave it for another day if they still are serviceable. You don't have to disassemble everything to do them at least. Could be really costly having a dealer do it. Probably save yourself $800 in labor doing it yourself.
     
  11. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    One of the problems with buying a used truck is you don't know how it was cared for. If fluids and filter were changed when they should. If parts like the hubs were ever serviced. When I buy a truck I change all the fluids. If the fuel filter looks old I change it. This way I KNOW it's been done. Buy the single model repair manual for your truck. It has the recommended fluids and capacities listed in the first chapter. I would start by changing the front differentials oil. The transfer case too. If you have the skill pull the front drive shaft from the transfer case. See if any of the U-joints are stiff or sloppy. It's real hard to tell if they are bad without doing this. Do you get squeaks in reverse in 4 wheel drive? This can be a sign one of the U-joint bearing cups are dry / done. Every Danna axle, (3) I have owned takes 90 weight grease. The rear's take 140w.
     
  12. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    90 weight gear oil? instead of 90w grease
     
  13. mansf123

    mansf123 Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 817

    The hubs are stuck in lock position could this be causing the problem? I was told you can drive with the hubs locked all year round if you want but im thinking bad hubs could be causing this noise?
     
  14. aperfcrcle

    aperfcrcle Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Hey, the only thing driving around with the hubs locked does is put extra wear on all the things that are moving up front. It also, if im not mistaking drastically lowers your gas mileage. The only time I lock the hubs is when im going into 4x4 mode. It could be something serious, or it could be as simple as changing the lock knob out. My opinion would just be to unlock them when your not using them, plain and simple.. Im sure the other guys will help more than me
     
  15. windrowsnow

    windrowsnow Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 168

    try wheel bearings
     
  16. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,178

    The trans cooler makes my chevys growl..... are you on th e highway when you hear it mostly with the plow up. Make a point of watching you temp gauge when you hear it. If that's it there's nothing to worry about. On edit could be your fans clutch kicking in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  17. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I have heard both 90W grease since it's so thick and 90w oil.
    It's "90 Weight Gear Lubricant" in the "Book"
     
  18. broncoplower21

    broncoplower21 Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    theres a little 10$ bearing at the end of your wheel bearing that the axle shaft goes thru, that wears out and then gives the axle shaft play and makes a growling noise. just did mine on my 02. also have to replace the auto locking hubs vacum seal when doing it. that seal i belive was 50$
     
  19. 02powerstroke

    02powerstroke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,188

    the thing is if the needle bearings in the hub where the problem they would only make noise when the hubs are unlocked because if the hubs are locked the axle shaft and hub spin at the same speed. Mansf how many miles on the truck? my wheel bearings just crapped out at 126K it was a growling noise I did one in sept and the other one was loud getting louder so I did that one mid November.
     
  20. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    A growling noise, sounds more like a bearing, hub, or possibly the front diff. A U-joint is more of a knocking. Dust shield catching from being bent or catching would make a higher pitched ping. I have an 03 F350, that I recently redid the front axle, ball joints and breaks. Fun truck to plow and drive, but not my favorite to wrench on. Like mentioned though, if you start tearing it down for one thing, you will probably want to take care of some other things while your in there.

    Here's the parts cost from Napa (vip prices):

    u-joint, front axle shaft..........................................51.99 ea. (no joke)
    axle shaft seal - inner...........................................45.99 ea.
    axle shaft seal- outer............................................38.99 ea.
    axle shaft bearing.................................................09.72 ea.
    ball joint - lower....................................................60.18 ea.
    ball joint - upper....................................................39.28 ea.

    After we pulled the wheels, we decided to cut out the u-joints on the truck (used a small grinder w/ cutting wheel), because the seals were surprisingly in great shape...by not wrecking the seals, I was able to save some decent coin and take them back...just had to reassemble the u-joints in place on the truck. The u joints still seemed good, but they still get done anyway because we were already doing the ball joints...they were shot. BTW...I was quoted $300, for a new wheel bearing hub also from Napa. Not a quick easy job, so make sure you have a dry and reasonably warm place to do it in. Give yourself a day, w/ the right tools...and maybe 2 days if you have never done it before. Ball joints must be pressed, so figure that in to your schedule if you don't have one.