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'04 F-350 6.0.. strange squealing sound (long post sorry)

33167 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  bekoexler
Ok, first, I'm sorry about the long post, but I want to make sure I give you all the details as best I can, so that maybe someone can tell me if I'm heading in the right direction with my thinking on this.

Let's start with the truck itself first. 2004 Ford F-350 Super Duty Lariat Crew Cab. 8cyl. 6.0 Diesel. Automatic transmission. 4x4. 62k miles.

I bought the truck used 2 months ago. About two weeks ago it started making an awful squealing sound. Its very strange in that its very intermittent. It seemed to do it a little more when turning left at first, but I also noticed it when I turned left and sometimes, though rarely, when I'm going straight. Nothing that I can see affects it. It doesn't speed up or change pitch if I speed up or slow down. If I come to a complete stop, so does the noise. It may or may not resume again when I begin to roll from a stop. It does it when the truck is hot, when its cold, if its dry or wet, with a load and without. And as I said, it comes and goes, it might do it for a second and quit, then not do it again for a week. It might squeal for miles, quit and then do it on and off for the next 3 days then quit for another few days.

Also the noise has no effect on the steering or power of the truck. It doesn't pull and it doesn't turn sluggish.

At first I thought it might be a sticky caliper so I had a friend drive slowly while I stood on the running board and listened. I tracked the sound to the right front wheel well area. I've had calipers go before, and this sound didn't seem quite right.

I got to thinking about it more and it seemed more likely to be a dry bearing, at least thats what it sure sounded like. So off to the dealer we went.

And what a nightmare that was. I understand its a used truck and was expecting some kind or repair work in the first six months. I also understand that intermittent sounds can be hard to track down. I don't expect rude service. But thats neither here or there.

Long and short of it is, they had it four days couldn't hear a sound, I figured since I was paying 55$ just for them to look at it anyway, I might as well get an oil change and have all the filters changed while it was there. So I told them that. They called me the next morning and said that when they brought it down off the lift, they heard the noise and that it was a bad hub and bearing assembly.

Ok, so I told them to fix it. They ordered the part and I got it back 2 days later. Along with an almost 1200$ bill. No biggie.. the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the repair.

Two days later the air conditioner vacum pump goes out. No air except through the defrost vents.

Fast forward to last thursday. I'm driving it, its been fine since I got it back from the dealer... untill thursday when the squealing comes back. Same noise, same side. I call the dealer, they say bring it in monday. So I parked it all weekend and took it in on monday morning.

It squealed almost the whole way there. It was squealing when I drove it into the service bay. The first repair was warrentied, so, no biggie, right?

Wrong. This time they had it 3 days, still couldn't track it down and told me to bring it back if it did it again. I don'tget it. That squealing is LOUD. They all heard it, but they tell me they can't verify it on a road test, and since its a sealed bearing, a visual inspection doesn't tell them anything. Well thats a big help. What happens if a bearing blows when I'm hauling a 20 ft trailer?.... I don't even wanna think about it.

So I got my truck back today, its not making any noises at the moment. Runs and drives fine, so I go get the ac pump and fix that. The air is working now at least.

But I'm kind of afraid to drive my truck. That noise is horrible, it sounds as it the whole right front end is trying to tear its self apart!

At any rate, after reading everything here... I'm thinking maybe its the needle bearings, or perhaps the center joint or u joints, though it seems to me if it was the joints the sound should change as the speed changes.

Any suggestions?

P.S Did I mention I had to call down to the dealer every few days to find out what was up? I don't understand why my trucks status was treated as a matter of national security!
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Thanks Band_Member! Brakes don't seem to be the issue here. I checked them, but I'm certainly getting one of those thermometers you mentioned!

Thank you! I'll see about getting a scanner, where should I begin looking? I'm not too familliar with them. My last truck died at 21 years old. It was a gasser F150 lariat. Nothing to plug in and scan there really. If something broke, I just found the problem and fixed it *lol*

I never thouht to put it in neutral to check! That is a great tip.

You guys and gals here are wonderful!:thumbsup:
Hi guys. Got an update on my problem. It still squeaks and squeals, though the squeal isn't quite as bad, but as of last night at work.... it is also now growling and theres this weird vibration in the passenger side floor board. Feels like a faint thump. Kind of like there's someone under it, kicking it lightly. The thump only happens on sharp turns.

Its my work truck and my buisness partner and I switch on and off driving (we drive a LOT). He was driving, so I asked him to let me drive, and he verified that I'm not nuts *lol* he heard and felt it too.

Any ideas please?

Oh and I forgot to mention earlier, its a dually
are you sure its not the Ujoint at the wheel end on the left side?
No, I'm not *lol*

At this point I have NO idea what it is. All I know is you hear and feel it on the front right, and thats where the dealer replaced the bearing. If the bearing wasn't actually the problem though......

You don't even feel the thump on the left side, only the right. But if its one of those cases where when you turn and the weight shifts you feel it on the oppsite side, it could well be.

How would I check that? I mean, I know where and what a u joint is, but how do I know if its bad? I've never dealt with one before.
I did the Ujoint test as described, but I don't see anything wrong. Thats not to say it isn't a bad u joint. I did take it out to a parking lot and run it in tight circles. It thumps turning both left or right, but more so on the right, but only on real tight turns. It still sounds like a U joint to me, even if I'm not seeing anything.

I'm wondering if my thump and my squeal aren't 2 completely different issues now.

It doesn't thump when it squeals. Or at least it didn't last night. I tried everything to make it squeal and it wouldn't. When it finally did, I managed to get a good video of the sound, but I can't send it to you because my stupid phone won't let me download it to the computer *sigh*

It squealed almost continously for about an hour, then as inexplicably as it started, it quit and wouldn't do it again although I did everything I could think of to trigger it.

This is REALLY starting to drive me buggy. I guess I'll just have to take it in.. again... somehow.

Catch 22... to fix my truck, I need to work. I can't work without my truck. If I'm not working, I can't fix the truck. Ugh.

Its usually not a problem, but I've had a rash of bad luck like you wouldn't believe this summer. Started with my 24 ft trailer being stolen, bought a new (smaller) trailer, my old (10 yr) pontiac grand am needed major repairs, then my old (21 yr) F150 died, then I bought this one, paid 1200 to have it fixed.. its not fixed.... not to mention a thousand other small money draining issues. I'm in a bad place right now. My small fledgling buisness is really going to start suffering if I can't get a handle on this.. QUICK!!
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KnightGang - Thanks! Now I know I'm at least on the right track. I just had the whole hub/bearing assembly in the right replaced.. so now.. even though its the same sound coming from the same place.. perhaps its the left bearing.

As for the U joints.. heck with it.. I'll just replace them both, as soon as I find the money.

I count myself lucky though. For a 7 year old truck, the engine runs remarkably well and smooth and I've no problems there. I've been checking the main problem areas and doing all the maint. a little sooner than what I was told to. I'm hoping to weed out any problems there might be & prevent others.
Why would the front axle u-joints rotate if the front hubs are not engaged?
Have you determined for certain that one or both hubs are not released?
Jack up each wheel and it should rotate without rotating that axle shaft.
I have no idea. I'm grasping at straws here. I did check the hubs and both are working fine. They engage when they're supposed to and unlock fine too. I checked that yesterday. I also did that chalk mark test where you mark them move the truck, check the mark blah blah. Neither mark moved.

I'll go do the jack up and turn test now and see what I see.

Ok, guys and gals, I did the jack & turn test on both sides. The U joints check out good, but on the right side, while turning the wheel I hear a faint grinding noise that I'm thinking is either something with the breaks or the NEW, FORD DEALERSHIP INSTALLED, wheel bearing. *groans* At least the new hub/bearing assembly is still warrenteed.

Gonna pull the tire and see what I can see about the brakes at least. I saw the needle bearing tutorial at diesel O rings, and I'll have to buy the parts first before dealing with that. If I have to.

I'm SOOOOOOOOOOO grateful to my father (may he rest in peace) for noticing when I was young that I was extremely mechanically inclined, and allowing me to work on cars with him.
Ok, not the brakes. Its gotta be that bearing. Probably the dealership didn't grease the needles enough (if at all, since they don't seem to know they exist.)

When turning it with the tire OFF, you can hear as well as feel a kind of skipping, thunking, binding up noise. Its kind of hard to explain.
Ok, more info. Whole front end jacked up, both tires off. Left side you can take and spin and it spins 2-3 revolutions easy before it comes to a stop. Right side, half revolution and then just stops.

The right is the side I just had the bearing/hub assembly replaced on.
So tomorrow it goes back to the local unfriendly dealership. I'll keep you posted.

I want to thank everyone for helping me track down the problem for sure.

and I have a question..... if they didn't install a faulty bearing..... what could be wrong under there that would bolw the bearing/hub assenbly 1 week & 700 miles afyer replacement?
Get this.... turns out it was the auto lock (manual) for the 4x4. *lol* I'll have it back today.
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