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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a 07 F350 with 163000 miles that has been BulletProofed. Before buying I had a Diesel shop go through the truck and they found no issues.

While doing a final inspection of the truck I tested the 4 wheel drive with the seller. Everything worked fine but it was obvious the seller had not used the 4wd in a long time, if ever. After buying the truck I started to notice a rubbing/clunking/vibrating noise from the front end on the way home. I thought the hubs may have not unlocked. But I was able to spin both front U-joints and the front drive shaft with no issue. After getting home I lubed the hubs through the vacuum lines and I greased all the U-joints. None of the U-joints appear to be shot and I could not find any sign of the noise.

The noise starts when I press the gas from a stop and increases as I speed up. When I let off the gas it initially stops but then comes back. I can feel resistance as well when the noise starts but then the resistance goes away. When I make sharp right turns the noise increases and when I make sharp left turns it goes away.

I have put the truck on the rack and all the suspension and wheel bearings appear to be fine after shaking the wheel from 12 & 6 and from 3 & 9. With all 4 wheels off the ground we put the truck in 4 wheel drive and only the front left wheel turned. We removed the right hub but it appears to be fine and moves freely. I have not had a chance to remove the left hub yet.

Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be? Thank you.
 

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Assuming this is occurring when in 2WD my thoughts are that you have a bad hub or a seized universal joint. To check the universals, put the truck in the air, manually engage the hubs one side at a time, turn the steering to one side and manually rotate the front wheels one at a time. Any irregular resistance or if the wheels appear to try to straighten on their own while wheel is rotating, you have a bad universal joint.
 

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Might also be the spindle bearings inside the hubs. If 4wd is seldom or ever used, the stub axle is always stationary and the bearing rotates around it. With the hubs locked in, that eliminates the relative rotation at the spindle bearings, so if the noise goes away, that points to problems with the spindle bearings. A common noise from spindle bearings sounds like the rumble strips on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Last night I lifted the front end off the ground, locked both hubs, turned the wheels all the way left and right, while rotating the wheels and I could not hear any new or strange noises. I greased the U-Joints and noticed grease coming out between cap and body (pictures attached of both left/right). I could also hear air escaping from where the grease was coming out. Not sure if that is normal or not. There is also a little play, not much at all from the right/passenger shaft where it meets the U-Joints.

I took the truck for a drive, although better, it is still making the low grinding/clunking vibration noise. I am almost positive it is coming from the right/passenger side. When I make a hard right turn it gets worse. Any ideas as to what to do next? Thanks!
157580
157581
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’m at a loss for exactly what this is. Does any one have any suggestions?

Can I replace just the bearing and not have to replace the whole wheel hub/bearing assembly?
 

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I’m at a loss for exactly what this is. Does any one have any suggestions?

Can I replace just the bearing and not have to replace the whole wheel hub/bearing assembly?
There are several good you tube videos showing replacement of the unit bearings and videos of the front drive axles, axle seal, and all of the components you are dealing with. The only bearing replaceable is the spindle bearing that klhansen referenced (roller bearing), which is removable from the unit bearing - if your axle isn’t scored up as the bearing rides directly on it. The axle seal gets pressed onto the axle and seated into the knuckle keeping the axle centered. The unit bearing is non serviceable and bolted to the knuckle with 4 studs on the back side.

On my 2002 I had no play in the right front wheel when off the ground, but the unit bearing made a racket when spun, and had triggered my ABS light. When apart I also got rid of the greasable u-joints and replaced with solid ones.
 

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Check ALL the U-joints in the driveline front to back. The reason only one tire turns when you are up on jack stands is you have an open diff in the front (so it is normal). I would agree it is most likely a bad hub/spindle bearing.
DENNY
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate the help fellas. I have tested the truck in 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive. It makes the noise exactly the same in both drives. It is my understanding that if it was the unit/spindle bearing it would not make the noise in 4-wheel drive. That is why I’m leaning towards the u-joints or the hub bearing assembly.

Thoughts? Thanks
 
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