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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just noticed clunking in the front end of my 07 F250. Also, I've noticed some significant shuddering in front end after going over bumps. I realize what I'm describing sounds exactly like bad ball joints. The problem is that I jacked up the front end and see no evidence of a ball joint issue. I grabbed the top and bottom of the tire and am unable to detect loose ball joints. Maybe I'm not doing it correctly.

Could the symptoms be bad Front Axle U Jonts? Maybe a bad Hubs?

With the front of the truck jacked up, when I rotate the wheels (either side) by hand, there is a small amount of slack and then I hear a clunk.

I'd appreciate thoughts/suggestions.
 

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Good assumption to look at ball joints...very common wear items. You were right to grab the tire at 12/6 o'clock to check them, as well it's the same for wheel bearings. 9/3 o'clock grab to check tie-rods. You really need to check everything, as there can be multiple issues. So, checking ball joints, wheel bearings, loose brake cailper, tie-rods, sway bar, shocks, springs, steering box, and the often overlooked tracbar. Some stuff will require using a bar for leverage.

I recently installed an aftermarket tracbar (by BahaCustoms), it is a far superior design than the factory one and the truck drives like a sports car now. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the great tips. I've included a photo and I'm hoping you (or anyone that reads this) can help me identify the front end parts numbered on the picture.

#5 looks like the sway bar to me but, I am not very experienced with front ends/suspension, etc.
 

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Your symptoms do sound like worn ball joints, or possibly tie rod ends. How to the tires look for wear? If they're uneven, that's a sign of worn suspension/steering components.

Yes, number 5 in your photo is the sway bar.

The best way to check ball joints is to jack the tire off the ground just enough to get a prybar under the tire about 3 or 4 inches, put the end of the prybar on the ground and pry the tire upward then move the bar so the tire wants to move laterally, watching for movement between the steering knuckle and the axle tube yoke. Any movement there indicates worn ball joints. That method puts some upward pressure as if the truck were sitting on the ground. Just grabbing the tire top and bottom may not give you enough leverage to see movement (and you're relying on feel, because you can't see the knuckle/axle connection).
 

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1. Tie rod adjuster...tie rods screw into both ends of it
2. Tracbar
3. Draglink...another tie rod and smaller adjuster attached to it
4. Stabilizer shock
5. Swaybar...swaybar links are attached at both ends
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1. Tie rod adjuster...tie rods screw into both ends of it
2. Tracbar
3. Draglink...another tie rod and smaller adjuster attached to it
4. Stabilizer shock
5. Swaybar...swaybar links are attached at both ends
Thanks for the info! I'll have to screen shot this for future reference.

Oddly enough, the clunking went away this afternoon. I have a 1,000 foot gravel driveway and am wondering if a small chunk of gravel might have become stuck in the front end somewhere and then shook loose.

Either way, I needed to be able to identify those parts so, thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, I finally got around to inspecting my front end and it seems that the problem is the tie rod end on the drivers side wheel. The Ball Joints appear to be in good shape. I stuck a long two by four underneath the tire (jacked up of course) and did not see any movement but as I grab the wheel at 9 and 3 o'clock, I feel and hear a clunk in the drivers side wheel, specifically at the tie rod end.

I've done ball joints before on my wife's excursion so I assume I can tackle this job. Any tips before I get started?

Thanks as always guys.
 
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