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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 1997 F250 7.3 with AUTOMATIC HUBS. It needed some tires and front end work. After tighten the wheel nuts and reassembled now the driver side hub is making a ratcheting/grinding noise. Almost as if its trying to engaged happens when I reversed the truck if I stop suddenly it will pop and the noise will go away and not come back until I go in reverse again. All of this is when the trucks in 2wd doesn't happen in 4x4 but it works. So my question is has this happened to anyone or how do I fix this or can it be fixed? Or is it time to put some manual hubs on?
 

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Which front axle does your truck have? Is it a TTB (IFS), or straight (SFA)? Click these & read the captions for help identifying it:

. .

The TSB in this caption describes 3 conditions that can cause auto hub locks to ratchet, and the fix for each:



Note step A.4 which is to drive in 2WD with the hubs locked for a few hundred miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So i I know what I'm doing this weekend.. So I either put the washers in wrong or tightened down the nut too much. Where would I find the proper procedures to tighten the wheel not.
 

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On 1/2-tons, there's a procedure for each style of nut in this diagram & its caption:



I'd bet if you follow the one for your truck's WB nut, it would be OK for your heavier axle.
 

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For Wheel Bearing adjustment out of the 1997 F250/F350 Service Manual:

Front Wheel Bearing
Automatic Locking Hubs
1. Raise the vehicle and install safety stands.
2. Remove the hublock assembly. Refer to Locking Hubs, Automatic in the Removal and Installation portion of this section.
3. Remove retaining lock ring or C-ring and three-piece thrust washers. Remove cam assembly and wheel nut retaining key (if not already removed).
4. Loosen wheel bearing retainer (nut) using Hub Nut Wrench T95T-1197-B. While rotating rotor and hub, retighten wheel bearing retainer (nut) to 68 Nm (50 lb-ft) to seat wheel bearings.
5. Back off nut 90 degrees (1/4 turn). Tighten wheel retainer nut to 1.8 Nm (16 lb-in). If necessary, tighten nut to next slot to allow installation of retainer key.
6. Install retaining key into the spindle keyway by inserting the short leg into the aligned slot in nut. Press all the way into position until curved portion of retaining key is seated into counterbore of wheel retainer (nut).
7. Install cam assembly.
8. CAUTION: Improper sequence of three-piece thrust washers will result in excessive wear of assembly.
Install three washers in order: metal washer first, plastic washer second and splined washer last.
9. Install C-ring or lock ring. Align legs of cam assembly for installation of hub body.
10. Check that the final end play of the front disc brake hub and rotor on the front wheel spindle is 0.00-0.50 mm (0.000-0.002 inch).
11. CAUTION: Excessive end play or torque greater than 2.3 Nm (20 lb-in) to rotate hub and rotor will result in excessive wear of wheel bearings.
Torque required to rotate the front disc brake hub and rotor is not to exceed 2.3 Nm (20 lb-in).
12. Install hublock. Tighten screws to 4-6 Nm (35-53 lb-in).
13. Remove safety stands. Lower vehicle.

Cheers!
 

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Now that you know how to check & repair yours...


If you decide you want or need replacements, I have these for sale/trade:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I followed the procedure and the noise when away so I thought but it's still there it doesn't happen as much or as easy, but what do I do now?

Could it be the washers are worn out?
The 4x4 works good so I don't think it's the u joints.

I don't like to give up or give in but I'm going crazy with this noise may be time to get some manual hubs.

Any ideas or help will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Swapped out my autos for manuals in '99 and haven't ever given them another thought.
 

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So I followed the procedure...
Several procedures have been suggested in this thread so far; which one(s) did you follow?
Could it be the washers are worn out?
Which washers?
The 4x4 works good so I don't think it's the u joints.
Bad & noisy U-joints don't prevent 4WD from engaging or working, so that says nothing about the u-joints. Have you crawled under there and inspected them?
Any ideas or help will be greatly appreciated.
Go back through this thread and double-check each suggestion. Report exactly what you find for each thing you've checked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I jack it up tore it apart, torqued it to 50 ft lbs back off 1/4 trun then back together.

Thrust washer.

So I took another look and found out that my drive side axle (the noise maker) has about 1/4" play from the diff to u joint I'm guess this is not normal. What do I do now I guess take apart the front diff?
 

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That play is normal. You have backlash in the ring and pinion and between the spider and side gears.

Assuming that you mean 1/4".
 

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That end play is controlled by the shims & C-clip in the steering knuckle; not in the diff.



3B458 in this diagram:



...and the 2 hard plastic spacers between the back of the spindle & the stub axle U-joint yoke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok then what else's can it be?

I guess this weekend I will take it apart and try again. Should I be look for something small that can be causing the problem?

Steve how much are you looking for for the manual hubs?
 

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Have you checked those shim washers? These are the hard plastic (inner) ones I'm talking about:
Locking Hub Service Kit Front SKF BK1 | eBay
Their purpose (along with the metal outboard ones) is to keep the knuckle U-joint inline between the ball joints so it spins more-smoothly. If the axle shafts have 1/4" in-&-out play, and the hub is locked OR the t-case is in 4 while steering hard, it can cause a ratcheting sound, but it shouldn't be noticeable any other time (2WD, hubs unlocked, driving straight).

I'm still not sure replacing the locks will fix a noise, but I think these locks are worth $80+sh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Let me start at the beginning, so I tighten The wheel nuts and alignment and after doing that this noise started. It only happens when I reverse the truck in 2 wheel drive to get rid of the noise turn full lick left and it makes a pop/ thud noise and the ratchet is gone away.

I haven't had a chance to look at it. But how do I check the inner plastic thrust washers? I know there in there what I am looking for? what's the thickness?

Do you have a breakdown or diagram of the 2 hard plastic spacers between the back of the spindle & the stub axle U-joint yoke? I didn't see it in the ones you have, unless i missed it if so what colour is it.
 

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The noise you're describing doesn't seem abnormal to me. I'd have to hear it in-person.

In my colored diagram (which is specific to my D44), the spacer is dark gray. There may be only 1 spacer in your axle, and I don't know the thickness for your particular axle, but it will be obvious if it's worn with a rough irregular surface. And it would have to be worn more than halfway through to produce a symptom noticeable from the driver's seat. Some people throw them away & barely notice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So last weekend I took the hubs out cleaned and inspected them everything looked good so I flipped everything from the driver side to passanger and vice versa. Just like that the noise is gone, been driving it for a week and I haven't heard it yet. Don't know what it was but if it any broke don't fix it thanks for the help and I will let you know if it comes back.
 
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