Ford Authority

Ford Trucks Suffer From Distinct Axle Noise Due To Specific Issue: Video

Seasoned Blue Oval technician, Brian, known by his YouTube alias Ford Tech Makuloco, has had plenty of Ford trucks end up in his bay presenting strange issues that need solving. Trucks with the  Ford 5.4L V8 Triton engine under the hood are common customers of his, and he’s made plenty of videos regarding necessary roller follower maintenance requirements, as well as how to diagnose ticking noises, why only Motorcraft spark plugs should be used, and discussing why aftermarket parts can be problematic. Now, yet another Ford F-Series pickup ended up in his shop, this time giving off a mysterious axle noise that a dealership claimed to be unable to diagnose.

This particular vehicle is a 2005 Ford F-150, with approximately 116,000 miles on the odometer. The tech notes that the vehicle is particularly well taken care of; however, the truck has a rear differential noise that began soon after the customer purchased it used from a local dealership. The customer brought it back to the dealership several times and was told that the technician could not hear the noise in question. Brian says this noise is very clearly a bearing noise.

The Ford tech explains that outer rear axle bearings on Ford trucks don’t tend to fail – rather, the most stress is localized in the differential carrier along with the ring and pinion up front. Even small pitting on the rollers and the inner race of the differential bearing can cause such a disturbing noise. “It kind of telegraphs through the driveline and sounds worse than it really is,” he says, though it’s important not to underestimate.

The most common source of such a noise is the pinion bearings, which is what ails this particular F-150. “The pinion bearings are being worked the most because they’re handling all that torsional twist as you’re trying to take off from a stop,” our Ford tech says. He removes the differential cover and points out the metal shavings in the fluid, which leads him to inspect the outer pinion bearing. This bearing is pitted and worn unevenly, accounting for the noise while accelerating and decelerating, when the pinion bearings are loaded and unloaded at different times.

Replacing the outer pinion bearing solved the noise, and it’s certainly something for owners of Ford trucks to keep in mind if their vehicles are making a bearing noise that seems difficult to diagnose.

We’ll have more interesting videos like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. Daniel

    Najdobri automobile vo svetot tel:075/670-060 (Makedonija)

  2. StuartH

    Interesting. In 2015 I ordered and had built a Transit van with the optional lower axle ratio for economy purposes. Within months after receiving the van, there was a humming noise from the rear which I found I could affect by how I used the accelerator pedal. I soon took it into the dealer and they decided the differential needed a rebuild.

    That solved the issue, no more humming noises to date. I don’t know if there is any relation with my experience and this recent situation, but if so, perhaps Ford ought to consider shopping around for a different bearing supplier.

  3. Steve Gordon

    I have been working at Ford dealers in service sine the early 70s. Since the early 2000s we have had bearing problems. Differential bearings, axle bearings, wheel bearings! I suspect cheap ass Chinese bearings that are not properly flame hardened.

  4. Pedro Bruckmann

    I bought a Ford Focus Titanium, in Uruguay, produced in Argentina.
    I never had such a bad car, with several defects, which they inform me, it is normal in that model. Nobody accept the deffects even the car is still in garanty.

    1. The Gentle Grizzly

      I’ll bet you don’t buy another Ford…

  5. Bill Bennett

    Sounds like the same issue my grandfather’s 67 Galaxie had when it was new. Dealer never resolved the issue. Could hear the car approaching a quarter mile away. Doubtful China-sourced parts was the issue then.

  6. Kevin

    I have a 2005 f350 with that kind of problem.

  7. Ann Osborn

    I bought a used 2015 F 150 with 121,000 miles on it. Didn’t hear it while test driving but several weeks later I started noticing a kind of high pitched whine as I got over 40 mph. It would go away the second I let up on the accelerater. I eventually bought a used axle and it fixed the problem. The bearings were pitted, metal flakes all thru the fluid.
    I think Ford should get some better bearings!

  8. Richard Kienhofer

    My 2015 f150 in the shop now with a whining noise when you hit the gas pedal an again when you let off. Been getting worse an it only has 47000 miles on it


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