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Not enough vacuum, front hubs engaging??

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Old 08-05-2010, 11:53 PM   #1
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Default Not enough vacuum, front hubs engaging??

First off my truck-2004 F-150 Supercrew 4x4 4'' lift 35X12.5 58000 miles Volant cold air intake Flowmaster muffler

So I had a grinding noise coming from my front end or below the cab so I took it to a transmission shop. They said everything is fine, transmission, transfer case, u joints, all ok. So my next step is I took it to the dealership. They found out that my front right hub was trying to engage while I was driving, usually at higher speeds, or all the time while I was towing something. I saw the old hub the teeth were all chipped and damaged. So they replaced that and they also replace some vacuum hub thingmajigger actuator that works with the four-wheel drive and the hub. They found out that the hub was still trying to engage and making that horrible grinding noise. They are telling me that there is not enough vacuum to pressure to keep that hub from trying to engage. They tested all the vacuum lines and found no leaks. They said the vacuum reservoir was fine. The mechanics put a temporary fix on it for now, they capped the actuator. I have a Volant cold air intake which they suggested that i Put back on the stock intake to give it more resistance to create more vacuum??? DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE, CAN ANYBODY RELATE TO THIS? So as of now I am trying to find a used stock intake for my ford. Just seems strange because ALOT of people have cold air intakes and the dealership in just lost trying to figure out why i dont have enough vacuum to hold open the hubs.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:59 AM   #2
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This might help:

http://www.f150forum.com/f4/anyone-04-06-4x4-read-6691/
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:45 AM   #3
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there are two check valves in the system that may not be sealing.
also there is a vacuum reservoir behind the battery against the fender.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:36 PM   #4
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u need a new IWE vacuum actuator i had the same problem the part is like 150 bucks and it took 15 min to replace it sits flush with your drop spindle and and is where your cv axle goes in your lift is gonna put strain on that part an causes it to break
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by poweredbyFORD88 View Post
u need a new IWE vacuum actuator i had the same problem the part is like 150 bucks and it took 15 min to replace it sits flush with your drop spindle and and is where your cv axle goes in your lift is gonna put strain on that part an causes it to break
Not neccesarily. Many things could be wrong. I had the same problem and replaced the solenoid which was defective, but after vacuum testing the system also found a cracked line, and a bad check valve. Runs like new again.
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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Most auto parts stores will let you rent a vacuum pump to test the system. Auto zone here charged me $55, and when I brought it back I left with my $55. Test the lines, and actuators seperately.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:02 AM   #7
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the guys at the dealership said they tested the vacuum system and said nothing seemed to be leaking. They replaced the hub actuator right by the firewall on the passenger side. They have it capped right now so the noise isnt occuring. The vacuum resevoir was also tested good.
Is there some other actuators that could be checked or replaced? If so where are they, maybe I could check/replace them?
Just doesnt make any sense
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:33 AM   #8
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the thing they replaced is the IWE solenoid, i sure hope they replaced it with the new one (the 06 and up one) i know the local dealer tried selling me the old part more than once. if the vacuum system checks out, i'd bet money that your hub actuators are junk. seeing that your truck is an 04, the rubber is probably cracked. i replaced both of them already on my father in laws 04, pretty much the only other thing it could be. oh and if one is junk, might as well do the other side while your at it, if you can afford it.


what do they have capped?
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:21 AM   #9
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hezzy602,

First, I suggest reading this thread. It explains how the 4x4 works and how to trouble shoot the system. Most people find the thread VERY helpful.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/836438-everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-iwe-system-and-then-some.html

I THINK what you are saying the dealer replaced was the hub and the IWE (integrated wheel element) on the inner side of that hub. I don't beleive the air intake system is the problem (if it was, it would have immediatly occured when the air system was installed), but a vacuum leak in the 4x4 system probably IS the problem. Check your invoice from the dealer to see what specific parts were installed (then tell us). Specifically check for a solenoid replacement. The solenoid is a very common failure in the system, causing the IWEs to fail/cause damage to the hubs. The next most common failures are the rubber lines tranferring vacuum to from different locations.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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TascaParts.com, also have all the parts (brand new) you need:

- Solenoid part number: 6L3Z-9E441-A $29.69
Click the image to open in full size.
(this picture is from Posttal)

- Actuator part number: 7L1Z-3C247-A $79.85
Click the image to open in full size.


I've just replaced my left side actuator and my solenoid. Took less than 30 min. for the actuator & 5 min for the solenoid.

As other member said, don't forget to test your air lines separately just to make sure.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:33 PM   #11
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Ok so I just did a vacuum test my self and this is what I found. Coming from the engine at idle i have 19, after the IWE I have only 13-14, and at the hubs I have the same. So I am guessing that the iwe is bad, even though the dealership said they replaced it but yes I know, what they said and what they did is two different things. SO off to the parts store.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hezzy602 View Post
Ok so I just did a vacuum test my self and this is what I found. Coming from the engine at idle i have 19, after the IWE I have only 13-14, and at the hubs I have the same. So I am guessing that the iwe is bad, even though the dealership said they replaced it but yes I know, what they said and what they did is two different things. SO off to the parts store.
is the iwe the same as the solenoid? on the firewall right? thats the thing i am going replace
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60DRB View Post
hezzy602,

First, I suggest reading this thread. It explains how the 4x4 works and how to trouble shoot the system. Most people find the thread VERY helpful.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/836438-everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-iwe-system-and-then-some.html

I THINK what you are saying the dealer replaced was the hub and the IWE (integrated wheel element) on the inner side of that hub. I don't beleive the air intake system is the problem (if it was, it would have immediatly occured when the air system was installed), but a vacuum leak in the 4x4 system probably IS the problem. Check your invoice from the dealer to see what specific parts were installed (then tell us). Specifically check for a solenoid replacement. The solenoid is a very common failure in the system, causing the IWEs to fail/cause damage to the hubs. The next most common failures are the rubber lines tranferring vacuum to from different locations.
I can't thank you enough for posting that link. Very helpful is an understatment. And a huge thanks to the author for writting it he just saved me $800.00- 1,000.00 since I was taking my truck to the stealership tomorrow because I couldn't figure out why I was losing vacuum still.
Thank You Thank You!!
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hezzy602 View Post
First off my truck-2004 F-150 Supercrew 4x4 4'' lift 35X12.5 58000 miles Volant cold air intake Flowmaster muffler

So I had a grinding noise coming from my front end or below the cab so I took it to a transmission shop. They said everything is fine, transmission, transfer case, u joints, all ok. So my next step is I took it to the dealership. They found out that my front right hub was trying to engage while I was driving, usually at higher speeds, or all the time while I was towing something. I saw the old hub the teeth were all chipped and damaged. So they replaced that and they also replace some vacuum hub thingmajigger actuator that works with the four-wheel drive and the hub. They found out that the hub was still trying to engage and making that horrible grinding noise. They are telling me that there is not enough vacuum to pressure to keep that hub from trying to engage. They tested all the vacuum lines and found no leaks. They said the vacuum reservoir was fine. The mechanics put a temporary fix on it for now, they capped the actuator. I have a Volant cold air intake which they suggested that i Put back on the stock intake to give it more resistance to create more vacuum??? DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE, CAN ANYBODY RELATE TO THIS? So as of now I am trying to find a used stock intake for my ford. Just seems strange because ALOT of people have cold air intakes and the dealership in just lost trying to figure out why i dont have enough vacuum to hold open the hubs.
i am haveing the exact same thing there is a K and N air intake on my truck and maybe we have the same problem if your looking for the stock air filter you should try junk yards im a huge fan of junk yards because they are so cheap also try a dealership if you trade in your intake system for a stock one that is just some thing they can charge more for on the truck they put it on i think it should go on a two wheel drive f150 that way they wont have 4 wheel drive issues
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
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Default trying to solve the front hub noise (goes away whe switching to fwd.

I've seen a million questions about the clicking/ratcheting griding noise in the front hubs on 04-08 f-150s - so I'll try to save people some money. It is caused by loss of vacuum which is nedeed to keep the 4x4 actuator disengaged when in 2wd. Before anyone tells you to replace any iwe actuators or hubs, try this: Pop out the battery, disconnect the two (integrated) vacuum lines from the solenoid on the passenger side firewall, take out the battery tray and vacuum reservoir attached to it. Submerge the reservoir in water with the inlet plugged to see if there are bubbles...jiggle it around (some little bits of air will get trapped in the features of the box)...confirm it is air tight. Then plug up the three disconnected vacuum lines with golf tees(two at the solenoid and one at the reservoir), now unhook one of the dual integrated vacuum lines at the wheel end, plug the smaller vent line and blow through the bigger line, it will tell you where the leak is if there is one. If you put it all back together and still have the problem, replace the solenoid ($25), newer models have a little rain shield, ford is definitely notorious for putting water sensitive things in dumb places (like ECMs!) If that doesn't help, remove the front wheel, pop off the dustcap and wheel nut, take off the three nuts which hold the actuator on the back, remove the tie rod end (steering) and the upper a-arm ball joint nut. Whack the knuckle free of the upper ball joint and swing out of the way and you can get the actuator off. compress the spring down and put your finger over the fitting (one is just a vent) if it decompresses, it's hooped. 80 bucks a side. Cheers, Pip

Quote:
Originally Posted by hezzy602 View Post
First off my truck-2004 F-150 Supercrew 4x4 4'' lift 35X12.5 58000 miles Volant cold air intake Flowmaster muffler

So I had a grinding noise coming from my front end or below the cab so I took it to a transmission shop. They said everything is fine, transmission, transfer case, u joints, all ok. So my next step is I took it to the dealership. They found out that my front right hub was trying to engage while I was driving, usually at higher speeds, or all the time while I was towing something. I saw the old hub the teeth were all chipped and damaged. So they replaced that and they also replace some vacuum hub thingmajigger actuator that works with the four-wheel drive and the hub. They found out that the hub was still trying to engage and making that horrible grinding noise. They are telling me that there is not enough vacuum to pressure to keep that hub from trying to engage. They tested all the vacuum lines and found no leaks. They said the vacuum reservoir was fine. The mechanics put a temporary fix on it for now, they capped the actuator. I have a Volant cold air intake which they suggested that i Put back on the stock intake to give it more resistance to create more vacuum??? DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE, CAN ANYBODY RELATE TO THIS? So as of now I am trying to find a used stock intake for my ford. Just seems strange because ALOT of people have cold air intakes and the dealership in just lost trying to figure out why i dont have enough vacuum to hold open the hubs.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:18 AM   #16
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^what he said, with some pictures and tool list;

http://www.f150online.com/forums/2004-2008-f-150/360269-iwes-removal-replacing.html

Oh, the type of air intake should make no difference to the 4WD vacuum system.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:42 PM   #17
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my 4hi will blink on then blink off, although my 4lo will engage and work like normal. Took to ford dealer they said it was the solenoid located on the firewall because of water damage. Gave permission for part to be changed. Got in vehicle and headed home, and next day got in truck and put into 4hi and problem is started all over. any ideas
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:48 PM   #18
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Default f150 hubs

if they replaced the solenoid, the only other elements are to check the vacuum box under the battery tray, and the lines themselves. Ask them if they checked there was the correct vacuum at the solenoid - that will eliminate a lot of possibilities.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:43 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by d_hanna View Post
my 4hi will blink on then blink off, although my 4lo will engage and work like normal. Took to ford dealer they said it was the solenoid located on the firewall because of water damage. Gave permission for part to be changed. Got in vehicle and headed home, and next day got in truck and put into 4hi and problem is started all over. any ideas
T-Case motor or IWE check valve
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishhunter View Post
I've seen a million questions about the clicking/ratcheting griding noise in the front hubs on 04-08 f-150s - so I'll try to save people some money. It is caused by loss of vacuum which is nedeed to keep the 4x4 actuator disengaged when in 2wd. Before anyone tells you to replace any iwe actuators or hubs, try this: Pop out the battery, disconnect the two (integrated) vacuum lines from the solenoid on the passenger side firewall, take out the battery tray and vacuum reservoir attached to it. Submerge the reservoir in water with the inlet plugged to see if there are bubbles...jiggle it around (some little bits of air will get trapped in the features of the box)...confirm it is air tight. Then plug up the three disconnected vacuum lines with golf tees(two at the solenoid and one at the reservoir), now unhook one of the dual integrated vacuum lines at the wheel end, plug the smaller vent line and blow through the bigger line, it will tell you where the leak is if there is one. If you put it all back together and still have the problem, replace the solenoid ($25), newer models have a little rain shield, ford is definitely notorious for putting water sensitive things in dumb places (like ECMs!) If that doesn't help, remove the front wheel, pop off the dustcap and wheel nut, take off the three nuts which hold the actuator on the back, remove the tie rod end (steering) and the upper a-arm ball joint nut. Whack the knuckle free of the upper ball joint and swing out of the way and you can get the actuator off. compress the spring down and put your finger over the fitting (one is just a vent) if it decompresses, it's hooped. 80 bucks a side. Cheers, Pip

Fishhunter:

Thank you so much for your write up. I replaced the vacuum solenoid as you stated and it fixed the problem. The new vacuum solenoid with the rain hood from the Ford parts counter cost me $50.00 dollars. Thanks again for your advise, it saved me a lot of money and heartache!!
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