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4wd/Front End Grinding Noise

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Old 09-29-2015, 04:10 PM
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Default 4wd/Front End Grinding Noise

I've been having a weird issue with my truck the past month or so and want to see if anyone has had the same problem or may have an idea what is wrong. I'm not too mechanically inclined so please bear with me!

About a month ago my truck started to make loud grinding and banging noises every now and then coming from underneath the front end. I took it to a shop and they claimed they found one of the 4wd actuators at the front right wheel was bad so they replaced it. About 3 days later, the grinding and banging came back. Took it back to the shop and they believed the other wheel's actuator was bad as well. They were noticing noise coming out of it so they went ahead and replaced it too. Well it's about a week out and it has been driving fine but starting today when I'm driving there is a constant metal-on-metal grinding noise that sounds like it's coming from under the front end. When I flip the truck into 4-hi it stops and there is no noise, but as soon as it's back in 2wd after a few seconds it starts back up.

Any ideas what it could be?
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 04_lariat_4x4 View Post
I've been having a weird issue with my truck the past month or so and want to see if anyone has had the same problem or may have an idea what is wrong. I'm not too mechanically inclined so please bear with me!

About a month ago my truck started to make loud grinding and banging noises every now and then coming from underneath the front end. I took it to a shop and they claimed they found one of the 4wd actuators at the front right wheel was bad so they replaced it. About 3 days later, the grinding and banging came back. Took it back to the shop and they believed the other wheel's actuator was bad as well. They were noticing noise coming out of it so they went ahead and replaced it too. Well it's about a week out and it has been driving fine but starting today when I'm driving there is a constant metal-on-metal grinding noise that sounds like it's coming from under the front end. When I flip the truck into 4-hi it stops and there is no noise, but as soon as it's back in 2wd after a few seconds it starts back up.

Any ideas what it could be?


Is the IWE solenoid, its right behind battery on firewall, cheap 30$ fix. Also its the updated version with rain hood

Its good to have replaced IWE actuators they will last life time of truck now.


I had to do both actuators/solenoid to fix al 4wd problems
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:00 PM
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:26 PM
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As stated above, its almost certainly the IWE solenoid. It sounds like the shop you went to doesn't understand the concept of diagnostic procedures. They appear to use the shotgun approach. Fire enough shots and you'll eventually hit the target.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:26 PM
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Is this your sound?:

This is the sound my 2010 makes. I'm still working on figuring the issue out on my truck. I figure at this point it's either the vacuum lines, check valve, or solenoid. My IWEs have been replaced, and it's still making the noise as well. The Ford dealer can't recreate it.

Good luck!!
Let us know if you get yours fixed.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:02 PM
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I doubt its the solenoid as that is usually means full engagement, not partial which would cause the sound.

More likely that you have a vacuum leak somewhere allowing only partial disengagement of the IWE's. The bad news is you are destroying your new units if I am correct. A vacuum gauge/tester can confirm this pretty fast.

Pull off one line, pressure up and see if it holds. If it leaks down you need to chase the system and find out where the leak is and fix it.

On the other hand it may be something completely unrelated. Dont go back to the shop that just tossed parts at your truck. Find a shop with a GOOD mechanic that diagnoses properly.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:46 PM
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Thanks for the replies, this is exactly what I needed. I just had no idea where to start with it so it's good to have an idea. I'll get it back in another shop hopefully within the next few days.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MNMike View Post
Is this your sound?: Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzsrMzhWUHQ This is the sound my 2010 makes. I'm still working on figuring the issue out on my truck. I figure at this point it's either the vacuum lines, check valve, or solenoid. My IWEs have been replaced, and it's still making the noise as well. The Ford dealer can't recreate it. Good luck!! Let us know if you get yours fixed.
This is the exact issue I was having back before I got it to the shop and before it went back the second time! It would make loud grinding and popping that I could hear easily in the cab but only every now and then. One time it just banged loud one time and I thought I'd ran over something!

But now it isn't doing that hardly at all, today was just a constant grinding that wasn't that loud and wasn't really noticeable in the cab. I could hear it echoing clearly off buildings and stuff when I drove by.
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:02 AM
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Just go to the link I posted. Follow the steps. You will find your problem.
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:17 PM
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One additional piece to add...make SURE you check/replace the "Check" valve (Motorcraft: XR3Z-19A563-AA or YG360, less than $10 each from "rockauto" or "autonation white bear lake"). There should be 2 in the system. After hearing "the noise" and diagnosing/replacing bad IWEs, and the solenoid, I also replaced the Check Valves. Two months later, one of the aftermarket valves I purchased failed and had "the noise" again. Replacing them with the Motorcraft part fixed that issue. VERY simple replacement under the hood near the firewall on the passenger side, close to the 4WD solenoid. Simple, but can be a MAJOR contributor to the issue.

Good luck!
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