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intermittent random grinding noise from front left

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Old 09-08-2015, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default intermittent random grinding noise from front left

2003 Ford F150 4x4 King Ranch.

normal driving - not related to braking or turning (although the sound first happened when turning right).

I had just finished replacing a coil and as I went around the turn it sounded like I had left a wrench in the engine bay and it had fell into the wheel mechanism.

I turned around , went home, crawled underneath the truck. I didn't see anything and check the brakes, bolts etcs making sure nothing was loose.

Its happened again now randomly (I haven't used 4 wheel drive lately so its always been 2wd) driving straight - with no particular pattern that I can tell. Its only last a few seconds, and its happened while just driving normally without braking or turning. It happens every time I drive within 5 miles of driving now.

From what I've read, this sounds just like the IWE Solenoid problem on the 2004+ models but I can't seem to find anything on vacuum for the 2003 and older models.

I've read multiple threads on here related to grinding noise, and it might be a bearing but its not a constant whine like I'd think a bearing would be.

I'm going to get down there again and look at CV boots but I just spent a boatload of money on new ball joints etcs basically giving them a blank check to get everything that it needed 2 years ago. I figure they would have noticed a ripped up CV boot.

Last edited by KFWA; 09-08-2015 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KFWA View Post
2003 Ford F150 4x4 King Ranch.

normal driving - not related to braking or turning (although the sound first happened when turning right).

I had just finished replacing a coil and as I went around the turn it sounded like I had left a wrench in the engine bay and it had fell into the wheel mechanism.

I turned around , went home, crawled underneath the truck. I didn't see anything and check the brakes, bolts etcs making sure nothing was loose.

Its happened again now randomly (I haven't used 4 wheel drive lately so its always been 2wd) driving straight - with no particular pattern that I can tell. Its only last a few seconds, and its happened while just driving normally without braking or turning. It happens every time I drive within 5 miles of driving now.

From what I've read, this sounds just like the IWE Solenoid problem on the 2004+ models but I can't seem to find anything on vacuum for the 2003 and older models.

I've read multiple threads on here related to grinding noise, and it might be a bearing but its not a constant whine like I'd think a bearing would be.

I'm going to get down there again and look at CV boots but I just spent a boatload of money on new ball joints etcs basically giving them a blank check to get everything that it needed 2 years ago. I figure they would have noticed a ripped up CV boot.
What speeds is this happening at? Are you going over any bumps when it happens?
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:10 PM   #3
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For what it's worth, I've had both front bearings go on my 97 (30k apart) and both make more of a snapping noise than a whining noise. It must be something to do with the design of the hubs. It's a cheap part to throw at it anyhow.

-Kirk
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:09 PM   #4
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What speeds is this happening at? Are you going over any bumps when it happens?

no bumps, usually between 25 and 40.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:13 PM   #5
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For what it's worth, I've had both front bearings go on my 97 (30k apart) and both make more of a snapping noise than a whining noise. It must be something to do with the design of the hubs. It's a cheap part to throw at it anyhow.

-Kirk

I hate to throw parts at it, but you're right , it is cheap. I just bought a pair and I'll put them on this weekend and see if thats the problem
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:15 PM   #6
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When you jack up one of the front tires, can you move it in any direction? How about the other tire? If you can move it when gripping from the top and bottom of the tire, your ball joint may be bad. If you can move it no matter where you grip it, it may be a wheel bearing.

After that I'd look at CV's. People say they click when they are bad, mine never did but gave a huge thump like someone hit the wheel with a baseball bat. Mine was intermittent and I could not get it to repeat when I tried, it was just random.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:18 PM   #7
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When you jack up one of the front tires, can you move it in any direction? How about the other tire? If you can move it when gripping from the top and bottom of the tire, your ball joint may be bad. If you can move it no matter where you grip it, it may be a wheel bearing.

After that I'd look at CV's. People say they click when they are bad, mine never did but gave a huge thump like someone hit the wheel with a baseball bat. Mine was intermittent and I could not get it to repeat when I tried, it was just random.

they better not be bad. I just had them replaced 7000 miles ago. The CV's might be the problem. I was hoping someone had the exact same problem.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:25 PM   #8
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Do you have enough time to take one out and wiggle it around a little bit? It should wiggle smoother with no gritty feel. Also, my new ones would stay in any position I put it in, but the old ones would flop over. Not sure if that is how they are supposed to be or not, but you could start by testing them that way and deciding if you want to replace them. If the boots are torn you will want to replace them.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:28 PM   #9
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Do you have enough time to take one out and wiggle it around a little bit? It should wiggle smoother with no gritty feel. Also, my new ones would stay in any position I put it in, but the old ones would flop over. Not sure if that is how they are supposed to be or not, but you could start by testing them that way and deciding if you want to replace them. If the boots are torn you will want to replace them.

Its about 90 outside right now but I will jack it up tomorrow and check out what you described.
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Old 09-12-2015, 01:43 PM   #10
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Its about 90 outside right now but I will jack it up tomorrow and check out what you described.

update, after receiving the hubs, I got the wheel and hub off and as I was taking the hub off I realized what the problem was.

It wasn't the hub or the CV - as someone mentioned on another thread on this board, it was a rusty bent brake dust shield which is a $30 part.

From looking at it online it looks like my efforts are not wasted - it looks like you have to put it over the CV Axle to get it on right.

About an hour job if you've done it before I guess.
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