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Old 09-05-2014, 04:55 AM   #1
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Cool Rear axle noise in truck

Open question for all of you as I don't think this is brand specific. To my knowledge all of the brands use Dana rear axles.

For a couple of months now, the Ford service techs have been trying to nail down a rear axle noise in our Dually. It only happens at very low speed (like walking speed) and only on a full lock turn. Turn can be either right or left.
The noise is a low pitched kind of a groan, louder at some times, at others it might not occur at all.

So far, they've replaced the front calipers and rotors and said the caliper was sticking. I said fine, but the noise is in the rear. They have also had the rear axles out and inspected and checked the parking brake assembly thinking it was that.

The latest is that they think it might be the Limited Slip clutches in the rear axle carrier sticking and releasing (this is what I told the Service Advisor I thought it was on the first visit).

Here's my question and dilemma , do I let them tear it apart or not? If it is sticking clutches, I don't think it will hurt anything but could get worse, if the tech that tears it apart is not a REALLY good axle and gear person I may have a mess. I do have the Ford extended warranty on the truck till 125k miles.

I'm seriously considering adding some GM Anti Slip additive and seeing what happens and then letting them rip the rear apart down the road if needed.

Any opinions and theories are welcome.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:21 AM   #2
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I've been a ford guy all the time. I had an F250 with a rear axel noise for months. I kept bringing it in and they kept sending it out the same. I was babying my baby. The truck was under warranty when I got tired of their crap. I left ford with my foot to the floor when the cracked gear in the rear finally let go about 2 blocks from the dealer. I would let them work on it as you don't want a problem towing the RW.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:17 PM   #3
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In terms of having the dealer pull the diff apart, it's the right thing to do if the mechanics aren't "parts changers". I had an older F-250 with a pinion seal leak, the dealer ruined the diff by not meshing the pinion gear and ring gear properly on re-assembly.

On our 2011 I also had a leak at the pinion seal, the Ford dealer in Yuma did a great job, replacing the seal and re-sealing the rear cover, with no gear meshing noises after the fact.

If I had the problem, and assuming the problem isn't serious I would probably ignore it, sometimes the cure is worse than the disease!

On our Ford (which was produced very early in the 2011 product cycle) I've got an intermittent hard shift when the truck is cold, the fix is to pull the tranny apart and replace solenoids etc. I've decided put up with the issue rather than have the tranny pulled apart in case it turns out worse after the repair.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:44 PM   #4
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Al - that's my thoughts. I was a GM Service Mgr for quite a few years and doing ring and opinions and axles is half technical and half "black art and feel". I know from experience that unless the Tech is really good, the cure can be worse than the illness, as you described. I'm about 90percent sure that the noise is the limited slip unit. The GM additive has worked wonders in the past and I'm thinking it may be worth the try whether or not I tell the Ford Service I used it or not.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:45 PM   #5
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Gotta love auto spell on the iPad That was supposed to be ring and pinions. LOL
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:58 PM   #6
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Yes, with my Android phone I have the same problem, I have to explain to the sender that I really haven't had too much red wine when I send an E-mail (not sure they believe me!).
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:02 PM   #7
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What gear lube is in there now?
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almcc View Post
On our Ford (which was produced very early in the 2011 product cycle) I've got an intermittent hard shift when the truck is cold, the fix is to pull the tranny apart and replace solenoids etc. I've decided put up with the issue rather than have the tranny pulled apart in case it turns out worse after the repair.
I had the same problem on a 2012 F250. Ford couldn't find it I was so dialed in on the spot shift I found out where it was and could make it happen it will
Finally I brought it in and was able to have the service manager reproduce the situation and see it for himself. It turned out to be the torque converter. After they changed it the truck shifted and ran like a dream
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:29 PM   #9
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I would think about going to another dealer that has a Heavy truck service shop...

Here in the dfw area there are 20 or 30 ford dealers it seems like, but I go to a ford dealer in South Fort Worth that has two service departments, one for the 'regular' vehicles and one for the TRUCKS...
they've always done right by me and never had a need for 'rework' ...

good luck !
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:40 PM   #10
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The gear lube in it now is the factory fill (truck has 28k miles on it).
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:22 PM   #11
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Is your truck a 4x4? It could be your transfer case.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:48 PM   #12
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I had a 2010 F350 DRW 4x4 with a 3:73 rear end and the rear end was replaced 3 times in 65000 miles for howling. Each time it was replaced it was quiet up until about 5000 miles and the noise would start again and just get louder.
I traded it for a 2014 Ram in June and there is no comparison. The RAM beats the Ford hands down in my opinion.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:28 PM   #13
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If it only happens when turning my money is on the actual differential, or limited slip within the differential. Logically it's the only real answer to that type of scenario. When turning the wheels turn at different speeds, thus the differential has to allow for this. If you had a locker and engaged it when turning one wheel would eventually "chirp" as the tension released, this is because both axles are forced to turn at the same speed at the same time.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredtp View Post
I had a 2010 F350 DRW 4x4 with a 3:73 rear end and the rear end was replaced 3 times in 65000 miles for howling. Each time it was replaced it was quiet up until about 5000 miles and the noise would start again and just get louder.
I traded it for a 2014 Ram in June and there is no comparison. The RAM beats the Ford hands down in my opinion.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news but your Dodge has the same rear axle as your old Ford. Both are likely Dana 80's...
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:19 PM   #15
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On my last truck & this one I changed fluid to "Royal Purple" at about 25k, in previous truck I changed again at 75k still purple, very few particles & gears looked like brand new, it's expensive, but IMO it's worth it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:10 AM   #16
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Update - first, lwg is correct. All three of us (Service Mgr, tech that specializes in axles, and myself) all agree that we're 95 percent sure it is the catches in the Limited Slip carrier sticking.
What we decided to do today was add a bottle of Motorcraft Friction Modifier which is made for this. Going to run it 5000 miles till next oil change and see if it works it's way out. If so, I'll change the lube to Royal Purple, put another bottle in and go from there. If the noise is still there, they will tear it down and replace carrier with limited slip unit.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:10 AM   #17
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Damn auto spell - that was supposed to be clutches. .........
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:26 AM   #18
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Vaughan, I hope it all works out for you.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:09 AM   #19
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If so, I'll change the lube to Royal Purple, put another bottle in and go from there. If the noise is still there, they will tear it down and replace carrier with limited slip unit.
I know folks have good experience with RP. If you have the time, take a look at the specs of Red Line.
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:45 PM   #20
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Might be the same rear end, I just know that after pulling with the Ford for almost 4 years and now pulling with the Ram there is no comparison. I would never have thought there was that much difference in brands of trucks.
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