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Funny Noise on F150

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2008 F150 4x4 5.4L with 66,000 miles. I had the truck in a few weeks ago to have tie rod ends and ball joints replaced and the tranny flushed. This was done at a large Ford dealership in the metro and paid under my Ford extended warranty. Late in the winter, I developed a problem where the 4x4 indicator light would not turn on in the dash and only one front wheel would engage in four high. Had no problems with 4 low. I also asked them to check this out. I haven't put the truck in 4x4 since mid-March. They told me the 4x4 system checked out fine and everything else looked good.

Last week I was driving home from work, doing about 65 on the freeway when I hear this loud noise. It was a grinding metal on metal kind of sound. At first, I though I was dragging something. It was making a sound like when you see an old beater dragging its rusted muffler on the pavement. I immediately slowed down and exited the freeway. When I got to the end of the exit ramp, the sound was gone. Pulled over and did a quick inspection and couldn't find anything. Got back in and drove the rest of the way home without issue.

This morning I was driving to work on the freeway and I hear the same noise. I roll down the windows and it sounds like it is coming from the front end. I immediately exit and as I'm slowing it is still making the noise. I get to the bottom of the exit and make a right turn. The steering is stiff - like of like what it would feel like putting the truck in 4x4 on dry pavement. I'm also getting vibration from the front end I can feel in the wheel. After I make the turn, I hear a sound like when you go in or out of four wheel low. I pull over and get under the truck and can't find anything that looks suspicious. I was thinking maybe a seized caliper or something with the brake system. I can't find anything.

I'm going to bring the truck to the dealer, but does anyone have an idea of what I might be looking at? I'm pretty sure I won't be able to replicate what happens. It has been 10 days between the two episodes. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

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I pretty sure you have a bad IWE. One could describe it as a loud ratcheting noise? If this is the noise you prob have a bad IWE and when they go bad they usually take out the bearing with it.

The IWE has a collar that slides back and forth on the half shaft and engages the bearing,(when vac applied, wheel spins freely; when no vac is applied the system locks together) when the IWE leaks and losses vac. the stationary half shaft tries to engage the moving bearing and makes a wonderful noise. this usually happens more often under hard acceleration.

A second thing may be a bad solenoid that controls the vac. to the IWE's they get water in them and the solenoid fails.

Hope this helps some. I may be wrong...

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I was driving home on the freeway tonight and it happened again. I was doing about 65. I slowed down to 55mph and switched to 4x4 high. The noise stopped immediately. I exited the freeway and put it back and disengaged the 4x4. I'm going back to the dealership on Tuesday to get it resolved. Hope it is covered under warranty.

Is there any risk in driving during the next few days? No big trips planned.

Thanks for the responses!

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Please tell them everything you have told us. the more info you give the more info the tech has to go on. Usually there is some info that gets lost in translation. Better yet wright it down and give it to the service writer to attach to the Repair Order.

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Thanks for all the responses. I've also done some reading on the F150 sites and what I've been told on HSO seems to match up with other opinions. I'm bringing her in on Tuesday morning.

I always tell the service advisers as much as possible. They also aren't afraid to have a tech talk to me to make sure we are on the same page. I like that they want to get it right get me back into my truck. I will post an update after my appointment.

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It is an unsettling feeling the first time it happens. I thought it was going to be bad news. All good now. The tech doing the work told me that Ford is well aware of the issue. I'm happy it was an easy fix and covered by the warranty.

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