98 Expedition - Need Some Diagnostic Help - Noise and Vibration

Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
748
Location
Florida
98 Expedition 5.4L 4X4 - 250k miles
I am having troubles figuring out where a new noise is coming from on my vehicle. It is a slight, low growling/grinding noise. It almost sounds like road noise, but it is not consistent under all driving conditions.
It starts at speeds above 40 MPH and increases in volume and intensity as speed increase. It does not change with RPM. It increases in intensity with slight right pressure on the steering wheel, either just adding pressure to the steering wheel or in right banking turns. The sound goes away in left bank turns or with slight left pressure on the steering wheel.
There is a very slight vibration that gets slightly worse at highway speeds and right bank turns.
Front suspension checks out O.K, no bearing play or ball joint wear. (I just replaced front passenger upper control arm to solve one ball joint problem, also replaced passenger CV Axle).
There does appear to be a little play in the driver side shaft that comes out of the front differential. Not sure if that is normal. Never changed or checked fluid in front differential and no signs of leaks.
Rear bearings, fluid and seals replaced last year with OEM.
A little more brake dust on driver side than on passenger side. Front pads, rotors and passenger hose replaced February last year.
Anyone have any ideas of what I can check out, rather than just wait for it to get worse?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
1,121
Location
PA
Does it occur when idling, different gears, match accelleration? Occur when decelerating, turning, stopping, starting?
 
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
2,467
Location
Lakeside CA and Lake Havasu City AZ
You do not say where the noise sounds like it is coming from? I assume the front. Check the front diff oil, why would you "never". If as you say, all the bearings and suspension are ok, check the Tires...it may be have some broken cords causing the issue. If the front axle shafts turn all the time (I am not sure on this vehicle) check the bearings and u-joints/CV Joints.
 

Fitz98

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
748
Location
Florida
Front Drivers Side Bearing Needs Replacing
Possible, I replaced that hub 10 years ago to correct a runout problem causing warping rotors. Wouldn't I see some obvious signs if that was worn? Like a grinding noise or rough spots when raising the wheel and spinning by hand, or play in the bearing? There is none of that.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
1,121
Location
PA
Are you SURE the bearings were done right? Maybe inadequate or incorrect lube? Bearings, CV joints, front transfer case if 4x4, rack and pinion or similar steering system... but that doesn't seem likely.
 

Fitz98

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
748
Location
Florida
This should be a clue, I would think. The front driver side tire is in the original position. The rear tire on the driver side was moved from the front passenger side yesterday. This gives a comparison between front left and right brake dust.
I changed the caliper on the driver side last February. Had questionable pitting on the piston face, so maybe a bad caliper?
Does not pull or hang up. I can spin the tire by hand.
Brake Dust 8-26-21.jpg

Here is that link
https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/threads/what-are-these-on-my-caliper-pistons.323049/
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
1,121
Location
PA
Could be, maybe it's dragging or something, causing a grinding and pulling. Seems to me I had a bad caliper that caused drag and grinding a bit.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
8,996
Location
The Midwest
Loosen the suspect front axle nut a little and then check for bearing play. Sometimes the bearing will appear fine in the driveway test when the nut is tightened properly, but it's like the axle nut is holding it together and once you loosen the nut, a worn bearing shows it's ugly face.

However, my guess is that you need to replace your a halfshaft.
 

Fitz98

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
748
Location
Florida
Sounds like you need a driver's side front hub assembly.
Yeah, all the diagnostics seems to point to that bearing being the culprit. I looked at some u-tube videos after Warstud's suggestion and that seems to be exactly the sound that happens in the exact same situation with steering and loading the tires on right turns.
I replaced that bearing 6 years ago, but it was done with a cheap AA Driveworks hub, so I guess it wouldn't be a surprise if it was to be worn by now.
I imagine if the hub has runout due to a bad bearing, that would potentially cause excessive brake pad wear as well, which might explain the excessive dust on the drivers side.
I will take off the brakes and CV axle and spin the tire to listen for noise, measure runout and also check for play without any other connected components like skyactiv mentioned.
 

Fitz98

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
748
Location
Florida
Rock Auto has 2 Motorcraft hubs for this vehicle.
NHUB5 for 104.00 and HUB40 for 230.00.
Anyone know the difference?
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
16,425
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Thought I answered this earlier, but I guess I didn't. The HUB-40, which had a long number of XL1Z-1104-AE would have been the original replacement. However that number is obsolete from Ford, any stock sold by RockAuto would have no warranty through Ford whatsoever.

The other number, which is still available, is listed as a "high level aftermarket" type part made to compete with the O'Napazones of the world.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
32
Location
USA
Thought I answered this earlier, but I guess I didn't. The HUB-40, which had a long number of XL1Z-1104-AE would have been the original replacement. However that number is obsolete from Ford, any stock sold by RockAuto would have no warranty through Ford whatsoever.

The other number, which is still available, is listed as a "high level aftermarket" type part made to compete with the O'Napazones of the world.
What are you talking about? The Motorcraft HUB40 has a two year warranty at Rockauto.
 

Fitz98

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
748
Location
Florida
Started taking apart the driver's side to get down to troubleshooting the bearing.
When I took out the CV axle on that side, the inner joint can separate from the inner flange. I don't imagine this is normal.
Can anyone confirm that is not by design.
There is a little twisting play when it is pushed into position, but not a lot.

2021-09-01 16.48.41.jpg
 
Top