Ford - F150 - F100 :: 2006 - Grinding Noise Coming From Front Left Side

Jan 1, 2012

I've got a 2006 f150 4x4 v8 ... I get a grinding noise (I think it is coming from the front left of the truck) that lasts only a little while and only comes out after a cold night (so I only get the noise in the morning after the truck has sat overnight)...

The issue details:

1. The grinding noise is constant and the truck has to be moving for it to make the noise
2. The truck will only make the noise while driving forward, it disappears when I drive in reverse
3. The truck has to sit overnight and it has to be cold (below freezing)
4. I only get the noise if I go in reverse BEFORE I drive forward after the truck sat all night
5. Will not make the noise while in 4x46. It has been doing this for about 2 months

What I tried:

1. Replaced both front wheel hubs
2. Replaced 4x4 vacuum and checked the lines for pressure
3. Front brake pads and checked calipers
4. While the truck was making the noise unplugged the 4x4 vacuum - still made the noise

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I took it to the mechanic and he found a bad wheel bearing on drivers side and replaced it but that wasn't the issue. He could hear the noise but wasn't able to figure out what the actual issue was.

The noise only happens when my foot is on the throttle. (not when coasting) and i also just discovered that it doesn't make any noise at all when put in 4x4.

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Here it is a little hard to distinguish as the engine masks it- if switching the the 3rd gear, the noise does not change- if switching to "D", the noise does not change- coasting at neutral at more than 40mph still gives out the noise- when going over higher spots in the road (when the load of the wheels is reduced) the noise intensity goes down

There is no (or very low) noise at low speeds. Also, no noise when taking sharp turns. Had both front wheel bearings changed and the break pads, and the noise did not go away. I will be taking the car to a transmission place soon.

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I got a call from the dealer around 2 PM saying that they were able to duplicate the noise and that when they took the left front wheel off and ran the car on the lift with the rest of the wheels off the ground, the noise went away. Even stranger still, when they put the wheel on the tire balancing machine and spun it, gronch, gronch...gronch, gronch....gronch, gronch. It was coming from inside the wheel! I gave them permission to dismount the tire from the wheel and about ten minutes later I got another call saying they'd found a handful of tiny hard rubber balls inside the mounted wheel/tire assembly that were rolling down the inside of the wheel and causing the grumbling at low speed.

Here's the kicker: they were in all four wheels! The tech even saved them for me so I could take a look and they don't look like anything mass-produced; some are larger than others, some are round and some are oval-shaped but when I dropped one on the glass advisor desk, it made a very clear 'Clink!'.

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Now a year later the noise becomes predicable and easily reproducible, I went back and asked them to check. They said it may be passenger side axle. I am feeling being manipulated.

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Video link....

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