Hey everyone, this isn't a rant, I'm just sharing. I bought my truck two years ago, it only has 97000 km, and has had no issues up till now. Two weeks ago I was driving home from work and my truck started making a terrible howling noise, which seemed to originate somewhere in the rear of the truck. I have a friend who is an auto mechanic and his family owns the garage he works at, so I brought it to him to check out. I bring it to them because I trust them, not because I expect a deal. He hopped in the truck with me to go for a ride and listen to the noise, and in less than a city block,he told me it would be a rebuild of the rear diff,and it would probably be expensive. I had planned to bring the truck in and have it checked out before camping season, so I told him to go through the entire truck and let me know what else needed attention.
Well it turns out the rear diff wasn't a total rebuild, but all the bearings needed to be replaced. Lots of labor, but not much for parts, about $900.00. Then the extra stuff: serpentine belt, front brake pads and rotors, transmission service, transfer case service, front diff fluid change, full synthetic oil change, and the dreaded spark plug change. Now the plugs may not have needed to be changed right now, but I figured since he had it, he may as well. They broke 4 of the 8 plugs, and with the extra charges for labor to extract the broken plugs, it was $880.00! All together the bill came to $2975.33. Ouch! Thank goodness we had a decent return from the tax man and were able to pay cash for the repairs.
Regardless of the cost, I now feel like the truck is safe and ready to go for the summer camping season, and its hard to put a price tag on that feeling.
One trip through a deep creek, and the oil inside both axles cools off really quickly, so the warm air inside the axle shrinks really rapidly, and the axle takes in hopefully a gulp of air, yet sometimes will take on water instead, leaving behind a white milky mess.
Hopefully the dreaded white milky mess did not happen in your case! And that is really not Ford's fault anyway, but it will take out the bearings.
You got a pretty good deal to change out the bearings for $900. I guess all that other stuff needed attention sooner or later anyway, and now it should be a reliable truck for the next few thousand miles.
My sister also has a 4x4 F-150, 2004, and I wonder how often they change things like the transmission fluid, brake fluid, and axle fluid. It is really the three things that rarely come up while getting the oil changed every 6 months.
Did you wait a min of 500 miles to break in the diff before towing?
Did you flush the diff fluid often? I do after that first 500-1000 miles
Do you have a boat you launch on a ram that gets the diff into the water?
4x4, so do you off road and ford streams ? It's called 'milk shake' when
water and lube mixes...
-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...
My off roader's diff vent tubes all have extensions up as high as can get them
and they have gasoline filters (inline, $0.99 on auto parts counter jars)
All diffs that get splashed or submerged in H2O will cool quickly to shrink the
internal air and lube, which will draw in to replace. Even draw in H2O through
the seals if there isn't a lower PSI source and why I have such looooong vent
tubes ties way up there...
I have only owned the truck for two years, and I bought it from a local ford dealer. I have absoloutely no knowledge of the previous owner, or how he treated (mistreated) the truck. All I can tell you is my own experiences with it. My camper is 28 feet long bumper to hitch and weighs in at 7500 max loaded (manufacturers sticker) and I have never come close to that (usually 6500ish or less) I don't own a boat, and the truck has only seen dry pavement since I have owned it, mostly 60 km round trip daily to work on the freeway. I have made several short trips with the camper in tow 500 km or less one closer to 1500 km. I always use a properly set up equalizer brand weight distributing hitch, and rarely have more in the truck than the wife, two kids. Maybe the kids bikes in the box. The truck had several large dents, gouges, and scratches as well as a well worn truck bed when I purchased it, so I have no illusions, the previous owner used it as a truck. It has been good to me since I bought it, the 5.4 has enough power but is thirsty, it is paid for and this is the first bit of money I have had to put in to it for repairs. I have added a bakflip tonneau cover, a pioneer stereo, and a tekonsha P3 brake controller otherwise the truck is the same as the day I bought it.
I know the cost of these repairs hurts, but, IMHO all vehicles need repair at some point. I've stared down repairs of this size a few times myself, but really you had no other option. Sounds to me like you did the right thing to fix the problems properly. Should be good to go for awhile now and you have the security of knowing it won't let you down on the road with your family on board. That is priceless IMO!
This is exactly why I am so against using a F150 for a TV. They just don't seem to hold up. You have a lot more miles on yours than I got on mine hauling a TC. My F150 fell apart at about 30,000 miles. They will do the job but just don't seem to hold up under the severe stress. I was putting a lot into my F150 for repairs. I gave up and went to the F250. Next time I may go to the F350.