If you are having a Ford F150 truck, then you might have come across rear end vibration issue in your Ford F150 at some point during driving.
People often face vibration issues, once they cover a decent mileage of their vehicle owing to many moving components involved in keeping the vehicle rolling.
The Ford F150 rear end vibration happens typically due to several parts like, out of balance drive shaft, a bad universal joint, a loose drive axle, an unbalanced wheel, improper wheel alignment, and bearing issues, stuck emergency brake, clogged caliper hoses, bad differential internal bearings, worn out clutch packs and the gears of the LSD differential or it could be a bad torque converter.
Are you facing the issue of rear end vibration while driving in your Ford F150? Then you are not alone. Stay tuned to find out the detailed reasons and solutions to fix it!
Table Of Contents
- 1 Ford F150 Rear End Vibration? 11 Reasons and Solutions to Fix It!
- 1.1 Bad differential clutch pack
- 1.2 Bad wheel
- 1.3 Defective wheel bearing
- 1.4 Defective driveshaft U-joints
- 1.5 Imbalanced driveshaft
- 1.6 Defective differential bearing
- 1.7 Bent drive axle
- 1.8 Out-of-round brake rotors
- 1.9 Clogged-up caliper hoses
- 1.10 Jammed E-brake
- 1.11 Bad rear suspension
- 1.12 Failing torque converter
- 2 Final Thoughts
Ford F150 Rear End Vibration? 11 Reasons and Solutions to Fix It!
When we talk about the rear end vibration problem in the Ford F150, it means the issue is not felt at the front end of the vehicle, especially at the steering end where a driver could first feel the vibration.
When people face the rear end vibration issue in the Ford F150, it is quite natural to think that the vibration source could be from the rear end limited-slip differential (LSD) gearbox.
Below are the few reasons for Ford F150 rear end vibration and solutions to fix it.
Bad differential clutch pack
If the rear end vibration in Ford F150 happens especially when turning, then the issue may be related to worn-out clutch packs, damaged differential gear tooth, insufficient gear oil, and friction modifier.
It is possible that you replace the clutch pack but still the issue remains. It is essential to confirm the differential clutch symptoms and analyze them thoroughly before you proceed to replace one.
But if the rear end vibration happens all the time or at under certain speeds, then apart from LSD differential gear, the problem could originate from other components as well.
The wheel is the first and foremost component that one should check if you are experiencing rear end vibration in your Ford F150.
Because a worn-out tire or an imbalanced wheel or its alignment caused by potholes or obstacles from the ground could lead to rear end vibration issues. This affects the center of gravity of the wheel.
Typically, some balancing weights are welded on the wheel rim to balance the wheel, so look for any evidence of a missing balance weight from its position.
The road will exert non-uniform reaction forces during driving on an imbalanced wheel which you would perceive as vibration at the rear end.
Apparently, if the wheel alignment is not correct, the road excitation forces that the suspension shall absorb go for a toss and it manifests as imbalanced vibration.
Hence it is essential to check and inspect the wheel condition and adjust for balancing and alignment to avoid vibration issues.
It is recommended to rotate the tires from front to rear and rear to front end diagonally to have uniform wear of tires after a certain period as recommended by the tire manufacturer.
Defective wheel bearing
The wheel bearings are the parts that take up the vehicle’s axial and radial loads and forces while the vehicle running and cornering.
The huge impact load that the wheel shall sustain when driven through potholes or a rough road at high speed is more detrimental to the bearings than a static vehicle load.
Hence the wheel bearings go bad over a while. One would feel comfortable if the wheel runs smoothly about its bearings.
But in case of bad bearings, it will not be the case. A worn-out and failing bearing of the rear wheels would lead to rear end vibration in your F150 truck.
Defective driveshaft U-joints
In a vehicle that has rear end vibration, often the universal yoke joints are found to be defective or loose.
A loose U-joint would not effectively transfer the high torque output from the engine to the differential gear at the rear and lead to rear end vibration.
In many instances, a side play in the U-joints leads to vibration and noise when driving.
If you are replacing U-joints, you shall mark the drive shaft before dismantling, since the drive shafts are well-balanced assemblies.
Any change in orientation may lead to an imbalance in drive shaft assemblies.
Since the U-joints can be fitted in 180-degree rotated conditions, it is necessary to assemble U-joints and hence the drive shafts at proper orientation.
An improper orientation could lead to vibration issues while driving.
As mentioned earlier, the drive shafts are perfectly balanced assemblies since they run at high speeds and need to transfer heavy torque to the differential gearbox.
Is your Ford F150 rear end vibration started after doing some repair work involving the removal of drive shafts?
If yes, have you reinstated the driveshaft installation to its original orientation by marking the shafts?
If not, you may experience rear end vibration issue in your Ford F150. Make sure your drive shaft is securely bolted to the companion flange on the differential.
You may jack up the vehicle carefully maintaining the proper driveshaft angle and see the source of vibration beneath by running the wheels and monitor the source of vibration.
If the drive shaft wobbles while running the wheels, then you may need to balance the drive shaft or replace it, if required.
Any issue in the driveshaft would mean a possible driveability issue.
Defective differential bearing
There are many bearings used in the vehicle between the drive shaft and rear differential, starting from the drive shaft bearings outside the differential, pinion bearings at the entry point of the differential, and carrier bearings used inside the differential.
These bearings become defective over a while since it has to continuously take the radial and axial load of high torque transmission under huge speeds.
The rear vibration in Ford F150 starts when these differential bearings stop functioning smoothly over some vehicle mileage.
You may notice an oil leak at the pinion shaft to confirm that there is an issue with that bearing.
When the bearing no longer supports the parts involved effectively, it will put undue stress on the rubber seals and thereby damages them.
It is worthwhile to inspect all bearings for any malfunction or vibration and replace bearings if required.
Bent drive axle
Similar to the driveshaft, the drive axle has to be inspected by jacking up the vehicle.
If the drive axle moves to and fro by a significant amount, then you need to inspect the drive axle thoroughly for any bend.
A bent or a loose drive axle would cause a severe rear end vibration in your Ford F150. Inspect the drive axle and replace it based on observations.
Out-of-round brake rotors
To inspect the brake rotors, you may simply touch the brake rotors hub of each wheel.
If you feel the rotor is very hot on one side wheel but not on the other wheel side, then it is possible that there are muds in the vents of the rotors and the rotors are out of round which would cause a vibration of the rear wheel rotors.
Clogged-up caliper hoses
Often the reason for rear end vibration in Ford F150 can be as simple as clogged-up caliper hoses.
Since there is huge pressure in those hoses, any clogging will cause vibration and noise at the wheel end.
The calipers many times stuck with the rotor and create chattering noise and vibration when driving.
You may inspect the calipers and replace them if found not ok.
Similar to brake calipers, often the emergency brake gets stuck with the inner walls of the rotor and creates a slight drag.
People rarely use E-brakes and this creates a sticking tendency.
In that case, the cable inner seldom sticks to the outer cable and won’t release fully from the brake inner, or the brake itself may be sticky.
Sometimes there is rust formation over the brake levers which affects the E-braking performance.
A sticky E-brake cable or the lever would cause shuddering noise and vibration from the wheel end.
You may need to jack up the vehicle and carefully observe to conclude the root cause of rear end vibration.
Bad rear suspension
If there is a vibration that is coming from the rear end, anyone would doubt the rear suspension parts.
The dampers sometimes leak and lose the damping function and the coil spring may get damaged or rusty.
This affects the ride performance of the vehicle in addition to inducing vibration in your Ford F150.
If the vibration is noticed only during driving but not when in standstill condition, then you may ignore the suspension from the analysis.
Some ½-ton trucks can develop a rear shake when driving at certain speeds in unloaded conditions on some roads.
You may load the truck bed with some heavy stuff and try riding the truck.
If this eliminates the rear end vibration in your truck then it is a suspension issue.
You can try aftermarket shock absorbers and check whether the vibration goes off and you may adjust the ride based on your liking.
Failing torque converter
A torque converter acts as a fluid coupler which does the same function as that of a clutch in a manual transmission vehicle.
Sometimes the torque converter lockup malfunction can cause the rear end vibration.
This can be tested by lifting the vehicle and running it with and then without wheels.
You may also disable the lockup solenoid to isolate the torque converter from the vehicle.
If after disconnection, the rear end vibration goes off, then probably the torque converter is the culprit.
It is the easiest method to test and eliminate the lock-up mechanism.
If the rear end vibration in your Ford F150 happens even when the vehicle is standstill then probably it is not a torque converter.
A failing torque converter clutch won’t vibrate when your truck is jacked up or in parking.
The torque converter can be considered as a vibration source only when the issue happens only when driving under some load on the converter.
This can also be checked by running the engine and putting the gear in neutral mode when the vehicle is standstill.
With the gear in the neutral position, there shall be no load onto the torque converter and if the vehicle starts vibrating even in the neutral condition, then probably you can rule out the torque converter.
Alternately, you may start the engine and when the vehicle vibrates, just put the gear into neutral.
If the vibration stops immediately, then the root cause could be the torque converter or other transmission parts.
It is generally tricky to identify the source of vibration in your truck.
Often people replace several parts from the vehicle without properly analyzing the root cause of the issue.
Later, people find that the rear end vibration issue persists even after replacing parts that they think could be the root cause of the vibration issue.
It is advised to use the method of elimination to pinpoint the source of vibration by thoroughly analyzing the parts one after another.
This would help in saving a lot of time, and effort, and costlier unnecessary repairs.
We have tried to collate all possible reasons for the Ford F150 rear end vibration issue.
I hope, with this info, you may be able to arrive at the root cause of the issue.