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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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Rear vibration

I'm pretty sure I know what the culprit is, but I want to get some input anyway.

2004 Excursion, non lifted. Brand new wheels and tires, so they're balanced....doesn't matter because this problem popped up before I had those installed. At about 25MPH I get a slight vibration from the back of the truck. It reaches its peak intensity at around 30 and then disappears at 35. I checked the driveshaft and all of the balance weights are still there. There is zero play on the pinion bearing on the axle, and zero play on the output shaft of the transfer case. There is also no play on any of the u-joints, though they appear to be a little rough for wear.

My thoughts point to the u-joints. The rear one shows a little leakage and some bad "seals". Front one looks ok. I'm contemplating changing those out anyway because I'm pretty sure they're original and have almost 200k on em, but if that doesn't solve the problem then I'm thinking it's the pinion bearing....but there is no play and no leakage that you would normally see due to the seal deteriorating from the vibrations.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 04:22 PM
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Re: Rear vibration

I've had this issue before, the rear weight was lose and caused the u joint to wear out. I ended up throwing the drive shaft when I did a hard launch. I would grab that weight and see if it spins and for good measure replace the u joint.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 04:59 PM
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Re: Rear vibration

you can check the damper on the rear section of the driveshaft (assuming 2 piece shaft). Just make sure its tight to the shaft. A little bit of an unusual speed for a u joint to vibrate. They will usually come in at 35 and just get worse as speed increases. It took me a LONG time to figure out my vibration on my truck (over a year). Went to 2 different driveshaft shops, balanced 5 times. I had them change carrier bearing and had them check balance again and this time they found something wrong with the center u joint (even though it had only 10000 miles on it and was not tight or loose). However, it hasnt rode this smooth since ive owned the truck (still not 100% perfect, im extremely anal) but its definitely way better. Mine wold vibrate at 50 and then 65+, really bad. Almost undriveable over 70.

You can pull the shaft and check each joint by hand to make sure they all move freely and are not notchy.

Also, the pinion seal has been leaking on my truck forever, i'm just too lazy to change it and do it correctly. Its not necessarily an indicator that you have a pinion bearing issue, its an extremely common leak point on the sterling axles.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rear vibration

I imagine mine is like an F-250....two piece shaft, no center u-joint, slip yoke up by the transfer case.

The damper is on there solid. No slipping. It moves a tiny bit, but that's normal from what I understand due to the rubber between the weight and the shaft. Gonna swap out both joints tomorrow and lube the slip yoke, then hope for the best.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rear vibration

Couldn't get it done until today. Took the front of the shaft off figuring I would lower it to the ground while I worked on the back....u-joint wouldn't let the shaft move up or down at all!!! That rear joint was seized up nicely on one axis. I replaced em both and no more vibration!! However.....I REALLY REALLY need to get a hydraulic press one of these days. I did it the old school way of using a large socket below and an appropriately sized socket above to pound the old one out and "tap" the new one in. Everything went well until it seemed to get stuck and not want to move the last 1/8" to get the final clip in. Hit it a little harder, right?!?! lol Well, I got the clip in and then proceeded to lube em up. Suddenly the grease was coming straight out of the end cap opposite of the one I was pounding on. Sure enough, cracked in three places. Luckily I was able to use one of the old caps to replace it. Looks like I'll be doing that one over again eventually. lol
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