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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I had noticed a steady growl while decelerating/coasting. Originally, I assumed it to be a universal, so I replaced what I suspected just to find only one of the four was actually bad. No big. By the growl continued, and in fact progressed to bearing heard and felt under all driving conditions (most noticed not under power). I checked wheel bearing assemblies, ESOF hub assemblies, front drive axles and dust shields, front differential and fluid... I literally checked all I could...

I broke down, and sent her to the dealer. The Ford diesel master technician believes the issue to be from the trans, more specifically the torque converter and/or pump. I went for a ride with him, and the noise (growl) goes away with the trans is popped into neutral. We listened down by the inspection hole, and its loud as hell. Almost like a rapid crack crack gear noise. I did do a fluid service change, as I do not know the history fo the vehicle. I'm the third owner... And it has 175k on it now. After two fluid changes, the fluid was DARK. Way day. And the magnet, as usual, was fuzzy at first but not bad the second time.

The truck drives fine, no decrease in MPG or power. No slipping or locking, no pops or cracks or shudders. Everything shifts as it should. I do, however, fear this is the beginning of the end for this trans...

Very long post - sorry about that.... Has anyone encounter a similar situation? Im locked in on the trans and not the cam chain and gears... cuz it goes away in neutral.

Help.. Thanks!
 

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If it’s loud by the comverter probably the problem. THere are no actual bearings in the pump itself. Only a small thirst bearing on the back side of the stator support. However, if the converter is failing (you are describing bearing failure) it usually floods the trans with metal. You will probably notice erratic shifting soon to come due to small metal debris hanging the shift solenoids up.

Whenever you had the pan off originally was there any small metal shavings?

FWIW the bearings in the converter should still make noise even when it neutral. I’m assuming it still makes he noise in Park?
 

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Well, other than the fuzzy magnet on the first fluid change, the second one found some flecks of dark colored material floating in the pan and some grit in the bottom of the bucket I used to collect the fluid. The noise is present in park, yes. But, its not a growl its just loud as hell. Very very loud noise, like grumbling gears. The growl is when in motion. Accelerating its mostly covered by the motor, but decel its noticeable and I can feel it in the pedal and floor pan. Popping it into neutral, makes the noise and vibration go away - back to smooth as glass.
 

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Torque converter noise should be present any time the engine is running, not just while the vehicle is moving. It’s something that has power transfer. While in neutral there is no power transfer through the transmission. It could the front or over drive planetary or I suppose the low/reverse planet. Is the noise present in reverse?? Does using manual 1 2 or 3 change the noise? The only bearings in the transmission are thrust bearings and bushings. The only actual roller bearing is in the extension housing and supports the output shaft. However if that was your problem it will make noise any time the truck is moving, gear selection wouldn’t matter.

If it sounds like a can of marbles around the bellhousing the converter is likely failing, though

You are confusing with your description. You say it goes away in neutral coasting but is present in Park?
 

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Hi! Thanks for helping, Im sorry about the long delay...

So, the noise; sorry about the confusion. When the truck is in park, and running, the noise sounds all the world like a very loud gear meshing or slop noise. You can hear it over the power plant. Crawling under the truck, the noise is overwhelming right at the bell housing. It does not sound like marbles bouncing around. I wish I could more accurately describe the noise.. My original concern here was the timing system, but there is zero hiccup for the engine. She starts, idles, runs fine. No misses, no lag, nothing. And no fluid leaks.

When the vehicle is in motion, the growl is present. And it is present in all gears that are selected. How I know this? Well, I'm glad you asked. About 2 miles out of the dealership I blew a brake line and had a blast getting the truck back home using as little braking power as I could while using the trans.

Under normal conditions (no brake failure... grr) You can put your hand on the trans floor hump and feel the vibration while driving and in gear, slipping the trans into neutral dissolves the noise and the vibration (which can be felt in the pedal too). Now, its starting to slooowwly become a little worse. I can pickup the growling noise under normal acceleration over the power plant. It is most noticeable approaching roadway speed (40mph +).

Im at a loss... Im planning to drop the trans soon. The master tech suggest a torque converter, or pump, or worse somewhere in the transmission. We had it up on the lift at the dealership and ran it too. No rear end noise or such. Its a stretch, but we were trying to eliminate anything that would vibrate. Universals are good (replaced one prior), and no pinion noise that was concerning.

All in all.... Im stuck, and just leaning towards a rebuilt.
 

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What frequency is the vibration? Engine speed or driveline?

If it comes down to it and you are interested, shoot me a PM I build these as a side business.
 

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Sorry, I can't PM you yet until I have more post...


anywho... Its low frequency. It feels like driveline somewhere. Its most consistant around 1100RPMS, decelerating from travel speeds (60mph to about 30mph). My assumption is the issue is still present at lower RPMs and travel speed, bu the normal engine noise and vibration covers it. When moving (decel most notably), I can place my hand on the hump and feel the growl. Popping the transmission into neutral while still rolling eliminates the growl and vibration. Ive pretty much decided to get a trans built. I have a core now.
 

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Sorry, I can't PM you yet until I have more post...


anywho... Its low frequency. It feels like driveline somewhere. Its most consistant around 1100RPMS, decelerating from travel speeds (60mph to about 30mph). My assumption is the issue is still present at lower RPMs and travel speed, bu the normal engine noise and vibration covers it. When moving (decel most notably), I can place my hand on the hump and feel the growl. Popping the transmission into neutral while still rolling eliminates the growl and vibration. Ive pretty much decided to get a trans built. I have a core now.
My first look would be the torque converter bolts and maybe a cracked flywheel. Normally that would be a noise all the time but it could change under load. Just a guess. Good luck Wanker! Sorry you having this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For those who perhaps followed this...

Got the transmission off last night. Without issue. Flex plate and bolts were fine. No issues there. However, I was suspect of how easy the trans was separated from the block. I took the transfer case off to service it independently of the transmission, and it was hell breaking the environmentally welded aluminum.

Turns out, its been off before. The torque converter is a reman, although it does have a Ford SKU/DIN number as far as I can track, and its manufacturer date is still visible - Three years after the date of the transmission. The entire unit is at the shop now, so I will be interested to hear what has failed.

The only other theory I had been tossing around was a failure of a planetary.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It is done. Finally, she is back on the road.

Anyways, here is what we discovered with the transmission.

1) The Torque converter was not factory to the vehicle, it was a Ford (best we can tell) reman.
2) The trans, according to the truck's vin build sheet, was not factory to it.
3) The converter made a horrible crunching noise when we spun it with an input shaft when it was on the bench.

So, no the rebuilt trans is in, billet shafts and converter... Red Line clutches, update snap ring etc etc. I wouldn't call it built, but perhaps call it "stock +".

Thanks everyone!!!
 
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