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Discussion Starter #1
My truck is a 2002 model 7.3 ZF6. I bought the truck from my father who bought the truck brand new in late 2001. The truck currently has 132xxx miles.

Currently the truck has an OE replacement clutch and a Southbend 13" flywheel. The clutch has roughly 20k miles on it. My concern is with the OEM replacement pilot bearing, as I know this is/can be a weak point. In fact, the truck has had one go out in the past.

It just developed a noise that sounds very similar to a bad wheel bearing, but because of the conditions under which it occurs, I'm thinking it is related to the clutch or trans.

The noise is most apparent when in OD at freeway speeds and no throttle is applied. As soon as I let off the throttle I get a subtle "groaning" or "rumbling" sound. If the clutch pedal is depressed, the sound goes away. As soon as the pedal is released, the sound comes back. The sound will also show up under the same conditions in direct (4th) gear, but not as pronounced. No unusual noise or symptoms at any other time. Shifting is smooth. Pedal action is smooth and consistent.

Does this sound like a pilot bearing on its way out? Something else off hand?
If so I'd really like to catch it before it causes more damage.

Thoughts and insight appreciated

Thanks
 

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The only time a pilot bearing will make noise is when the clutch is depressed.

Could be a throw out bearing though
 

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Is it gear rollover noise ?
 

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The hub might have broken out of the center of the clutch.

I put a Kevlar bushing in for the stock pilot bearing when I put a Southbend clutch in my truck. Its been trouble free. I would do it again.

The throw out bearing won't have any load on it unless the clutch is depressed. I'm not sure it would make a noise without being depressed.

I'd pull the oil plug on the transmission to check for debris.

I'd also pull the clutch inspection plate and see what has collected down there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The hub might have broken out of the center of the clutch.

I put a Kevlar bushing in for the stock pilot bearing when I put a Southbend clutch in my truck. Its been trouble free. I would do it again.

The throw out bearing won't have any load on it unless the clutch is depressed. I'm not sure it would make a noise without being depressed.

I'd pull the oil plug on the transmission to check for debris.

I'd also pull the clutch inspection plate and see what has collected down there.
Good idea on both accounts.

As far as the Kevlar pilot pushing.....it used to have one. I had a Southbend Con OFE kit (including the kevlar bushing) that grenaded while I was on a road trip out of town. I had the local Ford dealer put a new clutch in but they insisted on OEM parts only, so it has an OEM bearing in it now.
 

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The Con OFE grenaded ? Or the Kevlar bushing ? Why ? What went wrong ? (For learning purposes.)

Please keep us posted on what turns out to be the problem with your current transmission as well.

I know all about Ford dealers only putting stock parts in these trucks.
 

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I had an 01 and no offense to you brad but that is incorrect in that the pilot bearing WILL make that "bad bearing" sound UNTIL the clutch is depressed then it goes away. as was the case with my 01. and yes the input shaft had to be replaced. But when they cracked the case i also found that the bearing race for 6th gear had a crack all the way through it. that was at about 260k miles. just my experience.
 

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Mine didnt really "groan" per se, but that OD noise could be that bearing race. just a thought.
 
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