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Old 02-25-2004, 18:45   #1 (permalink)
JLB
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1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

Hi:

I'm the new kid on the block.

I have a 1997 E-350 Superwagon, one of the first V-10's built. It has had numerous issues but has amazingly made it to 135,000 miles.

At 18000 miles the rear end went out (bearings I believe) and the pinion bearings recently went out again. The dealer said because the nut had worked loose and the slop that created tore up the bearing. That has been fixed ($795).

Now I get a signficant vibration ONLY WHEN THE VAN IS COASTING OR ENGINE BRAKING. It is most notable when I crest a hill with the cruise on. At that time there is a distinctive power-train shudder until the engine powers the vehicle. It feels like it's coming from the rear. I can similate the vibration manually by backing off on the accelerator.

I just downloaded ALLDATA TSBs, listing 122 through July, 2003. I see several of the other issues I've had (never corrected), but nothing about a specific rear end vibration.

It's time for an oil change so I'd like to address this at the same time.

Any clues?
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Old 02-27-2004, 17:01   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

Could be as simple as a bad u-joint/joints in the rear driveshaft. A worn u-joint will cause the problem you're describing. Pull the driveshaft and check each u-joint for excessive slop in the needle bearings. If in doubt, just replace them all. When removing the driveshaft, be sure to mark its position relative to the output on the tranny and input at the rearend to be sure you get it back in the same position.

Whle the driveshaft is out, manually rotate the input at the rearend to check for excessive backlash. There should be no more than about 5 degrees of "slop."

Brian
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Old 02-27-2004, 19:38   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

Thanks.

I had considered that.
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Old 03-14-2004, 11:36   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

A bad rear tranny bearing ( tailshaft bearing ) will do the same thing. To check it, grab the yoke and try to move it back and forth, up and down, there should be no movement.
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Old 04-12-2004, 11:36   #5 (permalink)
JLB
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Re: 1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

Thanks
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Old 04-26-2004, 15:37   #6 (permalink)
JLB
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Re: 1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

'92BigBronco wins the prize so far. The dealer diagnosed it as a bad U-joint and has replaced it.

But, I still have a downhill power train vibration. Maybe not the same or as severe as before.
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Old 05-13-2004, 19:27   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

Sorry, but I have to take the prize back. The vibration is worse than ever.

At highway speed it is a rumbling, low-pitched, cycling virbation that gets worse and then gets better. It feels to be coming from the rear and when I brake sometimes it gets much worse, with the entire van shaking horrible. But than, sometimes it doesn't. They did adjust the brakes, so I'll have to add that as a possible problem.

I can be running along, with just a slightly noticeable rumbling vibration and then the van will suddenly start shaking and vibrating. It's feels like the rear axle's getting ready to fly off.

It's to the point that when I run to Lowe's I wonder if I'll make it back home.

Thusfar, the dealer has done the pinion bearing and a U joint, $1000, and said to bring it back in. I've heard before and it's always meant more money, still have the problem! But I am ready to let them have to drive for awhile.If it breaks down on them, they can call the tow truck.

Guesses welcome.
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Old 05-22-2004, 17:33   #8 (permalink)
JLB
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Re: 1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

I left in with the dealer for a few days. Both the Service Manager and the Tech drove it.

The only thing they can find is separated belts in the left front tire.
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Old 04-24-2007, 22:21   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

Not familiar with drive line lay out, but dose this one have a two piece drive shaft with a steady bearing. If so check the steady bearing. Also, did you only have one u-joint replaced ? In the shop I worked at, (retired) we found it false economy to replace only one, as the vibration set up by the failing one would telescope the shaft and set up shudder wear on the other u-joints. They in turn would fail with-in six months of the first one, and thus create more work and expence for the customer. Better to replace all at once.
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Old 03-06-2008, 19:36   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 E-350 Rear End Vibration

My 1996 E350 does the exact same thing. I bought it used and a week later the rear end went out. They said it was some sort of bearing that shook loose and the inner assembly was shifting. So... anyways, I paid $2000 to get it fixed and it vibrates like hell. When I get it around 70 it feels like i'm driving on the turtles. I'm thinking about buying a dana 80 and strapping that in. I went to les schwab and they said my tires are "falling apart" so i think i'll buy new tires first. It doesn't start until the vehicle is warm the first three miles down the freeway are fine. then... the vibration starts.
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