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Old 11-17-2009, 11:47   #1 (permalink)
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2004 F150 steering issue/popping noise

I need to observe this issue a little more to give better details, but I'm going to throw it out there anyway.

I have 2004 screw 113k that is making a popping noise when turning. It's intermittent, sounds like it's coming from the steering column, and I think it only pops once.

At first I thought it may be a multi-function switch issue, however I'm also just noticing today that my steering wheel is hard to turn at higher speeds. It almost acts like it's locking up when I try to shift lanes on the highway.

I'm wondering if the two are related and if the popping noise is really originating from the gear box, with the sound maybe moving up through the steering shaft (?)
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Old 11-17-2009, 17:09   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 F150 steering issue/popping noise

Sounds like an intermediate shaft. I can't recall the exact words for it, but if you look under the hood, there will be at least two, if not three pivot points the steering bar takes before it gets to the steering box. Chances are one of those pivot points, or both, are worn so it allows very slight play in the steering. If you don't drive the vehicle for a day or so, the steering will get tight because of this. I had a similar problem with my Durango. I had it parked for a couple days; drove it for about 100 miles for a week then it was parked for eight days when I went overseas. I came back and the steering was hard to turn, and every 90 degrees or so you could feel a bump in the wheel as it hit a pivot point of the steering intermediate shafts. I had a friend turn the wheel for me while I looked and sure enough, there was a very small amount of play. The shaft in question was also very rusted on the bottom. So unless you park the vehicle with the wheel turned 180 degrees, you wouldn't see it.
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Old 11-17-2009, 18:27   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 F150 steering issue/popping noise

I would jack up the truck just enough to get the front wheels off the ground and have someone turn the steering wheel and look at both pivot joints on the the steering shaft and see if one of them seem to bind when turning the wheel. If thats not it check your ball joints if that model has an a-frame design front suspension, use a long bar and lift the front wheel on both sides and check and see if if it moves up and down with ease. If it does then I would change out the ball joints on both sides, just remember the have a upper and lower ball joint.
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Old 11-17-2009, 19:46   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 F150 steering issue/popping noise

Did talk to my wife and she said it was doing it in parking lots as well (low speed, I think). I'm going out of town tomorrow morning and will check the shafting when I get back. Thanks.
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Old 11-17-2009, 19:53   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 F150 steering issue/popping noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by BTAAA View Post
...will check the shafting when I get back. Thanks.
Good! Keep us posted.

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