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  #1  
Old 02-17-2004, 09:05 PM
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Location: Wylie, Texas
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Exclamation Rubbing Noise from Steering Wheel

Hi guys... I have a '98 F-150 with 115k. When I turn my steering wheel I am hearing a pretty noticeable rubbing-type noise sourcing from my steering wheel. (I am not referring to the power steering whine we all hear or anything outside of the interior of the truck.) It's almost like my steering wheel column needs to be cleaned or lubricated. It is most noticeable when rotating the steering wheel quickly (either direction) such as when making a U-turn... Any ideas would be much appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2004, 09:37 PM
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while in park with engine running, slowly turn steering wheel left to right. If you hear a "squeaking" noise, more than likely you have a dry (meaning out of grease) pittman arm. The factory pittman arms dont have greasable zerks. But you can get a cheapo grease gun, a needle valve grease fitting, and squirt some grease into the pittman arm bushing (about $20 for the gun and fitting, or borrow one). My 97 f150 still has the factory pittman arm at 165,000 miles but i have to grease it once every 50,000 miles or so (an easy, 5 minute job). Or just get a new pittman arm installed that has greasable zerks. Cost is probably around $150 to $200 to change out the pittman arm at a shop.
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2004, 09:36 AM
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You might need to pull the steering wheel and apply the appropriate lubricant that's called out in the shop manual to the friction surfaces that are in the column. It sounds like it's a bit dry.
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2004, 03:59 PM
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Although I do not know for sure what a bad pitman arm would sound like, I think atleast that this is more of a rubbing type noise coming from the steering wheel area in the interior only. Sounds like you are right on track Reloader... Have you done this before? If so, is removing the steering wheel a fairly complex job, and is lubricating the steering wheel column difficult? Thank you both for the ideas...
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  #5  
Old 02-23-2004, 08:09 PM
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First, get a good repair manual. You will have to deal with removing the horn/airbag cover and the airbag module itself. Then you should probably be able to see the friction surfaces that could be making noise. If this is something that you really aren't sure of because of the airbag system, take it to a dealer and tell them that you would like them to lubricate the friction surfaces inside the steering column. This might be a better idea because of the airbag system in the steering wheel.
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2002 F-150 Lariat Supercrew 5.4L, auto, 2WD
Dark Shadow Gray/Silver, Flowmaster SUV 50 series
18" Kruz Snowdown wheels
285/60/18 Sumitomo HTR Sport HP tires
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  #6  
Old 02-23-2004, 08:15 PM
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I might add, I have not done this on cars with airbags, but I have done it on a few older cars, and it cured the problem. The proper lubricant also must be used. Yes, the steering wheel has to be pulled. I forgot to add that in my previous post.
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18" Kruz Snowdown wheels
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http://www.f150online.com/galleries/....cfm?gnum=5989

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SLT, 5.2L, auto 4X4 Black
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  #7  
Old 02-23-2004, 11:45 PM
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Lightbulb

I had an 00' Escort at work this week making a noise like you're describing. It sounded like plastic rubbing together, sort of a "squeak" sound. It was the clock spring. It is behind the steering wheel & has to do with the airbag. Be sure to disconnect the battery before you mess with the airbag, it could go off in your face! Hope this helps!
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2004, 03:04 PM
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The sound your are describing sounds pretty similair. What exactly is the 'clock spring' and what did you have to do to correct your issue (did you just replace the part or what?) Did you do it yourself or have it done? Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2004, 03:11 PM
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Does the clock spring affect the steering action?

I have this same problem in my 97 XLT, it started up a couple weeks ago after very spirited driving on some twisty mountain roads ... besides that squeaking/rubbing noise in the steering wheel, I also noticed that the wheel doesn't re-center itself after (for example) making a right-hand turn on the street. I have to turn the wheel back to center myself to straighten the truck out. Is that a result of the clock spring? Does it need to be replaced, regreased, or reinstalled? I'd like to know so I know what I'm talking about when I take it in to get serviced (no way I'm messing with it myself with all that high-tech airbag stuff going on in there hehe)...

Thanks!
Sixto
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2004, 03:12 PM
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HAHA yea, what STX/98 said lol
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2004, 08:39 PM
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Location: Avoca,Mi,USA
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My steering wheel is also rubbing. For about a month now I am going to just spray some silicone lubricant in there and see what happens.


Oh and now my suspensions is squeaking bad! Sounds like and old spring mattress on a honeymoon!

That is going to get WD on everything that moves rubber bushings and all. This truck was driven in A LOT of salt this winter, many miles of pulling snowmobiles around the state.


2001 Supercrew

Beardoge
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2004, 01:40 PM
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Let me know how that silicone lubricant works for you... Sure would be nice if it was as easy as spraying some WD40 inside the steering column!
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2004, 04:47 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Madisonville, KY
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Hey guys,
I was waiting for someone to mention the recall that Ford had on '97's (other years?) for that very problem. I took my '97 in when it wasn't but a few months old for the same thing, and they told me it was a recall issue. No lubrication somewhere or another. If you know where to check, Carfax maybe, see if that recall doesn't show up. If so, and your truck shows no record of having the repair by Ford, you can take it in any time and get it done. I think all recall issues are transferrable to future owners. It's worth a shot, and why not do it on someone else's dime. Hope this helped. Later. Eric
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2004, 12:14 AM
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my 98 does that too. I have 61,000 miles on myne and i started noticing it back over the summer. Kind of a rubbing sound, not a squeak or grind but a slight rubbing you can hear at lower speeds. I dont think its a major thing but i wouldnt mind applying alittle lube where needed, i mean on my truck, or something
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2004, 12:31 AM
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Start with spraying silicon spray on rubber boot and bearing where steering column goes through firewall. Fixed many a rubbing noise there.
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Old 02-28-2004, 12:31 AM


 
 
 
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