1999 F-150 Rear End Rattle

Details of my truck include:4x4, 4.6L V8, manual transmission, and around 140K miles.

Lately I have been hearing a very loud rattle (in the rear end) when going over road bumps or speed bumps. The sound is less noticable if I am carrying a moderate load in the truck bed.

There is also some body roll when I push down on the rear bumper.

Is it a safe assumption that my shocks are bad or could the culprit by something with the leaf springs? I have never replaced the shocks on that truck.

With that mileage it probably would be an idea to replace the shocks anyway.

No missing or broken spring shackles?

I might look at the shock mounts and see if one of the bolts is missing or loose. I recently replaced the shocks all around on my 04’ Jeep Grand Cherokee, and after the installation, I had a distinct rattle from the right rear when I hit small bumps.

It turned out that the right rear lower shock mount bolt was loose.

Thanks for your help so far guys. Last night I lowered the tailgate to load some tools and to my surprise I heard that really loud rattle. I crouched under the truck while moving the tailgate up and down.

To much humor, the sound was from the hitch rattling inside the receiver!! I usually don’t keep my hitch on but had installed it a few weeks ago to pull a trailer.

I am still going to replace the shocks but I believe I solved the main issue.

From now on, I am going to muffle that sound by wedging a piece of thin plastic between the two parts.


If that hitch is THAT noisy it must be really loose.

If the pin hole through the receiver and draw bar is too big for the required pin, use an oversized pin to tighten it up.

The draw bar shouldn’t rattle around in the receiver. Leaving it as it is will allow for more wear.

Besides, I’d be removing the draw bar when not being used. Shins take a real beating in parking lots.

OR, do you prefer to let someone hit the ball instead of the bumper?

I see lots of that when I make my annual excursions to South Carolina every year with my Tahoe and travel trailer.

I bought an aftermarket locking pin and perhaps it is a bit small for that hitch.

I prefer to keep the hitch off when not in use but I keep forgetting the keys at our new house!

I haven’t yet racked my shins but perhaps some other poor guy has already. I do like my running boards because people will hit those instead of my doors!

Hi Roadrunner,

This past Sunday the truck’s rear end locked up when trying to back up. There was a moving van in my way so I had to pull into a parking stall. Later I ended up putting my wheel dollies on the rear wheels so I could get the truck out of the stall and drive to the mechanic shop.

Little did I know, I don’t have a posi-traction differention (which means that the clunks could not be from clutch packs). The mechanic said that my diff. was good and the shocks didn’t show any sign of needing replacement.

He told me that my parking brakes were most likely dragging on the rotors and the constant rain we have been getting was enough to temporarily lock the parking brakes up. I had used the parking brake about 3 weeks ago and they must have been dragging slightly since this past weekend.

Last night I went to cut the cables and remove the shoes. There was enough heavy rust on those pivoting arms (that connect to the brake cables) so keep from moving properly.

The rear wheels now turn like butter and so far I haven’t heard those aweful clunks. Can’t wait to see how the gas mileage improves!