I found the following information:
Very common problem on the 2009-10 models
The slip joint in your driveshaft needs to be greased.
Use the Ford grease. It’s thick.
You can get the parts you need from Ford. I did it myself to my 2010.
You get grease and a new set of clamps for the rubber boot.
I took my pickup to my Ford dealer and they fixed it by applying the above Ford grease inside Slip Joint Yoke on the driveshaft, that cost me $176 (total), and my 2010 pickup with 52,000 miles drives just like I am driving a brand new pickup - no clunking sound when stopping and starting. I could have done the same thing in my younger days (and I would have used the Ford kit - cost $28, to make sure it was done right). Ford should have put out a RECALL for this problem, or either sent out a letter to owners on how to get it fixed, since that’s why they already have a Ford Kit to fix the problem.
Sorry about my recall idea, but since Ford sold me a truck with a blunder/mistake by their engineers (I am a PE myself), and I PAID for their quality pickup, a Lariat, I think they should have sent me a letter regarding how to fix my pickup problem in case it ever happened. Since Ford didn’t send me that letter I went to my local mechanic thinking it was universal joints, and of course he told me my problem was in the rear spring-leafs, and he couldn’t fix it. This is when I got on the internet to find out more of my problem instead of going to my Ford dealer that said they wanted to keep my pickup for a few days to for them to provide a mechanic to get to looking at the problem. [I asked him if they had overnight accommodations for people like me with only one vehicle, and he didn’t know what to say, so I just got off the phone then, and started looking up my problem].
I even found the TSB you stated and it is TSB 12-7-13 for 2009 – 2012 F-150 with 2-piece driveshaft, that is an actual service procedure with step-by-step instructions for how to do the procedure. I printed this TSB out and when I went to my Ford dealer (a different one that the first one mentioned above), I showed it to him and he asked if he could keep it and I said, “Of Course.” My pickup was ready in 2-3 hours and I have been absolutely satisfied with results. I even printed out that TSB along with a copy of my service statement (without my name/address) and stopped by my local auto mechanic to show him how he can fix so many other Ford pickups with the same problem as I had, making sure I told him to use the Ford Grease Kit that comes with a new boot.
I may eat my words, but I bet the fix won’t be permanent and you’ll have the clunk again and need more grease later. It’s a pretty common and annoying thing.
Unfortunately, Ford isn’t the only one with these types of issues. GM had issues for years with a clunk when downshifting into 2nd gear and steering shafts that bumped and rattled after a few years. The fix for the steering shaft is to grease the splines also. But it isn’t a permanent fix.
I don’t think there is a zerk there from factory. Might could install one to be able to grease it again if the noise returns without having to disassemble. I know some folks installed a zerk on the GM intermediate steering shafts for the same reasons.
Hard to find any zerks on newer vehicles. I was surprised (and relieved) my 2005 Sierra has zerks for the ball joints, steering gear, idler, and all those bits up front. Only issue is, now I have to crawl under there and grease them . Hopefully that will keep me from having to replace ball joints. I hate doing those, and have sold trucks to avoid it!
Big deal. I haven’t owned a 4WD/RWD truck with a slip yoke that didn’t need to be greased once in its lifetime. Usually, it’s been needing it for a bit by the time I need to do a u joint and then it gets greased or I break down and do it because I’m tired of the slight kick in the butt coming to a stop. If there’s no zerk, I can go about 10 years before it needs it. So that’s once in the truck’s lifespan for me…not what I’d call a design or maintenance problem…
The article attached in your below email about a GM Clunk After Stopping was exactly the same as my 2010 Ford F-150, and of course my clunk happened when starting from a full stop also. In other words, Stop, then clunk, Start up, then clunk again, etc. Like I said before, my pickup drives like a brand new pickup even though it has 52,000 miles on it and this new pickup feeling happened only after getting it fixed at the Ford dealership at my cost of $176. Even though I told you I was sorry about saying something about the Recall idea, I have been criticized about other things such as, it is just a maintenance thing with a vehicle – I am 71 years old and have had several cars and pickups during my lifetime and this 2010 Ford F-150 pickup is the first one ever to have that clunk sound/feeling, so I guess the older vehicles I owned were designed much better, so I wouldn’t have a maintenance problem; however, maybe the engineers around 2008-2009 were told to help the dealership technicians make more money, not a lot, but for just one item that doesn’t cost very much. Sorry about that, but I am just joking. If you remember, about 2008/9 is when Ford did not need us taxpayers to bail them out but GM and Chrysler did. Thanks Tester – you seem like a really great guy.
My 47 year old Ford truck does that too. I lube the slip joint between the 2 parts of the drive shaft when it starts to get annoying. It helps but doesn’t solve the clunk entirely. I’ve always used plain old moly-lube for this, but I’ll give the Ford slip-joint grease a try next time. Thanks for the heads up.
As posted above, this is a pretty common complaint for trucks of all ages. I’ve heard reports that there’s a synthetic grease available now to help w/this problem. That may be what the Ford grease is. There’s two places for fore/aft slipping of the driveshaft on my truck, between the two parts of the driveshaft, for which Ford supplied a zerk fitting; and I believe there’s another slip joint where the driveshaft goes into the transfer case. There’s no zerk fitting there; I don’t know that there’s anything I can do for that one. I think the limit slip differential contributes to this problem too, but never been able to prove it.
I will say that this seems to be more common on newer trucks. Maybe it’s because there’s no zerk now. Maybe aluminum driveshafts transfer more noise than the older steel ones did. Maybe it’s compounded because most trucks now are crew or extended cab vs older single cabs. Maybe tolerances are tighter or looser than they used to be. I dunno.
The clunk isn’t new. On a fleet of mostly Ford vans that accumulated 60k+ miles each year the clunk became obvious after a few years even when regularly serviced including greasing the slip joint. But the slip joint wasn’t the only source of the clunk when pulling away from a stop. Those with that slip joint had a hanger bearing which would often clunk as would the rear axle winding up and unwinding on the leaf springs which would occur on single drive shaft trucks as well. And occasionally I have found a clunk caused by a worn transmission mount. On one truck the transmission tail piece broke one ear and clunked. And, BTW, I bent a piece of threaded rod into U, put a rubber cushion under it and attached it through the usual mounting bracket holes as a temporary patch until a tailpiece could be found but the owner was happy to leave the patch in place.