Vehicle: 1998 F150, 158k mi. MT (M5OD), 4.9l I-6.
Description of problem: About 2 weeks/500 miles ago, truck developed a scraping/squeaking sound. I thought maybe something was rubbing on the driveshaft, but inspection revealed no likely candidate, nor disturbed metal on the shaft.
Over the course of the next 500 miles, it’s gotten worse, so that current symptoms exhibit themselves (to one degree or another) 80% of the time. The symptoms are:
- Worst on first drive of day, on first mile.
- Sound produced somewhere between scrape and squeak.
- Vibration noticed throughout cab and through steering wheel ONLY when foot off clutch…smooth as soon as clutch depressed.
- Giving it a little gas (at constant speed) usually smooths out symptoms somewhat.
- Recently had bed loaded to gross. Vibrations went away, to return once bed empty.
- MT fluid found to be full, in good condition, and with 15k mi since change.
So, what’s up? Given that a load in the bed improves things, I was thinking U-joints: but the driveshaft spins in neutral, too, so why would pressing the clutch change anything? I also thought about tired clutch bearings, but everything I’ve read says pressing the clutch makes things worse, not better.
P.S. Is it worth examining the tranny-to-engine bolts?