CV joints leaking grease

Tiny
CHRIS001
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD F-150
  • 5.4L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 238,000 MILES
I noticed on my truck listed above Triton that there was quite a bit of play. I looked under the vehicle at the CV joints up front and noticed one was spinning grease out when going down the road because grease splatter was noticeable, but the biggest issue I found is where the CV joints connect to the differential and is bolted on are loose in that area. That side is leaking grease more than the other. Is it normal to be loose in that area and what has happened to make it loose? It's where it bolts on to the front differential. I have the truck listed above with a Triton engine 4.1L. I noticed a lot of play from the front and a little noise, so after looking I saw the inner CV joint housing was loose on the driver side. I saw some grease had come out to the housing was very loose. I checked the passenger side and the housing was just a hair loose no grease. So, I took it to a mechanic to get it looked at he said, he didn't see anything wrong with the axles, just said don't let the one that had grease coming out to go dry and he said the play and the noise was part of the differential, and that he doesn't work on differentials. So, I was assuming id need a new differential. I'm not sure well got to pricing them, yeah, outrageously high and most of the mechanic I go to prefer to get their own parts, so it would be new. I'm not sure if it's just the housing where the CV joint bolts on to the differential. Then do I need a new differential? Never the less I spoke to another mechanic I know and assuming the whole differential needed to be replaced I asked him can I just turn this 4 wheel drive into a 2 wheel drive he said, yes, it would be easy that was going on the assumption I needed a whole new differential. So, the question is, do I need a whole new differential or would it be cheaper for the time being to convert it into a 2 wheel drive I'm assuming again by taking the CV axle in the front out and taking the shafts out I don't know any input on this?
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Saturday, June 25th, 2022 AT 8:32 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Is it the component that is bolted in place? See pic 1 below. Is the highlighted area where it is loose? If so, you really need to tighten the bolts on it. I attached the torque specs in pic 2.

If that isn't where you are noticing play, see if you can find the part in pic 1, and let me know what it is. Also, if you can record what is loose and upload it for me to see, it will be helpful.

Let me know.

Take care,

Joe

See pics below.
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Saturday, June 25th, 2022 AT 10:28 PM
Tiny
CHRIS001
  • MEMBER
It is part number 7 that's highlighted in yellow its loose on one side and losing grease the other side is just a little loose but no grease coming out of the axel. The side that is very loose would be the driver's side. I can get under it and push up and down on it and it moves. What part is that? I can also hear it when I put in gear or hit a bump, I can feel it kind of bumps under the wheel where it's loose at.
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Sunday, June 26th, 2022 AT 11:52 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Number 7 is the inner CV joint housing. If that is where the play is coming from, the joint is likely faulty or the six bolts holding it onto the differential are loose. Is it possible for you to record the play and upload it for me to see? Also, make sure the 6 bolts are tight. (See pic below). You don't want the drive axle coming off the vehicle.

Let me know.

Joe

See pic below.
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Sunday, June 26th, 2022 AT 9:09 PM
Tiny
CHRIS001
  • MEMBER
I wished I could record but can't but it is the housing where the six bolts are mounted. I can move it on the passenger side where there is grease splatter and it's very loose on the driver side a little loose no grease splatter on the passenger side. This truck has a lift kit on it and the tires are a little bit big for it, so it bumps the frame of the vehicle on sharp turns I'm thinking over time the bumping has loosened the housing where the joint connects to the differential. I'm going to try to get someone with tools to look at it this week the question I have is, can an issue like that damage the differential? Or is probably not likely? Going to get it fixed right away. Oh, yeah, by the way I appreciate you trying to help me out thanks!
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Sunday, June 26th, 2022 AT 10:35 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

If the six bolts are tight and the play seems to come from the joint, chances are it is simply bad. As far as damage is concerned, I would keep driving it to a minimum for two reasons. First, if the joint totally fails, it can fall off the truck and cause damage as well as endanger others. Also, there is a bearing in the differential. If that joint is jumping around, it isn't good for the bearing and seal.

Chris, if you have it lifted and oversized tires, which places a lot of stress on different components, so don't wait.

Take care of yourself and let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Joe
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Monday, June 27th, 2022 AT 8:03 PM
Tiny
CHRIS001
  • MEMBER
Okay, so I took it to a mechanic he said the axels look good they aren't broke but said the grease coming out of the one on the on the driver's side to make sure it dont go dry I told him its loose at the housing where part number 7 is he said thats part of your differential and they dont work on differentials he said he had his guys look at it and drive it and said thought it would be ok well thats not good enough to much play and its to loose he said I needed a whole new differential eventual I dont know if thats true since it is just the housing where it bolts on too wich dose have gears inside if I did have to get a differential or even that part for both sides very expensive so I was thinking for the time being if its going to cost alot to convert it from a 4 wheel drive to a 2 wheel drive till I can get the parts I ask another mechanic if he could do that he said yes easy so I am assuming he would have to take the front drive and shafts out I guess if I couldnt afford the repairs that would be ok till I got the parts what do you think?
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Monday, June 27th, 2022 AT 8:25 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

I'm not sure what to say. They told you the play was from the differential. Did they mention anything about the axle shaft bearing?

See pic below.

Joe
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Monday, June 27th, 2022 AT 8:51 PM
Tiny
CHRIS001
  • MEMBER
No Joe, and that's the thing about it all they basically didn't do a whole lot to help me and then charged $78.00. But by talking to you I have been able to better identify the part with the issue, of course the guy was trying to work me in the schedule so I got another guy lined up this morning. I know this guy better only took it to the first guy cause he said he could go ahead and get me in and the number 7 part the inner CV joint housing is more less a chunk it has gears inside of it and its loose those gears are probably worn by now I was pricing them they are pretty expensive that's why I was thinking for the time being if I didn't have all the money just to make it safe maybe temporarily convert it to 2 wheel drive as a last resort it wouldn't hurt it I don't think but I'm hoping to get it fixed right today.
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Tuesday, June 28th, 2022 AT 5:16 AM

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