7 Common Ford F150 Drive Shaft problems (With Solutions)

While driving, stopping, or starting a fairly old Ford F150, vibration and ghost bumps are quite common. A broken or worn down drive shaft is to blame here. Well, there are more than a handful of Ford F150 drive shaft problems. What are they, you ask? 

A problem with a ford F150 drive shaft can give you unexpected bumps, especially while stopping and starting. You can also face uncontrolled gear shift, loose yoke, driveline vibration, imbalance driving issues and a heck lot more.

In most cases, lubricating the drive shaft, U-joint, clamp, and the center supporting bearing will do the trick. However, some cases need a replacement of the U-Joints, Center Bearing, Pinion Yokes, Slip Yokes, or the Tubing. Read more below to diagnose your Ford Drive shaft issues and fix it.

Common Drive Shaft Problems Easy Solution 
Ghost bump1. Lubricating the joints with bearing replacement 
2. Re-adjustment of the joints
3. Changing the drive shaft
Uncomfortable noiseLubricating U-joints, flange yoke, tube shaft, tube yoke, and bearing
Driveline vibrationBearing change and drive shaft lubrication
Imbalanced driving1. Lubricating the joints with bearing replacement
2. Re-adjustment of the joints
3. Changing the drive shaft
Worn Out Center BearingLubricating the drive shaft and bearing change

7 Common Problems With Ford F150 Drive Shaft – (Easy Diagnosis)

A problem in the drive shaft isn’t pretty, no siree. You can get uncontrolled vibration, faster bearing wear out, ghost bumps, and so on. Here are a few things you can use to diagnose whether the problem is in the Ford F150 drive shaft:

#1- Ghost Bump

While driving, stopping, or starting the F150, you might feel a bump. However, there was nothing underneath the car. Generally speaking, a rusted, worn out, or low lubricating drive shaft is the culprit. As the drive shaft loads and unloads it pushes on the joints, causing the bump.

#2- Balance Issues

Well, this is a big one. Supposing that you are driving and your Ford F150 goes all nuts. Usually rust in the drive shaft causes the U-joints to act crazy. Afterwards, the yoke starts to loosen, and then the center bearing. You should face constant vibration before any balance issues come along. 

#3- Worn U-Joints

If the drive shaft isn’t well lubricated, then it damages the universal joints or U-joints of a drive shaft. It generally starts from a mild vibration, but increases afterwards. 

#4- Loose Yoke and less power output

A worn out drive shaft can also cause the yoke to loosen up and malfunction. You will have less power while moving as the yoke is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the transmission. 

#5- Worn Out Center Bearing

The center bearing supports the entire weight of the drive shaft. So, with time, the drive shaft will start decaying the bearing, which results in alignment and balance issues. You will also face vibration, noise, and drivetrain damage. 

#6- Driveline Vibration 

Do you feel a strong vibration in the steering wheel, seat, or floorboard? Well, if one side of the drive shaft is heavier than the other, it can cause the vibration. Shifting the weight evenly is the only solution to the f150 drive shaft vibration. Else, you need a replacement.

#7- Bent Or Damaged Shaft

Due to overuse, your entire drive shaft can bend, twist, and get damaged. This is quite common on old Ford F150, while newer ones don’t have this issue. Regular lubricating the drive shaft can prevent this problem. 

How To Fix Ford F150 Drive Shaft Problems: Step-By-Step

Fixing a Ford F150 drive shaft problem is quite straightforward. Either you clean and grease, or replace the parts like U-Joints, Center Bearing, Pinion Yokes, Slip Yokes, Tubing. 

With the steps below, you can fix ghost bumps, driveline vibration, imbalanced driving, and uncomfortable noise due to a malfunctioning drive shaft. 

Things you will need

  • Clamp
  • Some teflon grease
  • U-Joints
  • Center Bearing
  • Pinion flanges/Yokes
  • Slip Yokes
  • Tubing
  • Screwdriver
  • 12 point 12mm socket wrench

Now, let’s see the steps to fix a ford f150 drive shaft: 

  • First, you need to fix the vehicle in a jack stand, and make sure it does move. 
  • Find the joints connecting the drive shaft with a clamp. We need to remove the clamp.
  • Now, put the vehicle in neutral, and unbolt the drive shaft from the pinion flange. Use a 12 point 12 millimeter socket, and extension to unbolt. 
  • Now, tap the pinion flange and break the bond. Don’t tap on the drive shaft. Rust can accumulate, causing it to stick. Plus, don’t let the rust reach your eyes. 
  • Remove the drive shaft. And this is the part you need to clean and grease. Take out the old grease before applying the new grease layer.
  • Disconnect the U-Joint at each end, and clean it. You need to replace any joint if cracks or dents appear. 
  • You need to take out the old center supporting bearing and replace it with a new one.
  • If the pinion flanges and slip yokes are bent or cracked, then you also need to take them out. 

Pro-tip: You may not have everything at home. So, get a mechanic. They won’t charge you more than a few hundred bucks for the greasing and re-attachment. 

How To Replace A Ford F150 Drive Shaft – In 6 simple steps

Sometimes, you have to replace the drive shaft to fix a Ford F150 drive shaft problem. Follow the steps below to do it: 

  • Step-1: Start by wearing some safety glasses and gloves. Replacing an old drive shaft will spread a lot of rust, dust and debris, which can jump into your eyes.
  • Step-2: Now, park your vehicle in the emergency brake and grab a jack stand to support its weight. Now, lift it above. 
  • Step-3: Crawl under the F150 and reach the center of where the drive shaft connects both front and rear axles. 
  • Step-4: Using a socket wrench (12 point 12 mm) and loosen the bolts of the pinion flanges. 
  • Step-5: You can just tab the flanges and the shaft will come right off. Additionally, you also need to clean or replace the U-Joints, Center Bearing, Pinion Yokes, Slip Yokes, and Tubing.
  • Step-6: Finally, you can slide the old drive shaft off and replace it with a new one. Don’t forget to clean the U-joints, axles, and replace the bearing as well. 

What causes drive shaft failure?

The common cause of a drive shaft error is age and wear. Over time, the shaft can become rusty, causing buildup of debris. High friction and low lubrication can also cause a ford f150 drive shaft to wear faster. 

If you often drive on rough terrain, such as mud, hilly tracts, and so on, your chances of a drive shaft problem will sky rocket. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the Ford f150 front drive shaft problems?

The front drive shaft problems of a Ford F150 include driveline vibration, ghost bumps, and sometimes, an imbalance while driving. If you find uncontrolled vibration, or bumps for no reason at all, maybe it’s the front drive shaft acting strange. 

2. How do you know when your drive shaft is going out?

If you are facing uncontrolled vibration coming from the drive shaft portion, then you know that it’s gone out. In most cases, a bit of teflon grease can do the trick. However, at times you will need to change the drive shaft as well.

3. How much is a ford f150 drive shaft replacement cost?

A Ford F150 will cost anywhere from $400 to $600 depending on the condition of the drive shaft. Now stick that with another hundred bucks and you will have the total cost of a drive shaft replacement. 


Resolving a drive shaft problem is fairly simple, if you have the right tools at hand. Yet, most of us will mess up even the lubricating process. This is why getting professional help is the best option you got.

If you have low vibrating issues then the Ford F150 drive shaft problem isn’t that deep. Using some grease to the U-joints, flange yoke, tube shaft, tube yoke, and bearing will do the trick every time. 

In rare cases, you may need to replace the drive shaft, but only if you rough house too much on hill tracts or wet terrain. 

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