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Ford F150 Rear Differential Problems : [This Is How You Fix]

Ford F150 Rear Differential Problems : [This Is How You Fix]

Being a Ford car owner, you might be concerned about the rear differential issues that are persistent in these vehicles. Mistreatment or damage of these parts often leads to malfunctioning. Sometimes, breakages of the internal parts or burning out of these components might give you a troublesome time.

You must be aware of the function of the rear differential, so it’s essential to keep an eye on its condition. To ensure the smooth functioning of the engine, you need to keep the rear differential in good operational conditions.

Replacing your car’s rear differential isn’t an economical option all the time. So, you need to have keen eyes for the observation that would help you detect weird signs with these parts.

In this article, we have discussed the root causes and symptoms that would tell you probable issues with the rear differentials. Besides, we have also recommended some effective solutions that might be of help to you.

Ford F150 rear differential problems

While driving your Ford F150 for hours, you might already have encountered rear differential issues. Particularly, when you navigate the truck through flat terrains, you might feel shaky.

Drivers commonly encounter problems during these situations. Besides, the truck wouldn’t accelerate properly, and the adverse performance is likely to bother drivers.

Experts state that rear differential problems in your Ford F150 have two main symptoms. These are front differential leaks and rear differential noise. In some situations, you might notice leakage from the seals of the axles. The light brown fluid in these components would tell you the story.

To make sure that you take the right countermeasures, it’s imperative to identify the signs properly. Drivers often get confused over the sound of the cam phaser knocking with that of the rear differential.

Take a look at the common Ford F150 rear differential problems.

1. The rear differential parts become dirty or accumulate rust

The lack of timely oiling or lubrication might lead to the accumulation of dust on the rear differential parts. Over time, this might lead to rusting, and the parts would start corroding.

Particularly, you need to take care of the bearings, pistons, and gears. Problems in the rear differential of your Ford F150 might arise due to rusting of these parts, or the accumulation of dust or gunk in the components.

2. Broken rear differential in your Ford F150

At times, you might face problems with the rear differential in your Ford F 150 in case it breaks. This is not a case of repair, as you need to go for a complete replacement of the rear differential.

You can save the labor charges while getting it replaced by carrying out the process all by yourself.

However, in case you are not too savvy with mechanical parts, you may call in an expert. Besides, repair kits are available in the market, which enables one to get the parts replaced fast.

3. Leaks in differential pinion

A significant number of Ford F150 users have faced problems with leaky differential pinions. In case of such leaks, you need to get the parts sealed.

However, in the first place, you need to find the pinion that connects to the driveshaft under your car. Once you locate this component, you can proceed to the sealing process.

4. Broken parts in the rear differential

Broken parts happen to be something inevitable in any mechanical component. So, you might have broken gears, gaskets, or bearings in the rear differential.

How to fix ford f150 rear differential problems

1. Dealing with rusty rear differential parts

In case you are concerned with the rusty parts of the rear differential, make sure to use a quality lubricator in these components. If necessary, you might also consider replacing the fluid. Lubricating the rear differential might work like magic.

So, it would save you both efforts and your valuable hours. While lubricating, make sure to get a high-grade oil. Also, timely lubricating of the pistons, bearings, and gears would keep rust at bay. In case you have a malfunctioning rear differential, you might also consider replacing it completely.

As a tip, put on your sunglasses and safety gloves to eliminate the chances of accidents.

2. Replacing the rear differential using a kit

In case you have decided to try out the DIY process to replace the rear differential of your Ford F150, here’s the process for you. Please note that the standard kits available in the market come with seals and bearings.

  • After you lift the truck, take the driveshaft out from the truck’s rear.
  • Under the truck, you will come across the emergency brake cable. Apply pressure on these cables, so that you can remove them totally. In case you find it tough to handle this task, use a pair of pliers.
  • Now, you need to pull the emergency brake cables completely from under your truck. Bring out the line of the main brake.
  • Using your hands, get through the larger bolts around the rear differential. To prevent the rear differential from dropping, you need to jack it up.
  • Now, you need to take the bolts, shock absorbers, torsion bars, and trailing arms out too.
  • Later, replace the existing rear differential with the new one. Now, simply attach the trailing arms, bolts, torsion bars, and shock absorbers back to their original position. Remember to insert the larger bolts that would keep the rear differential in place and tighten them.
  • Lastly, you need to attach the brake calipers and the brake lines. Once you establish a connection with the brake line, fill the fluid up. Attach the ABS sensor cable and emergency brake cables.

3. Sealing the leaky pinion

If a leaky pinion in your Ford F150 has been bothering you, it’s necessary to get the leak sealed. Now that you have located the pinion, inspect whether or not its cover is fine. In case you notice any breakout or hole on the cover, you need to get it sealed properly. Here’s how you can seal the leaky pinion.

Get under the truck and use the jack so that it lifts it up.

  • Firstly, take the nuts out from the driveshaft.
  • Put aside the driveshaft using a rubber mallet.
  • Get a high-grade sealant and apply it to the place, so that it doesn’t keep leaking. Also, take care to cover it completely to prevent any possibility of leaking out.
  • Once you do this, the component wouldn’t leak anymore. You simply need to attach the parts back to their original place.

4. Replacing the parts

In case the problem lies in broken components, you simply need to get them replaced. Mostly, these parts include the gears, gaskets, and bearings. Branded automobile parts are available with the dealers. You might also explore the aftermarket for suitable parts and get them replaced.

How do you know if your rear differential is going out?

In case your rear differential is going out, you can know it by observing the rear wheels. Check out the outer tire wear or sidewall wear of these wheels.

The rear differential enables the tires to rotate at various speeds when it functions normally. In case the rear differential starts failing, the gears tend to grind. As a result, the turning rate of all the tires becomes the same, which wears the outer sides.

Is it possible to drive with a bad rear differential?

Ford has integrated all its F150 models with a rear differential. The rear differential assists the Ford’s engine to shift power to the rear wheels of the trucks. As a result, these vehicles are able to change the engine power flow, particularly when you turn them.

According to experts, it would not be wise to drive the Ford 150 in case you have a bad rear differential. This component significantly changes the truck’s performance.

A malfunctioning component has the potential to lead to accidents, as the truck would lack adequate power when it changes directions. Besides, a faulty rear differential might inflict damage to its surrounding areas as well.


As a concerned Ford 150 truck owner, you need to keep an eye on its parts, including the rear differential. Once you notice the symptoms of damage or malfunctioning, you need to address the issue at the earliest.

Sometimes, the rear differential might go out when you are driving the truck. This problem might lead to some complications. The manifestation of this issue depends on the model of your truck.

Based on this, you might experience slow acceleration, noise, or vibration in the truck. The problem might be more serious in case the teeth or gears of the rear differential have broken. Make sure to address the issue immediately and get the component replaced if necessary.