ZF6 noisy. Pilot Bearing? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:24 AM
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ZF6 noisy. Pilot Bearing?

My truck is a 2002 model 7.3 ZF6. I bought the truck from my father who bought the truck brand new in late 2001. The truck currently has 132xxx miles.

Currently the truck has an OE replacement clutch and a Southbend 13" flywheel. The clutch has roughly 20k miles on it. My concern is with the OEM replacement pilot bearing, as I know this is/can be a weak point. In fact, the truck has had one go out in the past.

It just developed a noise that sounds very similar to a bad wheel bearing, but because of the conditions under which it occurs, I'm thinking it is related to the clutch or trans.

The noise is most apparent when in OD at freeway speeds and no throttle is applied. As soon as I let off the throttle I get a subtle "groaning" or "rumbling" sound. If the clutch pedal is depressed, the sound goes away. As soon as the pedal is released, the sound comes back. The sound will also show up under the same conditions in direct (4th) gear, but not as pronounced. No unusual noise or symptoms at any other time. Shifting is smooth. Pedal action is smooth and consistent.

Does this sound like a pilot bearing on its way out? Something else off hand?
If so I'd really like to catch it before it causes more damage.

Thoughts and insight appreciated

Thanks
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:58 PM
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The pilot bearing isn't doing anything when the clutch is released and the engine is moving the truck. If you hear it then, I'd start looking at the input shaft bearing in the transmission.

I had the same thing happen with a T-176 (wimpy) transmission behind a Chevy V8 in a CJ-5 years ago. Three of the bearing balls in the input shaft bearing were gone.
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