Heads Up on Front End Knock
I bought a used 06 F-350 a month ago. It had a knock from the left front end. It also just felt sloppy when I was turning or going over bumps. I made an appt to get it on a hoist and check things over. Well I got it into Ford and they fed me a line about replacing my steering gear box for a few thousand dollars to fix the knock. The thing is it wasn't just while turning. It would knock sometimes over a bump, while turning, or even while braking. I had visions of busted caliper bolts, pooched wheel bearings, and sloppy ball joints. I went to see a buddy of mine with a shop.
So I pulled up and told him the symptoms. He had me steer back and forth while he laid under the front end. He called me out and told me to lay down there while he steered back and forth. There is a traction bar that starts on the frame on the drivers side, and angles down to the front diff on the pass side. It is bolted through a bushing on the drivers side and a ball joint on the pass/diff side. The ball joint was all tired and sloppy. We popped it out and through in a $100 new one and voila. The truck seriously drives like a brand new vehicle. The front end feels tight and solid, there is no knocking or ticking at all. This is a small repair, and of anything I have ever fixed regarding suspension in my life, this made the single most difference in quality of ride. I can't stress enough how big of a difference this made. It was like going from an old 1970's grain truck, to a brand new off the showroom floor truck.
With the old tired ball joint in there, you could actually see the front diff moving when you turned the wheels! If you have front end knocking, or it feels loose, this would be the first thing I would check.
For what it's worth, I pulled my EGR out while I was in the shop to and cleaned it right up. Anybody on the fence about that, just do it. It's seriously a ten minute job. To bolts and a can of carb cleaner. Do it carefully and there is no need for a new gasket or o-rings.