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Old 07-06-2020, 11:46 PM   #1
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Help with vibration at certain speeds

Hello.
I’ve been trying to do my research on this problem and not sure I’m looking in the right place.
We have a Tioga class c, Ford e450, 2006. Since buying it 5 years ago there has been this “rattle” noise at about 55mph that sounds like its coming from the center console. Rattles and squeaks are not something to be concerned about, until today. I’m on a long trip across Wyoming and found that the rattle:
Begins at 55 mph for a second, then goes away 56-62, returns 63-71, then gone again. Very specific speeds, and unrelated to rpms.
I’ve read a lot about driveshaft misalignment, but people asking if you “can outrun it”, which I can. (I haven’t read anything about what it could be if you can “outrun it”.)
The noise/vibration is loud and center front, like it’s under the center console. You cannot feel it in the steering wheel or by placing your hand on anything. Totally different from every other squeak/rattle.
We are on our second set of tires, and these are totally different tires this last round. Had them rebalanced today, so this is not suspect. Looking forward to advice. Thanks so much.
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Old 07-07-2020, 12:30 AM   #2
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Sounds like u-joint or drive shaft problems.

We used to pull the drive axles out and run up to the speed the vibes are happening.

Take a bar and give the u-joints a good jiggle.

Any movement, and you likely found your problem.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:59 AM   #3
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Ok, thanks so much. As soon as I can I’ll have take a look at these.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:32 AM   #4
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Possible heat shield rattle, crawl underneath and use a rubber mallet, start tapping around, bet you will find it.
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Old 07-07-2020, 12:12 PM   #5
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Thanks, I’ll look for that first.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:13 PM   #6
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If speed and not RPM sensitive are you feeling any vibration in the SW or the seat of your pants? Or are you just hearing a rattle? If you do feel vibration I would check the tires and wheels.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:11 PM   #7
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While you're under checking U joints, make sure if you have a 2 or more piece driveshaft, all joints are running in the same plane.....
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:37 AM   #8
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If you have a multi-piece driveshaft (probably) with carrier bearing check to see if the rubber has shrunk. If it has this allows the driveshaft to float in the bracket causing what you are feeling.
Usually a piece of an old serpentine belt cut to fit on the flat side of the rubber will take up the space and cure the problem.
GM had a tech bulletin on many of their trucks to install a thin strip of metal to take up this space and fix this vibration. WE found the old piece of belt worked just as well.
I did this on my F53 chassis a couple of years ago for this issue.
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:46 AM   #9
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What you're experiencing is somewhat typical of any vibration. Vibrations are small movements of loose parts be they a heat shield or a small interior piece of metal that has rusted and separated from another piece of the exhaust pipe allowing the vibration to occur. They will often occur at different road speeds which translates into different frequencies.

Then there's a harmonic of a frequency. The noise starts at 50 MPH then starts again at say 56 MPH because it's a harmonic of the first frequency. It could also be called a sympathetic vibration of the first frequency. It matters not it's still a vibration and can be stopped once you locate the source.

On several occasions over the years I saw interior exhaust pipes rust away and actually fold down internally partially blocking the exhaust flow. Depending on the blockage at low speeds the exhaust could get out so no issues. At higher speeds the exhaust couldn't get out the pressure built up resulting in a great loss of engine power. Those didn't cause vibrations but sure was a difficult diagnosis. It is possible that it could cause an audible vibration.

Do the diagnosis as suggested by others and you may spot something. Heat shield are notorious for having one spot weld break loose and vibrating at higher roads speeds. The rubber mallet it a good way to diagnosis those.
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:42 AM   #10
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Read a recent humor article, guy bought a car at great price due to a known knock/noise still there, rattle they thought was suspension; after replacing shocks, he FOUND the noise was multiple loose golf balls in hidden area in the trunk :-)
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:02 PM   #11
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Crawl under, starting at back and check all exhaust hangers and heat shield mounts. I had new clamps, but lost 8ft tailpipe after weld peeled. For any one length, esp. behind rear axle, have THREE Clamp hangers, not just two.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:04 PM   #12
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Thanks, everyone. After crawling around and a couple of failed attempts, we finally found it. It was a heat shield that was rattling against another piece. It has been temporarily secured, and will be permanently fixed after I’m back home. Such a relief to have found it. Thanks again.
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