View Full Version : Strange rattle/vibration sound

May 7th, 2017, 08:26 AM
Late last year I noticed when accelerating moderately from a stop or stepping on the gas once the car was warm hard I would hear a loud rattling/vibrating sound from underneath the car. Yesterday driving to the show it was pretty pronounced but typically only when I was "under load" accelerating up a hill or into to the wind (which was really strong at times).

For example, running at 60-62 mph up Blewett Pass I was between 2900 and 3000 rpm. If I stepped on the gas to accelerate even a little I could hear the noise. When I got back into town at a stop if I slowly stepped on the gas to accelerate no problem. But, a little more pressure and here's the noise again. Definitely not quiet either if I can hear it over 60 mph above the drone of the mufflers. I can actually replicate it sitting still with my foot hard on the brake and revving the motor. As I pulled into the shop last night the noise seem to come from the drive line tunnel, but other times it sounded like right under my seat. Really confusing to try and pinpoint (of course, a second person will be needed to figure it out).

My dad and brother thought possibly it's an exhaust vibration. Acceleration is fine, in fact, no problems there at all. I've checked clearance and hangers for the exhaust and everything seems fine. I do have a slight vibration still over 65 so am wondering if maybe it could be drive shaft related.

What other ideas do you have to check? As I said it's irritatingly loud but doesn't seem to affect the running of the car.

Jeff W
May 7th, 2017, 12:34 PM
The E-brake equalizer arm lives in that area and mounts to the transmission brackets. Maybe something is twisting when the Tories applied hitting your floor pan... nice that it makes the noise when stationary. Hard when you need to strap a buddy to the fender while at speed.:ROTFLMAO:

April 23rd, 2018, 12:10 PM
Ok, so update and looking for some tips/advice for a novice on the best way to check.

I took the Falcon out again this morning. The rattle/noise has been more persistent at slow speeds, especially when accelerating after turning right. However, this morning I also had a lot of drivetrain vibration on accelerating. The transmission seemed to shift gears well enough but there was this shaking from underneath (it seems) on acceleration. It diminished around 50 mph when cruising but any time I pressed on the gas you could feel it again.

My neighbor and I suspect the u-joints are bad. I'm not sure if they were ever replaced when the car was rebuilt. I'm assuming they were. The rear of the car is on jack stands right now.

1) What is the proper way to check the u-joints?

I've got the rear on jack stands. Car is in park. Driveshaft rotates a little side to side on rotation and the wheels move before they stop because of the transmission in park, I assume. On the rear, in tying to manipulate the shaft up and down or side to side there's no movement.

On the front there is a slight amount of movement up and down - not much but definitely not tight like the rear joint. Could this make that vibrating noise since it's at the transmission?

2) Where are folks getting their replacement ones?

Finally, if not the u-joints what else would cause that vibration/shudder - torque converter?

April 24th, 2018, 07:57 AM
A couple of photos - front and rear view of the driveshaft. The fact that the vibration is more pronounced at lower speeds has me confused.

April 24th, 2018, 10:55 PM
Hey Scott. If the U-joints are even slightly bound-up you'll get vibration. Maybe even more-so than if they are a little sloppy worn-out.

The only real way to check them is to pull the drive-line out and give them a feel. The front one you just need to pivot the yoke in its two directions to see if it is smooth and not too tight or too loose. Sort of the same with the rear, except the two caps will need to be rotated individually. That said, you may not feel or notice a failure that might be evident only when the car is under load, so I would suggest having them replaced. At $15 a piece (give or take), no point guessing. Whether you do them yourself or you take the shaft somewhere to have them replaced - that's not something I know how best to suggest. You can probably see DIY videos on YouTube if you wanna give it a go.

May 11th, 2018, 01:34 PM
Well, the mechanic finally drove it and got an initial impression yesterday. Right now he's focused on the torque converter, flex plate or both. He mentioned the potential of a balance issue with the engine but he's going to focus on those two first by dropping the tranny and then running the engine.

He did put his timing light on it and noticed the car was off by a tiny amount so he reset it to the mark where it was initially set when the engine was rebuilt.

Will probably have to wait another week or two before he can dive into it more.

May 16th, 2018, 07:45 PM
Just a note on this...I didnít know of any problem with my U joints, but when I took them apart during my rebuild I was amazed to find ridges inside there. I was glad I replaced them.

June 26th, 2018, 10:28 AM
Well, got the bad news/good news today after the engine teardown. Turns out when the engine work was done in 1994 or so on the rebuild a backyard balance job was done and done incorrectly. The crank was not turning smoothly (had an easy and then hard spot in the rotation). Rods were filed at different points, cylinder walls and bearings were scored in places. So, the result is a rebuild - not what I was looking for.

The good news - it'll be a solid rebuild and more reliable than what I had. I decided to go with a 331 stroker kit. Power shouldn't be a big jump over what was already done to the car. I'll also have the block and heads painted black and the valve covers gold to give it the original look while the internals will be upgraded.

Hoping to have it back before the Aug 25th mini-regional.

June 28th, 2018, 10:24 PM
Well that's a bummer Scott. Good to hear though you've satisfactorily rooted out the problem. A 331 seems to be a popular build and I like the black/gold theme as that is what I've done a couple times as well. Looking forward to seeing it! Fingers crossed I'll make it.

June 29th, 2018, 03:29 PM
Turns out when the engine work was done in 1994 or so on the rebuild a backyard balance job was done and done incorrectly.

Hell, Scott.

How many miles were put on the engine since it was last rebuilt in 1994? Other than the vibration, did the engine show any problems like burning oil or running hot? Was the vibration getting worse? How many more miles do you think that you could have put on the engine if you continued to drive it "as is"?

July 1st, 2018, 02:50 PM
Hell, Scott.

How many miles were put on the engine since it was last rebuilt in 1994? Other than the vibration, did the engine show any problems like burning oil or running hot? Was the vibration getting worse? How many more miles do you think that you could have put on the engine if you continued to drive it "as is"?

In reality the car had maybe 1500 miles on it since the rebuild. Problem is the rods were notched in places that didn't make sense - probably in an effort to balance. The bearings and the cylinder walls were both scored a little. It was not burning oil or running hot. At 25 mph in town you couldn't tell. The problem is I don't live in town and most of my driving is at 50 mph or higher.

The issue started with a loud noise on acceleration from a stop and by last fall I was hearing it while driving and under load. The vibration became pretty pronounced this spring and the car would shake when accelerating. The mechanic drove it and said there was definitely an.

With the vibration and noise getting worse I felt like there wasn't much choice but to determine what was going on so we went through and methodically eliminated the driveline, transmission and torque converter as causes. It wasn't until the motor was torn down last week that we saw what was going on inside it.

August 15th, 2018, 08:06 AM
Figured it was time for an update vs. hijacking Corbin's thread.

My mother-in-law is probably getting tired of the car with a gasser look sitting in her driveway - at least I have the cover on it.


It's been a little frustrating with the slow progress. We just got back from a trip to London and the shop had agreed to order the 331 stroker kit but that hasn't happened. The biggest problem for me is obviously the fact that I ignored learning about working on engines as a kid when my dad was working on all the cars we had. It never interested me, now I wish it had since it will cost a lot more money for me to get this done. Live and learn - and learn I will definitely do for other items.

Some of the things I've found out: the engine rebuild by a guy in our home town back in the 90's had some issues. The crank would turn easy and then have resistance, the rods had material ground out of them poorly in an effort to balance so they were shot. The bearing caps and cylinder walls were scored slightly but nothing that can be taken care of. Once I saw that it was pretty clear the engine needed a rebuild. It has already been bored .030 over so it's basically a 293 ci engine.

From there it was how to proceed. I have pondered, and had a conversation with Jeff Pfaff in Selah who is working through his own 331 build for his 65, going with a crate engine. I had a long discussion with the mechanic yesterday and he commented several times "your car is just too nice to throw a crate motor in". While it's going to be more expensive he said the block is in great shape and he builds for reliability so why not use the original. Yes, it will be modified, but at least it will look original. The mechanic seems genuinely excited about the build. In fact, I mentioned yesterday that I am planning on towing the car to Colorado for the FCA national meet next summer. He just looked at me and said, "why? Drive it there, I build them for that." I responded I like my AC in the truck.

So, the block is in Yakima at one machine shop for initial work. I'll be ordering the 331 pre-balanced stroker kit - 90% sure it will be a Scat kit so we can get the build underway. I have already ordered headers and a fan shroud, to aid the cooling, from Melvin's Classics. I'm not going to look at any changes to the radiator until I see how this thing does once it's put together. The mechanic agrees with that approach. We haven't discussed a cam yet other than a flat tappet one. I'll deal with that once the build starts. I don't need a real "lopey" cam with a car that sounds like it could die.

The one issue I struggled with is using the stock heads, which I am doing, as I know aluminum ones could present some better breathing. But, I'm also trying to keep my wife happy and controlling the costs somewhere.

I won't have the car for the mini-regional but there is a little light at the end of the tunnel. My target is 300-350 hp but very streetable so I can use it like a daily driver in the summer.

August 15th, 2018, 02:55 PM

If this 289 is already at .030 over, how much further will they go? I have a .060 289 in the Ranchero and it may be why it likes to run hotter than I'd like it to. I've read in multiple places you should have the 260/289 blocks checked for wall thickness as the bore increases as these were known to be a little on the thin side in some cases. Basically, everything I've read says not to assume it will be OK just because you can get the parts to do it. It was also suggested, if keeping the original block was important - and it was determined to be a little thin - you could also sleeve it to go back to zero.


Also, a great deal of the heat made in the engine is from friction, not just combustion, and lot of that is with a flat tappet cam and lifters. Because I have issues with my 289 anyway, and because I'm not attached to it, when (and if) I ever get a garage to work in again I'm probably going to track down a roller motor and, if needed, rebuild it. You can convert the early blocks to use a roller cam, but it requires an offset cam to get the lobes down low enough, while maintaining lift, to get the roller lifter bits installed up-top.

Only passing on what I've read, since I have one. You're mileage may vary.

August 15th, 2018, 03:03 PM
Thanks Roger. If I understand the mechanic we're not doing any additional boring. I'm ordering pistons that are .030 over which is where the block is now. Granted I don't have a ton of knowledge on engines and all the details of a build so I'm trusting the mechanic on his advice. He's done quite a few Ford engines including a recently completed 429 Cobra Jet