If any readers have a certain spec of Blue Oval workhorse in their fleet, they best pay attention to a recent recall from Ford. The company is recalling 223,628 Super Duty pickups to deal with an issue of faulty powertrain components. At fault are driveshafts that can apparently fracture under a specific set of conditions.
According to the NHTSA, certain F-250 and F-350 models equipped with gas engines and aluminum driveshafts can suffer problems with underbody thermal/acoustic insulators which may loosen over time and eventually make contact with the driveshaft. This could score or otherwise damage the shaft, potentially leading to failure due to localized overload condition caused by a reduction in material thickness. In other words, the insulators could gouge the rapidly spinning driveshaft and weaken it to the point of fracture. Inadequate adhesion of the insulators to the underbody is pointed to as a root cause.
The NHTSA spells out what could happen in such a scenario, saying a fractured driveshaft may result in “loss of motive power while driving” or unintended vehicle movement while the vehicle is in park if the parking brake is not applied. There could also be secondary damage to surrounding components if things hit the fan. It is also noted that a fractured driveshaft could contact the ground, a circumstance which may cause havoc while driving in addition to the loss of power to the driven rear wheels.
Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group apparently dug into this problem last December, conducting samples and studies to determine the specific problem. Ford is aware of 40 reports received between July 2017 and November 2021 alleging busted driveshafts potentially related to these faulty insulators. Ford is not aware of any reports of accidents or injuries related to this condition. New trucks currently rolling off the line do not have this issue thanks to a rolling change in December which replaced the offending insulator with an under-carpet thermal patch.
Owners of affected vehicles, which were not produced in a sequential group of VINs, will be notified by Ford in early April. Dealers are already in the know, so check with yer friendly service department if you don’t want to wait until just before Easter. So you’ve all ducks in a row, the NHTSA recall number is 22V-087 and the manufacturer recall number is 22S09.
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