Some 2012 Ford Flex vehicles equipped with AWD and built on or before 2-23-2012 may exhibit a metallic ratcheting or flutter-type noise during light to moderate tip-in at low vehicle speeds of approximately 21 mph.
The noise may be perceived as originating from the center console area.
The condition may be due to one or both of the bolts that attach the driveshaft bearing support to the front driveshaft bracket base not being fully seated.
1. Raise the vehicle on a hoist.
2. Inspect the two front center bearing bracket inner bolts to determine if they are fully seated. If not fully seated, they may be cross-threaded.
3. Remove the two front center bearing bracket outer bolts and the two front center bearing bracket inner bolts. Discard the bolt(s) that were not fully seated.
4. Using an 8 mm x 1.25 thread tap, clean the threads for the attachment bolts.
5. Install the front center bearing bracket.
6. Apply Motorcraft Threadlock 262 or equivalent to the new bolt(s) and install using only a hand tool. Torque the bracket outer bolts to 22 ft.-lbs. and the inner bolts to 177 in.-lbs.
Replacement 8 mm x 1.25 bolts are available as P/N W500220-S439.