Ram15002ndgen, you hit on the same stopgap solution that I did, although I came by it somewhat differently. I shot some teflon/silicone lube up into the column inside the truck, through a metal grate just above the toe plate. At the time, I had no idea that it was the bearing, I was literally shooting in the dark. The noise went away and I assumed (correctly) that I had somehow lubed the offending bearing (I knew it was a bearing from the feel, but finding/replacing it was the bugger). The lube obviously ran down the shaft and into the bearing (blind hawg found an acorn). It was only when I decided to install the Rock Solid bushing that I uncovered the culprit.
My suggestion to you is to spend $60 and get one of Rock Solid's bushings
. The hardest part about installing it is working around the vacuum booster. All you really do is cut the spring retainer off the shaft with a Dremel (and that sucker will launch as soon as you cut through) and then pry out the shift collar (took a little doing because it was a tight press fit). Clean off the shaft, shoot a little lube on it, slide the new bushing up nice and snug, then drive on the metal retainer with a section of 1" PVC.
They give you a piece of PVC with the bushing, but it's not long enough unless you have the column off the truck. Spend a couple of bucks on a section of PVC at Lowe's or Home Depot, and cut a nice generous length that will let you have room to swing a mallet up in the engine compartment.
Best $60 I've spent in a while!