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Torque Converter Rattle?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by reansor, May 19, 2017 at 9:47 PM.


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    1. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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      Hey, I've read plenty about the 4.6L 5R55S "Dreaded Torque Converter Rattle," and I've fairly certain I've had it for a couple years and several thousand miles. Truck drives great and trans shifts great, but I hear this rattle only when in gear at idle. It clears up as soon as I barely touch the gas. Here's a dropbox link with the audio of it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v3qzncdgqjekbim/torque conv rattle.3gp?dl=0

      Someone please take a listen and confirm. Thanks!
       
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    3. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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      Fyi, it sounds more extreme than it does from outside or inside the truck. I recorded this with the phone real close to the bell housing. And, no, it's definitely not the catalytic converters--I just replaced them a couple months ago for a different reason and it didn't change a thing on the noise.
       
    4. ROBinGa

      ROBinGa Active Member

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      I can't open the file. But our 03 has had some symptoms as you describe for as long as I remember and at least 75-80,000 miles. Just sounds annoying at park and sitting at stop lights. Otherwise operates just fine
       
    5. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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    6. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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      Yeah, I just tested the link and it made me download it to be able to play it. At one time I thought maybe it was one of the torque converter nuts rattling around in the bellhousing, but it's not. Like I said, the sound goes away as soon as I barely touch the gas.
       
    7. imp

      imp Well-Known Member

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      @reansor
      Could be coming from the flex plate, maybe, but if noise continues without increasing, it may be easiest to live with it. Torque Converters by their very construction and nature are quite unlikely to make a rattling sound, and continue to do so for a long time. imp
       
    8. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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      I dunno. There are a ton of posts on here regarding the issue. Apparently it was some kind of design flaw, but not a durability issue. I just finally had a chance to actually record the noise and post it.
       
    9. imp

      imp Well-Known Member

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      If it is actually a metallic-sounding rattle, almost certain to rule out rear axle friction plate noise. imp
       
    10. Number4

      Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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      There was an Aussie that posted about something going out in his torque converter. Bearing? Basically causing him to lose lock-up. He dropped the pan and the filter was covered in shavings. Truck still ran. I'm banking on this being the issue.

      Mine did the same, noise has since gone away. I need to drop the pan and see if the filter is covered in shavings too. Biggest concern is fluid still being able to circulate. Mine still drives but is beginning to show signs of trouble. With 190k, I've not wanted to throw on a new torq conv as was done. Kinda of just waiting for it to fail.
       
      Last edited: May 20, 2017 at 11:28 AM
    11. Hugh Janus

      Hugh Janus Member

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      I have a 5r55w where the attling will stop when the TC locks up.
       
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    12. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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      I changed my filter and fluid not long ago and it was all very clean. I got that term, "Dreaded torque converter rattle" from some of the many posts on this site about it. My trans shifts and performs fine, and many people with the rattle have said that they've gone as many as 100,000 without a problem.
       
    13. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      Just want to piggy back onto this. My 4.6 '03 makes a pretty loud metallic scraping sound during acceleration, and the sound only cuts out at around 50mph, I assume this is when the truck hits OD/ TC locks up. I have a feeling it's the TC, but it's not a rattling noise so much as a scraping noise. Anyone familiar with this type of noise?
       
    14. Hugh Janus

      Hugh Janus Member

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      TIming chains.
       
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    15. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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      SOLUTION?: No, I know it's not timing chains because I put a stethoscope on those also. It's definitely coming from the bellhousing. Just an hour ago I let two guys from a very reputable transmission shop take a quick glance and, contrary to people calling it "The Dreaded Torque Converter Rattle," he said it's almost certainly microscopic cracks in the flexplate and that my best bet is to just drive it unless it gets worse.
       
    16. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      Yeah. Just got it back from the shop. Tech confirmed timing chains. Good call!

      Have you tackled this job before? Guessing from your confident and concise reply that you know all about it.

      It'll be my first one but I'm pretty sure I'll be doing it myself.
       
    17. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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      I've rebuilt plenty of small block Ford engines but I've never had to dig too deep into a ohc engine. I've researched the timing chains for the 4.6 some because I know I'll need them eventually. It looks like a pain in the ass but it's definitely something I would do myself because I can only try to guess how much a shop would charge--LOTS!

      Get the kit with the 2 Chainz, guides, tensioners, and maybe the cam sprockets. You'll need the cam position holders too, but you might be able to get those on the loaner program from AutoZone or advance. Otherwise they're not too expensive from Amazon. Get a Chilton or Hayes book too, and read up on it so you know what you're doing before you start pulling it apart.
       
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    18. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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    19. reansor

      reansor Active Member

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      BTW, I didn't mean 2 Chainz the rapper, obviously, but Google Voice typing thought so.☺
       

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