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2003 4.0L timing chain balance shaft question

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by gotobob, February 13, 2020 at 5:22 PM.

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  1. gotobob

    gotobob New Member

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    Hi, I'm new to the forum.

    I'm presently replacing all the timing chains and guides in my 03 Explorer 4.0L SOHC
    Many youtube videos mention that the balance shaft timing chain assembly needs to be working correctly if you have a 4 wheel drive Explorer and say it's not needed for the 2 wheel drive but fail to say you can disconnect it if your engine has one if your vehicle is 2 wheel drive.
    Well, I've opened my engines front timing chain cover and even though it's a factory rear wheel drive the motor has a balance shaft timing chain guide assembly.
    My question is, can I just remove the chain and not use it since I don't have 4 wheel drive?
    Because that would save much time and expense since to change it I would need to remove the upper oil pan to change the guide and that's a lot of work.

    Thanks for your help
    Bob
     
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  3. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    Yes you can remove it use a flat blade screwdriver and just pop a link off

    Lots of members have removed it with no problems even with 4wd

    And welcome to the forum
     
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  4. gotobob

    gotobob New Member

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    Thanks donalds for the quick reply.
    I was just about to edit my post as I realized this is more of an introduction section and also found the correct area and re-posted my question there.
    That's interesting that some 4wd members disconnected it and it makes no difference!
     
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  5. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    We don't know why but it works lol
     
  6. Mike65

    Mike65 Elite Explorer

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    Welcome.
     
  7. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    @gotobob

    It HAS to make some kind of difference, though maybe small and not pronounced. Ford does not throw away dough on "Engineering abortions" unless the least-senior guys are doing final design (doubtful).

    "All V6 engines— regardless of the V-angle between the cylinder banks— are subject to a primary imbalance caused by each bank consisting of an inline-three engine, due to the odd number of cylinders in each bank. Straight-six engines and flat-six engines do not experience this imbalance. To reduce the vibrations caused by this imbalance, some V6 engines use counterweights on the crankshaft and/or a counter-rotating balance shaft."

    See: V6 engine - Wikipedia

    Many here have removed their balance shafts altogether from both 2WD and 4X4 vehicle engines, claiming "no difference felt", which of course is subject to question. Vibrational life-expectancy for the engine would be my guess for use of the jiggle-shafts. Personally, I just might remove mine for the hell of it! imp
     
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  8. gotobob

    gotobob New Member

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    Thanks for the welcoming posts guys

    So my guess is Ford (in those years anyways) built all the 4L engines with balance shaft regardless if it was going in a 2wd.
    Probably easier to do that (manufacturing wise) then to have separated engine lots for 4wd and another for 2wd
     
    Last edited: February 13, 2020 at 9:51 PM
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