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2003 Explorer died and won't start

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by DiscountHP1, April 20, 2013.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. DiscountHP1

    DiscountHP1 New Member

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    Hi all, just stumbled by this forum while Google'ing the problem with my Explorer and thought I'd see if anyone could help me. 2 weeks ago I traded and got my 2003 Explorer Sport XLS V6 4.0 liter. It ran great except for a low idle a lot that I was told is a $60 O2 sensor. Today I was driving and it stalled and will not start back up. I just filled up the other day and still have 1/2 tank of gas so I know its not the fuel. I'm not mechanically inclined at all but the first thing I thought was the fuel pump but when I turn the key on I can hear the fuel pump running strong. It just cranks and cranks and doesn't seem to fire at all. I'm having some people look at it tomorrow and am on a very tight budget so I thought I'd check here to see if there are any common problems with these I should check first. Also, what would be the first logical scenarios for me to have them look for. If anyone has any questions in helping you help me just ask and I will do my best to answer. Thanks!!!
     
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  3. DiscountHP1

    DiscountHP1 New Member

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    I just had my guys check it out and it has great fire good fuel and no compression
     
  4. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    no compression

    I assume that you have the SOHC V6. No compression on all cylinders on one bank means a slipped or broken timing chain on that bank. No compression on all cylinders on both banks means a slipped of broken primary (crankshaft to jackshaft) timing chain.
     
  5. DiscountHP1

    DiscountHP1 New Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply 2000StreetRod! Yes the SOHC V6. I guess they could only get to 3 to test compression but they got 2 on one side and 1 on the other and none had compression. So if none have compression and its the primary chain, thats in the front and we can get to it without pulling the motor, right? I've been afraid that the whole motor may have to come out. I think they're gonna start working on it tomorrow and I am REALLY hoping for a somewhat easy and inexpensive fix. Sucks I've only had this thing for a week, up until now I love this Explorer though! Thanks again!
     
  6. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    interfence engine

    Yes, the primary chain tensioner and guide can be replaced with the engine in the vehicle. However, the SOHC V6 is an interference engine which means that the pistons can strike the valves when the camshaft timing is far enough off.
    3Dings.jpg
    Damaged valves in both heads is an expensive repair requiring a special valve spring compressor. Head bolts should not be reused. The SOHC V6 is a complicated engine to time requiring a special timing tool kit (OTC 6488). It may be cheaper to replace the engine with one from a salvage yard. I suggest determining if there is valve damage before spending the labor to take the engine apart to check the primary chain components. Does your mechanic have a digital inspection camera with a lighted probe that fits thru a spark plug hole? If not, there's the old school method using an air compressor with a spark plug hole adapter and checking for air leaks when both valves in a cylinder should be seated.
     
    Last edited: April 22, 2013
  7. DiscountHP1

    DiscountHP1 New Member

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    THANK YOU! Yeah, they we're telling me I may be better off to replace the whole engine but now I see why from your explanation. I think the plan today is they are going to start tearing into it and we're gonna go from there. I know they we're going to a salvage yard the other day to see what they could find so hopefully they found another one reasonable if thats the case. Thanks again, I'll update this thread and let ya know what we find out.:thumbsup:
     
  8. jsotomar

    jsotomar Member

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    I seen alot of engines for your model, when I was looking for my engine. But I live in Philly, so hopefully they find something thats wont hurt the wallet or wont be crap. I bought a engine from a junkyard with 80k for $800, from a 03 Mountaineer 4.6l V8 for my 02 Ex. All yards seemed to have the 4.0's, so there should be competitive prices, for way cheaper than for what I bought mine. Also, check craigslist for engines, and part-outs.

    Side note: You said you got this in a trade, you mean person-to-person or a dealership? If dealership, maybe warranty?
     
  9. DiscountHP1

    DiscountHP1 New Member

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    Thanks guys! I'm still dealing with this problem unfortunately. I got it in a person to person trade, so no warranty :( I ordered all the chains and had someone put on the primary chain tensioner but I don't have anyway of timing it. Anybody know any tricks for this? Also, I was told by a Ford mechanic thats friends with my Dad and is supposed to be very trustworthy that just about everytime this happens in these the pistons damage the valves and I'm better off getting a new engine, anyone know how true this is? The Explorer ran great other than quite often it would idle too low at stop lights etc, but it started right up everytime. Also, when the chain must've came off and it died I was in a parking lot and going only 5-10 MPH, wouldn't this make it way less likely for the valves to have been damaged? We don't have a digital inspection camera, so I guess my best bet to determine valve damage is checking for air leaks using a compressor through a spark plug hole? Thanks so much for your time and help, hopefully I'll be back up and running soon!
     
  10. Elessar65

    Elessar65 Elite Explorer

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    There are plenty of X's on craigslist with trans problems being parted out. I would find one just like yours, or as close as you can (engine, trans, 4wd, color, trim, etc.) and buy the whole damn thing. Park it out back under a tarp. Then slowly cannabalize it as you need to, selling off parts if you need cash or don't want them. Thats what I do. I also buy lots of stuff off craigslist and fix and sell it. In anycase, there are a zillion X's on Craigslist, and in salvage yards, you should be able to easily find what you need.
     
  11. jsotomar

    jsotomar Member

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    oh i dont know if you have fixed this problem yet, but a fyi... digital inspection camera can be bought at harbor freight for about $80
     

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