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Replace all 4L timing chain & guides without removing engine or special tools

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by gotobob, February 14, 2020 at 2:30 PM.

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  1. gotobob

    gotobob New Member

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    Hi, I'm new to the forum.

    I thought of sharing my methods and results of replacing timing chains and guides without removing the engine or even using special tools,
    Keep in mind his is meant to be helpful to anyone that may be interested in seeing how it could be done.
    One would need very good mechanical skills to accomplish such a job.

    This is a (UNLISTED) video that explains how it's done:
    Note, I emphasize unlisted because I don't want this video to go to the general public.
    I want it to only stay in this forum for those who search for it.

    I will post a few other videos as the work progresses.

    Regards
    Bob
     
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  3. mic98xlt

    mic98xlt Elite Explorer

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    Hey Bob, real nice informative video well made. Please keep it up and I have subscribed to this thread. Looking forward to the timing portion. :)
     
  4. gotobob

    gotobob New Member

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    Thanks for your positive comment mic98xlt

    Here is the second part:
     
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  5. mic98xlt

    mic98xlt Elite Explorer

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    Enjoyed 2nd video also. Quick question, you have a 2 wheel drive vehicle, I wonder if for 4wd if there's a lot more difficulty to separate the engine and transmission. The 4wd have the transfer case and also the front drive shaft which might make for a bigger job to push the tranny back inches to get the rear cassette.

    Never the less this could be a practical life saver for those like me whom are on a budget. I think many here simply don't have the time nor money to pay someone to remove the engine to replace the timing cassettes with new guides. I would definitely give your procedure a shot if the choice was removing the engine plus spending big money on timing cassettes. You have showed some ingenuity in keeping everything aligned and noting exact timing without an extra tool kit. Looking forward to more video(s)! :)
     
  6. gotobob

    gotobob New Member

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    Hi mic98xlt,

    Thanks for your positive reply once again.
    This is my first Explorer and the first time ever doing this kind of a big mechanical job.
    I'm sure the 4wd version would be a little more work. I've never seen one from underneath so I can't say for sure.

    The cost of all new parts is only $100. so it's very affordable. It just takes time, skills and patience.

    The complete timing chain kit is $55. with delivery: Fits 97-09 2, 4WD Ford Mazda Mercury SOHC 4.0L Engine Timing Chain Kit W/ Gears | eBay

    Front timing chain cover and water pump gasket set $16. with delivery: Timing Cover Gasket Set kit with front oil seal for 97-11 Ford 4.0 SOHC Engine | eBay

    Lower Oil pan gasket $13. with delivery: Lower Oil Pan Gasket Fit 97-11 Ford Explorer Land Rover Mazda B4000 Mercury 4.0L | eBay

    Valve cover gaskets $11. with delivery: 2X Engine Valve Cover Gasket Fit Ford 03-10 Ranger 4.0L SOHC VIN 4 E / Cu245 | eBay

    Intake manifold gaskets $10. with delivery: 01-11 Ford Ranger Mercury Mazda B4000 4.0L SOHC Intake Manifold Gaskets VIN E K | eBay
     
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  7. gotobob

    gotobob New Member

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    Here is part 3
    Please note, at some points I mention 4 small bolts that screw the upper oil pan to the timing chain cover and it's actually 5 small bolts.

    Link to video:
     
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  8. mic98xlt

    mic98xlt Elite Explorer

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    I am sure you not the first to mistakenly place that bottom sprocket on backwards. Glad you pointed it out so others won't make the same mistake. I too believe it's very important to be a neat freak when working on an engine and not dragging in dirt and debris into a open engine.

    I probably need to tell you here on this forum site it's almost a religion to use Motorcraft replacement parts for the timing chain components because they seem to last longer, and not have an early failure rate. Many think it's worth the extra expense. There are several threads in this forum site that go into great detail why they believe this.

    I still admire people like you whom are not afraid to try something different, such as you're doing by not taking out the engine for the timing replacements. I am enjoying your videos, and always open to learning more about the 4.0 SOHC engine which is quite dependable with the exception of the timing chain components. :)
     
  9. Bobbylew

    Bobbylew Elite Explorer

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    This must be a 2 wheel drive car.
     
  10. gotobob

    gotobob New Member

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    Thanks, it's good to know the mindset of a forum. So I guess it's not a crowd to appreciate what I'm sharing ($100. small budget repair of a major engine repair job)
    Buying all the parts I listed as OEM would be $1000. So do you believe OEM will last 10 times longer?
    If so, then why did the OEM chain guides break to pieces at around 190k miles?
    The truth, it's a bad design to start with, mostly the rear (right) cam chain guide all made of plastic that becomes brittle over the years and breaks. There's enough youtube videos to confirm that guide is the weakest chain guide.

    Back to the non OEM (complete) chains, sprockets and guide kit I bought for about $50.
    I compared the parts side by side to the OEM I removed out of the vihicle and fail to see any difference. Usually you can tell an aftermarket part from an OEM but these had to of been made with OEM dies and molds, they are perfectly identical. I can even remove the plastic guide off the non OEM and it clips right on the OEM, this tells you something and the word is Mazda B4000, which are the same engine as Ford Explorer and parts are made in high volume to provide all of Asia and most of the world mind you, all this done using OEM dies and mold. The only difference is they don't come in a fancy Motorcraft box and have a rubber stamp on the part. Those are occasionally made for Ford in a separate run for believers.

    What ever turns your crank (pun intended) man!
    Maybe if Ford would of made a part that's not well known to brake I may of considered OEM but if this were the case then we wouldn't be here having this conversation, right?

    Here's the completed job and working 100%

    Video demo:
     
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  11. mic98xlt

    mic98xlt Elite Explorer

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    First of all, congrats!!! I been waiting to see the finished job and man do you have a clean engine bay! I believe there are many more here quietly waiting, and watching plus checking to see how reliable the non Motorcraft components hold up. I personally think you will be fine. Perhaps you can note in this thread occasionally your reliability progress. :)

    It's kind of ironic that many here have not acknowledged what you set out to accomplish. A reasonable quick and efficient way to resolve the now age old problem of bad timing chain components. It's is the biggest enemy of the dreaded 4.0 SOHC "dead rattle", which always is so very much stressful plus feared, that many abandon a very good otherwise great vehicle. You have shared a very positive experience of your knowledge with us, that is valuable for many of us with the 4.0 SOHC.

    The videos have been informative plus kept my interest since I too dread some day of hearing that "death rattle" or timing chain problems. Such problems traditionally have meant big money especially if you had to pay someone to also take out the engine. Many here are on a budget like me, so I believe we all could use a good budget repair. So once again thank you for sharing your knowledge, and experience here. I believe we are never too old nor too wise to learn something new. :thumbsup:
     
  12. gotobob

    gotobob New Member

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    Thanks mic98xlt for your appreciation and confirming the facts.
    I agree, it's quite the accomplishment and why I took the time to record it and share to help others in a bad situation like I was in.
    I bought this vehicle 6 months back to tow a trailer from Florida to California since it has a 5700 pound rated factory tow package.
    Back then I had no idea of the 4.0 SOHC timing chain/guide problems. I own for the past 12 years a 98 Ford Windstar which has original 3.8 V6 engine and transmission and now at 300k miles and zero issues. Doesn't even burn a drop of oil. So I thought this would be similar with the 4.0 V6 Explorer which was only at 192k miles.and never thought to look into it before buying it.
    The guy I bought it from lied about anything I asked. He knew of all the issues including German cockroach infestation which wasn't noticeable in the day. It was also no longer plated and insured, so I had to test drive it in a parking lot.
    The interior was in extremely bad condition but I just wanted something cheap to tow a 24 ft camper one way then sell the vehicle.
    It's only once I got it home that I started noticing so many mechanical issues like 2 bad wheel bearing (front and back wheel). The valve covers leaking oil on the manifold and this clacking sound when you shut off the engine. Then I researched it I realized I got screwed (overpaid) by at least $450. I paid $850. and I should of paid no more then $400. which is the max a junk ward would of paid for it with the interior trashed, bad engine and paint peeling off the top of the hood and fenders (typical Florida problem).
    I tried for weeks to get rid of the roaches, nothing worked. They were nested inside the seats and seat tube frame. The only way was to completely strip the interior of the vehicle. What ever was worth cleaning to salvage I did and the rest I got replacements from the junkyards.
    I relined the headliner and now the interior is close to looking new. I hand picked only the best from over the 20 or more cars I salvaged from over several months.
    So ended up doing a complete rebuild, replaced the rear bumper, one front fender and hood. Painted the inside of the hood and engine compartment and why it looks so clean. I also degreased the engine to prepare it for the the valve cover gasket change and inspection of timing chain guides. The rest you know since that's the part I shared here.
    It's been a long journey to this point and I don't wish this bad experience to anyone.
    Some months back I decided to give up on my California tow dream and just sold the 24 ft Camper instead. Now I have to complete the vehicle to sell it. Since now all I need is my dependable 98 Windstar to get to California. Whoever the new owner of this vehicle will be, he'll have quite an amazing deal compared to what I got.

    Kind regards and thanks for being the only one to express your gratitude.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: February 19, 2020 at 11:34 PM

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