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How to: Timing chain rattle resolution process - SOHC V6

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by 2000StreetRod, April 25, 2010.

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    1. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      all interference engines

      All of the Ford 4.0L V6 SOHC engines (from 1997 to 2010) are interference engines.
       
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    3. rb142

      rb142 Active Member

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      Everything written for the earlier 4.0SOHC motors applies the same to yours. It is definitely an interference engine, so if it quit while running then you DO have valve/piston damage. Fixing it now is a big job, but can be done if you have the money, tools, skills, and determination. Otherwise your choices are a motor swap or scrapping it.
       
    4. CA

      CA New Member

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      2005 Explorer Sport Trac here, 116K miles. I just bought it last month. I can't help but notice a noise between 2K and 3K RPM that I'm worried is this timing chain issue being discussed here. When I test drove the truck I heard it but I mistook it for a tachometer head kind of noise. Hard to describe it, really, a light rattling almost a buzzing. Not very loud (my wife can't hear it) but it concerns me.

      Having read how difficult it is to replace (i.e. pulling the engine = expensive, and I'm not mechanical so I'll have to shop it out) I am wondering if there are any stop-gap measures that can be taken to keep the noise (and subsequent damage) minimal.

      As it is now, I try to keep it below 2,000 RPMs.

      Really disappointed in my gas mileage - thought keeping it below 2K would really help there, but still only getting 11 mpg. Is that normal?
       
    5. Tech By Trade

      Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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      thats still low for mileage. I would be very selective of the shop if you are planning to have the cassettes replaced. Its quite a job, not to be trusted to anyone without experience.
       
    6. donalds

      donalds Elite Explorer

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      My explorer started to rattle on start up. I replaced the timing chain tensioners an it still rattled. I researched preoilers on this forum an they pump up the tensioners before you start the engine an much more. The kit I decided to buy was called instalube. It came with everything down to the lock tight an zipties the kit is also made in America. Here is a link to the site, it fixed the tensioner rattle.http://www.engineprelube.com/
       
    7. donalds

      donalds Elite Explorer

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      went out to start my car this morning and it is snowing/sleeting an 20 degrees and it started like a champ an oil gauge went to full when I turned the key.NO rattles thanks to
      http://www.engineprelube.com/
       
    8. resq302

      resq302 Member

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      My wifes 2008 Explorer Eddie Bauer edition has the 4.0 V-6 engine and we have a similar noise to what CA stated up above in post 53. The engine is quiet when we start it up but when we give it gas, we notice the noise that sounds like marbles in a metal coffee can being shaken. The noise is only present between 2000-3000 rpms. The noise is more noticeable when giving it gas at more rpms when the engine is cold but after the engine warms up, it seems to completely disappear sometimes. Most of the time it likes that 2500-3000 rpm range to have the noise when under light throttle, even under a load going up a hill.

      Does this sound something like what a guide / tensioner issues would be? From what I have read up on, it is primarily noisy when it first starts up and at idle which ours does not do. Our car now has 106,000 miles on it and of course is out of warranty. We are taking it tomorrow on a long trip and I'd like to have a piece of mind that the engine isn't going to give out on us a long ways away from home.

      On a side note, the top plastic tank on the radiator I noticed is starting to crack outward. Almost like there is too much pressure inside the radiator. The cracks are straight across where the reinforcing ribbing is too, in two spots. (one spot on each reinforcing rib in the center of the rad.)
       
    9. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      A filed primary (crankshaft to jackshaft) chain tensioner often creates a rattle at that engine range. However, the tensioner was significantly ruggedized in the 2002 and later models and shouldn't have failed at your mileage. Does your vehicle have all wheel or 4 wheel drive? If so, then your engine probably has the balance shaft and the tensioner for the balance shaft chain is pretty flimsy.
       
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    10. resq302

      resq302 Member

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      Yes, her car has the automatic 4wd system (which I hate!). I wish it had a constant 2wd selector that you could put it in to disengage the front drive shaft and axle from spinning. Certainly would increase the mpgs that the car would get.

      Where would the balance shaft be and is it something simple or easy to fix? At this point, we are even considering looking for another vehicle for my wife as we have kind of out grown the Explorer. It used to be a good car with young kids but now that they are getting older, more luggage is needed and the space in the back gets smaller and smaller. We rarely can use the third row seating anymore. lol.
       
    11. resq302

      resq302 Member

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      also, what is the purpose of the balance shaft chain / tensioner?
       
    12. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      There's a photo in post 30 of this thread that shows the balance shaft chain tensioner. Swapping the tensioner is not easy because so much must be removed to access it. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work just to determine if it has failed.
       
    13. donalds

      donalds Elite Explorer

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      primary (crankshaft to jackshaft) chain tensioner took me 8 hours taking my time
      i recommend any kind of pre oiler as it will keep all the timing chains tight on startup
      when there is low oil pressure ...this is when these parts break most of the time...IMO...
      this will keep all 3 of the chains tight and from slapping around on startup after you fix the primary (crankshaft to jackshaft) chain tensioner
       
    14. resq302

      resq302 Member

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      The noise is not during start up but when driving between 2500-3000 Rpm's
       
    15. donalds

      donalds Elite Explorer

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      yes that is the primary (crankshaft to jackshaft) chain tensioner
      you hear it better when it is cold
       
    16. donalds

      donalds Elite Explorer

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    17. TechGuru

      TechGuru Well-Known Member

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    18. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I don't. I suspect one of the problems is the time for oil to reach the chains, guides and tensioner after engine start. Using full synthetic oil should reduce the time to achieve adequate lubrication. But I have no data to prove that it will extend the life of the guides. The main problem in my opinion is a poor design that utilizes a plastic type material that becomes brittle after lengthy exposure to high temperatures. Plastic type material should never be used for structural strength internal to an engine. It should only be used on the chain sliding surfaces to prevent metal to metal contact. I installed a pre-oiler to prevent "dry" starts but I doubt that significantly increases the life of the rear cassette guide that is not reinforced with metal on the traction side.
      4L2Z-6M290-AA.jpg
      DSCN8608.jpg
       
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    19. bogart219

      bogart219 New Member

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      Hello. Resurrecting an old thread again. I got 04 explorer 4.0 v6. I get the chain rattle at startup then it goes away. engine has 132K miles on it. It runs fine. I'm thinking of installing one of these
      AutoEngineLube Pre-Lube Kits.Some guys here seem to say that it took care of its startup rattle which in turn would prolong the life of cassettes and guides, you would think. Does anyone know if there is any video's or right ups on how to install and what size to get by any members here? Thanks!
       
    20. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Be advised that in order to get the full capacity of the bottle it must be mounted vertically. Here's a link to an installation video for a Jaguar:
       
    21. bogart219

      bogart219 New Member

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      Thanks for the video 2000StreetRod. You don't happen to know if there are any write ups or pics on someone doing this on the explorer 4.0 v6? Thank You!
       
    22. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I remember one forum member who considered installing that type accumulator but I don't know if he ever did. One member installed an electric pump driven pre-oiler who documented the installation. I prefer an electric pump pre-oiler instead of my Accusump accumulator. With an accumulator a total oil change is followed by an engine dry start. An electric pump pre-oiler allows pressurizing the oil system prior to engine start after an engine rebuild.
       
    23. Mark Nowacek

      Mark Nowacek New Member

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      My '02 4.0 timing chains sounds completely in disarray. The mechanic said engine failure is imminent and its not worth fixing.
      Ive got 228,000 on it and emotionally I cant let it go to scrap. After reading about the 4.0 SOHC engine, it appears this was a long time coming and I should be fortunate I got as many miles as I did. I don't want to let go of this car but after 2 separate mechanics told me I might as well replace the engine if I wanted to keep driving the vehicle, Im not sure if that's the best option. Does anyone have any interest in diagnosing the sound? Please PM me
       
    24. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      If you're not mechanically experienced and don't have the needed tools it will probably be less expensive to pay a mechanic to replace the engine rather than repair it. Many mechanics are not familiar with the complicated procedure to replace the cassettes and retime the camshafts but are capable of removing and installing the engine.
       
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    25. Mark Nowacek

      Mark Nowacek New Member

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      I found a local shop that pulled the same engine out of an explorer that was totalled and would replace it for $1200. After reading and experincing the timing chain failure in my original, i asked if they had the ability to replace the timing chains and cassettes and retime the camshafts in the replacement motor as a preventive measure which they happily did. I was out the door with a new heart in my Black Beauty for $1525 and i couldnt be happier. I dont ever remember my truck sounding and feeling and driving so good.

      BTW, found the engine advertised on CL, WHO KNEW!!!
       
    26. Brodyp

      Brodyp New Member

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      I have an 03 Explorer Sport Trac with the 4.0 and have had a hell of a time the the rattle. I had all guides chains and tensioners replaced at about 180k miles because it was rattling at most starts and wanted to do it before it was a new engine. However it has gone back to the shop 4 times to have everything completely re-done. The shop says the next step would be inspecting heads ( they have done an oil pressure test and everything was good) I now have amsoil 10w30 and an oil sample kit (to make sure the engine is not eating itself alive). Now the idle is there all the time at idle and is loud as sh*t but goes away at 2,000 RPM. Im about at the point of getting a junkyard block and just build it little by little. from your original post do you think it could be from the crankshaft tensioner? (I think thats what it was but thats three pages back)
       

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