05 Ex rattle noise only in gear and around 2000rpm | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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05 Ex rattle noise only in gear and around 2000rpm


Active Member
April 5, 2014
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Explorer 4.0 4x4
I would love any help with this. Made a couple of videos and would be very grateful for any suggestions. It always happened between 2000-3000rpm. Anybody think it may be an exhaust leak? Thanks!!


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Thanks so much for your help! You would know much better than I. I am still holding out hope that it may be something else though. Especially since it has gotten better and not worse. And my trustworthy shop said it was 1 of the pulleys. Are you 100% sure? I have heard many 3rg gen X's and none of them are similar to mine. I included the description from the main video below.

Hoping we can help each other with this one. I've been chasing this rattle noise for about 1 yr ever since I bottomed out my exhaust on the Y pipe. It only happens when in gear and at 2000-2800 RPM. Seems to have gotten better after re-sealing the flanges. Think it may be header related now. Tried spark plugs, wires, stethoscope (noob), exhaust prodding, idler pulley, tensioner, MAF clean, trans solenoids, band adjust, PCM reset. motor mounts and a PCV in the mail.

Only way to be sure is to pull the valve covers and inspect. The 2000 rpm has been said to be the primary, though Im not sure, but you need to pull the water pump and timing cover to inspect it. May be able to get a scope down there through the driver side cassette space as well, but im not 100% on that. A drop of the lower pan and inspection for reminants can tell you as well. When mine went, and it sounded exactly the same as yours before detonation, both cassettes were shattered, and the primary spring off the tensioner, and balance shaft spring were both sitting in the pan.

Been chasing more today and while spraying soap water all over the headers I see no leak...

I did notice one of my new plugs seems to be blowing bubbles. I'll let it cool and see if I can fix it soon. May drop pan at next oil change.

It somehow seems to be throttle position related. If I accelerate quickly it happens well below 2000rpm

Loose header nuts make lots of odd noises. Was afraid to touch them for fear of breaking. Comes and goes now. Ill find it yet

So strange, now it only happens 2000-2500. Hopefully sealing up the exhaust will fix it. I'll try to remember to update when/if I eliminate this noise.

Motor mounts took me about 10 hours with mostly manual tools. Driver side wears out first from the motors movement. Fairly easy to do. Drop front diff, support motor, remove all bolts/nuts from mounts.

Hose tells me the cats are bad. Stinky too. Flowmaster direct fit cats on the way. Research tells me leaky exhaust causes cats to run hot and destroys catalytic converters.

Many sounds are similar to timing chains. I can hear the chains with a stethoscope but they do not seem to be the source of this noise.

It seems to be better. But looks like the balance chain tensioner broke. Seems to be the only pieces in the pan.

Could be the jackshaft/primary chain tensioner. There is a theory that it could be the source of the 2000 rpm rattle. Luckily its an easy replacement. Just pull off the water pump, and front timing cover. 2 bolts to replace it. the balance shaft tensioner can't be replaced without pulling the cradle.

I finally solved the noise problem. Probably not the best solution, but it works for me.

Between the flowmaster 50 suv, cleaning the oil pan, and switching to full synthetic. The rattle is indistinguishable from everything else. With a silent muffler, who knows.