06 4.6 Limited - Motor Done | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

06 4.6 Limited - Motor Done


October 2, 2014
Reaction score
City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
06 Ford Explorer Limited
Started with a ticking noise and a misfire. Just received word from my mechanic this morning that I have a lobe wore off of the camshaft. 143,000 miles and I have religiously changed the oil and always used 5W20 as recommended by Ford. Anyone else have any issues like this? Looks like now I have a boat anchor.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

EddyB had something similar, I am sure he will chime in.
The motor may be still good.

Should be rebuildable. What was the cause?

Yep - that looks very familiar. I had one of the rollers on one of the intakes on the number one cylinder lock up. By the time I found it the roller was just about ground flat on the top. You have it much worse than I did though - my lobe profile was still good - it was just a little rough in places. I ended up buying a new follower ($7.40) and used 600 wet/dry and some emery cloth to polish things back down a bit. That was almost two weeks ago and I'm still running very quiet. From the picture it looks like you have quite a ridge on each side of the lobe.
Beyond the fact that there is now a lot of metal in your oil then the camshaft can be replaced. And then you hope the oil filter has been taking it out all along. In my case, I was willing to take the chance since the cam didn't seem that bad and if any bearing damage had been done then it was too late to do anything about it at that point anyhow.
In your case, I would remove the follower and see if you can pull the valve last adjuster out. The cam may be worn down enough to let it slip out. If that's the case, then I would leave them out and run it on only one intake valve on that cylinder.
To everyone else - pulling the valve cover on these engines is not really a big deal. I had to pull the coils on that side and the top of the air box and the air pipe and just unhook some things. If you have any valve train noise then do yourself a favor and pull those valve covers and take a good look at your cams and followers. Even if you've convinced yourself that it sounds like a timing chain problem.

It's definitely repairable but not sure its worth it. The truck has given me several problems over the 4 years that I've owned it. As for the cause, I have no idea. If you look at the picture close it looks to me like the lobe next to it has a ridge or at least a worn groove where it appears to have been hot. My guess would be a clogged oil gallery on that side of the engine. Labor is looking at about $650.00 not sure about parts yet but the labor includes replacing the passenger side camshaft, lifters, and timing chain kit. IF I decided to fix it I would consider it a ticking time bomb as to when the other side would do the same or the engine would suffer some catastrophic failure due to all of the metal shavings that have certainly been circulating through the engine.

If you were close to me, I'd probably buy it from you - I have my old but still good 4.6 from my 06 in the garage.

I'm not really sure that metal shavings are a problem here.The metal is coming from the cam and the follower - both of which are splash lubricated. The oil then goes directly to the oil pan. It then must go through the oil filter before it is sent back around the engine. If a component fed by an oil galley starts losing metal then it could likely find it's way into the bearings - in this case it would be much more difficult.

Bad follower took out the cam lobe. If it was me I'd order the ford racing lash adjuster and follower kit, new cam and replace the timing set while its apart. Easy day job for a knowledgeable tech.

That engine is far from done. A few parts easy to change, run it 20 miles on the dirt cheapest oil you can get, then change it again, and good to go!