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2002 mercury mountaineer 4.0 timing chain rattle

ryanguist2000

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2002 mercury mountaineer
I know i am beating a dead horse AGAIN but please forgive me. I have read over and listened to hitchhikingmike's post and video on his 2002 4.0 explorer noise. I believe i have a similar noise but the difference is mine becomes more noticeable when its warm and stopped in gear. When i put it in park it is almost unnoticeable and when in drive or reverse if i raise the idle to 1500-2000 + rpms it is gone. It is only noticeable stopped in gear between 1000 and 1500 rpms. If i pull next to a wall it sounds almost like a small exhaust leak but it is the (rattle in a can) if you listen close. It is not an exhaust leak or heat shield. I tried the 2nd gear 2000-3000 rpm listen test but nothing is heard in that range. Does this sound like primary chain or cam chain? I am sure it is from the front of the engine and can be heard from top and under the front of the engine. Belt was removed and noise remains. Other than the rattle she has 136000 no leaks and does not use oil. Mobil 1 5w30 synthetic high mileage oil with fram ultra filter is used with regular maint every 3000 and it has been great so far.

I really appreciate 2000streetrod's knowledge on the issue and would love to get anyone's insight or personal experience on this issue. Has anyone had this. Money is tight but don't want a piston valve marriage.

Thanks
Ryanguist2000
 
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2000StreetRod

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engine internal?

Since the noise is still present with the serpentine belt removed that eliminates the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, A/C compressor, belt tensioner and belt idler. That means the rattle is either internal to the engine or due to exteranl vibration (harmonic balancer, motor mounts, or something else connected to the engine). Some of the 3rd generation Explorers had early harmonic balancer failure so inspect it closely. Listen to it (using a flexibe hose) with the engine idling and the belt removed. The 2002 and later models should have the timing chain related improvements. 136K miles is rather early for them to fail. Do you have the build date?

It is very difficult to isolate an internal rattle. I used a hose and also a mechanic's stethoscope and thought my rattle was the left front cassette. When I inspected I found the primary tensioner and rear cassette had failed. If you don't have cold start rattle and the noise is timing chain related, I would suspect the primary tensioner. Other possibilities are rod bearings, cam followers, sticking valves. Did you flush the engine during your last oil change?
 
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ryanguist2000

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Big thanks for the input!

No i did not flush with my last change. I did seafoam the oil before an oil change about a year ago. Is a flush something i need to consider @ my next change?

81 degrees outside today so after work on the warm engine i again pulled the belt and grabbed a hose. The rattle appears to be most audible right at the point where the balancer and chain cover meet so its really hard to discern its source. An interesting side note: the rattle is there with no belt on but becomes louder "more pronounced" with the belt back on. Makes sense i guess because i only really hear it when in gear which is a slight load as well.

The date on the door says 04/02 is that the manufacture date? If so is that good bad or indifferent?

Thanks again i will anxiously await your response.

Ryan
 
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2000StreetRod

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Engine flush

An engine flush might help if it was a sticking valve or cam follower. However, in your case it's probably not that or the rattle would be higher up in the engine.

04/02 should have the latest timing chain related improvements.

Make sure the balancer grooved pulley is not working its way out of position. See Harmonic balancer failure

If its not the balancer then you could have a failed primary tensioner or a failed balance shaft tensioner or guide if you 4WD.
 
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ryanguist2000

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I have a rwd so most likely its primary or balancer. I didnt get a chance to look really close at the balancer but i did notice an inch long indentation with what appears to be cracks on either end (of the indentation) in the rubber material between the inner hub and outer ring. The belt tensioner does seem to jump a bit at idle so After work i will check for any visible balancer wobble and inspect again.

If i cannot nail it down i will take it to a respected shop here in Peoria and see what they say. In your best guess should i drive it much before i get it looked at or should she be parked?

You are a wealth of knowledge listen up people he knows his stuff!
 
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2000StreetRod

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walking pulley?

If the grooved pulley is walking off the internal part of the harmonic balancer I wouldn't drive it except for a short distance to the repair shop. If the pulley comes off it and the belt can cause a lot of damage.
 
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1AJeremyD

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Welcome to the forum! I definitely would not want to drive the truck if the balancer is loosing its internal dampener. Try and have the truck towed if at all possible
 
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ryanguist2000

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bummer

dscf8052z.jpg


Here is a pic of the balancer. After another close look today i think the balancer is ok it does not appear to be walking or wobbling. I am however sorry to say i think its the primary chain. If it is primary chain do i need to stay off it?

I will try to find a better camera with usable sound and get a link to a video with the noise so others can compare.

Ryan
 
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ryanguist2000

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Updated parts?

Should i spend the money and buy the kit from Ford or from a place like 1Aauto?

1AJeremy Is the chain kit sold by 1Aauto an updated quality built kit?

Thanks
 
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2000StreetRod

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primary chain tensioner failure

From my experience even if the primary chain tensioner totally fails there is still not enough slack in the chain for it to slip. The primary chain guide would also have to fail. When I had 150K on mine the guide was only about one tenth worn. I can't recall any forum member since I've joined posting of experiencing primary chain failure. The primary chain tensioner and guide can be replaced without retiming the camshafts since the jackshaft sprocket retaining bolt does not have to be loosened. The front timing cover must be removed which is easily done with the engine in the vehicle. The timing cover can be removed with the water pump left attached saving labor and a gasket. I think the only parts you'll need are the front cover gasket, the primary tensioner and guide, engine oil and coolant. If you're careful removing the front cover and don't damage the timing cover seal you can reuse it. I never removed mine and it doesn't leak. However, you have to be careful about installing the cover in its original position or the seal will leak. I used the harmonic balancer loosely attached to center the cover before tightening the cover bolts.
 
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ryanguist2000

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ok

That info will give me a shot. I will keep everyone in the loop as i find parts and formulate a plan of action. I will post photos of my findings as well.

Big thanks!
 
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ryanguist2000

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got the parts

Ok so i now have the primary tensioner, guide, and gasket set. I also purchased a new harmonic balancer to be on the safe side. Am i missing anything?

Oh i almost forgot does anyone know the bolt torque specs for the tensioner, guide, timing chain cover bolts and harmonic balancer?

Thanks gents!
 
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2000StreetRod

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torque specifications

primary (crankshaft to jackshaft) chain guide bolts: 14 lb-ft
primary chain tensioner bolts: 80 lb-in (6.7 lb-ft)
front timing cover bolts/stud bolts: 14 lb-ft
harmonic balancer t-t-y bolt: 37 lb-ft plus 90 degrees (new bolt required)

There are four places for RTV when installing the front cover.

A standard balancer puller will not work in the normal manner with the Explorer balancer. The puller center bolt is too large in diameter and presses against the balancer instead of the crankshaft. I used the old balancer bolt threaded out some and pressed the puller bolt against it. As it walks out the balancer bolt became too short so I removed it and inserted a long smaller diameter bolt that did not engage the crankshaft threads and seated against the end of the crankshaft bore.

If you PM me your email address I'll send you a copy of the 2005 Mustang SOHC V6 assembly instructions.
 
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ryanguist2000

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Tips and tricks

2000streetrod Thanks for the pdf it is a big help!

In the old days i used either rtv or grease on new gaskets. The new timing chain cover gasket i purchased by felpro has a silicone red strip on ONE side that runs the length of the gasket. Should i use a sealant like rtv or grease and on one or both sides?

Second i have read that heating the balancer for 30 min at 250 degrees will allow me to reinstall the balancer with just the balancer bolt no need for the special tool. Any experience tips or tricks would be appreciated.

I hope to get going next Thursday so the mind is needless to say busy thinking about my next steps.

Ryan
 
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2000StreetRod

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front cover gasket & balancer

. . .The new timing chain cover gasket I purchased by Felpro has a silicone red strip on ONE side that runs the length of the gasket. Should I use a sealant like rtv or grease and on one or both sides?

My shop manual does not state to apply gasket sealer to the gasket. I don't recall any sealer bead already applied to the gasket that came with my primary timing chain kit. I think I applied gasket sealer to one side to hold the gasket in position prior to installing the cover.

Second I have read that heating the balancer for 30 min at 250 degrees will allow me to reinstall the balancer with just the balancer bolt - no need for the special tool. . . Ryan

I easily reinstalled my harmonic balancer without heating it and without using any special tools but my engine was not in the vehicle at the time. Some members have used a strap wrench to prevent the crankshaft from rotating when tightening the new balancer bolt. I bought a chain type pipe wrench but haven't tried it.

The problem many members encounter when replacing the primary chain components is removing the harmonic balancer when using a standard puller.
 
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ryanguist2000

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Houston i have a problem

Well i found my rattle but it is not the primary its the balance shaft tensioner.
dscf8066.jpg


Any Tips will be much appreciated! wow what a bear!
 
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2000StreetRod

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balance shaft chain tensioner

I'm not aware of any upgrades being performed on the balance shaft chain tensioner so I guess failing at 136K miles is not unexpected. What does surprise me is that your engine has a balance shaft. In an earlier post you stated that you had RWD. Normally engines with the balance shaft are normally only in the 4WD models. Although I have read where some Mustangs have the balance shaft engine and none of the Mustangs are 4WD. Do you know if your vehicle has the orginal engine?

Anyway, to replace the entire balance shaft chain tensioner assembly requires removal of the reinforcement section/upper oil pan/block girdle. It is difficult to remove the block girdle with the engine in the vehicle but simpler with the 2WD than the 4WD. The purpose of the balance shaft is speculated to be to reduce vibrations when in 4WD with moderate engine load in some unspecified RPM range. There is an ungoing debate on this forum as to whether of not the balance shaft is needed for 4WD. I assume there is less of a debate for the 2WD models. Some members have been able to leave the base of the tensioner in place and slip the old spring part off the pivot post and slip the new one on without removing the block girdle. Others have simply cut and removed the balance shaft chain. I don't want to clutter this thread with the issue but personally I doubt that you would ever notice the difference driving with no balance shaft chain. I have no first hand experience with the balance shaft since my engine does not have one.
 
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ryanguist2000

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Good to know

Yes my mountaineer is RWD and the original engine. Hmm weird ha. So now i am truly contemplating removal of the chain to save time effort and money. Are there any ill effects of removal of this chain? It would be great if i can just cut it and remove the chain.

Thanks
 
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ryanguist2000

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job done!

Finished the removal of the balance shaft chain via the bolt cutter method. All is buttoned up and she is back on the street. It was a tough job but it would have been allot i mean "ALLOT" worse if not for the many tips and the knowledge of 2000streetrod. Now it is time for a highway test and see how she does without the balance shaft! I will update my findings in a couple of days. I hope the info in this thread will help others as well.

Big thanks again streetrod!

Cheers
Ryan
 
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