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2002 Sport Trac - Best and easiest Swap?

MrTechit

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2002 Sport Trac, Base
As titled, I am looking for the cheapest, and easiest swap for this truck. Its the 4.0 sohc with the rattle of death at 206k miles, original everything.

Ill be driving it as is until the timing chain finally goes all the way, it rattles like shit, it sounds like shit, but drives decent. It is my go to school and work vehicle.

My thinking is, when it goes I should swap in another engine, but it needs to be plug and play basically.

Am I to just get another lower mileage 4.0, update the timing chain cassette and install it? or is there a cheaper engine that would work?
 
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MrTechit

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And yes a quick search of these forums did not yield too much other than 5.0 swaps. I would like to keep to a v6. Thank you.
 
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boominXplorer

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Any 4.0 sohc will swap in up to 2010. You'll have to transfer all your parts over like accessories and manifolds. It's hard to find a low mile (under 100k) for under a grand.
 
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MrTechit

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jeez really? but ok, makes sense. thank you
 
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sr139fox

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2001 Ford Sport Trac
I'm just under 200k and have the rattle. I plan on going to my dealer for a new motor. 2 year warranty and any ford dealer can do warranty work. Dave P.
 
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MrTechit

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Yea, mines at 205k. I will drive it until it goes all the way though. Then I guess I will find a 4.0 somewhere to swap in. Thank you all for the info.
 
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MrTechit

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Any 4.0 sohc will swap in up to 2010. You'll have to transfer all your parts over like accessories and manifolds. It's hard to find a low mile (under 100k) for under a grand.
Would a 2008 4.0 mustang motor work?
 
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koda2000

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Would a 2008 4.0 mustang motor work?

Yes, the 4.0L SOHC long blocks are all the same. You just need to transfer over all your peripheral parts from your old engine.

Note: Some of the truck engines (on 4x4's) used a balance shaft where the 2WD and car engines usually don't. That's not a deal-killer though.
 
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boominXplorer

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I've ran an 07 ranger motor out of a 2wd (should be non balance) in my wife's 04 4x4 explorer. I've got about 4 years and 60k on the swap with the only issues being 2 thermostat housings (not necessarily an engine issue).
 
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ntp7001

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As titled, I am looking for the cheapest, and easiest swap for this truck. Its the 4.0 sohc with the rattle of death at 206k miles, original everything.

Ill be driving it as is until the timing chain finally goes all the way, it rattles like shit, it sounds like shit, but drives decent. It is my go to school and work vehicle.

My thinking is, when it goes I should swap in another engine, but it needs to be plug and play basically.

Am I to just get another lower mileage 4.0, update the timing chain cassette and install it? or is there a cheaper engine that would work?


What is this timing chain rattle I keep hearing about? I have 265,000 miles and I just recenlty started to get a valve tapping. It was not long after I did a Seafoam treatment. I figured my oil viscosity was too thin, so I changed my oil and used 10W40 instead of 5W30. Tapping went away.

Newer had a timing chain issue though.

Neal
 
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koda2000

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The timing chain rattle (AKA the death rattle) is that the timing chain guides and tensioners are a poor design and fail (usually prematurely). When they begin to fail pieces of broken plastic fall into the oil pan and can block the oil pickup. In addition the loose chains that drive the overhead cams begin sawing their way through the aluminum engine parts, depositing gritting material throughout the engine. The loose chains eventually will jump-time causing the pistons to hit and bend the valves in the head(s). Once this happens your engine is junk.

If you have 265k on your SOHC engine and it's just starting to rattle IDK that it's worth fixing. It's a huge job requiring the engine to be removed to access the rear timing components on the passenger side head. People may suggest you replace the chain tensioners, but with as many miles as your engine has it's highly unlikely this will have any effect. Using heavier oil is probably not helpful, or a good idea, neither is the use of additives. Oil needs to flow easily and quickly into the timing chain tensioners. Ford recommends 5W30 for the SOHC V6 engine. I've even tried 0W30 during the winter months, but it didn't help much.

I also have a rattling (at startup) 2001 Sport Trac Job 2. I've considered removing the engine to replace the timing components, but have decided I don't want to put the money into the it (truck only cost me $1000). When my engine self destructs I may decide to install a relatively low mileage used replacement engine and I will replace all the timing components before installing it. In the meantime I crank my engine before allowing it to start to get oil pressure up. Doing this eliminates my chain rattle at startup (and the high RPM starting flare). I only use my ST locally, so who knows. It might keep running for years before it lets go. It's already logged 2.5 years and 12k and doesn't seem to getting any worse. My engine had 182K on it when I purchased it and didn't rattle at all for the first few months.

I recommend dropping your lower oil pan at your next oil change (simple to do on 2WD) and see what you may find in there. I haven't found any broken plastic yet, but the second time I did this I found a broken piece of guide spring. The first time I dropped then oil pan I found that my oil pickup was partially clogged with grit. There was also some grit in the oil pan, so I cleaned the pickup and pan before reinstalling them.

If my engine had 265k I'd just drive it until it dies and then decide what I wanted to do. If you're paying someone to replace the timing chain components it can cost you $2000 or more. If you put $2000 into an old truck's engine, the transmission (assuming it's the 5r55 auto trans) will probably let go next and that's another $2000 or more to rebuild. So, is it worth it to put $4000-$5000 into a vehicle that's worth maybe $3500 at best? You decide.
 
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koda2000

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The timing chain rattle (AKA the death rattle) is that the timing chain guides and tensioners are a poor design and fail (usually prematurely). When they begin to fail pieces of broken plastic fall into the oil pan and can block the oil pickup. In addition the loose chains that drive the overhead cams begin sawing their way through the aluminum engine parts, depositing gritting material throughout the engine. The loose chains eventually will jump-time causing the pistons to hit and bend the valves in the head(s). Once this happens your engine is junk.

If you have 265k on your SOHC engine and it's just starting to rattle IDK that it's worth fixing. It's a huge job requiring the engine to be removed to access the rear timing components on the passenger side head. People may suggest you replace the chain tensioners, but with as many miles as your engine has it's highly unlikely this will have any effect. Using heavier oil is probably not helpful, or a good idea, neither is the use of additives. Oil needs to flow easily and quickly into the timing chain tensioners. Ford recommends 5W30 for the SOHC V6 engine. I've even tried 0W30 during the winter months, but it didn't help much.

I also have a rattling (at startup) 2001 Sport Trac Job 2. I've considered removing the engine to replace the timing components, but have decided I don't want to put the money into the it (truck only cost me $1000). When my engine self destructs I may decide to install a relatively low mileage used replacement engine and I will replace all the timing components before installing it. In the meantime I crank my engine before allowing it to start to get oil pressure up. Doing this eliminates my chain rattle at startup (and the high RPM starting flare). I only use my ST locally, so who knows. It might keep running for years before it lets go. It's already logged 2.5 years and 12k and doesn't seem to getting any worse. My engine had 182K on it when I purchased it and didn't rattle at all for the first few months.

I recommend dropping your lower oil pan at your next oil change (simple to do on 2WD) and see what you may find in there. I haven't found any broken plastic yet, but the second time I did this I found a broken piece of guide spring, which I think came from my jack-shaft tensioner. The first time I dropped then oil pan I found that my oil pickup was partially clogged with grit. There was also some grit in the oil pan, so I cleaned the pickup and pan before reinstalling them.

If my engine had 265k I'd just drive it until it dies and then decide what I wanted to do. If you're paying someone to replace the timing chain components it can cost you $2000 or more. If you put $2000 into an old truck's engine, the transmission (assuming it's the 5r55 auto trans) will probably let go next and that's another $2000 or more to rebuild. So, is it worth it to put $4000-$5000 into a vehicle that's worth maybe $3500 at best? You decide.
 
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ptf18

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Koda2000. We had Ford replace our engine that had 134k because of the issue you mention. That was 78k ago. I've always done maintenance religiously and as of right now have NO rattling noises of any sort.

Whats your thoughts of replacing the tensioners? I ASSUME the Ford replacement engine was assembled with the latest production timing chain system. I THINK I've read that the latest cassettes were of better construction but I'm not sure of the tensioners (which I think were the heart of the problem).

Do you know if Ford has "improved" the timing chain system parts in recent years? I doubt it as the engine has been dropped from use I believe.
 
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ptf18

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Koda2000. We had Ford replace our engine that had 134k because of the issue you mention. That was 78k ago. I've always done maintenance religiously and as of right now have NO rattling noises of any sort.

Whats your thoughts of replacing the tensioners? I ASSUME the Ford replacement engine was assembled with the latest production timing chain system. I THINK I've read that the latest cassettes were of better construction but I'm not sure of the tensioners (which I think were the heart of the problem).

Do you know if Ford has "improved" the timing chain system parts in recent years? I doubt it as the engine has been dropped from use I believe.
 
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boominXplorer

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The last timing revisions on the 4.0 was in 2007. They have the white guides from factory. I do not believe the tensioners have had an update though.
 
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koda2000

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Koda2000. We had Ford replace our engine that had 134k because of the issue you mention. That was 78k ago. I've always done maintenance religiously and as of right now have NO rattling noises of any sort.

Whats your thoughts of replacing the tensioners? I ASSUME the Ford replacement engine was assembled with the latest production timing chain system. I THINK I've read that the latest cassettes were of better construction but I'm not sure of the tensioners (which I think were the heart of the problem).

Do you know if Ford has "improved" the timing chain system parts in recent years? I doubt it as the engine has been dropped from use I believe.

I've read where some suggest replacing the tensioners every 75,000 miles. My advice would be, if it's not rattling at startup don't mess with it. My '01, Job 2 ST (@ 182k) began rattling from the front chain at startup shortly after I resurrected it. After dropping the oil pan to see it there was any sign of broken plastic cassette parts (and finding none) I decided to replace the front tensioner using Ford's 00M12 kit (which included the oil restrictor tube). This kit cost me about $85 plus my time to install it and made no difference whatsoever. I also found out that my engine already had apparently had the restrictor tube installed.

The absolute best way to avoid 4.0L SOHC timing chain related wear issues (assuming you can avoid broken parts) is to install a pre-oiler to pump up the tensioners before starting.

Performing regular oil changes is important, but the best oil in the world with frequent changes doesn't protect you from broken plastic.
 
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