2003 explorer 4.6 tick | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2003 explorer 4.6 tick


New Member
August 25, 2012
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 ford
Hi Guys
I have a 2003 Ford explorer with the 4.6 when I 1st start it I can hear a knocking/tick it last for about 20 min or so then goes away. was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and what was the fix for it.

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Never experienced that on mine.
Have you had the belts checked on your vehicle ?

Have a look at yer spark plugs. Seriously. Make sure they are tight

Rocco has a good point try that out

Is it a high mileage vehicle? Gunky lifters in the engine can take a while to get pumped up with oil, the noise is tapping of the cam shaft(s). Try some Sea Foam before your next oil change, and perhaps even repeat process. As I understand there's a chance you could successfully clean them out that way.

I get a slight tick in my 4.6 on a cold start up.
But its gone in 2-3 seconds.. not 20 mins...
Get a manual oil pressure gauge on it and see what the cold and hot differences are.

It could be the timing chain rattle

timing chain was VERY loose on my 4.6 and the tensioner broke. When turned on, there was a loud knock. replaced engine, but still have old engine (will be rebuilding). You might want to get this checked out asap before it becomes a serious problem where a whole block needs to be bought, as just replacing parts might include timing chain, tensioner, lifters, etc as they may rub against each other and damage other internal parts.

Exactly what happened to mine:

{EDIT}: Bought another engine because it had 80k, where mines had 127k.

My 07 Sport trac with the 4.6 has about 78K on it and it taps when ever I star it up. It only does it for about a minute or two at the most. As best I can tell it stops once the oil pressure builds up. I haven't really found exactly why it does it, but need to know it it'll cause major issues down the road?