2006 4.0 Timing Chain Noise? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2006 4.0 Timing Chain Noise?


Active Member
July 6, 2011
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Eddie Bauer
I've owned my 2006 Explorer with the 4.0 V6 since 2011 when it had 48k on it. I've always thought the motor was a little noisy. Over the years, the noises have gotten progressively louder. The car currently has 153k on it. I've meticulously cared for it with synthetic oil changes and replacing whatever needed to be replaced over my ownership.

Doing my research on the 4.0, I know that it's not without its issues. I know the earlier 4.0's in the late 90's / early 2000's had issues with the guides causing the "death rattle", but I heard that Ford made changes in the later models to address timing issues. My issue sounds like it's something timing related. I wouldn't have a problem just doing the timing on the engine as preventative maintenance, but I really don't want to pull the motor out of the car.

Just looking for some opinions on what the noise is and if there is anything to be done about it without doing all of the timing components. Maybe it's a tensioner issue? Engine is quieter on start up and is more obvious when the car shifts into Drive

Video of the rattle (while in Drive):


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You heard wrong. Im just replacing all the guides and springs in the fantastic contraption that is the 07 4.0L SOHC for the second time. Parts should be in Friday.

yep, what Tech said.
Ford never corrected the issue until they discontinued the engine in 2010 IIRC, at least in our trucks.

Maybe Mustangs still had it past 2010 but I doubt it.

Tech is right. Also Explorer pl is right Ford's solution was to end production of the 4.0 instead of admitting poor design.

2010 was the last year of the 4.0L in the Mustang as well. We lost the timing on the 2006 Explorer at work this week. Made it to 225,000 miles before the driver side front plastic cassette guide broke up as well as the tensioner. Chain was still on, but very loose, not sure if it had jumped teeth, but it was running really rough in the days prior.

After yanking the motor to replace with a low mileage 4.0, we pulled the passenger side valve cover just to compare, and I couldn’t believe what I saw!

The chain and cassette were intact, but two of the parts that hold the cam down to the head were broken apart at the front of the motor. I really can’t believe this thing was still running. I’ll try to get some pictures tomorrow.

Driver side front chain sloppy


Passenger side camshaft retainers


But the weird thing is this side with the fully intact timing chain had the busted cam shaft retainers. The side That broke the chain tensioner and cassette had normal looking camshaft retainers.

It's got me then on what happened. It would take a lot of force to destroy those cam caps. I had a bolt head busted off one on mine the first time I did it, but nothing to that extent.