2008 4.6 3v, bad VCT solenoids? | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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2008 4.6 3v, bad VCT solenoids?

Ronin8002

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2008 XLT Ironman
So for the last 15k miles or so, I have been hearing what I believe is the cam phaser clicking sound when the engine is hot. Doesn't happen at idle, just when lightly on the throttle between idle and 1200 RPM. No codes on my scanner at all. Been using 5W20 Mobil 1 Synthetic and Motorcraft filters since I bought the truck a few years ago and the truck now has a bit over 80k miles on it.

Today I tried unplugging the harnesses that go to the VCT solenoids and drove it a few miles like that. The sound went away as soon as I did that, still no codes. Could the fix be as simple as replacing the VCT solenoids?
 
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Explorer_PL

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06EB V8
It may be that. I replaced them on mine but even with 200k miles they were clean and still good. I have heard and seen that the screens fall out or get blocked, but both sides on mine were good. I also thought that my timing components are bad since my engine was making horrible clacking noise like a diesel. I replaced the whole motor since I thought that I am not going to spend money on OEM parts on an old engine (just the parts run about 800 bucks) so I got a motor with 55k for 1600.

Anyway, since you have 08, you'll need to pull the valve covers. On my 06, the opening were still the old bigger size and I just pulled them out. 20 minute job. When I put the new motor in, it was an 07 and starting that year, the covers need to come off, not sure why Ford did that "improvement". So 20 minute job became a 2-3 hrs job because lots of other stuff needs to come off. I put the 06 covers back on the 07 motor.
But it sounds like it should not be a challenge for you, so I would go for that since the solenoids are not that expensive.
But normally, they would throw a code.

PS: When I took my old engine apart, the phasers were ok, just the tensioners were shot.
 
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boominXplorer

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It is usually the gasket on the back of the tensioner that fails. It's a poor design and usually blows out at a corner. The cam phaser needs AT LEAST 25 psi of oil pressure at idle for it to lock up correctly. Once the tensioner gasket goes it sprays oil on the timing chain and bleeds off pressure before it gets to the top of the head. I have seen this a TON of times with 5.4 3v motors. I have done 4 or 5 full chain/phaser jobs on f150s this year and I think all but on 1 truck they weren't blown out and the highest milage truck I did only had 160k. It's 2 bolts on each side, quick and easy to do once the front cover is off.

If I were in your shoes I would check your hot idle oil pressure. If it's not above 25 then I wouldn't bother with the soloniods or phasers, go straight to pulling the front cover and replace the tensioners. Get the ones from Ford that the gasket looks like dried white glue. The cloyes ones still come with the rubber gasket and will eventually fail like the factory one.

The only other common 3v tapping noise is a failed follower. The roller bearing on the inside goes and allows for a ton of play and the tapping is the cam lobe hitting the metal frame of it. Usually this is on 150k+ mi engines though. Ford racing does sell a follower and lash adjuster kit for about $300 or each follower from Ford is $15.
 
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