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Brian Middleton

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1999 Explorer Eddie Bauer
I've had my 1999 Explorer 4.0 SOHC professionally rebuilt with the stipulation that I would have to install the timing components myself - which I did using the OTC timing kit and a new timing kit with balance shaft tensioner and chain from Evergreen (which is apparently not worth buying) and have had the same noise after doing it twice.

The first time I probably drove the truck 25 miles and was too nervous that I was about to destroy a $2000 rebuild and put it in the garage and pulled the engine within a week or so of parking it. When I pulled it everything looked normal other than the balance shaft chain tensioner which was rubbing the chain on the edge. I ordered another one which also turned out to be Evergreen brand and noticed it also did not mount properly, so I bought a $30 Ford tensioner, and it fit perfectly. I also bought both Ford brand hydraulic tensioners and installed them while it was out.

Well, I reinstalled the engine and it still has the same timing metal on metal rubbing noise from under the engine and I'm beside myself. I'll post a youtube link of it running below. A few small details/thoughts: everything on the engine has been replaced/rebuilt except the cams and lash adjusters/lifters, the crank was perfect, all new bearings, pistons, oil pump (ford brand), new oil pump drive/camshaft sync, I mean everything was done, so I don't think the noise would be anything other than a timing noise.

Any insight would be appreciated. I have a neighbor that's a Ford tech with 20 + years that I'm going to have look at it AGAIN. The first time he said it almost had to be a timing noise and in part was right considering the condition of the balance shaft tensioner.

From today:
 


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donalds

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My old 280000 mile engine made this sound
My new engine makes this sound ...rebuilt like yours.....
I also looked up many videos
Of say 2010 2009 2008 era explorers
At the dealer ..ya know when they are selling new and used.....
all of them make this sound
After many hours of using a mechanic stethoscope I hear the sound most in the heads
I am probably waaaay off but to me it sounds like the valves snapping shut
Open the oil fill cap and take a good listen
You will clearly hear it tick with a pattern to it ...easy to hear on the one head at a time
That sound will eco all around the entire bay
You hear the sound most hot at idle
And for everybody that is gonna say chains it's not this is a different sound I thought it was timing to
 




donalds

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Can you please post a vid of it at say 900 1000 rpm
Mine goes away at 900 950
Because I think that cam is spinning fast enough
I get 45 psi oil p at hot idle
So we can rule that out
We both have new engine s
From different places
We both have the same sound
Also I used that stethoscope all around that rear tensioner and chain
I even had the valve covers off
Everything was totally fine
I put new ford tensioners on it before the first start-up
I was baffled to
 




boominXplorer

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Take the belt off and fire it up to make sure it's not anything there. It is probably the main chain making noise on the tensioner guide from the chain not being centered or the tensioner is bolted down too close to crank gear. It only bolts down with 2 8mm bolts but there is some wiggle in the holes. You want the bottom as far away from the crank as you can get it or the chain will eat away at the bottom of the tensioner (I see this mostly on aftermarket timing components)
 




donalds

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Take the belt off and fire it up to make sure it's not anything there. It is probably the main chain making noise on the tensioner guide from the chain not being centered or the tensioner is bolted down too close to crank gear. It only bolts down with 2 8mm bolts but there is some wiggle in the holes. You want the bottom as far away from the crank as you can get it or the chain will eat away at the bottom of the tensioner (I see this mostly on aftermarket timing components)

I did all of this took the belt off looked at the main tensioner looked fine to I had to replace the main timing cover gasket I was doing a water pump anyway

I have been hunting this sound for a long time

Maby we can finely figure it out

That timing cover was a bitch to remove I don't want to do it again
I also my old engine I had to replace that main tensioner
But even then I had this sound
 




410Fortune

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So maybe the sound is normal?
Did you leave the balance shaft, chain and tensioner? I hate those things I usually disable them

Just replaced engine in 2006 Ranger with low mile SOHC from 07 Ranger...I swear I can hear the chains and tensioners WORKING
I have decided these noises are just SOHC noises and I think too much about it, running fine
Could it be that what you are hearing is supposed to be there?

Get your ears on some other 4.0L SOHC engines around and then decide if you have done well or not. They are noisy!!! I can hear the chains moving over the nylon guides I swear it........and after years and years of this I can now say some timing noise is normal just like all the 4.0L V6 no matter how smoothly they idle the V6 has a slight "bump" in the idle you will never get rid of...it can drive you crazy to worry about these things
You have oil pressure, you have a smoothly running engine, you have no miss or computer codes, you have ruled out other possible sources of the noise, you have compared it to other SOHC engines around and....time to go drive it

Then after a few miles, listen some more. Pull spark plugs and read them, change oil and filter, cut filter open see what it caught after your rebuild. Eventually you obtain inner peace and can live with the noises a new well running sohc makes
You are not alone
 




donalds

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So maybe the sound is normal?
Did you leave the balance shaft, chain and tensioner? I hate those things I usually disable them

Just replaced engine in 2006 Ranger with low mile SOHC from 07 Ranger...I swear I can hear the chains and tensioners WORKING
I have decided these noises are just SOHC noises and I think too much about it, running fine
Could it be that what you are hearing is supposed to be there?

Get your ears on some other 4.0L SOHC engines around and then decide if you have done well or not. They are noisy!!! I can hear the chains moving over the nylon guides I swear it........and after years and years of this I can now say some timing noise is normal just like all the 4.0L V6 no matter how smoothly they idle the V6 has a slight "bump" in the idle you will never get rid of...it can drive you crazy to worry about these things
You have oil pressure, you have a smoothly running engine, you have no miss or computer codes, you have ruled out other possible sources of the noise, you have compared it to other SOHC engines around and....time to go drive it

Then after a few miles, listen some more. Pull spark plugs and read them, change oil and filter, cut filter open see what it caught after your rebuild. Eventually you obtain inner peace and can live with the noises a new well running sohc makes
You are not alone
I think you are correct
It is normal
I have listened to other sohc
It's kinda weird
The older engines make less noise the newer
Sohc engines make more
Not worn in enough
I have heard lots of people say their explorers sound like a diesel this is that sound in his engine is normal at low idle

Thanks for easing my mind
 




Brian Middleton

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My old 280000 mile engine made this sound
My new engine makes this sound ...rebuilt like yours.....
I also looked up many videos
Of say 2010 2009 2008 era explorers
At the dealer ..ya know when they are selling new and used.....
all of them make this sound
After many hours of using a mechanic stethoscope I hear the sound most in the heads
I am probably waaaay off but to me it sounds like the valves snapping shut
Open the oil fill cap and take a good listen
You will clearly hear it tick with a pattern to it ...easy to hear on the one head at a time
That sound will eco all around the entire bay
You hear the sound most hot at idle
And for everybody that is gonna say chains it's not this is a different sound I thought it was timing to
 




Brian Middleton

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I have attached the picture of the damaged Evergreen brand balance shaft tensioner and the replaced Ford brand. I really thought this was the smoking gun for the noise.

Mine had 278k at time of rebuild. The back (right) chain guild was broke and the valves were hitting the piston so I decided it HAD to have a rebuild.

I has no apparent noise with the oil cap off.

I can post a video of it at cold start, which has very light to no noise, to where the noise starts. I can also post one with it at 1,000 RPMs.

I've taken the belt off and it's still there, actually more audible with it off.

It still has the original balance shaft - just a new chain and ford brand tensioner.

boominXplorer - You might be correct on the position of the tensioners and guides. The bolts are small and they might need to be in the position that is further from the direction of the chain. If this is the noise should I just drive it from a bit to get some wear marks that will help me identify the sound?

I've worked on about 5 or 6 of these in the course of owning this one and they are noisy, but not this type of noise. I'm tempted to put 1,000 or 1,500 and pull it out and check all of the tensioners and guides. I just don't want to blow up my 2 year hobby. I've done a lot to this truck and the engine rebuild shop has been in business since 1948 and I don't think the noise anything outside of the timing components. They put a lot of care in this rebuild, the heads were made perfect, the block was bored .002 the pistons are perfectly balanced, the crank was perfectly balanced and polished, the cams were polished, they did the work as if I was going to take it to the drag strip.
 




Brian Middleton

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This was the new Evergreen brand balance shaft tensioner that apparently didn't line up correctly with the chain.

IMG_6870.jpg
 




Brian Middleton

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This was the Ford brand tensioner.

IMG_6906.jpg
 




donalds

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My engine don't have a balance shaft
In order to hear that noise in the oil cap I had to bend over an basically put my ear in there

I am pretty sure it's normal noise
If you put a screw driver on the fuel rail to your ear you will hear it
I used one ear to listen and the other to listen through the screw driver
 




donalds

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Ok so in my vid the sound is really loud louder than in real life
Plus the fan was off
but
There it is


And no it's not the converters I had them checked we even removed one and nothing and I did use a stethoscope on them to just a whooost sound
 




Brian Middleton

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Ok so in my vid the sound is really loud louder than in real life
Plus the fan was off
but
There it is


And no it's not the converters I had them checked we even removed one and nothing and I did use a stethoscope on them to just a whooost sound

How many miles has yours made this noise? Also, did you buy a rebuilt engine or have the original rebuilt?
 




donalds

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Well my old one did it since the day I got it 150000 miles to 280000 miles
The new engine has like 7500 miles on it sounded like this from day 1

Once you get to 1000 rpm it's gone
I think it's the sound at idle

Remember it's way louder in the vid than it is when your standing there
I think if we put our explorers next to each other
They would sound the same

Also the timing components are cloyes except the tensioners

I bought a remanufactured engine with 4 year unlimited miles warranty
 




david4451

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I've just rebuilt my Sport Trac SOHC and following your posts on noises from the engines. I did timing ( Cloyes ), mains and rods (Sealed Power ) piston rings (DNJ). ALL standard sizes. It only had 41000 miles on it but pushing 68 this work I felt needed to be done while I still could. It also had ticks hear & there, but nothing loud.

I started the engine today after rebuild for the first time and pre oiled it first and I can honestly say it is super quiet (except for power steering). I ran it at 1500 to 2000 rpm for 15 minutes the power steering noise calmed down and the only appreciable noise was the fuel injectors and fan.

I took two months to do this rebuild, basically alone and was more than happy I had no "extra" sounds. I'll take a short video tomorrow and post it.
IMG_20180626_165131.jpg
IMG_20180627_173109.jpg
IMG_20180626_165131.jpg
 




donalds

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If you could take a vid of it running hot at idle under truck
I've just rebuilt my Sport Trac SOHC and following your posts on noises from the engines. I did timing ( Cloyes ), mains and rods (Sealed Power ) piston rings (DNJ). ALL standard sizes. It only had 41000 miles on it but pushing 68 this work I felt needed to be done while I still could. It also had ticks hear & there, but nothing loud.

I started the engine today after rebuild for the first time and pre oiled it first and I can honestly say it is super quiet (except for power steering). I ran it at 1500 to 2000 rpm for 15 minutes the power steering noise calmed down and the only appreciable noise was the fuel injectors and fan.

I took two months to do this rebuild, basically alone and was more than happy I had no "extra" sounds. I'll take a short video tomorrow and post it.View attachment 161359 View attachment 161360 View attachment 161359
 




donalds

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The noise is not loud it's just there my wife didn't even hear it until I mentioned it to her
I've just rebuilt my Sport Trac SOHC and following your posts on noises from the engines. I did timing ( Cloyes ), mains and rods (Sealed Power ) piston rings (DNJ). ALL standard sizes. It only had 41000 miles on it but pushing 68 this work I felt needed to be done while I still could. It also had ticks hear & there, but nothing loud.

I started the engine today after rebuild for the first time and pre oiled it first and I can honestly say it is super quiet (except for power steering). I ran it at 1500 to 2000 rpm for 15 minutes the power steering noise calmed down and the only appreciable noise was the fuel injectors and fan.

I took two months to do this rebuild, basically alone and was more than happy I had no "extra" sounds. I'll take a short video tomorrow and post it.View attachment 161359 View attachment 161360 View attachment 161359
 






Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

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david4451

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I think all enthusiasts with 4l sohc are paranoid about noises, due to all the horror stories about death rattle, bents valves lot of cash to fix etc etc. I know I am and my original timing components were not damaged.

I'll video under truck also.
 




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