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4.0L Rear (left Bank) Timing Chain Noise

gary87xj6

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2003 V6, 145K miles, very well maintained service history. Engine just out of nowhere started making a lot of noise and Check engine light came on Codes are:pO300, PO301, PO302, PO303 mis-fires on cylinder 1,2 and 3. PO316 misfire detected on startup. Noise coming from valve covers on left bank, sounds like Timing Chain Tensioner or Guide has failed which is allowing the chain to move around and hit inside of engine per the mechanic. To fix engine must be removed to gain access, the mechanic recommends new engine due to time to remove and repair whatever damage is revealed.
Question, can the rear timing chain be service w/out engine removal? Does his conclusion of issue (based on listening with stethoscope) source make sense? Dropping $6-7K (17 labor hours) for new engine is not going to happen. Mechanic also stated special Ford tool required to perform timing chain alignment/change, which they do not have. Anyone have experience with this repair regarding cost, time, materials, etc.. appreciate any insight or guidance.
 


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fordbluefamily

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You really dont want to do the chains without removing the engine. The rear chain would at the very least require the trans to get pulled from the engine and you may as well just pull the engine and do it right. There isnt much clearance to work with there and you would spend more time fighting with it than just pulling the engine. If your mechanic doesnt have the tool than he probably doesn't have the experience to do it right anyway. Find one who not only has the tool but has done chains before. It isnt THAT bad of a job once the engine is out. Taking the engine out isnt too bad on one of these either. I wouldn't drive it anymore though because these are interference motors and will bend the valves if the chain jumps.

EDIT: Forgot to add that if you do replace the chains, make sure you only use the Motorcraft chains. The cheapo timing sets are not known to live long and this isnt a job you want to have to do twice. I figured for new chains and tensioners to be less than 500 bucks parts and the labor I have no idea because I havent paid to have a car worked on in years. The special tool cost 200 bucks and you can easily sell it when through for nearly that.
 




gary87xj6

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I realize you can not hear the noise but would you agree with their assumption the problem is the chain based on the codes? thanks for your prior input.
 




fordbluefamily

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Like you said, I can't hear it. In my experience, they can be loud and suddenly fail without setting any codes at all. However for all cylinders on one bank to do that, accompanied by the noise sure points to the timing going south.
 




Number4

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The fact that your're getting a misfire on all three cylinders on one bank, is pretty tell tale sign that the timing has slipped. As it's an interference engine, there's a good possibility that you have or will have piston/valve damage.

Engines got to come out if this is the case.
 








2000co

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How common is this problem?
I have 05 mountaineer v6 with 120k. I rebuild the transmission last year and planning on keeping it for a long time.

Reading this post make me think I shold sell my suv before I need to spend more money rebuilding the engine.
 








2000co

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Scary stuff. What's the cost for this pleasure?
 




Tech By Trade

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Cost me around 1200 myself in parts and tools I didnt have. The dollar was at 88c US when I started. Our great leader has it down to 73 now so tack another 15% on to that. 1.5 months of pissing around after work and when I had time on weekends.
 




2000co

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So 4k if I take it to my local mechanic?
 




Tech By Trade

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Probably closer to 5 up here. I was quoted 2 to pull the engine, plus cost of a drop in, labor and gaskets to swap hardware. That was without them changing the guides and chains on the replacement. Now that I know how to do it I don't think I would trust a shop that has no experience with the 4.0 to touch the chains and guides. For that price ford can drop in a factory reman.
 




2000co

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I don't think the SUV worth that kind of spending but I guess I'm stuck with it. I already spend 2.5k on the tranny.

Why Ford sucks so bad? I want to support US manufacture but dealing with all the common issues Ford have makes me want to buy Japanese cars.
 








2Trux

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I don't think the SUV worth that kind of spending but I guess I'm stuck with it. I already spend 2.5k on the tranny.

Why Ford sucks so bad? I want to support US manufacture but dealing with all the common issues Ford have makes me want to buy Japanese cars.

All manufacturers make stuff that sucks, and everybody has their own experience. I have 3 Ford trucks, a 89, 97, & 05, and consider them all mostly trouble free. My 05 Explorer has 185K and is still running strong.
Don't forget that most people who use the forums are having problems, those who have no issues don't often write in to let you know how great their truck is. This can make it seem like these trucks all suffer with lots of problems, but it is difficult to know what percentage of each model is really having these issues.
 




gary87xj6

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So 4k if I take it to my local mechanic?

Well, I got it towed to another shop that has experience with this repair, they estimated $2500 (in Kennewick, WA) using Ford parts (chain and tensioner). They are going to drop the pan to check what may be in the pan (not part of the $2500).
Will this tell me if I have any internal damage?
If all is good I will give the 'ok' for the repairs. I will post updates. Thanks for all of the information from everyone.

Gary
 




Number4

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They can pull the plugs and put a borescope in the chambers to look for marks on top of the pistons.
 




2000StreetRod

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borescope

They can pull the plugs and put a borescope in the chambers to look for marks on top of the pistons.

I think that every shop that works on interference engines should have a borescope. They aren't very expensive and being able to see the damage is vastly superior to just guessing.
3Dings.jpg

A compression test is a standard way to check for camshaft slipped timing. If all of the cylinders on one bank have low compression that's a good indication of a slipped camshaft timing chain on that bank.

4.0L Rear (left Bank) Timing Chain Noise

The rear cassette is located on the right side of the vehicle. The driver side is the left side.
 




Sweersa

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All manufacturers make stuff that sucks, and everybody has their own experience. I have 3 Ford trucks, a 89, 97, & 05, and consider them all mostly trouble free. My 05 Explorer has 185K and is still running strong.

I also have an '05 Explorer that just turned over to 186K :)
 


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D Hook

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Why Ford sucks so bad? I want to support US manufacture but dealing with all the common issues Ford have makes me want to buy Japanese cars.
Price a spark plug change on a Lexus sometime. Or a starter on a Honda. They fail too and can be very expensive for routine maintenance.

Good luck with the engine fix. Still cheaper than car payments.
 




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