4.6L 2V engine longevity | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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4.6L 2V engine longevity


April 12, 2014
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City, State
Middle Tennessee
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Explorer XLT AWD
I’ve got an 05 XLT 4.6 with 222K on the stock engine now and drive 1300+ miles a week and wonder how long this little SOHC engine will last.

Please post if your engine failed and had to be rebuilt/replaced and what the failure / mileage were.


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About 8 months ago at 175k the timing chain guides failed. Other than that, the only other thing was a water pump last week.

Usually the timing chain guides are done by 175k. The 4.6 will go 300k as long as you fix leaks as they appear and keep a motorcraft oil filter on it. I just did this set with 168k on them.



My 4.6L has 230K on it and runs like a champ. I replaced the timing chains, guides and tensioners at 210K.

I had the timing chains guides and tensioners done at 175k. The guides were just beginning to show metal.
It's at 199k now, and I'm going to drive until the engine goes. Hopefully, I'll make it to 350k.
By that mileage/age, I'm sure the entire car will be trashed.
The lower end is strong, it's the top end that needs attention by 200k.

What are the signs of the timing chain issues? I think mine are original as I bought
the Explorer used at 97K.

I've got 215k on the clock in my 2004 EB 4.6L Explorer. I am hoping to get another 100k out of it. I just had the tranny rebuilt. The engine runs great, but there is some dry start noise. I've put Lucas (for synthetic oil, not the heavy stuff) in at an oil change. I've ran Sea Foam in the oil before changing, and that did seem to eliminate the cry start sound, until a day or two after I changed the oil. Should I just add Sea Foam and rol with it? Heavier Lucas?

At this mileage, I should probably think about replacing the timing chains and guides. I guess it's possible that is what I'm hearing. I hope that can wait until I have a job.

My 2005 4.6L has 229k on it. It's semi-retired now and only gets a few hundred miles a month on her. We finally got the intermittent misfires fixed after getting the timing chains done a couple of years ago. She passed her first emissions test in 2 years this week!! I'm debating on selling or just keeping her for another few years. She has pretty much new suspension I replaced a few years ago, relatively new tires, all the gauges work, but the interior is showing massive age...

I had a rebuilt 4.6 2V installed at 246K miles. The prior owner neglected/abused the original motor and hid the rod knock. I think it’s a good motor and will last, but as others have posted, regular oil changes and Motorcraft filters will help with maximizing its life.

Change oil every 5k. I use Mobile 1 5w20 and Wix filters. Everyone will say Motorcraft and there’s plenty of opinions on this subject. Oil change interval is the most important point.

Your engine issues will be:
• Timing chain components
> guides
> tensioners
• Oil filter adapter gasket leak
• Intake failure
• throttle body needing cleaned
• DPFE/EGR valve

Outside of this, your engine should go for a long time. You will probably rebuild the transmission at least twice before the engine fails.

The 4.6 lets you know you are having a timing issue. Unlike the 4.0 that may just die. You will typically get a rattle noise at cold start. Don’t ignore this. It’s the tensioners losing tension at rest until the oil pressure builds. You can buy some time by doing the WOT at start up. That is, depress the gas pedal all the way to the floor and crank the engine for a few seconds. This disables the ignition while turning over the engine and priming the tensioners.

I’m at 210k and plan to see how many miles I can get.

I replaced both timing chains, guides and tensioners last weekend. (226,431 miles)
Judging from the damage to my timing cover and the noises the truck made when idling in the summer, I dodged a bullet!
All my guides were still intact with mild wear. The passenger side tensioner seal was blown out.