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Advanced Rattling at 3K

Prince_Polaris

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All right, so coming home on the highway today I noticed something new. (I may have heard it on the way there too, I don't remember). Anyway, I've gotten used to the death rattle at around 1k, but now, when my car is at 3k (I don't want to risk anything higher) it has begun to rattle much worse than before, sounding like someone has thrown a handful of coins into a blender. I don't know, maybe the serpentine belt is just broken and throwing scraps of itself around inside? I haven't checked under the hood yet, I just came on inside because I had no coat and the sun had gone down.

Anyway I took a video of it, you may have to turn it up but I can hear it clear enough, is it time to start worrying yet or is this just another stage of the death rattle process?

 


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RandomNerd2000

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Sounds like your timing chains are getting worse, probably not a bad plan to source an engine or another vehicle IMO
 




Prince_Polaris

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Sounds like your timing chains are getting worse, probably not a bad plan to source an engine or another vehicle IMO

Haha that's what I'm worried about, however I only have 20 bucks to my name at the moment and since my dad's 2005 jeep is kicking the bucket I doubt I'll be able to use the spare minivan we keep for these situations. Do you think it's still driveable? Maybe if I just keep it slow and not go on the highway?
 




Prince_Polaris

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So what I'll basically be doing is hogging the slow lane to and from school and hope that I can simply avoid hitting 3k rpm and therefore avoid destroying the engine
 




koda2000

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Haha that's what I'm worried about, however I only have 20 bucks to my name at the moment and since my dad's 2005 jeep is kicking the bucket I doubt I'll be able to use the spare minivan we keep for these situations. Do you think it's still driveable? Maybe if I just keep it slow and not go on the highway?

It's still driveable until it jumps time and destroys the engine, or clogs the oil pickup screen with broken pieces of plastic. How many more miles you get out of it are a total crap shoot. It might limp on for months, or your next attempted start could be your last. Sorry to rain on your parade, but I'm just being realistic. Plus, as you've also reported an intermittent starting issue, the next time it fails to start you're not going to know what's causing it.
 




Prince_Polaris

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It's still driveable until it jumps time and destroys the engine, or clogs the oil pickup screen with broken pieces of plastic. How many more miles you get out of it are a total crap shoot. It might limp on for months, or your next attempted start could be your last. Sorry to rain on your parade, but I'm just being realistic. Plus, as you've also reported an intermittent starting issue, the next time it fails to start you're not going to know what's causing it.

Yeah, that's about what I expected. I managed to Limp to college just now while avoiding anything above 2.5k RPM, and I will note that the clattering is a good bit louder at idle. So, I'll just keep going I suppose, and when it dies I guess I'll just start using that disaster of a 05 caravan we keep around. My friend should be able to stick a new engine in without a problem, but... I have not the thousand or so dollars he's gonna charge for it, so let's hope good old Sporty here can keep going long enough for me to find a job and save the money for a engine swap!

Now, I gots another question. If I just get my hands on a different SOHC, won't I just be dealing with this all over again someday? What if I can switch it over to an OHV and save some of the trouble?

Or maybe I should get some of those timing chain repair kits and hope that my friend can figure them out?
 




Prince_Polaris

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Oh and a fun fact, my check engine light has been on for months because of some sort of Emissions BS, so I won't know if and when something really goes wrong.
 




koda2000

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I wouldn't just install a used SOHC w/out replacing all the timing chain components first. Otherwise you will most likely be dealing with the "death rattle" all over again (if not immediately, not long after installing it).

Sticking in an OHV engine in place of the SOHC isn't a direct swap. The ECU would also need to be changed to an OHV ECU and there would no doubt be wiring harness issues to deal with and maybe the exhaust system. While the OHV engine is more reliable than the SOHC, it's not w/out it's own problems (cracked heads and blown head gaskets) and is a rather under powered engine as compared to the SOHC.

For what it will cost to you do an engine swap (engine, parts and labor) you'd probably be better off looking for another vehicle. If you till want an Explorer, I'd consider the 5.0L V8. They have a much more reliable engine and transmission and get pretty much the same lousy fuel economy as the V6's, but any 20 year old used vehicle will require repairs. '97-'00 SOHC Sports are cheap and should be considered disposable vehicles IMO. They're just not worth fixing when the engine or transmissions go. If you don't have the time, tools and skill to do your own repairs you shouldn't own a 20 year old vehicle. It's just a losing proposition. Lets say you invest $1000-$1500 in an engine replacement and a month later the transmission breaks. Are you going to invest another $2,000+ in a trans rebuild? Let's say you decide to rebuild the transmission and the vehicle get's totaled soon afterwards. Assuming it wasn't your fault, how much do you think the other guy's insurance will give you (and they wont care if you recently put $3500 into it)? If it was your fault, I know you're not carrying collision insurance on a 20 year old vehicle.

When the engine in my '01 Sport Trac goes I'll probably buy in a reman SOHC (or do a V8 swap) only because Sport Trac's bring a premium (I honestly don't understand why, I guess it's because it's a quasi-pickup) and I've already fixed everything else on it.
 




Prince_Polaris

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I wouldn't just install a used SOHC w/out replacing all the timing chain components first. Otherwise you will most likely be dealing with the "death rattle" all over again (if not immediately, not long after installing it).

Sticking in an OHV engine in place of the SOHC isn't a direct swap. The ECU would also need to be changed to an OHV ECU and there would no doubt be wiring harness issues to deal with and maybe the exhaust system. While the OHV engine is more reliable than the SOHC, it's not w/out it's own problems (cracked heads and blown head gaskets) and is a rather under powered engine as compared to the SOHC.

For what it will cost to you do an engine swap (engine, parts and labor) you'd probably be better off looking for another vehicle. If you till want an Explorer, I'd consider the 5.0L V8. They have a much more reliable engine and transmission and get pretty much the same lousy fuel economy as the V6's, but any 20 year old used vehicle will require repairs. '97-'00 SOHC Sports are cheap and should be considered disposable vehicles IMO. They're just not worth fixing when the engine or transmissions go. If you don't have the time, tools and skill to do your own repairs you shouldn't own a 20 year old vehicle. It's just a losing proposition. Lets say you invest $1000-$1500 in an engine replacement and a month later the transmission breaks. Are you going to invest another $2,000+ in a trans rebuild? Let's say you decide to rebuild the transmission and the vehicle get's totaled soon afterwards. Assuming it wasn't your fault, how much do you think the other guy's insurance will give you (and they wont care if you recently put $3500 into it)? If it was your fault, I know you're not carrying collision insurance on a 20 year old vehicle.

When the engine in my '01 Sport Trac goes I'll probably buy in a reman SOHC (or do a V8 swap) only because Sport Trac's bring a premium (I honestly don't understand why, I guess it's because it's a quasi-pickup) and I've already fixed everything else on it.

See, I have this issue, I'm still repaying my grandmother for buying the car itself, and suddenly now it's borderline dead even before I could pay her back the 4 grand or so. (Little overpriced, and with maryland tag/registration prices slapped on top it ended up pricey)

I mean, I want to keep it because Everything is peachy except for the engine (and a few really minor problems), but... eh, I guess I've done and backed myself into a corner here haven't I.
 




Tech By Trade

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Its toast. If you can round up a grand for parts and tools you can repair it yourself if you quite driving it now. If not, your looking at a drop in. Its a big job with attention to detail. Did it myself a couple years ago. Check out streetrod2000's guide if you want to know what your getting yourself into.
 




swshawaii

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+4. Sorry to say, time to part out for a fraction of the 4k you've invested. If you keep driving it, don't stray too far.
 




96eb96

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See, I have this issue, I'm still repaying my grandmother for buying the car itself, and suddenly now it's borderline dead even before I could pay her back the 4 grand or so. (Little overpriced, and with maryland tag/registration prices slapped on top it ended up pricey)

I mean, I want to keep it because Everything is peachy except for the engine (and a few really minor problems), but... eh, I guess I've done and backed myself into a corner here haven't I.
4 grand for a 98 sport with 130K? Was grandma a car saleslady?
 




koda2000

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Ouch! A '98 Sport w/130k on it wasn't worth anywhere near $4,000. I only gave $1,400 for our '97 Sport 3 years ago and the only repair I've had to make on it has been the water pump. I don't know what taxes and registration run in your state, but they couldn't have more than a few hundred dollars on a 19 year old vehicle. Well, mark it up to life lessons learned I guess.
 




Prince_Polaris

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Ouch! A '98 Sport w/130k on it wasn't worth anywhere near $4,000. I only gave $1,400 for our '97 Sport 3 years ago and the only repair I've had to make on it has been the water pump. I don't know what taxes and registration run in your state, but they couldn't have more than a few hundred dollars on a 19 year old vehicle. Well, mark it up to life lessons learned I guess.

All right I'm a little more coherent now, the truck was $2800, repairs on it in order to pass inspection were about $400, and then another $400 for tags and the plates I think. So, yeah... what a Pickle I've gotten myself into.

Its toast. If you can round up a grand for parts and tools you can repair it yourself if you quite driving it now. If not, your looking at a drop in. Its a big job with attention to detail. Did it myself a couple years ago. Check out streetrod2000's guide if you want to know what your getting yourself into.

Can I get a link to the guide I guess? And what if I just park it, start using the old backup van, and get my friend to do the job once I can pay him? (Him and his garage are the only way my family can get anything fixed since his labor costs are much less than an actual garage)
 




Tech By Trade

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Prince_Polaris

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Prince_Polaris

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RandomNerd2000

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I will say for a 98, it's a good looking truck, if it was mine I'd fix it, which I'm the same person hunting a body with title for my wrecked V8.
 




Prince_Polaris

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I will say for a 98, it's a good looking truck, if it was mine I'd fix it, which I'm the same person hunting a body with title for my wrecked V8.

It really is! That's why I wanna keep it so bad!

I mean here's a picture from a few days ago, before the rattling got ten times worse, there's only a few little rust spots unlike that silver piece of trash which would probably dissolve if you took it to a car wash: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/233034867263143937/281982396683911168/P_20170206_153008.jpg
 


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Prince_Polaris

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So to change the direction of this thread a little bit, I have two choices (since I don't want to sell the thing).

I can either ask Beef (my friend's nickname) to replace all of those plastic bits that have broken inside, the tensioners, or get him to buy another engine and stick it in. Which of these options sounds better?
 




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