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Another chirping 5.0L cam synchronizer


koda2000

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At least 5 years ago our '00 Mountaineer 5.0L developed a chirping noise, which drove me crazy. I finally figured out the noise was coming from the area of the cam position sensor (a common 5.0L issue). Someone suggested removing the sensor and to try putting a few drops of ATF on the cam synchronizer's shaft. I did and the noise was instantly gone. In 5 + years/60,000 miles the noise has never returned. Last year I put a few more drops on it just as a preventive maintenance item.

About 2 weeks ago my '01 Explorer 5.0L started making the same chirping noise when cold. I removed the CPS and again applied some ATF to its synchronizer shaft and so far the noise hasn't returned. If it does I suppose I'll need to replace the cam position synchronizer, but if it stays quiet - good enough.

Tips:
I use a 1/4" ratchet with a 6"-7" extension, a universal joint and a tiny SAE socket to access the two tiny CPS screws/bolts and sneak it under the coil packs to remove the CPS. Then I put maybe 4 drops of ATF around the synchronizer's shaft. I use a dental flushing hypodermic device I've had forever to deliver the ATF where it's needed. Don't put too much ATF in there as it will just leak out a hole in the housing.

If you do end up replacing the synchronizer, spent the money for a new Motorcraft replacement. as aftermarket rebuilt units tend to break.
 
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boominXplorer

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Did the same to my Ranger (5.0 swapped) about a year ago. Haven't had a noise since and it's been probably 10k miles. I plan on replacing it an OE motorcraft one when it does it again.
 




CDW6212R

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I too have had the chirping noise, three times. I chose to replace the synchronizer the first two times, that was before many people have posted to just lubricate it.

This last time two weeks ago I heard the chirp days before I got stranded, the fuel pump died. I bought another synch when I heard the noise, in case. After fixing the FP, then the engine ran rough, so I dug down to the CMP, and found the whole thing mangled.

That noise began after the thing was destroyed I'm sure, the FP dying was a coincidence. I still have the two older cam synchronizers for an emergency, but I'd prefer to put in a new one if it's possible. It's not a simple task to locate the balancer TDC mark, and see it when turning the crank.
 




Terkins

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At least 5 years ago our '00 Mountaineer 5.0L developed a chirping noise, which drove me crazy. I finally figured out the noise was coming from the area of the cam position sensor (a common 5.0L issue). Someone suggested removing the sensor and to try putting a few drops of ATF on the cam synchronizer's shaft. I did and the noise was instantly gone. In 5 + years/60,000 miles the noise has never returned. Last year I put a few more drops on it just as a preventive maintenance item.
(I've asked once before/no reply.) I drive an '00 XLS 4x4 OHV that occasionally 'chirps'. I've replaced all the drive belt candidates so it's likely my cam position sensor (lacking lube). I'm good at following 'recipe repairs' but too timid to tackle this lube task without a proven recipe for success. Any 'track records' on OHV's to follow?

(BTW: What are the inevitabilities if I simply ignore this 'canary'?)
 




CDW6212R

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(I've asked once before/no reply.) I drive an '00 XLS 4x4 OHV that occasionally 'chirps'. I've replaced all the drive belt candidates so it's likely my cam position sensor (lacking lube). I'm good at following 'recipe repairs' but too timid to tackle this lube task without a proven recipe for success. Any 'track records' on OHV's to follow?

(BTW: What are the inevitabilities if I simply ignore this 'canary'?)
I found a couple of how to videos while hunting for a new 302 cam synch = Motorcraft DA2097/F7TZ-12A362-AC, so there are examples you can find for the OHV 4.0 engine. The SOHC is also similar in those years, but the intake parts differ, so what has to be removed to reach it will be a little different also. Once you get down to it, in the rear on your V6, it should be fairly easy to R&R the top/sensor, and add some oil.

Ignored, the inevitability is the failure of the synchronizer, which will take a little work to R&R. The engine should still run somewhat with a bad synch, but don't expect to go a long time that way. To change it you have to locate TDC, before removing the part, then put the new one in carefully without moving the crank, line up the shaft of the synch as it should be at TDC(proper tool attached to find that), then put it in and bolt it down etc.
 




koda2000

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Yes, it's hard to get at on the OHV V6, but it's very similar in design to the one used on the V8. I wouldn't bother trying to lube the synchronizer on a OHV V6, because it would be a lot of work to get to it and might not help. I'd just replace the synchronizer w/sensor.

To be clear, it's not the cam position sensor that makes noise. It's the synchronizer shaft, which looks like the lower part of a distributor and is spun the same way (by a gear on the cam shaft). The problem is the shaft's bushing wears and runs dry, that's what makes the chirping noise.
 




Terkins

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Yes, it's hard to get at on the OHV V6, but it's very similar in design to the one used on the V8. I wouldn't bother trying to lube the synchronizer on a OHV V6, because it would be a lot of work to get to it and might not help. I'd just replace the synchronizer w/sensor.

To be clear, it's not the cam position sensor that makes noise. It's the synchronizer shaft, which looks like the lower part of a distributor and is spun the same way (by a gear on the cam shaft). The problem is the shaft's bushing wears and runs dry, that's what makes the chirping noise.
'My thoughts, exactly! (Replace! Not fiddle with lubing...esp. @ 140K mi.!) "Thanks". I'll have to start researching the steps/part for replacement in 2020. ("Moving again (!)" (towards better medical care) is my first priority though...)
 




Terkins

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'My thoughts, exactly! (Replace! Not fiddle with lubing...esp. @ 145K mi.!)
These parts don't come cheap ($180.)! The Motocraft is only designed to last ~10-yrs./150k mi.! (I guess mine is worn out at 20-yrs/145k!)

"Position sensor not-included." Add another $24.00.

I found these instructions at RockAuto for installing the Spectra camshaft synchronizer. Has anyone tried following 'installation procedures no. 1' (listed)? http://www.rockauto.com/genImages/22/BOU-AVM-1-I-076B.pdf
 




Terkins

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Did the same to my Ranger (5.0 swapped) about a year ago. Haven't had a noise since and it's been probably 10k miles. I plan on replacing it an OE Motorcraft one when it does it again.
RockAuto has both the Motorcraft and the Spectra Premium. Spectra has a limited-lifetime warranty, includes the sensor/alignment tool, and is <20% the cost of the Motorcraft part. (Actually it's only ~15% of the cost since the Motorcraft doesn't include the sensor nor alignment tool!) Does anyone have any experience using the Spectra Premium CPS?
 




koda2000

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RockAuto has both the Motorcraft and the Spectra Premium. Spectra has a limited-lifetime warranty, includes the sensor/alignment tool, and is <20% the cost of the Motorcraft part. (Actually it's only ~15% of the cost since the Motorcraft doesn't include the sensor nor alignment tool!) Does anyone have any experience using the Spectra Premium CPS?
I strongly suggest the Motorcraft. While Ford OEM parts are typically more expensive, experience has taught us that it's not worth it on critical parts, especially critical parts that are difficult to change. A "lifetime warranty" isn't worth much when it takes you 4-8 hours to replace the part. The problems we've see with other brands is that the roll pin's are smaller diameter and tend to shear off. That can make for a bad day and a towing bill.
 




CDW6212R

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Ditto, the 302 synchronizers have a bad failure rate for all non Ford units. The V6's are likely similar, the problem is that drive gear and the roll pin that holds it in. The gear has to be in a specific location(height), or it doesn't mesh with the drive gear properly(the cam or jackshaft), and the wear is very fast then. The roll pins as mentioned is a weak link, that must not shear off or wear, get loose etc, ever.

The Ford synchronizer is worth the extra cost, it will be the best version possible. Search a while, Rock Auto and Amazon are the most reliable, but eBay is often a great place to luck up on one. Use Rock Auto to get the part number and/or the engineering number(shorter character code(DA2097 is the 96-98 302 part)), and search using those on eBay and the web. I found a 302 unit NOS for $80 two weeks ago, the cheapest new was $128-$137 elsewhere.
 




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