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Engine noise GONE!?

drothgeb

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97 XLT 4.0 SOHC 4x4
So I had been having some noise (clattering) above 2500 RPM for the past year and a half or so and had thought I'd narrowed it down to the timing chains. I was planning on replacing the guide assembly this spring/summer. This past weekend I did a list list of to do items (sway bar bushings, changed the oil/filter, lubed the slip yoke, lowered it 2 inches, switched to Silverstar Ultra headlights, polished the headlight housing, seafoamed the fuel system to hopefully clean the injectors, and changed the fuel filter).

All of a sudden the clattering noise is gone! The noise had never gone away before after oil changes and I wasn't expecting it to disappear.

Would the fuel filter have been making this noise? I've been running Mobil 1 full syn for the past 15,000 miles and seafoamed the crank a couple times ago too. The past 2 times the oil has been really black ( I guess cleaning it out really good) could the crud making the noise have fallen out? I'm at a loss here...

Thanks in advance
 
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drothgeb

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97 XLT 4.0 SOHC 4x4
P.S. the fuel filter hadn't been changed in at least the 40,000 miles I've had the explorer and when I poured it out it was very, very dirty...
 
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2000StreetRod

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00 Sport FI, 03 Ltd V8
Clattering chains

If the clattering was due to one or more of the timing chains at mid-range engine speeds and it's been going on for 1.5 years I would be concerned that what the chains have been hitting may have finally worn away. I would add "remove valve covers and inspect timing chain guides" to your "to do" list. The positioning post on your rear timing chain guide assembly may be half worn off.
 
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drothgeb

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I was actually thinking of posting this on your timing chain saga thread or PMing you about it since you know more about all that then me. Would removing the valve covers be a day job that I could do fairly quickly, then put them back on? I'm impatient and want to get to it sooner than this weekend if possible, but work 9-5 typically.
 
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2000StreetRod

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Removing the valve covers

I believe the upper intake manifold has to be removed in order to remove either valve cover. You may not have all of the needed tools such as wobble extensions to do the job efficiently. I suggest waiting until the weekend when you'll have time to pick up what you need after getting into the task. I suggest pulling the right valve cover first. If the rear guide assembly is broken then the engine has to come out to replace it. You may as well know the worst as soon as possible to start considering your options. Hopefully, the rear cassette will be in good condition!
 
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drothgeb

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Yeah. I have all of the extensions and I know that you either have to pull the engine or drop the transmission. I've done a lot of research on it and have been watching your saga intently but just wasn't sure off the top of my head what all is involved in pulling the valve covers. I guess when I have the intake manifold off I can go ahead and replace the tensioner.
 
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2000StreetRod

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Haynes instructions

I checked my Haynes manual for instructions on removing the right valve cover on models thru 2000:

1. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery

2. Remove the upper intake manifold

3. Drain the cooling system and disconnect the upper radiator hose and pipe

4. Remove the bolts that secure the heater hose bracket and disconnect the transmission dipstick tube

5. Detach the spark plug wires from the valve cover clips

6. Remove the valve cover bolts.


The left valve cover removal does not require draining the cooling system. See my helpful thread Starting my 00M12 Installation for what's involved in removing the upper intake manifold and my helpful thread Rear Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement
 
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justinf89

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When a noise like that suddenly goes away, its not always a good thing. Def. check the chains.
 
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drothgeb

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I'm really really hoping the chains/guides are still intact and in good condition. Replacing the fuel filter def gave me the gains I've been expecting from my mods finally but I'm very wary of what the disappearance of the noise is from...I'll post lots of pics when I pull the valve covers
 
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drothgeb

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ok so when towing a trailer today it seemed as though the noise is coming back slightly...Guess the oil change/filter may have just masked it for a while. Back to square one on having to tear it down this summer to replace guides/tensioners/chains. Any tips? How long should I expect to have it torn apart in my apartment's parking lot and are there any worthwhile mods I should do internally while I already have the covers off?
Thanks
 
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