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Engine Rattle (Lessened after oil change)

Gilligan

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Timing the engine isn't too hard. It does require a timing kit you can rent from O'Rielly's. Only thing is you have to pull the engine to reach the rear two chains. At 182,000 I'd look into replacing the timing chains, sprockets, guilds and tensioners. There are a couple of oil ports that work with the tensioners and this may be why the oil change made a difference. Pull them apart and make sure they are not particially blocked. There is a really good video on YouTube made by a company that makes a great timing chain kit.. Look for it.
 


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mbrando1994

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Alright, will do. Would it be better to get a lower mileage engine to overhaul like this and then swap them, then work on the one i have? (this way i got 2 strong engines), or pull this one and either me or have a shop overhaul it? -because I desperately want to learn how to do this but am very nervous about doing it to my daily driver
 




Gilligan

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For the money and time you are going to spend, I'd get a rebuilt engine from a good re-builder. it would be about $2800 including delivery to your residence. or try to find an engine that you can hear run at a junk yard within driving distance. One of those will be between $1000 and $1500 plus about $250 for the core charge and $150 for delivery. Pull your old one and put the known good engine in. Then play with the original engine as you want.

When you go to rebuild you will have time to do it at your leisure. Life can start to suck really fast when your on a time crunch to get your daily driver fixed as fast as possible and every bolt is taking a major amount of persuasion to come out.

Do a full rebuild checking alignments and mating surfaces for warping. Have a machine shop fix what is out of specification. Throw in bearings throughout, pistons and rings, timing chains gears and gaskets and seals. Have fun with it and expect it to take a month or more. Then put in your rebuilt engine and sell your second engine to recover a bunch of funds spent on the project.
 




Tech By Trade

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The bottom ends of these things are built like tanks. When I did mine at 190K everything was tighter than a nuns %$#^. I don't think you have much to worry about. The timing chains are the alkalies heal of the engine. It would be bulletproof from a mechanical point, probably one of the best, had they made the cassettes out of steel with plastic runners. I took my time, and from pull to drop in was around a month, with waiting for parts to ship to Canada, as well as tracking down the otc tool. Also, there are a pile of reverse torx bolts, one time use torque to yield bolts, and other special tools you need. Its a learning experience, but it is very interesting, and quite an feeling of achievement when you pull off the job. If you haven't pulled the valve covers yet though, you might want to, just to make sure you actually have something wrong. It still could just be a tensioner.
 




mbrando1994

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The bottom ends of these things are built like tanks. When I did mine at 190K everything was tighter than a nuns %$#^. I don't think you have much to worry about. The timing chains are the alkalies heal of the engine. It would be bulletproof from a mechanical point, probably one of the best, had they made the cassettes out of steel with plastic runners. I took my time, and from pull to drop in was around a month, with waiting for parts to ship to Canada, as well as tracking down the otc tool. Also, there are a pile of reverse torx bolts, one time use torque to yield bolts, and other special tools you need. Its a learning experience, but it is very interesting, and quite an feeling of achievement when you pull off the job. If you haven't pulled the valve covers yet though, you might want to, just to make sure you actually have something wrong. It still could just be a tensioner.
I had the drivers side off a while ago to replace the gasket and everything was ok then but I will have to pull them both to verify before shelling out this much money. I'm super hesitant because of getting that blasted intake off (took me about 4 hours the first time), though I have air tools now and a lot more experience so hopefully it won't be too too bad. Those rear two torx fasteners are what got me. That and all the studs/bolts holding the cover on were seized and some even broke/stripped
 




mbrando1994

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For the money and time you are going to spend, I'd get a rebuilt engine from a good re-builder. it would be about $2800 including delivery to your residence. or try to find an engine that you can hear run at a junk yard within driving distance. One of those will be between $1000 and $1500 plus about $250 for the core charge and $150 for delivery. Pull your old one and put the known good engine in. Then play with the original engine as you want.

When you go to rebuild you will have time to do it at your leisure. Life can start to suck really fast when your on a time crunch to get your daily driver fixed as fast as possible and every bolt is taking a major amount of persuasion to come out.

Do a full rebuild checking alignments and mating surfaces for warping. Have a machine shop fix what is out of specification. Throw in bearings throughout, pistons and rings, timing chains gears and gaskets and seals. Have fun with it and expect it to take a month or more. Then put in your rebuilt engine and sell your second engine to recover a bunch of funds spent on the project.
I would love to do this but I really wouldn't have those funds for a rebuilt one, I'm putting whatever the cost of this repair (shop or diy) on a card as I just don't have it. I'm estimating to have everything done should be around $2500 at a shop, is that a good roundabout figure? I'm assuming just replacing the engine would be cheaper but I don't want to have to deal with this until well in the future if not ever again. I also have to swap both differentials and might be dealing with a potential tranny issue as well. The parts that put me off the most about pulling the engine are separating the engine and transmission both with those t/c bolts as well as the upper bell housing bolts, also the fact I don't currently own a stand or crane. Any advice on this?
 




Tech By Trade

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Yeah, that first gen is a pain with the 2 part intake. the later model in the 4th gen got a 1 piece that only has 8 bolts holding it in. its a breeze to pull. You may have to pull the EGR pipe to clear the passenger side valve cover too, I suggest soaking it in PB blaster a day or so before you do it as its a real pain to break loose. usually just loosen the bottom bolt, take off the upper, and turn it out of the way.
 




mbrando1994

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So closing question guys, in your experience and opinion is this worth it? I did just install brand new tires and brakes and the suspension is under a year old all around, very good shape. Engine is good other than timing, diffs are both bad and tranny may be starting to act up. I'm beginning to have a loss of power when accelerating (possibly from timing? or something else?). Should I dish out the money for this repair or cut my losses and try to afford a payment on a newer vehicle? I don't want to give up on my explorer but this is a lot of money here
 




Tech By Trade

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Until you know exactly whats wrong its hard to say. I would check the timing cassettes and go for there. The transmission is a big one too, if its just servo bore wear, easy fix, and a couple hundred, but a rebuild is a few grand. No experience with bad diffs yet so I cant help you on that one. I would probably fix the engine, fix or swap the transmission with one from a wrecker and sell it, but that's doing the work myself. If you cant its probably best to dump it while its still running.
 




Mbrooks420

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If the diffs were bad, and the tranny was suspect I’d crush it. Without a single doubt.
 




mbrando1994

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Well the issue I'm faced with is I can't really afford a newer version of what i have. It would be rough to afford the card payments for these repairs but it would be doable. Once the engine, trans, and diffs are fixed what else could possible go on it? I'm assuming i'd have a solid vehicle for quite some time after that, is that wrong?
 




Mbrooks420

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I’d think 3,000 would go pretty far in payments. That’s a lot to drop on a 14 year old vehicle with nearly 200k and a crappily designed motor.
 




mbrando1994

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I get that, but I don't know what else to do, I don't want to buy a different car worth 3,000 because chances are it'll have similar issues and won't have new tires and brakes or any of the other work I put into this thing. Believe me I get what your saying I just don't know what to do at this point, it's my only vehicle
 




Tech By Trade

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Those are most of the drive train flaws, other than the hub assemblies, Rads, thermostat housings, and perhaps a carrier bearing, but replacing the engine, transmission, and diffs, all that would be close to an entirely new drivetrain.
 




mbrando1994

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All the hubs/bearings have been replaced by me, so I know they're good, my plan was to find two good diffs at a yard and replace the seals/bearings/gaskets, and swap those out, don't have a plan for the tranny, but all it's doing is being a bit clunky when accelerating and letting off the gas. No slipping, no shifting issues yet. I'm guessing that could be driveline slack somewhere completely else like u-joints? The dealerships taking it Tuesday to have a gander, I'll post what exactly they say the issue is then. The rattle definitely sounds like it's coming from the rear of the engine but many people I've talked to said the front is the most common to fail. I'm assuming if they're pulling this apart it's a wise idea to just have them do a complete replacement instead of picking/choosing which parts are the worst?
 




Mbrooks420

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If the motor comes out, absolutely replace all of the timing related parts. I’d not let a dealship touch the transmission. I’d find a reputable local builder with the longest warranty available. Do you have a cv style front driveshaft?
 




boominXplorer

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The rear guide is most common to fail. It will even sound like it's coming from the front. Put your head above the passenger wheel and see if the noise is the loudest.

If you have any doubt about the transmission it might be time to let it go. Sure everything could be fixed but after you spend over $2k on the chains the transmission would be another $2500 and not warrant the value of the truck unless it's very sentimental. Then again the trans might just might just need a solonoid block.
 




mbrando1994

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What is your guys' experience with junkyard transmissions? I can get one at my local yard for less than $100, and swapping them out seems difficult, but I'd feel more confident with that than replacing an engine. The noise is loudest in the passenger wheel well. I don't really know what I'm looking for in the transmission though, as I said, I get a clunk whenever i let off the gas in any gear, and also when pushing the accelerator aggressively (don't normally do this unless it's to replicate the issue). I was told it's just driveline slack. I had it in for a fluid change but not a total fluid swap, and a new filter and they didn't note any concerns at that time. Basically just timing and differentials and everything else is solid right now. Less a few tune up things i could do myself in a day. Only newer car i found that i liked was a dodge charger for 2800$ that needs a water pump, but I'm assuming it could have been left overheat and those engines are prone to early failure as well.
 




mbrando1994

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So the dealership did their diagnostics today and said they could not replicate the noise. The tech said he wants to wait until tomorrow morning to listen again when the engine is cold. He said based on the information I gave him and from what he did hear today he is leaning more towards a valve lifter problem. What do you guys know about that and what happens if that is left go? I know what happens when the timing's neglected but what about the lifters? I know nothing of that.
 


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