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Explorer Shut Off On Highway With Reduced Engine Power


New Member
December 20, 2017
Reaction score
City, State
Dade City, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Ford Explorer XLS
Been trying to figure this out for a few weeks now, being busy with a baby and all is kind of hard to get this done, pulled the valve covers to check the timing chains. They Seem Ok, One Chain in the rear has a small amount of slack on one side, the other (the side with the tensioner) will not budge but in honesty it seems to jump a tooth it would've been unlikely. It was making a tapping noise before it shut off almost like a knock. Truck turns over and cranks sometimes starts but only for a brief moment like .5 seconds.... it does the same thing with ether.

I feel as though it may be fuel issue, I have fuel at the rail and it is pressurized so a fuel pump I have almost ruled out, I am going to do a fuel pressure test as soon as I get a chance maybe this weekend. Pulled Spark Plugs and they were extremely black (sooty) likely factory plugs with 167,000 miles on them (ford motorcraft). I notice on these third gens there isn't a whole lot of information on them and I am trying my best to do my part and contribute to the forum that I use.

(Does anyone know the fuel pressure that these things are supposed to have while the key is turned?) I cant find the information.

My guess is that this is the fuel pressure regulator. I have no engine codes which makes this diagnosis a little bit difficult. This is my beater I drive all across the state of Florida, trying to get this bad boy back on the road as soon as I can!

If anyone has any information or if any of this happened to them let me know my goal is to make this no crank no start situation helpful for the community.

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Was the rear chain grinding away at the bolt that is supposed to hold the top of the rear cassette? If the tensioner is in place there should be no play on either chain.
Did the rear look like the first or second picture?


it still had the guides in place actually like the first picture I'm hoping it didn't jump a tooth, the front one was tight on both sides. the rear was loose just on that side where your guide is missing in the second photo

there were no grind marks or nothing, no broken plastic etc.. I can pull the valve cover tonight when I get home. Ford did a great job engineering this one to be serviced by their techs.

Funny the chain has play. I wonder if your tensioner is stuck in. Easy way to tell if it jumped a tooth would be to set #1 to tdc and check and see that the notches in the cam are directly parallel to the head.

That sounds like a good place to start. I'll try and take some pics of it later on tonight if I get a chance to work on it, the funny thing is I actually read your forum before I signed up, you had some bad luck with your explorer for sure! I owned a wrangler before this so I know the struggle of working on a vehicle every other week..... now I know why I got this thing so cheap!

Funny the chain has play. I wonder if your tensioner is stuck in. Easy way to tell if it jumped a tooth would be to set #1 to tdc and check and see that the notches in the cam are directly parallel to the head.

Hey Tech By Trade just got off the phone with my buddy who is a mechanic he just told me confirming what you said that, I kind of knew the answer to the question when I asked it in this forum, it isn't supposed to move at all. Thank you for all of your help. I'm going to attempt to tackle this unfortunately during my holiday break/vacation. Will be doing a write up with pics on how I did it etc. Fortunately I already have the intake and valve covers pulled so I'm part way there, now to get on to that transmission unbolted and either yank the engine or pull the transmission.

I pulled the engine. Beats the hell out of rolling around on the ground trying to do all the work, and with the engine on a stand its a lot easier to do. You also can swap out the oil pump with the engine out, you cant with it in because you need to drop the cradle and it needs to come out to do that. You also need to pull the cradle to change the chain on the balance shaft if you are going that far. good luck.

That sounds like what I'll probably end up doing. Makes sense since it is out to go ahead and do that, This is my first overhead cam engine all the other engines I've had were overhead valve engines but fortunately I have pulled a few engines before for different reasons but have pulled them.

Sounds like its going to be a process but it sure as hell beats a car payment, and I literally cant justify sending it to a shop when I can take on the job, Fortunately I am blessed it is 70 degrees down here and I have other means of transportation in the meantime.

Sounds like you are in the same boat I was, except I just dropped 350k on a new house with a garage. Luckily I had ran heat to my garage before I did mine.

I had just bought a house this year as well. lol actually in September 29, and had my son this year July 16. This is going to be fun.