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Have a 4.6L? Here's a problem I bet you all have...

KC10Chief

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City, State
Anchorage, AK
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Explorer V8
I have a 2002 Eddie Bauer edition with the 4.6L V8 engine. I discovered a problem, thanks to a couple people on this forum, that I'd be willing to bet others are having or are going to have. Especially if you have an 02-05 Explorer with the V8 engine!

Recently, my A/C stopped working. I noticed that the clutch wasn't engaging on the compressor. I checked the coolant and noticed that it was still full. I checked all of the fuses and relays related to A/C. All were fine. I jumped the low pressure switch and still, nothing. Finally, after asking on this forum, somebody messaged me about a wire harness on the 4.6 that runs underneath the oil pan. This harness runs right under the aft side of the oil filter. If you look up right in front of the front differential, you can see where it is rubbing on the drip tray for the oil filter. Sure enough, it had chaffed all the way through the plastic shielding around the wires and had cut through the wire going to my A/C clutch. It was cutting through the wire going to my starter as well. Check it out. I'll bet anybody with the 4.6L is having the same problem. Mine only has 65,000 miles on it.

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There is no way you can really get in there to work on it, so, you'll have to disconnect it in a few places and pull it out through the left wheel well. You'll have to disconnect it from the A/C clutch. The best way is to get at it through the right wheel well. I didn't need to remove the wheel for this. You'll have to disconnect it from the starter. Best way is from underneath, obviously. Make sure you disconnect the battery first!!!! There is a metal bracket that comes next. I found it easier to just bend the metal that was holding the wire harness, than it was to take the nut out holding the bracket in. There is another bracket like it closer to the drivers side. Just bend that too. Then, there is a small wire coming out of the harness, that goes to some sort of sensor for the engine coolant. You'll need to disconnect that one as well. It's a PITA. After that, you can remove the front, left wheel and pull the wire harness out. You can see how it cut right through my compressor wire. The rubber shielding was the only thing holding it together.

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I'd guess that you all have this problem if you have the 4.6L. Crawl under there and check it out. If yours hasn't cut through yet, you might be able to stick something in there and stop it.
 
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Gus Gorilla

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The Cradle of Naval Aviation
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Awesome write-up and awesome pics. Nice contribution to the site.
 
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bookbinder

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'02 Limited
Nice work. I'll be checking mine in the morning. Nice photos. Thanks.

Rick:exp::thumbsup:
 
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ExPlOrErImPoRtS

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2002 4.6 Limited
Yes mine too a year ago. removed the oil spill gaurd. mine was worn to the wire but no damage just to outer coating. was going to trim the plastic down so it would not hit anymore.
 
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KC10Chief

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2002 Explorer V8
Yes mine too a year ago. removed the oil spill gaurd. mine was worn to the wire but no damage just to outer coating. was going to trim the plastic down so it would not hit anymore.

Good idea. I would definitely do something to prevent this from happening again. I wrapped mine in a thick piece of plastic and electric tape. Should hold long enough for me to sell this thing. :D
 
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jakedrew

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wisconsin
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04 xlt
hmm,. i will have to take a peek when i get under mine.

thanks for the headsup.
 
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xlt03

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Bay Point, CA
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2016 Sport
Took a peek at mines today before going camping in the wilderness. And what do you know...mines was worn thru the spiral tubing and wore the insulation off of the smaller wire and exposing the copper wires. I removed the oil spill shield and trimmed, don't trim too much or you'll defeat the purpose of the shield. Taped the wire with Goriilla tape, bent the metal bracket upwards a bit to keep harness higher and away from spill shield and put everything back together. Now I know where the problem is and will monitor the tape and look for wear and trim more if needed. And as KC10CHIEF said, "Here's a problem I bet you all have". And a big THANKS to KC10CHIEF for the pictures and writeup. Check yours now to avoid the total cut through and ruining your day.
 
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Capt'n Morgan

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Year, Model & Trim Level
05 Limited V8 AWD
did they fix this by 2005 I hope? Anyone look at their 05?
 
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jtbuck92

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'03 Limited 4.6L
Hmmm....This explains a lot
 
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Partsman109

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Thanks for letting us know about this, I will be checking mine.
 
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jakedrew

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wisconsin
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04 xlt
quickly looked at my 04, and I see them wires you are talking about, but mine are not near the oil drain plastic piece.

I will poke around more, but I think I am ok.

thanks again
 
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Limited02

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Gardner, KS
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'02 Limited V8
Heard about this before and said I was going to look but yet haven't. Now hearing it again means I better go look because these 105+ temps are a B**** to drive in without the AC running.
 
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iBrent

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2005 Eddie Bauer 4x4
did they fix this by 2005 I hope? Anyone look at their 05?

'05 Eddie Bauer V8. Sure 'nuff the shield is worn through exposing the red and yellow insulations. Fortunately I caught it before it got through to the copper!
 
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rocco123

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Thanks for the post. I'll have to look at mine this weekend
 
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djwhoo2005

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Richfield MN
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2002 X 4.6 v8 Eddie Bauer
yup .. 02 x here.. 140 k miles. cable worn clean through to the copper.. i gotta climb under there and see what i can do.. plastic cover and tape....? and i probably will trim back the shield... Im gonna buy a new vehicle next.. guaranteed..wife says its gonna be a while though......lol
 
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JDraper

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It's not just the Explorers...my '04 Mach with the 4.6 motor had a similar problem. Sounds like Ford had some engineers that didn't understand wiring chafing.

I discovered it in '06 when I went to put in my electric water pump. Car had under 10k miles on it and the a/c wiring harness was just about worn through from rubbing on the cowling under my air filter....
 
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DavidS

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Kingsport, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
'02 Eddie Bauer
Any other users had problems with the 4.6L in an '02 cracking head, leaking coolant out when cold & etc.? Mine did this out of the blue and I'm afraid it's toast.
 
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57 t-bird

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98 xlt, 05 xlt
Hello Matt,

While perusing the Forum I came accross your post. The very next day I peeked under my 05 V-8 (purchased new January 05, 51 k miles presently) to see if there was a problem. Not even close, plenty of clearance, no sign of chaffing.

I did notice that the two bolts securing the spill guard were not snug. I wonder, did Ford alert its dealers to the problem and during an oil change, a tech removed the guard and trimed it back a bit to prevent rubbing against the harness? I like to think he/she might have.

Thanks for a great write-up, another reason I'm glad I'm a memeber of the Forum.

John, in Colorado
 
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Lebowski

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Crestwood, KY
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2005 Explorer 4x4
Why is it only a problem on the V8 and not the V6?
 
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