Have a 4.6L? Here's a problem I bet you all have... | Page 4 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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

This was my problem also, 2002 V8 4.6L Explorer, No Start condition. Also replaced the starter (it froze up), and after replacing that and the ignition switch, found this article, which was the problem. The periodic shorting is what caused the starter to lock up it seems.
AWESOME pics on this, was very easy to locate for a non-mechanic!

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Just corrected the issue with the little drain thing today (I trimmed it back). The wire loom is cut through where it was rubbing, but as far as I can tell the wiring itself isn't damaged. Thanks for the heads-up!

The oil pressure gauge on my '02 Explorer just bottomed out yesterday...

I went to Autozone and picked up a new sensor, then went home to replace it.

Low and behold - the stupid oil filter shield had cut into my harness as well! Thankfully it was only the oil sensor that went out so far.

I will be performing the dissection of the wiring harness tonight. Does anyone know what type and size (gauge) wires I should get in order to replace and splice in a new sections?

I may need to splice all the wires - depending on how it looks when I take the harness apart...



Thanks to this thread I was able to get this issue resolved on my truck before anything bad happen. The insulation on my red wire in the loom had been abraided away to the point where I could see about a millimeter of the copper wire exposed. I first pushed the retainer bracket up about 1/4 inch to get it off the oil shield. I then coated the now exposed area of wire with liquid wire insulation and let dry. I then used a 5 inch section of 3/4 id vaccum hose split (length wise) to wrap around and cover the damaged area of the loom. Finally I secured the hose in place with plastic wire ties being sure to position one of the ties so that the locking tab maintains the 1/4in gap between the oil filter shield and the now repaired wire loom. The wire is now fully protected from future contact with the shield.

Thank to everyone for this info and for those who have not checked into this issue do it ASAP before you need a more extensive repair!:thumbsup:

Just crawled underneath to look at my bad oil filter housing gasket and checked this while I was down there. It's definitely worn through. For now I was able to pull the harness up and over the drip shield so that it runs underneath it rather than over. I'll repair the wire on Tuesday when I replace the gasket. Because that gasket is bad though, the ENTIRE area around there is SOAKED with oil.

What did all you guys use to clean it? I need something to clean everywhere. I've got a case of brakleen, will that work or should I get something else?

My wire loom was really not that dirty so I just wiped it clean. I would think brakleen should work just fine since no adhesive is involved. I would be sure to let it dry completely if you plan to use liquid wire coating as I did or it willnot take.

Pulled my wire loom today to find that there really wasn't much damage done to it. I guess it just looked much worse because it was caked in oil... It turns out it was the a/c compressor clip at the very end of that wire that was bad. I wiggled it and it kicked right on. I'm going to try and find another plug in a junkyard and splice that in. Maybe if it's a little longer it won't want to pull out....

It was definitely a PITA though.

I sure am glad I found this thread by accident.

I haven't had AC in my truck for as long as I've had it (~8months) and I finally decided to try and figure out what the hell was going on. I checked all my vacuum lines and the refrigerant, all was well. Got up underneath the truck and unplugged the compressor, cleaned the plug, and reconnected it and still had nothing. Then noticed that my AC clutch wasn't kicking on so I checked all my fuses and they were also all good. This left me thinking my compressor was bad and that it was going to have to be replaced. Well after getting ready to search the forum for another topic and saw this thread and low and behold here lies the answer to my issue.

After checking it out, the wire for the oil pressure sending unit might as well have been cut in two, the ground wire for the AC clutch was held together the other side of the outer shielding and the power wire for the starter was starting to be cut into. My truck now has 118K on the clock and came from Alaska. It's hard telling how long the AC hasn't been working.

All I have to say is thank god for forums! And a huge thanks to KC10 for starting this thread!

THANK YOU!!!!! Dealer wanted $800!!!!! said compressor and clutch were bad. jack wagons!!!!!

so I repaired those wires and the clutch FINALLY worked! for 10 seconds???? now theres no B+ to clutch wire yet fuses are good. LOL

You need to trace out the circuit, checking at each connection for power. It could be a low/high pressure switch, dash switch, or bad connector. Start at the fuse box and trace through until you find the break.

If you don’t want to remove and trim the shield, you could protect the wires with a short piece of vacuum hose. Slice the hose with a razor blade and slip it over the edge of the heat shield where it rubs. A little weather strip adhesive will keep it in place forever. Sounds like Ford should do a recall on this problem.

so I repaired those wires and the clutch FINALLY worked! for 10 seconds???? now theres no B+ to clutch wire yet fuses are good. LOL

Just use a DVOM to see where you have power, and where you lost it. And don't forget that the low pressure cutoff switch or the A/C control switch (control panel) may not be sending power for a reason.

I would ground the DVOM to the battery negative, and just use the red probe to find power/12v.

I can't recall if power is sent all the time, and ground is only sent when each switch in the daisy chain allows it to be, but that would be my guess.

My first indication I had was that my oil pressure alarm kept going off. found and fixed the chaffed through wire, thanks

Thanks, been running without AC for a season or two. This could explain a ton. 02' XLT

Seems like they may have fixed this on the 2005's

Excellent post ! I came across it by accident and immediately went to the garage to take a look at mine. Looks like there is plenty of clearance on my 05 Mountaineer. I pulled the drip tray to see it it may have been modified, looks like a factory molded edge to me.

Now I'm back to the drivers side heated seat switch (detents shot) and ... a broken manual lumbar on the passenger side.

THANK YOU KC10chief!!

02 Mountaineer. No symptoms, but decided to check that trouble spot just in case. Sure enough, the oil spill shield had scrubbed through most of the outer wire loom. Cut away enough of the shield to prevent further damage.

Thanks for a great catch and description!


Thank You for good hint!
I bought month ago -02 explorer 4.6 Limited 4x4, and I immiteadly checked wires.
"Unfortunately" in mine A/C loom was unharmed, but A/C don`t work.
Been cold here in Finland (under minus -30 deg. in celcius / -22 F), but it was in firms hall, and after two hours inside in 68 F; still nothing.
Magnetic clutch in compressor dont connect. Lights in dashboard works like it shoud be in full working order.
What I can check next, and how? Cold stuff; is it still there, fuses? Any ideas?

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.



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.



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.
Looks identical to mine, except mine was the oil sending unit wire that was cut. oil pressure gauge was going crazy!

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To all who have had this problem... it will also affect your oil sending unit readout. Pressure indicator in dash will start going from 0 to reading and alarms constantly. The drip piece cut my oil sending unit wire wire in to.

Thanks for this post! It helped me i.d. my problem. :)