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Help - need advice! Replace timing tensioners only, or chains too?

BobRob

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Good to know. Someone priced a Jasper to me yesterday at ~$3200; yikes!!!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the block he got was for his kids Dakota, not the Explorer so $3,000 is about right for this beast
 


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cscmc1

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I still have not pulled the valve covers. The more I look at the metal shavings in the pan, the less confident I am that this motor would last a whole lot longer. It might well do just fine, but I might also be on borrowed time.
 




rb142

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Be sure to get all the plastic debris out of the oil pickup or it will definitely be on borrowed time.
 




cscmc1

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Be sure to get all the plastic debris out of the oil pickup or it will definitely be on borrowed time.

:thumbsup:

Yeah, that's why I'm leaning toward a junkyard motor. If mine weren't so nasty looking in the oil pan, I'd just install new timing components and call it good. I'm still on the fence, though.
 




cscmc1

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The plot thickens: I pulled the pass side valve cover and, lo and behold, the rear guide is intact and doing its job. I need to check the front cam guide, but boy am I tempted to try to fix these things in the truck and just button it back up w/o pulling the engine. Things looked really clean under the valve cover.

Oh, and adding to all this: the motor I had found locally turns out to be from a RWD vehicle (no balance shaft), and when I checked the VIN from the Explorer it's coming from, I discovered that in 2013 the mileage was at 155K -- that's 3k more miles than my current engine. Not sure it would be worth swapping.

Man, I am kind of stumped. Sort of tempted to try fixing what I've got and take a gamble... maybe swap out the oil pump too, if it's not a real PITA.
 




BobRob

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The plot thickens: I pulled the pass side valve cover and, lo and behold, the rear guide is intact and doing its job. I need to check the front cam guide, but boy am I tempted to try to fix these things in the truck and just button it back up w/o pulling the engine. Things looked really clean under the valve cover.

Oh, and adding to all this: the motor I had found locally turns out to be from a RWD vehicle (no balance shaft), and when I checked the VIN from the Explorer it's coming from, I discovered that in 2013 the mileage was at 155K -- that's 3k more miles than my current engine. Not sure it would be worth swapping.

Man, I am kind of stumped. Sort of tempted to try fixing what I've got and take a gamble... maybe swap out the oil pump too, if it's not a real PITA.

Sounds like you are in the same exact boat I was in. Changing that tensioner in front made all the difference with my engine. If you do go the same route I went, make sure you pull the "grenade pin" on the new tensioner after you install it. My manual didn't mention it and it's rather obscure looking if you are expecting to see it.
 




cscmc1

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Ha, yes, I did notice the "hand grenade" pin right away, but could see how it might be overlooked. I need to look at the left (driver's side) guides tonight and see if they are bad I am hoping not, as that would require retiming things, but am guessing that cassette needs replaced too (if the slack I could feel in the chain is any indication). I can always hope, though! It would sure be nice to just do the main and balance shaft tensioners.

Speaking of the balance shaft, that looks like it's going to be a pain. Not looking forward to trying to get that upper pan off.
 




BobRob

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Have you given any thought to removing the chain altogether?

I was tempted.
 




cscmc1

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Have you given any thought to removing the chain altogether?

I was tempted.

Yes -- I have mulled that over quite a bit. Not sure I want to go that route, but if it's going to save me a lot of labor, it is certainly tempting. I have seen that most folks suffer no ill effects after removing the balance shaft chain, but I would like to keep it if I can. I suppose I could look at the tensioner and see if there's any way to leave the original base in place and install the new piece.
 




cscmc1

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Hot damn -- my cam guides are both intact! My luck has been too good lately... not that I'm complaining. Now I just need to figure out how to replace that balance shaft chain tensioner w/o too much hassle. Life is good (for now, anyway)!
 




BobRob

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Hot damn -- my cam guides are both intact! My luck has been too good lately... not that I'm complaining. Now I just need to figure out how to replace that balance shaft chain tensioner w/o too much hassle. Life is good (for now, anyway)!

Nice!

I regret not doing something about mine but have no plans of removing the front cover again. I will be removing the pan and probably the cradle soon if it's not too much of a PITA
 




cscmc1

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Nice!

I regret not doing something about mine but have no plans of removing the front cover again. I will be removing the pan and probably the cradle soon if it's not too much of a PITA

Well, I fought the balance shaft chain tensioner for about 4 hours last night. The tensioner won, and I lost. Even after filing the spring piece down in three spots to try to get it to fit on the existing base, it would NOT go on under the chain. I have no idea how other members have been able to slip that spring assembly onto the existing base w/o removing the cradle.

I gave up after midnight and will cut the chain out today. If you want my tensioner to try installing it, you're welcome to it (though it took a beating while I was trying to install it!). I'm done with that bugger; I will do w/o a balance shaft. :)
 




BobRob

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Well, you know what they say, "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it".

I've been giving some second thought to my decision to leave the balance shaft chain with no tensioner and I'm getting a little worried that I didn't address it when I had it apart. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes with removing yours.
 




cscmc1

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Well, you know what they say, "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it".

I've been giving some second thought to my decision to leave the balance shaft chain with no tensioner and I'm getting a little worried that I didn't address it when I had it apart. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes with removing yours.

You've got that right (the "if it were easy" part). I plan to pop the chain out tonight and start cleaning & buttoning things back up. I did lots of reading here and sound NO instances where deleting the balance shaft created issues. Someone said two junkyard engines w/o balance shafts were installed in a 4x4 and later blew, but there's no way to tell whether that's a balance shaft issue. Others report a fine running engine for tens of thousands of miles.

I'll keep you posted! :thumbsup:
 




BobRob

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You've got that right (the "if it were easy" part). I plan to pop the chain out tonight and start cleaning & buttoning things back up. I did lots of reading here and sound NO instances where deleting the balance shaft created issues. Someone said two junkyard engines w/o balance shafts were installed in a 4x4 and later blew, but there's no way to tell whether that's a balance shaft issue. Others report a fine running engine for tens of thousands of miles.

I'll keep you posted! :thumbsup:

Thanks.. My biggest concern is if that chain decides to come apart while I'm driving... :eek:

But I haven't heard of that happening.....yet:D
 




cscmc1

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Well, the truck is mostly back together. I got far enough to try a test start last night, and at first my heart skipped a beat and then sank. Rough running and a real nasty clatter, like valves hitting pistons. I was confused as to how that could be, since I loosened no timing pulleys and removed no chains. I went inside for about 10 mins to confirm that my plug wires were reattached in order (they were), then came out and checked that they were all seated (they seemed to be). Restarted the truck and she ran smooth as could be. Maybe reseating the wires made a connection that had been broken? Or maybe the chains needed to run, then stop and find their natural resting position? Beats me... but it seems to be running OK now.

I hope to test run it a bit more after work today. Wish me luck! I also need to figure out how to hold the crank pulley in place while I torque the balancer bolt its final 90 degrees.
 




BobRob

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Congrats on getting it back together and running!

I didn't pull any plug wires when I did mine so I can't say but it sounds plausible. Either that or the computer needed to wake up.

As far as tightening the harmonic balancer, I put two 100 mm bolts in the puller holes and used a long screwdriver to hold it against the torque. I reused my HB bolt and just cranked it down until I get another. I've put 1000 miles on it since and it's been OK... I check it every couple of days to make sure it's OK.
 




cscmc1

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Good idea on the HB bolts to hold for torque. Thanks! And yes, it's entirely possible that the truck just needed to sort itself out after having the computer unplugged for several days. I also noticed a slight miss at about 3k rpm (in park, not under load), so I may have an air leak to track down, but overall I am very happy (so far).

Good luck with your balance shaft chain removal (or repair, whichever you wind up doing). Hope it goes smoothly when you tackle it!
 




BobRob

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Did you end up cutting the balance shift chain?
 


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