Help! pretty sure my timing chain is shot.... | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Help! pretty sure my timing chain is shot....

TheExplorerGirl

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1999 Ford Explorer
Hi,

I need some advice. I have a 1999 Explorer XLT with the 4.0 SOHC 4x4 motor. Got it cheap fot will be making payments for the next year on it. It was rattling pretty bad and I was told it was the chain and tensioners. Well, a couple weeks ago, the oil pressure gauge went nuts and was jumping from high to low. Was told the tensioner was shot? My question is, does that sound right? And if so, I'm being told a motor swap makes more sense than to replace the chain. Does it have to be the same year motor? Is it worth doing if the rest of the truck is in decent shape? I'm struggling to figure out what to do. Funds are really tight. Any help would be great! Thank you :)
 


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4rd Xplora

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No real help here, but this weekend I'm going to pick over an Ex that a friend is giving me that's in the same shape, model and year as yours. This one also has a sun roof and tear drop wheels, my friend decided against the chain repair and wanted to junk it. Like I said, no real help.
 




2000StreetRod

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buying someone's problems

Pieces of your failed timing chain cassette may be blocking the oil pickup screen or an oil passage affecting the oil pressure.

Around here a 1999 with bad timing chains sells from scrap value ($600 to $800) to around $1500 depending on the condition of the rest of the vehicle. That's because paying a shop to fix the timing chain problems often exceeds the value of the vehicle. The person who sold you the vehicle had probably already made that determination. Special tools and knowledge are required to replace the timing chain cassettes and retime the engine. It is often less expensive to pay a shop to replace the engine with a salvage engine than repair the damaged engine. Unfortunately, there's the possibility that the salvage engine may have now or in the near future the same problems. If you or a "close friend" are mechanically inclined and have the tools (crane or hoist, OTC 6488 timing tool kit, etc.) then you can save a lot on labor repairing the engine. Otherwise, I suggest considering just selling it and trying to recover your purchase price.
 




Flash

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@ StreetRod

Does the '99 model have the improved steel backed guides or does it still have plastic?

I was thinking it might be worth a shot to replace the tensioners as that can be done easily with the engine in place.
But if it's been rattling for a while and it has plastic guides then they're probably shot.
 




2000StreetRod

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plastic cassette guides

My 2000 had the all plastic cassette guides
RCasset.jpg

and the unimproved hydraulic tensioners and primary chain tensioner.
PrimWorn.jpg

Since the oil pressure is fluctuating that indicates cassette or primary chain tensioner failure. Removing the oil pan and checking for pieces would help diagnose the source of the oil pressure problem.
 




TheExplorerGirl

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Thanks.I'll check for pieces in the oil pan, this weekend. Or have a friend do it. Lol I'm not mechanically inclined lol is it worth the money to fix it if I can get an engine for around 600?
 




2000StreetRod

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low mileage replacement engine?

Thanks.I'll check for pieces in the oil pan, this weekend. Or have a friend do it. Lol I'm not mechanically inclined lol is it worth the money to fix it if I can get an engine for around 600?

For $600 I doubt it is a low mileage engine or one that has had the cassettes replaced. You could easily end up in the same situation soon after replacing the engine.
 




bajaman19

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I would find a 4.0L OHV engine to swap into it. Then you would only have to worry about one timing chain because it is a pushrod engine and not an OHC engine.
 




boominXplorer

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I would find a 4.0L OHV engine to swap into it. Then you would only have to worry about one timing chain because it is a pushrod engine and not an OHC engine.

^^^^^Its not an easy swap nor worth it for the loss of power.

If it still runs at all you can probably save it. The oil pickup is blocked due to timing chain debris. New quality chains and gaskets are about $700 then plus labor. I do timing chains on the regular and it is about a 16 hour shop labor job. Its definitely not for the shade tree mechanic.
 




2000StreetRod

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more complicated

I would find a 4.0L OHV engine to swap into it. Then you would only have to worry about one timing chain because it is a pushrod engine and not an OHC engine.

While the OHV V6 doesn't have timing chain problems like the SOHC V6 it is susceptible to head gasket failure. Switching from an SOHC to an OHV V6 adds more complications (PCM, PATS, wiring, etc.) and reduces maintainability due to a non-standard configuration. In my opinion it would not be a good choice for someone who has to pay a shop to do the work.
 




bajaman19

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While the OHV V6 doesn't have timing chain problems like the SOHC V6 it is susceptible to head gasket failure. Switching from an SOHC to an OHV V6 adds more complications (PCM, PATS, wiring, etc.) and reduces maintainability due to a non-standard configuration. In my opinion it would not be a good choice for someone who has to pay a shop to do the work.

True, I guess I just considered it because of the timing chain issues of the SOHC compared to the OHV.
Im doing the SOHC to OHV swap because of the reliability(in my opinion) of the OHV engine. And besides my SOHC just totally jumped timing and i already had the OHV engine in a garage because my original plan was to fully build it.:thumbsup:
 




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