How to inspect timing chain / guides | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to inspect timing chain / guides


Well-Known Member
March 14, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Boston, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Eddie Bauer
2002 4.6 V8: I've been hearing noise coming from the front passenger side of the engine consistent with what may be broken guides for the timing chain. I had the chain and everyrhing replaced less than 2 years ago. Hoping this is not happening again. One of the reasons I kept the truck when other things went wrong figuring the chain should be good for another 100k.

Anyway, when I removed.the maybe a lifted problem, I could see some of the chain and sprocket but not much else. From what I could.see it looked intact. Is there a way to properly inspect the chain and guide without pulling things apart?.

The chain broke on me before, but if was just the guides this time, any ballpark on costs?

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Seems unlikely that the guides would go again. But if they did, the cost would be about the same as replacing the chains, as the guides and chains come as a kit. Its also the same amount of labor to do them both. Id check your injectors and your pulleys, the idler pully in particular. You can try and take a long handled crew driver and use it like a stethescope. Put one end on the valve cover and the other on the side of your head. You will be able to feel the vibrations change as you move it from place to place.

Thanks.for the response. I failed to mention that this sounds revs up and down with revs of the engine. It's most noticable at slower speeds, for example ascending a small hill at a slow speed. As I climb the hill the noise gets louder, then gets lower when the engine shifts gears. Would bad pulleys sound like this? I'll probably take it to a mechanic; just want to make sure I'm not taken to the bank.

inpect the valve springs. my explorer broke one spring at 58.000 miles. i was thinking about the chains but was intact. inspect the springs usually some of them broken.

Ok. I'll check the springs. When I had the cover off, I just sort of pressed on them to see if there were any spongy feeling , but didn't feel anything. I didn't check to see if any were actually broken. I'm baffled because the engine seems to run so smooth, gas mileage is good, and no check engine lights. Just that crazy noise.