Intermittent Oil Pressure [4.6] | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Intermittent Oil Pressure [4.6]


Active Member
August 2, 2011
Reaction score
Greenville, SC
City, State
Greenville, SC
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer Limited 5.0
I haven't posted in a while. I have a 2004 EB 2WD Explorer with a 4.6L engine. I love it, but it's getting a lot of miles and has some issues. I'm in Upstate NY, but the truck is from GA, so no rust. Anyway, I was driving about a month ago and noticed some unhappy lifter noise. I looked at the gauges and the oil pressure was reeding zero. The warning massage "Low Oil Pressure" was displayed a few times. I got off the road and tried to check things out. There was plenty of oil in the sump, so that wasn't the issue. Also, pressure would rise to normal and then drop-off again. I figured it wasn't just a sensor malfunction because the engine sounded like it was hating life. In desperation, I dumped an extra quart of oil in there and tried to delicately limp my way back home.

I can still run the engine, but it makes a lot of noise that it didn't before. The valvetrain noise is a lot quieter, but I hear a lot of what I believe is timing chain rattle. I suspect the timing guides broke and are in the sump. That would explain the intermittent pressure loss.

I have 251k miles on this truck, and it has a few other issues that will eventually need to be addressed, but it is one of the few vehicles I've ever had that I've enjoyed every time I got in it. I did a compression check and the numbers I got were all between 120 and 125. That was dry. I didn't do wet, but I suspect it goes up, because I never felt like I was lacking power.

I know it is best to rebuild the engine, and I have a laundry list of things I want to do, but if I change the timing chains, will that get me going for now? I'm not riding high on the hog right now, or I wouldn't be posting this. I would just buy a bunch of tools and tear into it.