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Knocking-Rattling

F SANE IL

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December 12, 2012
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City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer EB V6 4x4
I've got some crazy rattling or knocking noise coming from the car. Can't figure out if it's engine or trans or maybe the radiator fan. Could it be timing chain? It's sort of like the noise these cars have on a cold start. However, this noise keeps going from start well into running warm. Hope I don't have to swap motors already. :( Any general advice? I can make a video.....
 
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VW got some crazy rattling or knocking noise coming from the car. Can't figure out if it's engine or trans or maybe the radiator fan.

Could it be timing chain?

It's sort of like the noise these cars have on a cold start. However, this noise keeps going from start well into running warm.

Hope I don't have to swap motors already. :(

Any general advice? I can make a video.....

F Sane, your signature says you have a 2000 Explorer. That would be a pushrod 5.0 motor. Why are you posting here?

That being said, as far as modular motors go, anything is possible but I have a 1997 E150 with the 4.6 mod V8. It was making a noise that I could have sworn was coming from the front of the motor. Turns out the noise was being telegraphed and it was coming from the flex plate that had cracked almost 100% around the flywheel mounting bolts.

I even saw a YouTube where the guy had torn the whole front of the engine off , only to discover there was nothing wrong there. It was his flexplate making the noise. This was in a Crown Vic.

25K later, mine started with the same noise again. It was the same problem. Another $600 and this time a race certified flex plate was used. So far every thing has remained well.
 






F Sane, your signature says you have a 2000 Explorer. That would be a pushrod 5.0 motor. Why are you posting here? That being said, as far as modular motors go, anything is possible but I have a 1997 E150 with the 4.6 mod V8. It was making a noise that I could have sworn was coming from the front of the motor. Turns out the noise was being telegraphed and it was coming from the flex plate that had cracked almost 100% around the flywheel mounting bolts. I even saw a YouTube where the guy had torn the whole front of the engine off , only to discover there was nothing wrong there. It was his flexplate making the noise. This was in a Crown Vic. 25K later, mine started with the same noise again. It was the same problem. Another $600 and this time a race certified flex plate was used. So far every thing has remained well.

Sorry. iPhone thinks it's time to play games.
Instead on VW I meant to say "I've". Yes it's a 2006 4.0L. I'll have to fix my sig.
 






Sorry. iPhone thinks it's time to play games. Instead on VW I meant to say "I've". Yes it's a 2006 4.0L. I'll have to fix my sig.

Figured out my rattling noise. It's mainly the rear timing chain. Did some research, I'm thinking replacing the tentioner is too late. I need to swap the chain guides.

Can anyone recommend a video with procedure?
 












Try looking on YouTube. Seems they have something about everything.

Yeah. That was my first step. Looks like everyone who's gone into the rear timing chain adventure, has pulled the motor out. I heard there's a way to do it without going that route.
 






Update:

Just in case if anyone is actually following this post. I dropped by a mechanic who was highly recommended specifically for repairs related to the DOHC motors as he's dealt with these on a daily basis working on lots of Towncars and Crownvics, as well as other Ford engines.

Long story short, he confirmed that it sounds like the rear chain it the one that's making the most noise and recommended I have a compression test done prior to deciding to go into the motor. I used the nice Sunday weather to do just that, each cylinder checked out at 180 PSI. I was told that if its 120 or under, do not bother with the motor and start looking for a replacement. At 180 PSI, it should still be good to use and repair worthy.

I was told that the motor will need to come out and they will not fuss around with pulling the transmission to waste time seeing if its possible to go that route. Labor alone was quoted $500-600 plus the cost of parts.

Dropped the car off today, will update once I get a call, which was said to be in two days.
 






Update:

Just got a call back... That was quick!! Only 3 hours later after dropping the car off.

Double checked that the tensioners will not fix my loud rattle as the chain guides have probably busted to bits. Also, the front chain is making noise as well, just not as bad as the rear one. In any case, the parts come as a kit versus just by piece. Cost of parts is anywhere from $380 from aftermarket to $550 for dealer stuff.

So, I'm looking at about $1100-1200 total. Silver lining, its cheaper than purchasing a replacement motor. Not to mention that a used replacement may have the same problem, which will require $500 worth of parts anyway and who knows what else could be wrong with another used motor.

I guess I'll keep you guys updated on how well the job goes, the outcome and mechanic recommendations. This guy is in Brooklyn, NY.
 






More "good" news. Got a call saying the radiator is cracked. I already knew that. No extra labor costs, just more parts. Another $150 for the rad. "Awesome!!!"
 






dirt cheap

$600 labor to replace the rear cassette and the front primary tensioner is just plain dirt cheap. Make sure the shop has the timing tool kit (OTC 6488) to time the camshafts.
 






$600 labor to replace the rear cassette and the front primary tensioner is just plain dirt cheap. Make sure the shop has the timing tool kit (OTC 6488) to time the camshafts.

He's getting the full timing kit. According to him, "you can't just buy rear cassette" so he's going to replace all parts that come in the kit. That includes front cassette as well. Well, now the radiator too.
 






timing chain kit vs timing tool kit

Timing chain kit:
TimingKit.jpg


Timing tool kit:
OTC6488Kit.jpg


Individual cassettes, tensioners, etc. are still available from Ford but they cost more: SOHC V6 Timing Chain Related PNs

Some of the aftermarket timing chain kits are just junk: SOHC V6 Timing Chain Parts Sources
 






Timing chain kit:
View attachment 77469

Timing tool kit:
View attachment 77470

Individual cassettes, tensioners, etc. are still available from Ford but they cost more: SOHC V6 Timing Chain Related PNs

Some of the aftermarket timing chain kits are just junk: SOHC V6 Timing Chain Parts Sources


Thanks for chiming in, your links have great info. I'm sure the shop has the right tools since they work on these engines all the time. I just meant that the shop owner was trying to get me just the rear chain to see if he can make it cheaper (I think), but in the end, i figured I might as well change everything. The engine is coming out anyway... He's not charging additional labor for anything related to disassemble/reassembly since its all coming out anyway. That's why I chose to swap the radiator as well, otherwise it would cost probably another $100 or so in labor to swap that thing.

Overall, appreciate the info you provided. for some crazy reason I didn't see this thread when searching.
 






Update:

Got another call, they're working on the front chain and putting everything together, guy says my water pump is leaking. Knew that already as well, gave him the go ahead to swap it out. $70 seems like an okay price for avoiding a headache down the line.
 






so your radiator and water pump was already leaking prior to the timing chain dilemma?
 






so your radiator and water pump was already leaking prior to the timing chain dilemma?

Yep.. I knew about the radiator, even tried to epoxy the crack, it was at the top.

The water pump, another mechanic noticed few months ago while changing and filling oil. At the time, I figured I'd just ride it out through winter since it's a cold one. The water pump just had a few drops, not gushing or anything. Since then, I haven't even thought about it.

Now is a good time as any to swap the rad and pump, so be it. Hope I can drive another 50k with these repairs.
 






What's the mileage on your rig? For your sake I sure hope you get 50k more out of it.
I've been there before.
 






What's the mileage on your rig? For your sake I sure hope you get 50k more out of it. I've been there before.

Lots of miles, but knock on wood it seemed healthy when I performed the compression test.

UPDATE:

Called the shop today an hour before they close since I didn't get an update. Shop owner says, "We had the EX running for about 15-20 min, the mechanic is literally leaving the shop now for a 20 minute test drive. Everything seems okay so far and should be fine. He's going for a drive anyway to make sure. Come tomorrow, we open at 8am"

I'm pretty excited, haven't seen the EX in a week. Been driving a borrowed X5, feels like I'm driving a Flinstone's car, it's so stiff!!

I'll update tomorrow after driving and take some pics of the old parts. Shop boss said they had to fish the front/bottom tensioner out the oil pan and all the plastic guides were torn to shreds.

This whole thing dawned on me literally a week or two ago. The rattle sound was always there a bit but I guess the guides blew up and that's what made the really crazy noise out of nowhere.
 






LAST UPDATE:

After all said and done, got to the shop on Saturday morning, got the key to test drive it. Fired up the engine and all i heard was exhaust noise, totally quiet motor. I was super happy..... Went for a drive, all is well, then pulled up to the shop and saw that I was leaking coolant, which was fixed in under 1 minute. One of the hoses was a bit loose, but other than that, car drove fantastic! I ended up driving to South Jersey from Brooklyn, NY with no problem, no noise, no worries.

As for the old chain and parts....
They showed me the box of old parts that they pulled out of the motor and it totally made sense why the noise was so intense and there might also be some metal shavings in the oil. The plastic guides were torn to shreds and were off the metal guides were being worn down by the chain and were pretty bad. It was easy to see where the chain was grinding the metal guides, a few more miles like that and I'm sure the chain would have total free play and I wouldn't be surprised if it would jump timing at that point. Also, there were other items there, like the oil pan seals, which had to be replaced since the front guide pieces were inside the oil pan. Water pump looked okay, but you could see it was leaking. Overall its all good now.

I'm happy so far, the drive to Jersey was smooth and I noticed right away that the MPG efficiency went up significantly! It was around 9-10MPG, now I'm at 14.5MPG. Going to do some more maintenance, plugs/wires/filter/etc... to see if I can improve. However, I'm sure that the timing was iffy when the chain was loose, so now its a bit better.

Knock on wood, this is the last major repair for a while.

Thanks for reading my thread and hope it helps anyone with the same issue. I'll try to return here and post updated info when I do maintenance on this again, replacing the tensioners before they actually fail.
 



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