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Need opinions


Active Member
November 4, 2013
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Ford Explorer AWD
Hey all. I have a dilemma.

I've been trying to find the most cost effective way to fix my 02 Ranger, and it's come down to the simplest thing being an engine swap.

So, I've found a 98 Explorer with 108K at the junkyard. I pulled the valve covers to check the cam timing marks and well, I'm sure we all aware of what it should all look like at TDC.

Here's what I saw. Passenger side seems a little off and yes the timing chain was just a little loose, but I have all new parts to throw in.

What does anyone else think?



Inevitably, I can see myself pulling the head to check if there is piston slap or not. I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS!

The goal here is to have a sealed engine that needs little to no work to get running (but I'll be putting my brand new timing set on anyway).

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..I'm going to move this to our Ranger Sub-Forum so the Ranger guys can help with this..;)

Btw...What is your location and I'm assuming this is the 4.0L?

I'm in NEPA and yes this is a 4.0L SOHC.

FWIW, I'm having ZERO luck finding parts for this heap. That's been my problem since day one.

..:scratch:..Where is NEPA?

North East PA. or you are at work and work for the Government?

..Others in your area would chime in if you had your location under your name..and if you don't get any help in this sub-forum we can move it to the "Under the Hood" sub-forum for you..;)

Yes, North East PA.

What the Hell does my location have to do with whether or not to take a chance on this engine??

..To answer your question it will help you in the future when trying to find parts, services, and others tend to help someone local to themselves.

Say you are looking for a good used sealed motor...For arguements sake my friend just pulled a low mileage 4.0l out of his Ranger to put a race motor in and he's almost giving it away..

If you wers local I could get you two together and he has a bunch of parts for the same model truck as yours that he is removing which also may be of some help to you.

We tend to share lots of parts and info on this site with all the members and even if you think a location is not important to someone out on the West Coast, it is..

We actually have a vendor with a recycling yard in PA that I myself buy parts from regular.

Now buying an unkown motor from some junkyard I would think is a huge gamble but if it came from our vendor in PA I would say that gamble just turned to a good deal with a great guy who stands behind what he sells so your chances would greatly increase for what you are wanting to do.

The 4.0 itself is a great motor but since you do not want to open it up to inspect what you bought while it is out of a vehicle leaves it up to some guys word at a junk yard..

:scratch:...It's a coin toss..

I hope I answered both your questions for you..:D

What vendor would this be?

I really, REALLY need my truck back on the road.