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Random Clattering Noise

CaptainComet

Active Member
Joined
September 22, 2009
Messages
53
Reaction score
2
City, State
Clearwater, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Sport
Hi all,

I have a 98 Sport with 4.0 SOHC motor. It has 91K miles now and has just developed an odd random clattering noise. I feel like I should already know what this noise is ... seems old school, like I had a 70s-era car that did the same thing.

It does not vary with engine speed, and does not change if the A/C is turned on or off. Cold or warmed up. no difference.

You can hear it better if you are under the radiator than above the motor.

It does not seem to be coming from PS, AC, idler pulleys, valve covers, or engine itself. I was using a large dowel rod as a stethescope to try to pinpoint this. Could not get to the water pump due to the belt.

The fan does not seem to be loose or wobbly. Do fan clutches get noisy as they age?

How about AC clutches?

A bit stumped here .... seems to be running fine. I would think that increased engine speed would increase it or make it go away, but no real change.
 
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Abbondanza

Well-Known Member
Joined
June 13, 2011
Messages
181
Reaction score
0
City, State
Long Island, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XLT 4.0 OHV 170k
I had a similar noise, sounded like a small rock rattling around in a tin can.

In my case, it turned out to be the tensioner pulley.

Initially I couldn't tell it was the pulley making the noise (thought it may be the alternator), but replaced it because like you I couldn't pinpoint the source and they pulley was a relatively cheap fix attempt.

If you remove the belt and rotate the pulley by hand, you can get an idea of what the bearing's condition is. On mine, the whole unit that held the pulley was started to come apart, causing an off rotation angle, which was probably why the bearings went.
 
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98Explrrrrer

Member
Joined
March 13, 2013
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
City, State
Niagara ,ON
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer Sport
Had a similar noise turned out to be the connector on my transmission pressure line coming loose found out when a bunch of fluid was lost all over the ground .

Check the lines from under the vehicle the come off the rad on the drivers side .

my truck is in getting fixed or I would send you a picture.
 
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CaptainComet

Active Member
Joined
September 22, 2009
Messages
53
Reaction score
2
City, State
Clearwater, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Sport
the tensioner pulley makes sense ... I'll pop the belt off and check all the accessories without have the belt keeping everything tight.

This noise is while the truck is sitting still idling and while you rev the engine without it moving, so that eliminates u-joints ... although those are on my list to replace ... trying to track down a 70 mph shake, and they are suspects.

No leaks. But thanks for the suggestions.
 
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delexploder

Explorer Addict
Joined
March 11, 2012
Messages
1,987
Reaction score
106
City, State
Greenwood De.
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 ford explorer sport
I hope its your tensioner but sounds like timing chain guides or tensioners
 
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CaptainComet

Active Member
Joined
September 22, 2009
Messages
53
Reaction score
2
City, State
Clearwater, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Sport
Thanks for the ideas, guys ...

I will be looking closely at the balancer. Had one seperate on my last daily driver (non-Ford) and eat a bunch of stuff on it's way out the door. Stupid thing still ran really OK, even though it chewed up a plastic timing belt cover.

"Gee, what's that noise?".... :eek:

No belt squeal, so hoping that is OK.


Timing belt tensioners ... that is the first place I was listening and things sound fairly quiet there.

The noise sounds like a ring of keys in a coffee can, and pretty much out front and in the open.... not muffled.
 
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