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CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
Elite Explorer
Joined
June 17, 2004
Messages
22,076
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City, State
Knoxville, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Limited AWD
Ditto. The rubber vacuum elbow is no big deal other than that someone didn't notice it in there when the VC went back on. The valve keeper is a big deal, that's all that holds the spring and valve together. Hopefully nothing more is messed up, but the mention of other plastic parts of the timing chain guides is also very worrying. You might be able to put the valve keeper back in, but why did it come out. You need to inspect the valvetrain very carefully, the valve keeper may not be the easiest thing to fix.
 


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Adam Robert

Member
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June 24, 2021
Messages
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City, State
Ruskin, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Explorer Sport Trac
Ditto. The rubber vacuum elbow is no big deal other than that someone didn't notice it in there when the VC went back on. The valve keeper is a big deal, that's all that holds the spring and valve together. Hopefully nothing more is messed up, but the mention of other plastic parts of the timing chain guides is also very worrying. You might be able to put the valve keeper back in, but why did it come out. You need to inspect the valvetrain very carefully, the valve keeper may not be the easiest thing to fix.
I’m not the best mechanic and there’s a chance I damaged it while trying to put the cam rollers back on. That’s what I’m hoping for.

All of the chains were just done, so that is very concerning for me as well, but I hope the loose cam spring just caused enough vibration to cause that. It doesn’t appear to be w super vital piece, so hopefully it’ll be ok when the spring is repaired.

I cannot believe I didn’t see that rubber piece when I was in it before. I guess that’s on me and I’m embarrassed, though it was pretty well tucked in a little gulley.

I won’t be able to look at the spring for about a week. Will report back then.
 




CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
Elite Explorer
Joined
June 17, 2004
Messages
22,076
Reaction score
2,496
City, State
Knoxville, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Limited AWD
Don't think about the missed vacuum piece any more, nobody's perfect and that did no harm. I took days recently to replace my 302's timing cover gasket, because I was very concerned about making a single mistake. That job is huge and PITA, nobody wants to do that twice in a row due to a little mistake. So far I have no leaking after two weeks.

The valve keeper requires a valve spring compressing tool to be able to R&R the two keepers on a valve tip. Find which valve it is and be ready with the tool to R&R the follower and get at the spring, and valve.

Check out the timing chain guides well, those are the weakest links given the tensioners being kept maintained also. When a tensioner weakens or fails, the plastic parts are what get worn down and come apart.
 




Adam Robert

Member
Joined
June 24, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
4
City, State
Ruskin, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Explorer Sport Trac
Don't think about the missed vacuum piece any more, nobody's perfect and that did no harm. I took days recently to replace my 302's timing cover gasket, because I was very concerned about making a single mistake. That job is huge and PITA, nobody wants to do that twice in a row due to a little mistake. So far I have no leaking after two weeks.

The valve keeper requires a valve spring compressing tool to be able to R&R the two keepers on a valve tip. Find which valve it is and be ready with the tool to R&R the follower and get at the spring, and valve.

Check out the timing chain guides well, those are the weakest links given the tensioners being kept maintained also. When a tensioner weakens or fails, the plastic parts are what get worn down and come apart.
Well, the mystery intensifies. I got back into it today and was very hopeful that I could find the cause of my remaining engine noise was this missing valve spring keeper… unfortunately it does not appear to be the case. As can been seen in the first three pictures, all of the keepers appear to be there and none of the springs appear to be loose. Am I missing something?

In a different discovery, the chain on the front does appear to have tension on its top side, but I’ve discovered the bottom side is awfully loose as can be seen in the 4th picture with a screw driver pulling it up. This is surely the cause of some noise. I would think maybe the tensioner is bad, but then again it is putting tension on the top side. I can’t seem to get the cassette to close tighter. What can I do to fix this?

The 5th picture is the tensioner.

8EF7139A-9AB7-4849-BFC5-7DA19F93CE68.jpeg


FC532E11-7350-4702-8DCA-CB1FC525A3F1.jpeg


F2746C83-9AA7-4FE2-AF4E-B4EA1048296E.jpeg


7F5CC81F-397B-4A51-8EBE-A94ED034540E.jpeg


1615DC9B-F67E-4349-86FA-FED67279CB47.jpeg
 




Adam Robert

Member
Joined
June 24, 2021
Messages
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Reaction score
4
City, State
Ruskin, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Explorer Sport Trac
Well, the mystery intensifies. I got back into it today and was very hopeful that I could find the cause of my remaining engine noise was this missing valve spring keeper… unfortunately it does not appear to be the case. As can been seen in the first three pictures, all of the keepers appear to be there and none of the springs appear to be loose. Am I missing something?

In a different discovery, the chain on the front does appear to have tension on its top side, but I’ve discovered the bottom side is awfully loose as can be seen in the 4th picture with a screw driver pulling it up. This is surely the cause of some noise. I would think maybe the tensioner is bad, but then again it is putting tension on the top side. I can’t seem to get the cassette to close tighter. What can I do to fix this?

The 5th picture is the tensioner.

View attachment 340663

View attachment 340664

View attachment 340665

View attachment 340666

View attachment 340667
Additional note, I did take the tensioner out as it does appear to be lacking I guess. Not only am I able to apply compress it by hand, but when I do it feels like there’s some strange friction within it, then suddenly much less resistance. I will look at getting another new one tomorrow.
 




CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
Elite Explorer
Joined
June 17, 2004
Messages
22,076
Reaction score
2,496
City, State
Knoxville, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Limited AWD
Replacing the external tensioners is a good idea whenever you find any issue related to the timing chains, because they are weak links and also not very expensive.

The timing chains won't be tight all the way around, only one side should be tight, which is the driven(pulled, under tension) side. That also changes as the camshafts rotate, due to forces of the valves. So try to figure out how much slack there is in each chain overall. What you hope not to find are broken or missing pieces of the plastic cassettes, or any internal tensioner parts etc. You cannot see much with the VC's off, just the upper parts of the chain and cassettes.
 




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