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Replace Timing Chains or Engine


DorianGray

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Explorer 2002
Greetings everyone.

I'm new here but i've been lurking the forum for quite some time now.

I have an 2002 Explorer 4.0 with 242,000 miles on it. Recently the timing chains started rattling badly and I need to fix the issue as soon as possible. The thing is my mechanical knowledge is very limited and I don't know weather is better to replace the timing chains with a full tune up or just replace the engine for a newer one with fewer miles.

I'll really appreciate your help and opinions.

Thanks a lot in advance.
 


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extra-medium

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Charlottesville, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Mercury Mountaineer
With that many miles I would suggest get a newer engine, but it really is a personal decision if you want to put that kind of substantial money into something where the chassis has almost 250,000 miles on it.
 




Number Twelve

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15 miles west of Tampa Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Ford Explorer XLT
14 years old...Outdoor Fords usually rust through the top at 20 years old, and I just can't abide a car that rains on the inside. If you're going to do very high mileage for the next 6 years, or keep it in a garage to minimize roof rust, replace the engine. Otherwise, look around for a different car.
 




plasticseng

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLS
I just replaced the chains on mine at 258,000. With me doing the labor, it cost me around $800, including buying the OTC timing kit, crane and engine stand, all of which I plan to sell. It was going to cost me $2500 or more to put a new long block in, and I would not have spent that amount on a vehicle this old.

I figured I was spending the equivalent of one or two monthly payments for most people, and I expect to get another 50,000 miles out of it, at least.

Mine is garage kept and I have maintained it well since it was new, including shocks, springs and ball joints. The transmission was rebuilt at 140,000 miles (I payed somebody to do the transmission).
 




mbed

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Explorer
I think large part of cost is removing and replacing engine. You need to do that to reach some of the chains. Mine snapped at ~121k mi and I swapped in a used engine with 47k on it...about 6-7yrs ago. just had trans rebuilt (snapped the 3rd gear band in trans) at 205k. Now needing U joints...if you rebuild, your trans may be the next big repair. good luck!
 




DorianGray

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply and share your opinions.

The Explorer has been kept in garage always and is in mint condition. After a little bit more of research I decided to just replace the chains. I talked to a trusted mechanic today that will do the job for $900. Also I bought a Ford OEM set. But after looking at some pictures on other threads I realize the kit seems incomplete. It seems that i just got 2 chains, 2 cassettes and 4 sprockets.
 




DorianGray

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Which kit is needed for 02 Explorer xls 4.0 rwd ?
 




Tech By Trade

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Your mom's house
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07 Sport Trac
I don't think your mechanic realizes he has to buy 300 dollars worth of specialty tools and remove the engine. Never trust anyone to do this job who has not done it before.
 




DorianGray

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He has done it before. He specialty is Audi/VW/Porsche but it is known for being one of the few that do the timing chain job on Explorers locally. He is giving a discount on the labor since he has worked a few times my 993 and 964 Porsche.
 




96firephoenix

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Ford Explorer XLT
I've got a (aside from minor surface rust) rust-free 02 with 132K on it that has been waiting a new engine for a while now. I was originally planning to rebuild a Craigslist engine, but it was too far gone, and replacing the parts would have been within $500 of getting a crate motor.

Ironically, not due to timing chains.
 




plasticseng

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2002 XLS
Which kit is needed for 02 Explorer xls 4.0 rwd ?
https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=5969472&cc=1377660&jsn=583&jsn=583

This is the Cloyes kit for 'no balance shaft'. I got a surprise; my 2WD had a balance shaft. There have been others on this site that have had the same surprise, but it seems to still be pretty rare.

For OEM, looking at the Motorcraft site, it looks like you have to buy a set for the mainshaft, a set for the front cassette, and a set for the rear cassette. I'm sure somebody here can confirm or refute.
 
Last edited:




drdoom

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Eddie Bauer 4.6L 4X4
Is it true that all 3rd gen V6 have the balance shaft?
 




plasticseng

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLS
Is it true that all 3rd gen V6 have the balance shaft?
Ford says only the 4WDs, but my 2WD had one. Some other posters have seen the same thing. It was probably an inventory / demand type thing at the plant level. "Hey, all we have is balance shaft engines, and we need to build some 2WDs".
 




DorianGray

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Thank you for the link, I appreciate it.

I went and bought the other parts locally. The engine will be out next monday so we'll see if there's also a balance shaft or not.

Thanks again everyone.
 




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