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SOHC V6 timing 2004 Explorer

wrench fiddler

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City, State
Virginia
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 Explorer
I have a 2004 4WD Explorer with almost 200K miles that I have to change the timing cassettes on.
This will be my first, hands on engine job that will go beyond a timing belt change on a Honda, which was a breeze compared to what this appears to be.
I have seen the great write ups from 2000StreetRod as well as the you tube video series on this project and fell comfortable with what is in store for me. I still have a couple of questions that I have not seen answered I need some help with.

From what I can see so far, the chains have not jumped as TDC for #1 is matching up with the slots on the back of the cams. The slack side of the back chain though is riding on the top of the guide not along side it. I'm not completely sure how the timing is still good after seeing where the chain is but the but cams are lining up perfectly with #1 at TDC. Maybe it happened while getting #1 to TDC??? There was a slapping noise when I rotated the crank

Should the crankshaft and front jack shaft sprockets be replaced? I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to replace them but would rather spend the money elsewhere if possible.

I was considering changing the oil pump out due to the mileage and saw a post that said to "see the ladder assembly instructions". I have not been able to find them in the forum. Does anyone happen to have the link?

The driver's side head has quite a bit of sludge (not as bad as some pictured here but enough to be ugly) but the other head is clean. Any ideas on why only one side would be fouled?

Due to the sludge and that the master gasket kit I ordered has head bolts included, are there any horrors I should watch out for if I pull the heads off?
It seems pretty straight forward but I just want to make sure there is nothing hiding that has not been shown in any of the pictures/videos. I realize that I would have to have them surfaced to put back on.
 



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Hi Wrench,

I'm not going to be able to help you with everything, but your timing is perfect. I too have a 2004 XLT 4WD, and I have just ordered the timing kit and tools. I have many years of wrenching, and It would benefit me if you can answer a question for me. What is prompting you to change the cassettes? Have you been hearing noises? I have 164,000 on mine, and I am getting nervous with the "diesel knock" sound that I get for a couple of second on cold start up. It seems that even though the cassette material and other updates were made after 2002, they still wear out.

In my opinion, if you are going through all the trouble, I HIGHLY suggest that you spend the extra and change all of the components; gears, chains, etc. In addition, I have read on many of these thread that the Torque-to-yield bolts must be replaced. I am trying to get answers from others about where I can find the part number for these bolts.

Good luck with the job, and I hope that your Exploder is worth the work. I owe $1,300 on mine, so for me it is worth the money.
 






engine assembly instructions

. . . I'm not completely sure how the timing is still good after seeing where the chain is but the but cams are lining up perfectly with #1 at TDC.

When the upper part of the rear cassette guide breaks
GuidPost.jpg

timing changes very little because that section of the guide is fairly straight.
RCssttV.jpg


. . . There was a slapping noise when I rotated the crank.

When the crankshaft is manually rotated the jackshaft sprocket pulls the camshaft sprocket via the timing chain. As the camshaft lobes pass maximum the compressed valve springs will advance the camshaft causing slack in the chain.

. . . Should the crankshaft and front jack shaft sprockets be replaced?

The primary (crankshaft to jackshaft) sprockets and chain are very strong and should last 500K miles unless the chain has been damaged due to a failed primary chain tensioner. The only reason I replaced mine at 150K miles is because I purchased a primary kit at a dealer closeout cost on eBay.

. . ."see the ladder assembly instructions". I have not been able to find them in the forum. Does anyone happen to have the link?

If you PM me your email address I'll send you a copy of the engine assembly instructions (same goes for you gmben) that describe alignment and installation of the block cradle. There is also a proper way to remove the block cradle which I will post soon somewhere.

At some point (possibly 3rd generation) there was a change in either the block casting or head casting that makes installation/removal of the cassettes difficult with the heads installed due to insufficient clearance.

. . . It seems that even though the cassette material and other updates were made after 2002, they still wear out.

All of the updates were incorporated in the 2002 and later year models. The traction side of the rear cassette guide assembly was never metal reinforced and can still break.
DSCN8608.jpg


. . . In addition, I have read on many of these thread that the Torque-to-yield bolts must be replaced. I am trying to get answers from others about where I can find the part number for these bolts.

Part numbers for timing chain related components: SOHC V6 Timing Chain Related PNs
 






Thanks StreetRod. Much appreciated, and I'm glad you could give better insight on the job for Wrench Fiddler. I'm vindicated in ordering the whole kit ($615) since the rear guide can still break as you have shown.

Thanks also for the part numbers; a major time saving post.
 












Gmben
The reason I am changing the cassettes was due to the terrible noise that could be heard when the car was running. You could hear it from over a block away.
I have pulled the engine out and torn down including the ladder and the 1 end bearing cap that holds the gasket.
It is amazing that I got the car to the garage. The lower 1/2 of front crank cassette and 2/3s or the rear cassette are missing. They are nowhere to be found. All I can assume is that the sludge I found in the left head is from ground up cassette pieces. The right head was very clean.

Between StreetRods great write ups and you tube I have not seen much that I was not expecting. So far the worst has been just removing the engine


Here's are some additional tips that I have learned so far
1) I removed the radiator, which is a super pain in the butt. You might be able to leave it in but since I have done it before and knew the process I went ahead and pulled it for the extra room.

2) I left the power steering pump/hoses and AC compressor in car. Tied them up to the front. No additional mess to clean up.

3) The top transmission bolts are a real pain in the A_ _ .!!!!! The wiring harness attaches in the rear of the block and has a plastic bracket that fills the space that you need for your hands. I will try and remove it prior to putting engine back in but I need to see how many harnesses have to come of and if they can all be reached. A standard wrench was not really long enough and I did not have room for a ratchet. I will get some long reach wrenches when I go to put back. (love all of the new tools)

4)Make sure you push back the torque converter bolts toward the transmission once undone from the drive plate. Will help get the clearance to lift up and you will not end up with transmission fluid on the floor.


5) The Ford tool set makes the timing issues a breeze. One holds the crank only at TDC or TBC, so there should not be a question of am I off a couple of degrees.
The same goes for the camshaft brackets. The rear one only fits correctly one way and it should line them up correctly for the timing.

6) I removed the heads due to the sludge I found on the drivers side and the cassette did not want to come out without lots of bending. It also gave me the opportunity to check the cylinders. They look great not a score or mark in any of them.

7) Jasper has a TSB on how to time balance shaft. Not very difficult. You have to remove the key way though in order to remove the rear sprocket

8) There are star headed bolts holding the balance shaft to the block. They have a small head. I buggered one up and had to grind the head off to get it out.
The local Ford dealer only sells as a special 5-7 day order in sets of 4 for $32. I will try Fastenal or internet. Hopefully will find something for less.

Since I will probably have a few days of waiting I am looking at replacing the oil pump but most places are showing only the upper drive gear as being available, no pump.
Pumps will show up on aftermarket sites at first until you verify the application and then they say it does not fit? Local Ford dealer is researching. They did not come up with valid part #

One thing that I am not sure of is what bolts are actually torque to yield and need to be replaced? Haynes only has the crank and head bolts as needing to be replaced, not he Jack/Intermediate shaft bolts or the cam bolts. Even the dealer says they usually do not sell those and they have to be ordered (they may not realize they are included in the timing kit though and would not be something their own service department would need)
 






cassette pieces

There are multiple places that may contain cassette pieces. The obvious one is the oil pan and oil pickup tube screen. I found a piece of the rear cassette in the head pocket near the lower cassette guide bolt. I also found a piece behind the jackshaft rear sprocket.

TTY bolts and torque values: SOHC V6 Torque Specifications
 






I found 7 small pieces in the oil pick up screen and have put a scope in places where I can't see and I have not been able to locate more. Could anything find its way in the jack shaft raceway?? would not seem likely but I have not pulled it out.
 












Gmben
The reason I am changing the cassettes was due to the terrible noise that could be heard when the car was running. You could hear it from over a block away.
I have pulled the engine out and torn down including the ladder and the 1 end bearing cap that holds the gasket.
It is amazing that I got the car to the garage. The lower 1/2 of front crank cassette and 2/3s or the rear cassette are missing. They are nowhere to be found. All I can assume is that the sludge I found in the left head is from ground up cassette pieces. The right head was very clean.

Between StreetRods great write ups and you tube I have not seen much that I was not expecting. So far the worst has been just removing the engine


Here's are some additional tips that I have learned so far
1) I removed the radiator, which is a super pain in the butt. You might be able to leave it in but since I have done it before and knew the process I went ahead and pulled it for the extra room.

2) I left the power steering pump/hoses and AC compressor in car. Tied them up to the front. No additional mess to clean up.

3) The top transmission bolts are a real pain in the A_ _ .!!!!! The wiring harness attaches in the rear of the block and has a plastic bracket that fills the space that you need for your hands. I will try and remove it prior to putting engine back in but I need to see how many harnesses have to come of and if they can all be reached. A standard wrench was not really long enough and I did not have room for a ratchet. I will get some long reach wrenches when I go to put back. (love all of the new tools)

4)Make sure you push back the torque converter bolts toward the transmission once undone from the drive plate. Will help get the clearance to lift up and you will not end up with transmission fluid on the floor.


5) The Ford tool set makes the timing issues a breeze. One holds the crank only at TDC or TBC, so there should not be a question of am I off a couple of degrees.
The same goes for the camshaft brackets. The rear one only fits correctly one way and it should line them up correctly for the timing.

6) I removed the heads due to the sludge I found on the drivers side and the cassette did not want to come out without lots of bending. It also gave me the opportunity to check the cylinders. They look great not a score or mark in any of them.

7) Jasper has a TSB on how to time balance shaft. Not very difficult. You have to remove the key way though in order to remove the rear sprocket

8) There are star headed bolts holding the balance shaft to the block. They have a small head. I buggered one up and had to grind the head off to get it out.
The local Ford dealer only sells as a special 5-7 day order in sets of 4 for $32. I will try Fastenal or internet. Hopefully will find something for less.

Since I will probably have a few days of waiting I am looking at replacing the oil pump but most places are showing only the upper drive gear as being available, no pump.
Pumps will show up on aftermarket sites at first until you verify the application and then they say it does not fit? Local Ford dealer is researching. They did not come up with valid part #

One thing that I am not sure of is what bolts are actually torque to yield and need to be replaced? Haynes only has the crank and head bolts as needing to be replaced, not he Jack/Intermediate shaft bolts or the cam bolts. Even the dealer says they usually do not sell those and they have to be ordered (they may not realize they are included in the timing kit though and would not be something their own service department would need)

Thanks Wrench. I had a couple e-mails between Streed Rod and myself. My frustration is that had been getting the two tell-tale signs of imminent; rattle at cold starup and what sounds like "pinging" while climbing a hill. The engine running between that 2500 and 3500 rpm range. It actually runs quite well, so I did not want to spend the time and money if it were nothing to worry about. However, at 165,000 miles, I am walking a fine line between rescue or a catastrophic failure. Apparently, these do not all make the "dying" sound when the cassettes are failing. Not worth the risk letting it go too much longer.

Thanks for sharing the tips on the engine removal. I really don't want to touch the A/C, so it is good that it can be done without removing it. Parts should be arriving by the weekend, so I have my work cut out for me. Hope it goes well for you. Hopefully, we will both have good news in few weeks.

Thanks Street Rod, and Wrench.
 






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