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Solved SOHC V6 Timing Chain Parts Sources

2000StreetRod

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For some time I have been encouraging members to purchase Ford OEM timing chain related parts and avoid parts from unknown manufacturers. At least two forum members posted that they had purchased inexpensive aftermarket timing chain components that were very poor quality and unreliable. It seems that the least reliable timing chain components that result in engine damage upon failure are the left and right timing chain guide assemblies and hydraulic/spring tensioners. A broken guide assembly or weak tensioner can result in timing chain slip. If the chain slips too much the pistons will strike the valves. A seized tensioner can cause a guide assembly to break. Broken guide assembly fragments can wedge against the timing chain causing it to break.

Last year I received an e-mail from an engineer employed by Cloyes stating that their timing chain guide assemblies were supplied by the same manufacturer that supplies Ford as OEM components. Since then I have cautiously recommended Cloyes as an alternate source for the Ford SOHC V6 timing components. Last night I was fortunate to "win" new Cloyes left and right cassettes and tensioners on eBay at a significantly reduced cost. When I receive them in a week or so I will compare them to Ford OEM almost new components I won on eBay two weeks ago.

Since the engine is usually pulled to replace the right cassette it is obviously undesirable to utilize inferior components that can fail early and cause expensive engine damage. I encourage members to post in this thread their comments regarding timing components they have purchased from various sources (PCI, Rockwell, 4USA, InnerFireGear, 1A Auto, etc).
 


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2000StreetRod

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Ford guides superior

The photos below compare the front and rear views of left cassettes from Cloyes and Ford. In all photos the Cloyes cassette is above the Ford cassette. Contrary to the information I received from Cloyes, their guides are manufactured by Borg Warner and are not identical to the Ford guides.
LFrnt.jpg

LRear.jpg


The plastic guides mount to the metal frame with clips that include a tit that fits into a hole in the frame. On the slack side there is a clip at each end of the metal frame and one between the ends. On the traction side there is a clip at each end and two between the ends. The clips keep the guide in position relative to the path of the chain.

The photos below show more detail of the traction side clips.
LFBoth.jpg

LRBoth.png

The Cloyes (Borg Warner) clips do not clamp the metal frame adequately and the tits are not engaged. The end clips will prevent the guide from moving lengthwise but the loose middle clips may allow side deflection of the guide. In my opinion the Ford guide is superior to the Cloyes guide.

The plastic guides are the weakest part of the cassettes. The chains and sprockets from both manufacturers seem to be of good quality and will probably last at least twice as long as the guides. However, if a guide fragment sufficiently binds a chain the chain may be damaged or break.

LFrnt.jpg


LRear.jpg


LFBoth.jpg


LRBoth.png
 




2000StreetRod

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right guide ladder brace & tensioners

The photos below compare the front and rear views of right cassettes from Cloyes and Ford. In all photos the Cloyes cassette is above the Ford cassette. Once again the Cloyes guide was manufactured by Borg Warner and is not identical to the Ford guide.
RFrnt.jpg

RRear.jpg

The most notable difference is in the latter brace on the traction side. While it is hard to detect from the photos, the width and thickness of the ladder brace is slightly greater on the Ford guide. Unfortunately, Ford did not choose to reinforce the traction side with metal even though when it fails the engine is normally pulled to replace the cassette.

The left and right tensioners from Cloyes (shown below) appear to have been manufactured by Borg Warner. They seem to be of good quality and the spring pressure may be greater than that of the Ford ones I installed in my engine last year.
BWTens.jpg


RFrnt.jpg


RRear.jpg


BWTens.jpg
 




KC90

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My kit I bought was from 4USA, contained everything but crank and jackshaft sprockets. The parts look exactly like the Ford ones above. But my old parts I replaced looked like the Borg Warners above.

Old cassette left and new 4USA kits on right

IMG_1287small.jpg


I havent had a problem yet engine wise, no rattling or indication of broken components. Been over 1500 miles since I put the engine back in.

EDIT: Also the kit came with updated 6 leaf spring tensioner for the jackshaft. Other kits I have seen still use the 3 leaf. My old tensioner that blew up was 3 leaf.
IMG_1295small.jpg

4USA40timingkit.JPG
 




Hitchhikingmike

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Great info. Thanks for posting it.
 








damarble

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scdix50

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Do you have a time line for early guide failures on non-Ford OEM. I replaced mine at 160K, I do not plan on running this explorer much more than 200K. I did not use Ford OEM, so far I am happy with what I used.
 




explorer-aus

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Thought i'd put my thoughts in aswell, as this is may help peoples decisions. I ended up buying the 4USA kit because Ford Australia wanted $400 AUD for just a tensioner. The kit came and looked good quality, the front guides are backed with metal and the front primary tensioner has around 8 leaves instead of the original 3. They also offer a manufacturers warranty.

I have put the kit in and it seems to be running well, no chain rattle and car accelerates nicely. If it blows up i'll be sure to tell you!
 




XLT99

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I picked up the cloyes set off rockauto earlier this year, but between work, school, and other crap i havent gotten the motor out yet. Once i do ill post up some pics of the old and new sets, and let ya know if it blows up or lasts lol. As long as it makes it a few years til i can ditch the v6 and add a couple more cylinders ill be happy :D
 




MtExplorer Guy

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Anyone in need of the tools, I have them!

I have a brand new OTC 6488 Kit that I thought I was going to use, unfortunately after tearing into this engine, I decided to buy a new engine, so I now have a new timing tool kit, never used that I would like to sell, if your in need, then perhaps I could help.
 




MtExplorer Guy

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Thought i'd put my thoughts in aswell, as this is may help peoples decisions. I ended up buying the 4USA kit because Ford Australia wanted $400 AUD for just a tensioner. The kit came and looked good quality, the front guides are backed with metal and the front primary tensioner has around 8 leaves instead of the original 3. They also offer a manufacturers warranty.

I have put the kit in and it seems to be running well, no chain rattle and car accelerates nicely. If it blows up i'll be sure to tell you!

I also have purchased one of these kits, first class parts, unfortunately, I am not able to use it, so it is available if someone needs it, I had to purchase a new engine, so let me know.
 




SteFin

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How much for the kit, I still have one engine to rebuild. steve dot benchmark at gmail dot com
 




2000StreetRod

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Ford's latest cassettes

I just found the photo below posted on ebay by Tasca parts.
7U3Z-6A257-A.jpg

The part number is 7U3Z-6A257-A and there is one notable difference from the 2002 design. Sometime around 2004 either the head or the block casting was changed making it extremely difficult to remove/install the front cassette without removing the head. Ford changed the pressed pivot bushing to a circlip bushing. Some members have found they can disassemble the guide assembly by removing the circlip, install the cassette guide and then reinsert the circlip avoiding head removal. The listing states the cassette is for the following:

2004-2006|Ford|Ranger::4.0L V6 SOHC EFIS
2001-2005|Ford|Explorer Sport Trac::4.0L V6 SOHC EFI
2002-2005|Ford|Explorer::4.0L V6 SOHC EFI
2002-2005|Mercury|Mountaineer::4.0L V6 SOHC EFI
2001-2003|Ford|Explorer Sport::2 Door 4.0L V6 SOHC EFI
2007|Ford|Explorer Sport Trac::4.0L V6 SOHC EFI
2005-2007|Ford|Mustang::4.0L V6 SOHC EFI

However, if I search their website with the part number the applications go all the way back to 1997.

Below is the photo for the right cassette (PN 4L2Z-6M290-AA) listing.
4L2Z-6M290-AA.jpg

with the following applications:

1997-2010|Ford|Explorer
1998-2010|Mercury|Mountaineer
2001-2005|Ford|Explorer Sport Trac
2007-2010|Ford|Explorer Sport Trac
2005-2010|Ford|Mustang
2001-2011|Ford|Ranger
2001-2003|Ford|Explorer Sport::2 Door

I see no improvements from the 2002 design. Also, the above listing verifies that the Mustang cassette is the same as the Explorer.
 




explorer-aus

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Update ladies and gentleman,

After approximately 40,000 km (25,000 miles) the front timing chains have begun to rattle again using the 4USA kit. I believe it is likely the front tensioner has failed. I will be buying a new tensioner and seeing if that rectifies the issue.
 








explorer-aus

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Sorry, to clarify; the hydraulic/spring tensioner due to it quieting down a bit after initial start up.
 




jmorozco

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I have a 97 Explorer 4.0 SOHC I buy the 4USA kit and the Timing Tensioners coming bad, I try to buy the tensioner but the ford website give me this PN:6K254 but I see 2 different tensioners what is the correct I need the front tensioner.
I install the original tensioner but I hear a loud noise in the front of the engine sound like the chain but is a new one.
 




2000StreetRod

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part numbers

Left timing chain tensioner 7U3Z6K254B
I just checked Tasca Part's data base and the above number is good: $61.28
Here's a link to my list of SOHC V6 Timing Chain Related PNs which I try to keep current.
The front (left) tensioner is longer than the rear (right) tensioner as shown in the photo below of the Borg Warner tensioners
BWTens.jpg
 


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jmorozco

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Thank you, 2000StreetRod
If any different in the left tensioner with the original because the two original tensioner in my explorer have look like the right tensioner in the picture.
 




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