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sport trac timing chain

Michael Gennello

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"03" sport trac xls
Have 03 4.0 SOHC sport trac with 305000+ miles running strong engine. Love this truck over my 2011 SRX caddy for long runs but lost confidence in engine on long trips with truck. Have thought of engine replace & had my mechanic do some research on engine ie: compression check etc.. He feels changing timing chains should be fine along with some minor replacement parts. My question is can anyone tell me what the part #'s would be for genuine Ford parts as they got me this far. I always changed oil every 3000 miles since new ( I know that's not needed now adays) but that's the old school in me.
 


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ms_427

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01 Sport Trac XLT.
Not sure on the Ford part number for the timing set I just bought a timing set for mine. I did however get the bolts that need replaced on the jackshaft and a balancer bolt. Rear Lower sprocket to jackshaft bolt W703167-S430 , Front sprockets to jackshaft bolt 2L2Z-6279-AA , Harmonic balancer bolt E7RY-6A340-B. Those are oe ford those are torque to yield and are a must. For the timing set I went with Cloyes part number 9-0398SB. The Ford ones you have to buy it all individually. That one is for 4WD. It does make a difference as 4WD ones have a balance shaft and 2WD ones do not. This is a set with all the chains guides sprockets tensioners and the rear plug. it was just under 300 on Rock Auto. Timing cover gasket TCS45986 Upper oil pan gasket OS34309R lower pan gasket OS30687R. Valve cover gaskets VS 50529R. Rear Main is BS40619. Intake manifold MS 96123 Those are Fel-Pro part numbers for those gaskets. I plan to do the rear main seal since the engine I am going to use has sat for a few yrs. I have a extra engine. The extra one is actually the origional to my Trac and only has 132k it had a tension guide break and shoot out of the valve cover. I so happened to know some history on my trac as Its been in the family a while. At that over 300k it would be good insurance to replace the chains maybe even get a reman or do a rebuild on that engine if you plan to keep it a while. Engine has to come out to do the right bank chain anyways
 




koda2000

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Ask @david4451 about his experience with the Cloyes TC set. I'm in the middle of the same job as you (plus head gaskets) '01 RWD ST w/Job 2 SOHC. if my engine is salvageable i'm going with the Motorcraft TC set. I pulled my engine this past Saturday and put it on the engine stand today. I hope to have it completely torn down by the weekend. Then there a week of checking stuff and cleaning to be done.

Some may argue that the Motorcraft TC set quality is less than stellar, but I think it's the best quality set available. It's just a lousy design (plastic parts) with the passenger side cassette requiring he engine to be removed to replace it.

Yes the Motorcraft set is way more expensive and doesn't include as many parts, which need to sourced separately, but this is a huge job and I only want to do it once.

s-l1600.jpg
 




ms_427

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01 Sport Trac XLT.
Koda2000 To each their own on parts prefrence everyone has different experiences with parts I intend to do this job once but we own vehicles powered by a 4.0 SOHC theres always a chance this can happen. I do this work as a profession and have had experience with plenty of OE timing sets and Cloyes timing sets. If I dont run OE stuff I use their stuff. I also use a engine assembly lube oil or grease type on the guides. I also change the oil in a 4.0 at no more than 5k I ll stretch it to 5K if I take it on a decent road trip 1k of highway miles total type trip. Mike having over 300k on his and hasnt done them because he changes oil every 3k.
 




CDW6212R

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The oil quality is a huge deal with these SOHC 4.0 engines, that is the one factor most of the conversations glaze over.

I've got the Cloyes set to do mine soon too, and the Ford external tensioners. I'm hoping the cassettes are similar in quality, and those are the biggest weak links, toughest to change.

That being said, I avoid Cloyes, since about 1981, when they advertised a seamless timing set for a 351 Cleveland. I got it, it had seams in the rollers, and I said I would avoid buying anything from them again. I got no good answer from them when I called about the issue, no one knew anything, why the part was sub standard(competitors made seamless chains), no apology etc. I pay attention to quality for future needs.

Oil, change it at proper times, for the given oil quality, and air filter quality, and oil usage etc. My 99 never used oil in any measurable amount over 5k miles etc. I installed an Amsoil EA air filter at one point, and next oil change used their Signature oil(good for up to 25k miles). I watched the oil regularly, month after month. I hit just over 9,000 miles, and the oil was still transparent, and nearly full(1/16" down from the full mark). I was satisfied with that, and kept driving it.

Then after a couple more weeks I happened to look at the dipstick again, bam, it was black. I was very surprised, but the dramatic change made me think, ... what's the air filter look like. There was the problem, the cone filter inside the air cleaner(Volant), it fell off, the clamp was not tight enough. I changed the oil immediately, and tightened the air filter clamp. That was about 20k miles before I stopped driving the truck, it's at 152k now with the trans out of it. I'll get back to using the Signature oil again, that works great when the oil will stay clean, and the engine not consume any of it.

My 98 302 needs a quart of oil every few weeks, 1k-2k miles. I can't see using high dollar oil with that amount of oil loss. I use the most feasible synthetic oil for that, which now is the Castrol Magnatec 5w-30, $16 a jug by Amazon(now over $18 by subscription(they keep changing pricing)).
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TS9ZYWI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 




koda2000

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@CDW6212R - Your oil staying clean doesn't sound like a good thing to me. Non-detergent oil used in solid lifter engines stays clean, but it's because the dirt stays in the engine. There's always dirt being created as a byproduct of combustion, no matter what air filter you use, so you want something to clean the engine and suspend the dirt while still providing excellent lubrication.

As far as regular oil changes with high quality oil be important... sure no one can argue with that, but the typical SOHC TC failure begins with the plastic guides breaking. I've asked this question multiple times before, but please tell me how changing engine oil every 3,000 miles prevents plastic guides from breaking? No one has ever offered an answer to my question.

@ms_427 - Genuine Motorcraft parts are always expensive, but considering the huge difference in price between the Cloyes and Motorcraft TC sets I gotta wonder about the overall quality of the Cloyes set at least a little. @david4451 isn't the only person here to have experienced "substandard performance" using the Cloyes set. I'll spend the extra money for the Motorcraft parts in this case. For something more minor I'm not opposed to using less expensive aftermarket parts, but for critical parts (and it doesn't get much more critical than timing chain components, especially when the engine must be pulled to replace them) I feel more comfortable going with Motorcraft, using high quality oil and filters with 3-5k change intervals and keeping my fingers crossed that I can get at least 100k out of this rebuild. After-all,it got almost 200k out of the original OE Motorcraft TC set with apparently almost no maintenance. JMO.
 




donalds

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I change my oil every 3-5 k
Part is piece of mind
Part is I believe the tensioner s like the new oil
Less chance of clogs
And all us shoc owners know we don't want clogged tensioners

So mostly a futile attempt to get more miles out of our engine before the inevitable boom sound
 




CDW6212R

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I was one of the very first to replace the timing cassette and tensioners on the SOHC, and post about it here, 2006 I believe. I bought only Ford parts then, I skipped the one center guide of the main chain, and crank gear, back ordered at that time.

The Ford timing cassette was only $60-$65 each, front and back. That was reasonable, but Ford often jacks up prices randomly. I had brake pads for my first Crown Vic that I used about three sets from Ford, at around $45 each. One day I went to get a set I needed quickly again, and they wanted $108. I stopped buying those pads then, that was too much, and there's no good reason for such a price hike.

Ford has done that in many cases I've seen over decades. I like Ford parts, but they have to be reasonable too. Ford had steering racks for the 95-01 Explorers about two years ago, for $190 plus core. I was going to buy two or three of them, but I didn't have a core yet, and wasn't sure when I'd get to it. About two months later that price was over, they changed sources for the racks. Now they are in the $350-450 range, I forgot if it was with the core or not.

Most dirt that makes oil black comes through the air filter, a well running engine can have oil that doesn't turn black. If the rings and valve seals etc, are very poor, then oil will get fouled very quickly from the combustion process. poor quality oil or low oil, or high rpm's etc, will create excess wear, and you get a loose engine and dirty oil regardless of the air filter or future oil types. My 98 302 is like that, prior owners did not take care of it well.

I believe people have gotten 200k+ with their SOHC's, I have to think that is more than just luck. The oil had to be very good and always full, not worn out etc. I think excess heat and dirty oil hurts the plastic tensioner parts more than mileage, age is also a big deal of course. These are now 20 years old, that's huge.
 




koda2000

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@CDW6212R - From what I've read on this forum it seems that most people manage to get around 200-250K out of their SOHC engines before the "death rattle" rears it's ugly head. Mine was quiet until around 190K with little-to-no regular maintenance. Some people have reported timing chain rattle at as little as 75K, I recall one person reporting getting over 350K on his original OE cassettes (frankly I find that hard to believe). I just got done pulling multiple broken plastic pieces of my rear cassette out of my engine. I think all the pieces were accounted for, but I'm still removing the engine girdle because it has many nooks and crannies where stuff to get trapped.

I'm still not convinced that just dirty oil can be blamed for broken plastic, but maybe it's a contributing factor somehow. I think it makes more since that maybe the way people drive has more of an impact on cassette longevity. If you regularly beat on your vehicles it has to make stuff wear faster.
 




CDW6212R

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Yeah, I'm interested in seeing the stock rear cassette from mine at 152k miles, and the new front one that has 75k now. I'll look hard at the Cloyes parts before I use them. If I don't see anything odd to suggest they are lesser quality, I'll put them in.
 




koda2000

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I think the Cloyes parts are perhaps good quality for the money, but if you consider that they were reverse-engineered from the Ford parts with an eye where they could save a buck or two you gotta wonder how they really stack up to OE. IMO it's not the quality of the OE Ford parts that cause the TC failures as such as it is the design. It wouldn't be as big a deal if you didn't have to pull the engine out to replace the rear cassette. Doing the front cassette is no picnic either, but it's doable.
 




CDW6212R

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Exactly. We get into these and look at the parts, and wonder, who designed this? The 302 manifolds make me sigh, someone should have been shot for that design. The V6 manifolds are classic and simple, work well, and are easy to replace. They don't crack either.
 




ms_427

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I had a 02 sport that made 200k and no death rattle when I signed it over to my youngest sister. as far as I know it still has no rattle. My 01 Trac at 132k the left cassette come apart amazingly did not jump time and had no misfire no check engine light. That happened when my other sister and ex brother in law owned it. He put a used engine in it. My dad talked them into keeping the engine that come out of it. The 3rd the engine currently in it got its death rattle in Im thinking the right chain as cyls 1 2 and 3 have random misfires. This engine has about 196k. So far since i ve tore down the origional engine I ve seen borg warner markings on whats left of the left chain guide. Im not going to disagree on preferring OE stuff The engine Im going to use has sat in the garage a few years so I went with Cloyes as the balance of price and quality to allow me to address some other areas on the engine and the truck. Its my primary daily right now if it wasnt my daily I wouldnt even bother fixing the 4.0 Id probably just do a 5.0 swap possibly a mild 347 and be done with the 4.0 Timing chain issues.
 




koda2000

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If I hadn't put as much time and effort into my '01 Sport Trac 4-5 years ago I'd probably have not attempted to rebuilt the engine, but I'd put a ton of my time and a fair amount of money into it when I first acquired it and I love the utility of the ST. Am I nuts for putting another $2000 into the engine (plus perhaps also having the trans rebuilt)? Probably, but at that point the entire drive train will be replaced/rebuilt, the rest of the truck is rust-free and in very good condition and I couldn't replace it for the cost of reconditioning it.
 




donalds

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I'd say its worth the money.
I was there
no way I could afford to buy a new truck at all
My wife loves her truck so I thought why not restore it then It will last just as long if not longer than this new stuff out today
Rebuild trans engine and rear differential big ticket items
Then all the LITTLE things
Realistically I may have $ 10.000 in this thing Inc the purchase of the truck and the supercharger install tires suspension etc over the course of rehabilitation ...4-5 years.... but now a sweet ride worth every penny
Your little girl will love and appreciate you and your investment in her
Plus you get to drive it to :) ...and by little girl I mean all daughters are their dad's little girls....
 




ElectronFlow

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Any internal engine/transmission parts that may have part number decals or "stickers" on them,
remove those BEFORE installation.
Had a friend who left one on a part and it came off the part and lodged flat on the oil pick up
screen starving the oil pump for pressure especially at idle.
 




Sporting2dr

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I have a 2002 explore sport 4.0l. A few months ago I changed timing chain cassettes tensioners gaskets seals and all was close to 2 Grand. In the morning on cold starts I still get the same rattle. So this weekend I ordered all the parts to install a pre Oiler. Just wondering if you give any thought about adding one of these to your vehicle? I've seen a lot of people have great success with adding one so I thought I'd give it a shot.
 




koda2000

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I have a 2002 explore sport 4.0l. A few months ago I changed timing chain cassettes tensioners gaskets seals and all was close to 2 Grand. In the morning on cold starts I still get the same rattle. So this weekend I ordered all the parts to install a pre Oiler. Just wondering if you give any thought about adding one of these to your vehicle? I've seen a lot of people have great success with adding one so I thought I'd give it a shot.

I plan to install this pre-oiler. I believe it's a must on the 4,0L SOHC.
Engine Pre Lube System Insta-Lube Kit

I kept my SOHC alive for 20K by cranking the starter for around 5-8 seconds while holding the accelerator pedal to the floor (turns off the fuel injectors, preventing starting). Doing this allowed oil to get into the tensioners and eliminated the start-up rattle. I have the engine apart now and found the rear cassette in multiple pieces and the balance shaft tensioner also in pieces. The engine still ran great and never jumped time.

What brand of TC kit did you install?
 


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