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start up rattle question

lacton

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97 XLT
'97 XLT sohc 4x4....has the start up rattle for about 3 seconds or so, so I'm replacing both tensioners. I dropped the pan (rusty and wanted to replace it) and found a few small pieces of plastic (not that many) that are obviously from a chain guide. All pieces are cream colored (not the reddish-brown) if that matters and are original equipment.

I'd like to get an idea of what's next if the tensioners don't fix the rattle and I'm hoping I won't have to pull the engine. Is the most likely order of guide failure 1) jackshaft chain, 2) front timing chain, and 3) rear timing chain? Where does the balancer chain guide fall into that order? Can all guides be replaced without pulling the engine?
 


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2000StreetRod

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Left or right guide assembly

If the chain rattle goes away after a few seconds I doubt that it's from your primary tensioner. Although if you still have the original 3 leaf primary tensioner it probably has failed. It was an inferior design and the replacement is significantly more robust.

My guess is either the left or right guide assembly is broken. The only way to find out for sure is to remove the valve covers and inspect. The front timing cover must be removed to replace the left guide assembly. The engine (preferred) or transmission must be removed to replace the right guide assembly. Replacing either usually requires retiming both camshafts.
 




bluestream1

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Ford Dealer may not have pulled the pan to get scraps when they did the front guide under warranty. You did have the front guide done under warranty???
 




lacton

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No, I'm sure the timing chains and guides are all original....we've had it for the past 10 years or so....after getting ripped off by our local Stealership and their incompetent "technician" involving the oh-so-common transfer case ratcheting problem, our Explorer will never, ever see the floor of a Ford service center again....a TOTAL waste of time and money, but a learning experience, at least. I'd like to hold off until next year for the engine rebuild but I'll go ahead and do it now if it has to come out.

2000StreetRod....your posts are the best and I've already copied your engine pull guide.
 




lacton

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After replacing the left and right tensioners, and if the rattle is still there, I'll pull off the front cover and take a look at the jackshaft (primary?) tensioner and replace it if necessary.
 








bluestream1

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After replacing the left and right tensioners, and if the rattle is still there, I'll pull off the front cover and take a look at the jackshaft (primary?) tensioner and replace it if necessary.

97 and 98 models were able to get the front guide changed by Ford under warranty. Maybe the PO had this work done. Get an Oasis report and see.

AS for the primary tensioner, there is no question about if it needs to be done, it will. It does not cause start up rattle. My Ford dealer says a few seconds of start up rattle is normal for these engines.
 




lacton

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What's the best way to remove one of those small lower pan bolts that the head broke off of? And true to Murphy's Law, it's one of the front ones in the corner (passenger side)....the crossmember prevents a straight in 90 degree path with a small drill bit prior to using an easy out.

Or, does the upper pan need to come out in order to get this thing on a drill press and do a proper job?

Or, can I get away with using some gasket sealer on both sides of the pan gasket until the engine gets overhauled?
 




bluestream1

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If you can't drill it out, just leave it. YOu may not even need extra sealer, that gaskets is a rubber/steel material and seals well
 




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