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Startup Noise


Active Member
June 23, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Johnstown, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 E.B.
Do any of you guys with a 4.0 have any startup rattle? I get it in most cold starts, sounds alot like the old timing chain tensioner noise....

Any thoughts?

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I heard it today for the second time, it happened to me after multiple starts, like running store to store. no idea where it comes from but it goes away after a few seconds. Out of warrenty at 58k

I have noticed a brief 2 seconds or so loud rattle at startup (in the morning) in my 4.0 (2003 Ranger FX4 w/52K). Sounds like rods knocking and/or a dry startup. This began about a week after a 1200 mile trip towing a 2700 lb trailer thru the Rockies, working the engine pretty hard for the first time. No sure what it is. To make some of the steep grades the engine wound out to 5K a couple times, however never longer than 1 minute in duration.

It's a common problem I think. I also don't think it's anything to worry about. Most likely it's the valve rockers, I assume you're running the SOHC V6?

If it's that ticking sound, and if it goes away after awhile, I wouldn't worry to much about it. It's because they are not properly lubricated on start-up, or so I'm told...

I had that problem on our 2004 4.0 when running anything but a Motorcraft oil filter. Even the "nice" filters like Napa Gold/Wix produced startup noise. I think the drainback valve in the filter is the key here. I will only run a Motorcraft filter, and I havent had the noise ever since.

Maybe coincidence, but the noise has completely disappeared (2) days after changing back to my 'usual' oil (MC 5W-30 Syn Blend). I have always used the MC FL-820S oil filter, even when I changed the oil to (for the first time) Mobil 1 Truck & SUV right before the Utah trip. Thought I would try to get the 'extra' protection for the trip pulling the load through the mountains. The filter is mounted upright, so one wouldn't think a MC filter even with a bad silicone drain back valve would matter much (if that was the case). It seems odd the type of oil could make the difference. I'll wait and see if the noise returns...

The only time mine rattled the motor mount bolts were loose, took it to a shop and put new ones in and never felt it again

Well, same here now. I changed the oil, used a mc filter and oil and the noise is reduced. It still there, but it's about 75% quieter. I even get some rattle between 2500-3500 rpm, but that it much quieter now too.

After reading stuff around the forum, it could also be the timing chain.

After reading stuff around the forum, it could also be the timing chain.

Geez. I would've thought Ford got that fixed already with these engines. Now that you say that though, it does sound similar to my '98 4.0. :thumbdwn:

How many miles shows your odometer?

Hey Lukas, do you work at the Ford Plant in Cologne?

No, I don't work at the Ford plant here in Cologne. But it's not far from my home.

It's funny for me that the engine of my 2007 XP has been built here in Cologne, sent to the USA and then came back to me inside of my XP.

A few days ago my mechanic made an oil and filter change. He told me about a rattling engine noise and he is sure that it comes from the timing chains. He is specialist who changes Explorer timing chains about 3 times a week. But only at 1997 to 2001 SOHC XP models, since Ford didn't sell Explorers after 2001 in Germany.
I'm wondering about that because my XP has only 41.000 miles on the odo.

41,000. Why?

See my post above. I was told that my XP (also 41,000 mls) would have bad timing chains and that this is the reason for the starting noise. Normally the timing chains have to be changed at about 75,000 to 90,000 miles.