Timing chain noise | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Timing chain noise


New Member
February 18, 2013
Reaction score
City, State
Prairieville, La
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
I searched and read a lot of great info on timing chain issues. But I still have a question
2003 Explorer 2wd, 4.0 SOHC

I had lots of noise in the front of the motor. I found the Dr side cam chain very loose. Changed hydraulic tensioner. The chain it was tight, but still had noise. Pulled the timing cover and all of the guides had wear, and the bottom tensioner was broken in pieces. There was chatter marks on the inside of the timing cover. All guides and tensioners were replaced which involved pulling the oil pan to get to the bottom tensioner and remove the pieces in the pan.

There is still noise. It is less pronounced and hard to locate. I may be coming from the rear chain but it is very hard to pin point even with a mechanics stethoscope.

Is there a good listening method to determine the noise is the rear chain. I don't want to go through the time and expense of pulling the motor to get to that thing if is not the issue.

rattle location

I used a mechanic's stethoscope and a length of flexible hose attempting to locate the source of my rattle. I decided it was in the front but after pulling the valve covers to visually inspect learned the rear guide assembly was broken. Noise internal to the engine bounces off the walls making accurate noise location very difficult. The only reliable method is visual inspection. It's a lot less work for you to pull your valve covers than it is on 2nd generation Explorers. I advocate checking the rear cassette first since if it is bad the engine needs to come out. It's easier to fix any other problems once the engine is removed. See Timing chain rattle resolution process - SOHC V6