Timing chain problems pls help | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Timing chain problems pls help


August 16, 2019
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I originally replaced the main timming chain, main tensioner, balance shaft chain and tensioner. When I started it up it sounded perfect. I went for a drive and when I got back I head a timming chain slapping around so I replaced both the hydraulic tensioners and the noise was still there so I took the timming cover off and so the main tensioner had broke. I replaced it and started it up it sounded perfect and after a drive the noise is back but is a little bit quieter this time. Can someone tell me why these tensioners keep breaking?

As you know, there are four timing chains on this engine. One for the balance shaft; a "primary" one under the front cover; and two "secondary" chains for the left/driver (front) and right/passenger (rear) camshafts. In my experience, the secondary units are more likely to fail than the primary.

If there's a problem with either of the secondary timing chains, that could explain your problem.

When you replaced the hydraulic tensioners, you were attending to the secondary chains, not the primary chain. If you suspect a problem with the secondary chains, you can/should: (i) pull the oil pan and look for amber/orange chunks of chain guide bits floating around in there, or stuck to the bottom screen of the oil sump; and (ii) pull the valve covers and visually inspect the two secondary chain guides for failure.

I don't know whether you may have disturbed the timing when you replaced the primary (and balance shaft chain, which is hard/tricky to replace with tensioner). StreetRod2000 would be able to answer that question. But you don't mention timing, so I'll assume its spot on.

Last thing is quality of parts. I used Cloyes components when I replaced all the timing chain components on two of these engines, with good results. I did a lot of research, and noticed a lot of cheap aftermarket parts out there. If I did it again, I'd be tempted to pay the premium for Ford OEM parts. I'm not sure whether Cloyes makes (or gets their components from the maker of) Ford parts, but its such a big job, its not worth risking it with cheap timing parts. Good luck.

What size "tap" can I get to chase the threads that I may have cross threaded?