Trouble codes for the infamous 4L SOHC timing chain issues? | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Trouble codes for the infamous 4L SOHC timing chain issues?

I don't have a dongle or Android trouble code reader, so was planning to go to O'Reilly's to have them read my trouble codes if any. 174.000 miles, 98 Explorer XLT 4door 4x4 4L SOHC. Anyway, before I get the exhaust fixed Monday, What can you experienced Explorer hands tell me, trouble codes for timing issues, any other things I can tell over the very loud exhaust? Do the sounds start out quiet or just make the same racket from the start of a timing chain issue? If I'm unlucky enough to have gotten an engine WITH timing chain issues, I won't be rebuilding it myself (no experience or equipment, not a newbie job) I'd just have to cut my losses and find a new ride, sigh. It's not like I've had a chance to let it rip, just a couple 15 mi. trips at 50 mph, no problems that I knew of..the rest were short trips small town. Explorer in question has been using full synthetic oil...previous service records found. Might be a little paranoid, but after all I've read about this issue....
My 2001 explorer sport 4.0 SOHC had similar mileage, while changing valve cover gaskets, noticed a loose rear timing chain. Never got a code and was still running well. It may have run another 20,000 miles or more, not sure.
I ended up taking the engine out and tearing it down taking measurements. Timing guides & tensioners were broken in rear and front. Main bearings and many other measurements were near their end of life. I weighed rebuild cost vs used engine vs remanufactured engine and went with 2007 Mustang 4.0 with 50,000 miles, and put new factory timing cassettes and gears in it before installing. Runs like a new at 300k now :)
 



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I’d think any quality oil changed at sooner intervals is a good insurance on the SOHC. I think acidic oil might be extra hard on the plastics. (Same idea with Subaru coolants. Change your coolant a lot, and add the additive, and you’ll get considerably better results).
 






Yes, but it’s recommended you do two things first.

1) zip tie trick. At the top of the gas pedal is the throttle cable. Pull the slack out of the cable and put a couple zip ties (two usually does it) around the cable. Cut excess off zip ties. Takes all the slack out so you can command true full throttle.

2) warm up truck really well, shut down, try cranking pedal to floor. If the truck accidentally starts, at least you’re not revving the **** off a cold engine.
Excellent idea, thanks! Was wondering about that very thing.
 






Was the OP's trouble codes for timing chain issues question addressed? Don't recall seeing DTC's for specific timing guide, chain, or internal mechanical issues for that matter. Unless they are misfire codes, do they even exist? If so, what are the p0 code series numbers? What say you @donalds? Apologies for my shade tree mechanic question, just curious.
 






There is a camshaft position sensor
I'd look at it on a scanner and see it working
That's where I'd start
 






there’s no codes related to the timing stuff. There’s no real early warning signs, other than it being noisy, which they can be for a long time. Or, they can start and jump time in a very short period.
 












there’s no codes related to the timing stuff. There’s no real early warning signs, other than it being noisy, which they can be for a long time. Or, they can start and jump time in a very short period.
I'm just saying if the code is there
The sensor and wire do exist
But
I agree little to no warning
I never heard of this engine throwing timing codes
 






I'm just saying if the code is there
The sensor and wire do exist
But
I agree little to no warning
I never heard of this engine throwing timing codes
This really isn’t a code to just ignore, surely. The last thing you want is to lose your oil pump drive.
 






My engine sounds like rocks in a blender at idle


^ That sounds eerily similar to mine, although my rattle is intermittent and happens around one out of three times after cold or warm starts. Noise seems to emanate from the lower rear of the engine so I removed the passenger valve cover to inspect and replace a leaking gasket I had to fix anyway. Still baffled with this noise, but I've driven around 3000 miles since it started and I'm at the point where I don't worry about it anymore.

Tensioner intact and chain feels taut. (Below) Telltale sign of passenger valve cover leak is oil stains above the hydraulic tensioner. (Bottom pic)
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^ That sounds eerily similar to mine, although my rattle is intermittent and happens around one out of three times after cold or warm starts. Noise seems to emanate from the lower rear of the engine so I removed the passenger valve cover to inspect and replace a leaking gasket I had to fix anyway. Still baffled with this noise, but I've driven around 3000 miles since it started and I'm at the point where I don't worry about it anymore.

Tensioner intact and chain feels taut. (Below) Telltale sign of passenger valve cover leak is oil stains above the hydraulic tensioner. (Bottom pic) View attachment 329909 View attachment 329910

I'm getting the feeling that the passenger tensioner is clogged or the passage
I'd pull that oil pan stat look for part numbers
and replace that tensioner and the rubberized steel gasket
I got the torque specs to


Ps the noises my engine makes is normal
At least it
Sounds like my old one did
And the new one was a crate engine
I took all the covers off and its fine



 






I'm getting the feeling that the passenger tensioner is clogged or the passage


Ps the noises my engine makes is normal
Same rattle continued after replacing with an OE tensioner. Old tensioner spring felt strong, but the piston felt a little "scrunchy" when compressing by hand. I'm really OCD about oil and filter changes. Drive less than 4000 miles per year and only use premium synthetic 5W-30 oil and filters. Specifically Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage and either a Wix Platinum or Motorcraft FL-820S. Passenger valve train looked remarkably clean when I removed the cover. Think I should do an engine flush? I'm considering BG Engine Cleaner or Purge, or something similarly powerful.

BTW, your timing chain tensioner cutaway video is stellar. IMO, it should be a sticky or at least more visible here. You rock @donalds !
 






Think I should do an engine flush? If I do, I'm thinking BG Engine Cleaner or Purge
Some Marvel mystery oil
In your oil
follow the direction on the bottle
It will clean your engine up nicely .....look into it ....Watch some videos.....
 






Most people don't understand that the timing chain wear on these engines occur at startup. Once running the friction on the guides goes to zero. This is why you see bad guides at 100k and some make it past 250k on originals.
 






^ Agree, and that's what makes the start up flare on these engines so bad.

Haven't heard of a way to lower it, even with a custom tune. Any ideas?
 






I would think a competent tuner could change the high idle settings......
 






Bought my X3 from Torrie @ Unleashed Tuning when he was in the biz. Specifically asked him about lowering the 1500-2000 RPM at initial startup and never got an answer. Neutral and in gear idle speeds are easily adjusted with the SCT, it's just the high revving at cold startup that lasts at least 10 seconds, then starts dropping as the engine temp gets higher.
 






Because you didn’t get an answer has no basis on this being doable.

Im sure there’s also non-software options if you really wanted to put in the effort.
 






Thanks, I've searched for start up flare solutions for years. Would greatly appreciate any leads if you hear of any. Cheers.
 



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You could always just make the engine think it’s warmer than it is for a minute. It’s either resistance or voltage that varies to tell the ECM what the temp is. Get a generic timer and a NO/NC relay and either a resistor or potentiometer and get wiring.
 






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