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  #1  
Old 03-05-2008, 10:51 AM
Eaulive Eaulive is offline
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Changing timing chain 1997 4.6l. Any cues?

Hello all.
I live in the Dominican Republic and good mechanics are a rare occurence, usually the guy who owns the shop is good but his employees are breaking more stuff than they fix.

I and some mechanics that I trust identified the loud clacking and pinging noise I have as being the timing chain. It basically sounds like a diesel engine.
I ordered the complete kit for my truck, two chains, two cam sprocket, a dual crank sprocket, hydraulic tensionners, guides, etc. It came in a kit. I also purchased the gasket kit to finish the job.

My question is: Can I do this myself? I understand about mechanics and I do most of the time the troubleshooting by myself, I also do more than minors mechanical jobs, mostly brakes, suspension, steering and electronics myself. I have plenty of tools.

Do I need special tools? Pullers for the gears? Clearance guages? Is it something that you remove and put back easily? Is the procedure for properly install the gears to have correct timing complicated? Are the marks easy to spot?

Basically I need to know if there's anything that could give me a bad surprise, an innaccesible nut that needs a special tool or a retainer that needs voodoo praying to put back in place.

It seems to me like a straight forward job, remove the front end of the engine, maybe even the radiator I don't know. I'm not scared of this but I want to make sure about the tools.

If anybody has cues, please show yourself. I'm trying to avoid mechanics, not for the cost, but for the future problems.
They will probably do the timing chain job ok, but they're the kind that are liable to forget to tighten the bolts on the radiator fan so it'll fly through the radiator 3 weeks later
(it really happened on my wife's Grand Cherokee after they changed the water pump)
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2008, 01:03 AM
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I haven't tried it yet, but I have read several procedures and it seems easy enough. I don't think there was anything special. Just take your time and if possible have another vehicle available to visit your mechanic buddy so you can barrow any tools you can't finish without.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2008, 03:36 PM
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Get a comprehensive repair manual like the dealers use. They get them from Helm Inc. in Highland Park, MI. That's a city within the city of detroit. The firsttime we did it it was a prototype engine with no instructions. Just take your time and locate every bolt. It is a lot more to tackle than a push rod motor. One of the tricky parts is getting the hydraulic chain tensioners to go back in since it has a ratchet to over come. Don't worry about them when you put them back on since oil pressure will adjust them. Mark all gears and chains with reference marks like paint. They don't take kindly to being hit with a stamp. I believe you may have to loosen the front pan bolts so the cover goes back on without leaking. It's been 20 years since we did this but if a couple of mechanics like us can do it without instructions you should be able to do it.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:06 AM
mjbtn mjbtn is offline
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Eaulive,

Did you ever get around to tacking this yourself and, if so, how did it turn out during and in the end??? Did you have to take the engine out of the truck to do this?

I am facing the same prospects on my '99 Expedition 5.4L 2WD at the moment but I have no way to take the engine out. I am told it can be done with it left in, but, not sure just what I am going to be in for.

I hope you get an email that I posted this! :-)

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:28 PM
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I will look in my factory shop DVD and post the tools required.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:52 PM
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The most important tool would be the cam holder, it's a tool that will keep the cams from moving while the gears and chains are off. Ford says "engine damage WILL occur" if it is not used as the 4.6 is an interferance engine. Do you have a Factory service manual? I strongly recommend that you have one before you start, check out the eBay stores. Chilton and Haynes will only provide enough information to get you in serious trouble.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Moto Mel View Post
The most important tool would be the cam holder, it's a tool that will keep the cams from moving while the gears and chains are off. Ford says "engine damage WILL occur" if it is not used as the 4.6 is an interferance engine. Do you have a Factory service manual? I strongly recommend that you have one before you start, check out the eBay stores. Chilton and Haynes will only provide enough information to get you in serious trouble.
I have an account with helminc.com (the place that publishes the real-deal dealer-shop manuals for Ford). Right now the account is dormant as I have been waiting until warmer weather to take this back up. The manual at helminc.com is the SHOP manual (the big boy). When active, it costs me $20/month for online access to this manual. It has ALL the possible dealer/shop documents (quite a deal if you need it for only a month or so). You can print off pages too. One REAL nice thing is this shop manual details BOTH the timing chain/guide procedure engine-in and engine-out! I found out about helminc.com on another forum post. I was surprised this information (about helminc.com) was not more prominently made available by Ford. Also, I could tell right away just how scant Chilton and Haynes appeared when comparing to the detail I was finding online at hemlinc.com. You can also buy a DVD for, I think, $180. That may be the DVD you have jarod17.

Anyways, the last time I ran the engine (just to pull it down off the ramps) after bolting the oil pan back to the block after dropping it enough to squeeze my arm in to discover and remove right chain guide pieces (!), it was clear that now the timing seemed off. This was not the case when I ran the engine to pull it up on to the ramps. Collapsing oil pressure was my symptom. Sure enough, a large chunk of plastic right chain guide had lodged in the oil take up screen/opening. So, I figured, at least oil pressure problem was solved. But, I had done nothing else at that point except bolt the oil pan back on and fill it with oil and started it up to drive off the ramps. so, no timing shake before dropping the oil pan but a noticeable vibration the first start up after putting oil back in. One guy suggested that when I started it back up after putting the oil back in that the timing chain may have slipped a link or two.

So, where is a good place to get the cam holding tool (besides a dealer parts shop)? And, if the chain has slipped, is it going to be hard to re-time it? I have heard the chain kits are color coded. is that enough for me to get it straight again or am I going to need bigger guns? if the timing had not appeared to have become an issue, i suspect i could have just locked the cams as they were and replaced the chain and guides. but, not sure now. what direction would such a slippage move? and, could I tell somehow which link was the original correct positioning with respect to the cams?

It was also mentioned on another forum's post about this that I would most likely break a bolt getting the cam covers off since my 1999 2WD 5.4L expedition xlt has 170000 miles, so the cam cover bolts have been set and baked for a long time.

Note: I am fairly mechanically inclined but not a mechanic (by trade or by hobby even) but a guy with your typical home garage and tools. I have replaced a starter, alternator, a/c compressor myself. But, is this a job I can even do or am I going to really need mechanic/shop tools and know-how? If it is too big a job, what amount of time/cost should I expect if I towed it to a shop? It is 11 yrs old with 170000 miles. Is it even worth taking to a shop??? A friend I asked about it pointed out that there may be more gone wrong and damaged than just the timing chain guide; this could become more expensive than the truck's worth.

FYI and thanks!
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2010, 09:41 AM
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Seeing as how you have already started the engine, you may have already damaged the valves, but not for sure. The cam tool that you need is often for sale on eBay or C.L. Do a compression test first and start a new thread.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:45 AM
fordiesel69 fordiesel69 is offline
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If it is worn that bad, you are too late, the engine is far gone. The debris from the tensioner arms fall down into the pan and plug the oil pickup. You have much damage at this point.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:46 AM
bill1-shaw.ca bill1-shaw.ca is offline
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Update

Did you get this job done? When I did my heads on my 97 4.6L I basically had to touch everything you'll have to and there are 2 special tools that they recommend, one holds that cam shaft and the other is used to turn the shaft. I live in Canada and to buy both from a jobber was going to cost $200.00 plus, so my buddy and I made them (he has a welder so it was pretty easy). I did mine with the engine in place, it's not a quick job and involved lots of beer.
Bill
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:46 AM
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