Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer
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Hello Ford guys. I'm new to the site here. And a bit new to fords. I don't get to work on many. Well.. at least not many like this. Guy brings his truck (explorer) up to the shop and says he wants the timing chain replaced on it. So I'm like ok sure bring it back 7:30 in the morning with the parts. So 7:30 in the moring he brings the truck and its running terrible and he says it would not go over 35 MPH and its extremely under powered. He comlained of a tapping noise in the engine too. I'm thinking well the chain has probably jumped due to excessive slack. I have seen some older 4.0's so i figured it was just like that and a Push-rod engine.
Well at about 9 when i took the timing cover off I couldn't believe what i saw. I saw 3 chains. I was scratching my head and wondering WHAT!? So it was a Sohc engine. I did not have any idea at the time. Looking at the first primary chain the tensioner and guide on the left had broke completely off and was wedged down in the pan under nieth the balance shaft chain. I dug about a hand full of metal and plastic pieces from under niether the Balance shaft. I decided to take the lower oil pan off to get the rest of the pieces out and about another hand full of plastic later. The primary and balance shaft chains had alot of play and no tensioners. The primary one i could not tell if it jumped but it was def about to if not alrealy.
Honestly I don't mess with alot of fords. Its usually Jap cars, chryslers and GMs. So this is new. I've never done a timing chain on this engine before. I was extremely questionable about ford not offering any timing marks on anything. No even th crank or nothing... puzzling to say the least. The customer had already ordered the parts and stuff for it. Appaeartly no part store in town carried the kit and it had to be specail ordered. (Now i know why.)
So I knew a guy that worked a local ford dealer. Called him up and asked him about this timing chain deal. The first thing he told me was "Push it out." Hehe.. jokes. He told me that the that engine had 3 timing chains and a balance shaft chain if it was 4-wheel drive(which it was). He said there is one in the back on the right bank and then one in the front left bank(which i saw). He told me at ford you have to take the motor out to repalce the whole chain set because of that back one. He also told me you have to have a specail Timing tool kit made just for fords to line up all the gears, cam, shafts, chains, ect.
I just dug myself into a job I'll never forget and prob never do again. I've told the customer about it at this point and right now we are deciding on whether to change just the front chain set and leave the back. I'm going to have to remove the Valve covers which I've yet to do because well i thought it was a pushrod engine. I'm wondering if any of you guys have any input or "short cuts" on this deal. Is there anyway to change the rear chain without engine pulling? Can the engines timing be set with the engine in the truck? I'm not sure if theses are interferece engines or not so if it did jump bent valves might be and issue... the really odd thing is the vehicle only has 108k on it and the timing chains are busting all to pieces already.. could just be bad luck.
To have a chain fail at that low mileage either means the chain was defective, the tensioner was defective, or that there has been a lubrication problem that resulted in the failure.
Indeed. As i have been reading the two threads i was refered to appearently this is a common problem for these trucks. Interesting cause i've never heard of it till.. well now. Most of the explorers i've worked on have been 5.0's or the old 90's models with the push rod 4.0. This engine is one of a kind.
So appearently after reading the treads I 'have to" pull the engine to service and or replace the rear timing chain. This is a very costly deal for this guy and still not sure if we are going to do it or not. Alosi did not seem to see the answer to my other question. "Can you set the timing with the engine in the truck?" I have a local friend from a ford dealer with the tool kit for the timing. Also appearently there was a recall on this issue. The truck now has 108k miles on it and it is out of warranty i believe according to the threads i read.
Your best bet at this stage, FSM and/or friend from FORD.....
Personally, I would work on this if were mine, but decline if belonged to someone else..
Yea I would be the same. But since i'm already dug into it well.... yea. I've not been able to find an answer about the timing online so Monday when i go back in Me and "ford guy" will have a talk so i can find out the deal. I'll Try and keep posted on here what happens. Yea would like to get a hold of A service manual. We have "AllData" and "Shop-Key" programs at the shop for service and repair but they don't really have any say-so on this. Only thing it told me is where the chains are located.
Got the truck fixed and running well. After me and the owner talked a while about costs and fixings. When i tore the engine down to see the timing chains i could see them and their conditions. I ended up having to remove the valve covers and upper intake. We could replace the rear chain i told the owner but the engine had to be pulled which would cost up near 1500-2000. But the rear cam chains, gudies, tensioners were in ok condition and not broken. It would be at best interest to change them since its apart. But the only to chains that were bad were the front 2.
The balance shaft chain and the Primary(jack shaft)chain which ford calls it which is the very font chain where bad. The tensioners on both chains were totally gone and in the bottom of the pan. The guide on the balance shaft chain was gone as well. Both chains had streched a little bit. The ford friend i knew brought over the tool kit to set the timing which proved to be so much easier than i thought. There were 2 tools that i used to lock the cams in the place and in the right postion. Just turn it until the tool fit in theses slots on the special tool and lock it down. The crank was the same way kind of. But it was very easy. Just time consuming.
So the owner just decided for cost issues for us to just replace the 2 bad chains. With new guides, chains, tensioners. After further inspection the Primary front chain seemed to have jumped 1-2 teeth after setting the timing it seemed about that. This would definatly cause the performance issue he was having. I'll do a rough break down of what i had to do to replace these 2 chains and set timing. Oh and appearently the balance shaft is only found on 4 wheel drive model explorers with the same engine.
Parts removed to replace Balance shaft chain and Primary(jack shaft) chain:
-bottom radiator plastic splash guard
-Powersteering and A/C compressor bracket
-Left and right valve covers
-Lots of connectors and wire plugs.
-Lower oil pan
-Upper oil pan
Doesn't seem like much but its alot for this truck. Here is a small list of what was replaced and fixed after everything said and done:
It was really good. After putting everything back together and filling with fluids the truck cranked right up first try. After the computer picked back on alittle bit and re-learned the engine the truck drove extremely smooth and the problem was gone. The timing chain slap and noise was gone. Was a good learning job and successful. Anyone who does this make sure you are careful and not in a rush. And have the right tools. IF i pulled the engine and replaced all chains and gaskets and seals recommended the job prob would have cost about 3000$ give or take. But the customer only ended u with about i believe it was close around 900$. Thanks again fords guys and lemme know what ya think or any comments.
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