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T18skyguy 08-18-2014 01:39 PM

98 4.0 timing chain getting loose
I really love this little truck. It's got 129,000 on it, but when I shut it down I can hear the chain clattering on the guides a little. Makes me wonder how much longer it will go before jumping a tooth. The truck has always been well maintained, but is there any ballpark figure when they usually let go? Is it worth it to pull the engine and put in a new chain? I'm fairly new to the Ranger and any tips appreciated

85e150six4mtod 08-18-2014 02:05 PM

SOHC motor? They all rattle. If you are willing to roll the dice, some of these go a good long time. The downside is there is no "jumping a tooth", it is a catastrophic event which bends valves and nicks pistons.

To replace the chains and tensioners, you must remove the engine. (Or, if you really like to suffer, pull the trans and do it upside down and backwards)

The first chain is from the crank to the old cam location, which is now just a shaft to run the oil pump. On 4x4s, there is a chain over to a counter balancer on the passenger side of the block. The second cam chain goes from that cam blank to the driver side cam in the front of the engine. The third chain does the same thing for the passenger side cam, but at the rear of the engine.

IF you have an OHV engine, you only have the one chain. It is fairly conventional, but has a hydraulic tensioner. Those usually require no service.

I can get you some "how to" links.

Rockledge 08-18-2014 04:45 PM

The '98 Ford 4.0L is the OHV design, and I can't recall if I've ever heard/read about a timing chain-related failure on this motor.

It could be something else you are hearing. For example: Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums - 4.0L V6 engine noise

85e150six4mtod 08-18-2014 04:52 PM

Yea, SOHC did not make it into the Ranger in '98. Exploder only. Shoulda looked it up.

OHV motors generally do not have timing chain issues, but anything is possible. Fairly easy to get to.

T18skyguy 08-18-2014 07:00 PM

Thanks to you guys for your tips. Makes me feel a little better. I think I'm just gonna keep running it and if she blows she blows. And thank you Rock, good to know I haven't lost my "marbles" lol

Hank85713 08-19-2014 12:35 PM

I had 300000+ on my 94, only reason I changed the chain was due to the fact that I had to replace the gasket on the water jacket to block. Since it was apart on the front I had the guy install a new setup. Old one did not look bad at all no real stretch to it. I just had them do the oil pump now at 318000+ because it was accessible because they were redoing a leaking pan gasket.

These are pretty durable engines.

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