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1997 Ford Explorer SOHC. timing chains

I am getting a lot of noise from the chains on the front of the motor. Can the tensioner be replaced easily if so where is it. It has done 300.000 kms.

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  • Anonymous Mar 24, 2014

    bad noise like all lifters have faild

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The front of the motor has to be removed to access the chains and guides [which may have broken] This can be done without removing the engine, but there are special tools needed to set the chain timing and also for removal of the crank dampner. It is not an easy task.

Posted on Feb 21, 2009

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1 Answer

Where is the timing chain tensioner located on a 4.0 SOHC, 1998 Ford Explorer 2 door


The tensioner is located at the rear (right side) of motor. Jack the car up, remove right front wheel, remove the splash guard. Looking up, above the exhaust manifold near rear of motor you'll see a BLACK 25mm or 27mm bolt head....That's the tensioner.

Apr 11, 2016 | 1998 Ford Explorer

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1999 ford explorer 4liter sohc timing chain noise after warm up


timing chain noise? is the timing chain hitting the cover? or is the chain worn out and not meshing with gears?

Feb 12, 2015 | 1999 Ford Explorer

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Setting of timing chains


Get Ford timing tool kit, part = otc-6488 (For about $119 USD on eBay)

4 timing chains (3 front including the optional balance shaft chain + 1 back)

2 cam guides (1 front + 1 back)

2 oil tensioners (1 front + 1 back)

1 jackshaft tensioner (1 front)

1 jackshaft guide/cassette (1 front)

1 balance shaft tensioner (1 front) (will probably be ok, so dont replace it)

1 balance shaft guide (1 front) (will probably be ok, so dont replace it)

new sprockets + bolts + gaskets etc.

new spark plugs + throttle body cleaner + lithium grease spray + oil change

head gaskets


some of these parts (the front stuff) can be obtained as a primary timing chain rattle noise kit Part# = 2u3e-6d256-** ab for 4*4 & bb for 2*4.

The kits also have later part numbers for us$ 76 @ http://www.fordpartsonline.com


My parts order (without the balance shaft stuff) was:

$76.04 KIT-TENSIONER TIMING 2u3e-6d256-ab

$47.93 Engine, Camshaft and timing, Timing chain, TIMING CHAIN, Explorer, Mountaineer, Rear - 4.0L SOHC - 4.0L SOHC

$57.36 Engine, Camshaft and timing, Chain guide, CHAIN GUIDE, Explorer, Mountaineer, Jackshaft To Cam - 4.0L SOHC - 4.0L SOHC

$103.22 Engine, Overhaul gasket set, OVERHAUL GASKET SET, Explorer, Mountaineer, Upper (Valve Grind) - 4.0L SOHC - 4.0L SOHC

$28.93 Engine, Camshaft and timing, Tensioner, TENSIONER, Explorer, Mountaineer, Upper - 4.0L SOHC - 4.0L SOHC

Its worth mentioning that this procedure is not enjoyable at all and should be undertaken with at least 8 full days to completion (I recon you could do it in half the time the second time).

It is basically on entire engine re-build with both heads off and the engine out of the vehicle.

It is not possible to do the rear chain or sprocket with the engine in the car as the flywheel needs to come off + at least 1 head, but it is possible to do the front primary chain and or front cam chain with the engine in the car.

You will be a ford exploder and timing expert after you do this - the main reason should be the love of your American built vehicle. Its a solid car - except for the plastic guides!

Disclaimer Note: This is how i successfully did the job, but i am not a ford mechanic and don't hold me responsible if this does not work for you.
Timing Overview

A Small Sprocket on the crank turns a larger (2 to 1 ratio) jackshaft sprocket that is in turn connected front & back to the 2 camshafts.

Thus a 360o turn of the crank will turn both the camshafts 180o.

Firing order is 1-4 2-5 3-6, Right side numbers 1,2,3. Left Side = 4,5,6.

At TDC pistons 1 & 5 are fully raised, thus 1 is about to spark & 5 is evacuated.

The engine will turn freely (no piston to valve contact) with the cams 180o out, it will even run (roughly) with 1 out 180o, any other settings may cause major damage to the valves.

The 2 cam shafts come with timing markings, "yes" real timing marks that anyone can use (even without special tools) to ensure correct timing.

The way to time it is to ensure both the off centre cam shaft slits are level/flat with the head.

With the engine at TDC both the cams need to have the off centre slot in the same position either up and level or down and level.

It is super critical that both the camshafts are 100% in sink with each other, i.e. not a few degrees off, the engine computer can compensate for crank timing but not engineering failure.

Be warned the camshafts can turn easily fast & hard by themselves as a few springs are compressed at TDC, I got my finger jammed and its still healing + if the engine is not at TDC you may damage a valve.

Now heres the hard thing that you will need special tools for - if you need to change the timing, you will need to be able to undo the cam sprocket bolt on both cams & these are done up real tight.

There is a tool that you attach that has 2 pencil thick shafts that fit into the sprocket and prevent it from turning - then you need to put about 90Nm of force on the bolt (remember the rear one if LHT)

For the $money$, its well worth getting yourself the tool kit - it will save you hours in the long run. Search eBay for otc-6488 should be US $119 - then sell them again for say $100.

There is also a tool version of the oil tensioner in the kit that screws right in and puts the correct amount of force on the chain + guide, to enable you to do up the cam bolt with the chain and sprocket in the right spot on the cam.


Dec 20, 2010 | 2003 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

2000 ford explorer sport 4x4 timing timing chain rattling. have heard that changing to a synthetic 5w30 oil with wix filter will quieten it down. any feedback or experience on this ? It is the 4.0 sohc...


A change of oil may help, but problem likely due to a combination of stretched timing chain and worn anti rattle chain tensioner.
If noise persists, a new chain and checks to tensioner would be worthwhile.

Jan 22, 2010 | 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

1 Answer

1997 Explorer - 4.0 SOHC v6 engine knocking noise


yes I would due engine. heck for $2,200 dollars I could do the job parts labor and all

Dec 27, 2009 | 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

1 Answer

Upper end engine clicking or clanking noise heard. Car runs and has power but is making this noise.143k miles v-6 4.0 sohc. What could this be?


Could be cam chain tensioner, valve lifter.
Add "motor medic" to oil in a warm engine.
The increased viscosity will push harder on the cam chain tensioner....if that is the issue.

Clean oil - better quality (synthetic) oil will clean a clogged lifter.

Oct 13, 2009 | 2002 Ford Explorer

2 Answers

Timing chain alignment 1999 ford explorer sohc


not true. SOHC 4.0 tensioner and rails fall apart, allowing the chain to slap and do damage, or even break. book it. in order to replace rioght side cam chain and tensioner, the engine MUST BE REMOVED! if it has balance shaft chain in oil pan, there are a total of four chains in this engine.

Jun 25, 2009 | 1999 Ford Explorer

3 Answers

1998 Ford Explorer timing problem


FORD: 1997-2000 EXPLORER, MOUNTAINEER
ISSUE: A "knocking" noise at start up for up to 2 minutes from the left hand front chain cassette area may occur on some vehicles. After engine shutdown, the tensioner oil supply gallery empties. The noise may be due to air entering the left hand tensioner when the engine is restarted.
ACTION: Replace the left hand camshaft tensioner with a revised Tensioner Kit. Refer to the Instruction Sheet within the Tensioner Kit for service procedure details.
tx2605~us~en~file=caution.gif~gen~ref.gif WARNING: THE XU2Z-6K254-AA TENSIONER KIT IS FOR INSTALLATION ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ENGINE ONLY. INSTALLATION OF THIS KIT ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ENGINE MAY RESULT IN ENGINE FAILURE. IF A TENSIONER IS NEEDED FOR THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ENGINE, USE KIT XU3Z-6K254-BA.
PART NUMBER PART NAME XU2Z-6K254-AA Tensioner Kit - Left Side XU3Z-6K254-BA Tensioner Kit - Right Side

SECTION 303-01B: Engine — 4.0L SOHC 1998 Explorer/Mountaineer Workshop Manual
IN-VEHICLE REPAIR Timing Drive Components —LH Hydraulic Chain Tensioner Removal and Installation
  1. Remove the upper intake manifold. For additional information, refer to Intake Manifold—Upper in this section.
Intake Manifold —Upper Removal
  1. Disconnect the battery ground cable (14301). For additional information, refer to Section 414-01 .
  1. Remove the air cleaner outlet tube (9B659); refer to Section 303-12 .
  1. Remove the bolts and the accelerator control splash shield.
  1. Remove the accelerator cable (9A758) and speed control actuator cable (9A825).
    1. Pull up on speed control actuator cable to remove.
    1. Rotate the throttle body cam and remove the accelerator cable from the cam.
  1. Remove the screws, the accelerator cable and speed control actuator cable.
  1. Disconnect the RH upper intake manifold vacuum connection.
  1. Disconnect the idle air control (IAC) valve electrical connector.
  1. Disconnect the TP sensor electrical connector.
  1. Disconnect the engine vacuum regulator (EVR) and the variable induction system (VIS) solenoid electrical connections.
  1. Disconnect the crankcase ventilation hose (6853).
  1. Disconnect the power brake booster vacuum line.
  1. Remove the 12 bolts.
  1. NOTE: Inspect the O-rings and replace as necessary.
    Disconnect the LH fuel vapor management valve (VMV) hose.
  1. NOTE: Inspect the O-rings and replace as necessary.
    Disconnect the RH VMV hose and remove the upper intake manifold.
  1. Remove the thermostat housing. For additional information, refer to Section 303-03 .
  1. Remove the LH camshaft tensioner.
    • If using a new washer, tighten to 44 Nm (32 lb-ft).
    • If using the old washer, tighten to 67 Nm (49 lb-ft).
  1. Remove the pipe plug, and the oil volume reduction plug.
  1. NOTE: Be sure to install the new oil volume reduction plug supplied with the hydraulic chain tensioner.
    To install, reverse the removal procedure.
please rate as fixed if this helps you

May 03, 2009 | 1998 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

1997 ford explorer 4.0 sohc how to set timing


There are no timing marks. Timing is done using special tools to hold the crank at top center and a tool to hold each camshaft in position. the cam sprockets are not pinned to the cams. there are also dummy tensioners installed to take up the slack till the tightening is done. Also there are chains at the back of the motor that can only be timed with the motor out of vehical.

Feb 10, 2009 | 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

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