98 ford explorer 4.0L sohc with rattle when warm

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2,183
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Lexington, KY
I have 98 ford explorer 4.0L sohc with a idle rattle when warm. Do not hear with cold engine. Notice it at idle. However seems to disapear as reved above idle. Not sure what it could be. Does not seem to be the timing chain issue as that is supposed to be all the time. Any Ideas?
 
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Norway
Hi again, Russel. Since this sound appeared now, in the rinse phase of an Auto-Rx treatment, this is most probably not an issue to take up, yet. When you have driven another 2000 miles, and if the rattle is still there, it would be another case. Most people at this board are well known that an Auto-Rx treatment can cause some strange noices from the engine, during clean and rinse phases.
 

Russell

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2,183
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Lexington, KY
 Originally Posted By: jonny-b
Hi again, Russel. Since this sound appeared now, in the rinse phase of an Auto-Rx treatment, this is most probably not an issue to take up, yet. When you have driven another 2000 miles, and if the rattle is still there, it would be another case. Most people at this board are well known that an Auto-Rx treatment can cause some strange noices from the engine, during clean and rinse phases.
Actually the noise appeared during the clean phase. I was not clear in my first post. also, I knew about the strange noise issue and have changed the oil and filter. Just thought I would thow the question out there to see if there might be something I am missing. Thanks
 
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1,007
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Dallas, TX
Common issue with this engine during certain years. I had a friend that took his back 4 times trying to isolate the noise, and they were never able to find it. He finally sold it for fear of a bad main bearing, even though I don't think that's what it is. Ford's aware of it, but to my knowledge, never issued a TSB because the noise hasn't led to any engine failures. I actually have no explanation for the noise, since it only occurs when the engine is warm. My friend's would only do it at startup after the car had been cooling for about an hour. When fully hot, it stopped. Never happened when cold either. It sounds like rod knock, but if it were, it'd present itself under a wider range of circumstances. I guess I just wanted to let you know that it's not just YOURS that does it and your engine isn't getting ready to send a rod through the block.
 
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Kansas
 Originally Posted By: Russell
I have 98 ford explorer 4.0L sohc with a idle rattle when warm. Do not hear with cold engine. Notice it at idle. However seems to disapear as reved above idle. Not sure what it could be. Does not seem to be the timing chain issue as that is supposed to be all the time. Any Ideas?
My advice is to take a 4-5 foot section of heater hose and use it as a poor man's stethescope. It's amazing how well you can narrow down the sound to a specific section. As far as the noise, there was an issue with the plastic intake manifold making noise on some Windstars, so that probably isn't an issue with yours. It's possible that's it's a timing chain tensioner also. Whatever it is, I'm betting that it's not something to worry about yet.
 
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4,116
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Olathe, KS
Check the Explorer forums. I know my '97 Sport (SOHC) also did this from new. I only had it 2 yrs (leased -- and before I browsed auto forums). I'm pretty sure it's common, but unsure of the cause.
 
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5,949
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Texas Hill Country
The timing chain tensioners are a huge issue with this motor. Its not fun to replace them, the way the engine is mounted, the one tensioner is right at the firewall, the other is in the front of the motor. I believe you need to pull the motor to do any kind of service on the timing belt. My brother had a 2000 that sounded like a diesel. He got rid of it, to some kid who wanted to put a stereo system in it and obviously didn't care about the shape of the motor.
 

Russell

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2,183
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Lexington, KY
 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
What other information did yo leave out concerning the engine/car/history?
What do you mean? I never intended to show the car's entire history Seems you are being a bit rude.
 

Russell

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2,183
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Lexington, KY
 Originally Posted By: JustinH
The timing chain tensioners are a huge issue with this motor. Its not fun to replace them, the way the engine is mounted, the one tensioner is right at the firewall, the other is in the front of the motor. I believe you need to pull the motor to do any kind of service on the timing belt. Correct I did a bit of web search and found all sort of stories. However, i have yet to find info on a warm engine rattle. My brother had a 2000 that sounded like a diesel. He got rid of it, to some kid who wanted to put a stereo system in it and obviously didn't care about the shape of the motor.
Correct However, I never found any thing about a warm engine rattle. I will keep searching
 
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Russell

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Lexington, KY
Had a dealer take a look at it. They told me all the timing chains, guides and tensioners need to be replaced. There are about 4 chains involved. Would have to pull the engine. 22.5 hous of labor. Total bill would be about $2,700. I told them no. I will drive till it dies or trade it in on another car/truck. Perhaps the clunkers program might come in play.
 

Russell

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2,183
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Lexington, KY
 Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
thats on the low side actually.
What an expensive repair. Especially for something that should never have to be done. Also, the engine seems overly complex. I think we are going to sell/trade it for a used Toyota 4runner or a used Lexus RX 330
 
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Yeah get rid of it. I have not heard of one of these timing chains breaking at any time though, they just rattle, and it gets worse and worse. You might want to unload it before it starts sounding very loud, then no one will want it.
 
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