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Brian
Brian, Ford Shop Foreman
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1353
Experience:  Ford Senior Master certified Tech, 34 years Ford technician.
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I have a 1999 Ford F-150 5.4 and the right timing chain is

Resolved Question:

I have a 1999 Ford F-150 5.4 and the right timing chain is knocking. I installed new timing chains and oil tensioners, a new oil pump, I can see where the timing chain is rubbing on the cover. What can I do to stop this timing chain from knocking? Can I install a larger compresson spring to keep the chain tight?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
I would not recommend a larger spring, the tensioner should be capable of taking up the slack in the chain, the guides may have worn to the point where they allow too much slack, other than that, you replaced the tensioner and the chain is new, assuming the parts are the right ones, if the guides weren't replaced, they may be the cause.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If you are refering to the plastic guides for the chain tensioner they have been replaced with new ones. I also inspected all parts with the old parts they are correct. It is clear to me when the engine is running the tensior is not working correctly. Can anything else not be working?

Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
The chain tensioners are spring loaded and also oil pressure fed, there is an oring on the back of the tensioner, this should have come with the new tensioner, I don't think you have an oil pressure problem or you would have other problems, the only other things I would recommend to check is the oring seal on the back of the tensioner, make sure it is in place and not cut or torn so that it would leak pressure, also make sure the is no obstruction in the oil feed hole for the tensioner.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I did not install oil ring on the oil tensioners. I also, did not recall oil rings coming with the new tensioners. What is the best way to inspect for obstructions? Where is the oil ring located ( the oil feed hole)?
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
The feed hole is directly behind where the tensioner bolts to the block. The oring is installed on the back of the tensioner. If your original tensioner didn't have an oring on it, the new one might not have one, some of them did not come with an oring and sealed together by the machined surface of the block and the tensioner, if it is supposed to have an oring, there will be a cutout on the back of the tensioner where it would go, if is a flat machined surface, an oring is not required.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Please explain the correct operation of the tensions. This is my thoughts the compression spring holds tension on the chain until the engine is started and then additional pressure is applied when the engine is started with oil pressure. Please elaborate further on the correct operation. I have had this engine apart a few times and I am missing something on the right timing chain. Please help.
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
You are correct, that is how they function.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
When the engine is running I can here the chain slapping the timing chain cover. I also, have observed wear on the timing chain cover. Apparently, I am not getting any oil pressure to the tensioner. I know the oil comes up through the head and goes to a port for the tensioner. I have checked the oil flow at the top of the head and blew air through the port to the tensioner. I had the valve cover off observing the oil flow at the back of the right head. What are your suggestions?
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
The only thing would be a restriction to the tensioner port through the head, since you know you have pressure up to the head, I wish I could be of more help, but this is uncommon and not very easy to diagnose since you can't run the engine with the timing cover off.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How much tension is applied by the tensioner to the chain when oil pressure is applied? If this much tension was applied before the engine was started would it effect the timing of the engine?

Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
No, the spring tension is there to prevent the chain from "slopping around" during starup and the oil pressure is to maintain tension as load increases to keep it in time, that was a downfall of the old single chain with a cam and a crank gear, the slack would allow timing to vary as much as 10-15 degrees on accell and deccel if the chain was worn. But the chain shouldn't be able to move that much to affect timing.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Why is the chain knocking and rubbing on the timing chain cover?
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
Let's start from the beginning, why did you replace the chain and components from the start, was it because of the noise or for another reason, also, are the parts you got from a Ford dealer or from an aftermarket supplier, did you determine if this is a Windsor or Romeo engine when you asked for the parts?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No, I did not. How do I deermine the difference between a Windsor or Romeo engine
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
If you give me your vin I can run it through Fords website and let you know which one you have.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The vin number: 1FTRX17L1XKB98949 What is the difference in the parts.
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
The chain guides are configured differentlygraphic, I don't know if there is any difference in the chains, I ran your vin, unfortunately it is older than ten years and doesn't give me the information anymore, I will send you pictures of the two chain guide pictures, the first is the Romeo and the second will be the Windsor.
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
Windsor,graphic
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Brian, I have the Windson. I have another question. The right timing chain has the oil tensioner on the bottom and a guide that holds the tension. On the top there is another guide, does the chain lay on top of the guide or does the chain go underneath the guide? Can you provide me with a photo of the chain and guides?
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
graphicThe chain should go between the guides.graphicgraphicgraphic
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The guides all look correct. I noticed when I turned the engine over manually that the chain has a large amount of slack when engine is in a certain position. Is this normal or should the tensioner keep the chain tight through the rotation?
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
graphicYou might get some slack due to the load of the valve springs when the cam turns but it shouldn't be alot, you shouldn't be able to put a finger between a guide and the chain. The spring tension of the tensioner should be pushing on the guide at all times once the tensioner is installed. When you installed the tensioner, did you compress it first, then install a paper clip into the hole of the tensioner to keep it compressed, then remove the clip to release the tensioner ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, I had the original pin that came with the oil tensioner. I compressed the spring and installed and released after installation. The oil tensioners are new. I also, inspected the oil tensioners for correct operation. The pistons push in freely and there is no blockage on the oil tensioners. The question is why is the tensioner letting the chain have so much slack? In this position the chain slack is approximately two fingers.
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
There should not be this much slack,If the guides are the right ones and installed correctly, the gears are original, the tensioner and chain have been replaced, there are only two other possibilities, the chain is too long or the tensioner is not working correctly.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I agree, the information you have provided me has gave me a better understanding of the timing assembly. The chain is new, so I believe the oil tensioner does not have enough tension to keep the slack out of the chain. I appreiciate all the time and support you spent on this project. Thankyou very much. If you have any other information to provide please send. When I receive I will accept and pay $30 dollars for your time. Thanks again for your help.
Expert:  Brian replied 4 years ago.
Double check with your parts supplier that you have been sold the correct parts, making sure you tell them you have a Windsor built engine. Also maybe compare your tensioner to a new one, I have seen new parts out of the box that have been defective more times than I can remember, nothing worse than doing a big job the right way and getting burned by a bad "new" part.
Brian, Ford Shop Foreman
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1353
Experience: Ford Senior Master certified Tech, 34 years Ford technician.
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