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Tim The Ford Tech
Tim The Ford Tech, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Senior Master Ford Tech with 10 Years of Professional Ford Experience.
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1999 Ford Explorer: sohc..side timing chain tensioner is shot

Customer Question

Have a 1999 Ford Explorer 4.0 sohc engine. Problem is Right hand side timing chain tensioner is shot. Need remove and replace instructions or where do l purchase a manual etc. Bought a used Ford Workshop Manual, nothing that l want is in it. HELP
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Tim The Ford Tech replied 8 years ago.

If it is running very bad there is a good chance the intake valves are bent. They will come in contact with the pistons if the chain guides break bad enough. You need to run a compression test or even better a cylinder leakage test on the right side and compare it to the reading son the left side.


To set the cam timing on this engine you need a 4.0 sohc timing kit.


graphic has good info on your vehicle. Use a 2000 year model explorer.


You can also rent more in dept manuals on a web site called all data.


With the year and milage of your vehicle it would probably be a good idea to remove the engine and replace the back tensioner and cassette also. This is a difficult engine to time. You may want to consider having a shop make the repairs for you if you are unsure about it after reviewing the repair information.


If this helps you out please accept the answer. If you need more help just ask.


Thanks, Tim



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I was a Volkswagan and sports and foreign mechanic many yeers ago and yes things are a lot different now but general answers is not what l am looking for. For example; could l just R&R the tensioner? Can the tensioner do damage to the timing chain or is it made to wear down protecting the chain? Can l get access to it by removing the valve cover? Note; After l heard the clatter l shut the engine off. l did not use it again.Towed to the Ford dealership they gave me some bull s--t story about needing a new engine. Had it towed home. Engine runs with most of the grinding noise gone but the clattering is their which tells me the tensioner is bad for this it cost me $165.00. They also said the compression is low, that is if they took a compression test, which tells me engine dose not have a bent valve or hole in the piston and it would be low because the right side timing is off.
Look l really want to fix my SUV.
Thanks for your time.
Expert:  Tim The Ford Tech replied 8 years ago.

If it runs bad and the compression is low it probably did bend the intake valve. That is a common problem. The only way to know for sure is to pull the cam followers out of the head and do a cylinder leakage test.


It wouldn't be cost effective for the dealer to dissassemble the engine and replace the valves, that is why they priced you out an engine. It would be cheaper and easier for them to do that.


You have to remove the valve covers and front cover to inspect the front cassette, the back one is hard to see without removing the engine. You can't replace the back one with out removing the engine. You can't just do the tensioner, you have to do the chain cassett and tensioner. You also have to have the special tool kit I showed you to lock the cams and crank in place to set the timing. There are no timing marks to set the chains.

Its not as simple as just replacing a tensioner.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It runs bad because the tensioner is chewed up therefore giving the chain slack which makes the right side run out of time by several degrees. I do not see $80.00 dollars per hour, even if l am lucky to get somebody that knows what they are doing, as being cost effective. Besides you all probabiy use flat rate book. As for a valve being bent all that has to be done is to send the head to a machine shop. The ford dealer didn't give me the results of the compression test, that alone makes me suspect. Now for the rear cassett not being visable that is why mirrors were invented. I am not trying to be smart, these are things l did and used as a mechanic. I do not feel that you ever done what l am trying to get information about.
Expert:  Tim The Ford Tech replied 8 years ago.

Good luck to you. I ll opt out.