AfterMarketNews Brake&Frontend BodyShopBusiness Counterman EngineBuilder Fleet Equipment ImportCar Motorcycle & Powersports News Servicio Automotriz Shop Owner Tire Review Tech Shop Tomorrow's Tech Underhood Service Speedville

Servicing Mercedes-Benz AIRMATIC Suspensions

The Mercedes-Benz AIRMATIC suspension system was introduced in 1999 on the S-Class and has subsequently been used on the E-Class and most of the automaker’s SUVs. The system employs electronically controlled air springs that provide an ideal balance...

Read more...

Mazda: Performing Regular Undercar Maintenance

In this article, we’ll take a look at brake and undercar service on the Mazda vehicle lineup, with the footnote that even though this type of work ­becomes routine when you have a preventive maintenance mindset, good work habits from beginning to end...

Read more...

ZF 8-Speed Transmission Replacement

The ZF 8HP transmission made its debut in 2009, and since its introduction, has been one of the top choices for international car manufacturers. BMW, one of ZF’s largest customers, uses the 8HP across its entire product portfolio. BMWs featuring...

Read more...

GM Power Steering Noise/Leaks

GM: Power Steering Noise/Leaks from Power Steering Pump, Gear or High Pressure Hose During Extreme Low Temperature Conditions MODELS: -2009-2015 Buick LaCrosse (Equipped with Hydraulic Power Steering) -2010-2013 Buick Regal -2012-2015 Buick...

Read more...

Ford Edge Brake Replacement

Ford Edge Brake Replacement Basics The Ford Edge is an SUV based on the CD3 platform. The brakes on these vehicles are straightforward and do not break any new ground. There were no major changes to the brake systems from 2007 to the current model. For...

Read more...

Live-Axle Wheel Bearing Replacement

Replacing wheel bearings on a vehicle with a live rear axle may not be one of the most frequent jobs, but it can be one of the most profitable. While the basics have not changed in more than 60 years, new seal materials and differential designs have...

Read more...

The Ins And Outs Of Sanders

Sanders are required tools in today’s collision repair shop. Body techs and painters rely upon them every day to achieve that perfect finish on your customers’ vehicles. Whether you’re prepping a panel for paint or removing imperfections before...

Read more...

Are You Regularly Maintaining Your Equipment?

Technicians who are idling because the welder won’t feed wire, the hydraulic ram won’t pull chains, the booth heater won’t heat or the air compressor won’t compress enough air is a costly mistake, as labor time is the most expensive thing in any...

Read more...

Celebrate 'Back To The Future' Day By Watching The Time Machine Get A 2015 Detail

    For many today is just another Wednesday, but for a lot of people it is more than just your average Wednesday, it is "Back to the Future" Day. It is a day that everyone who watched the cult classic trilogy Back to the Future recognizes...

Read more...

Home Emissions ‘Exploring’ Service Needs On The Ford 4.0L V6 Engine

Print Print Email Email

Rated at a rather anemic 210 horsepower, the 4.0L SOHC V6 is not exactly a high output engine. It also has an unusual overhead cam drive setup.

Unlike most other OHC V6 and V8 engines that drive both overhead cams directly from the crankshaft with a belt or chain, this engine has an intermediate jackshaft in the middle of the block where a pushrod cam would normally be located. the 4.0l sohc engine was found under the hood of many ford and related suvs and light trucks, as well as 2005-’10 mustangs.

A short timing chain on the front of the engine connects the crankshaft to the intermediate jackshaft. A second, longer timing chain behind the first chain connects the front of the jackshaft to the overhead cam on the left side of the engine.

A third timing chain in the back of the engine connects the rear of the jackshaft to the overhead cam in the right cylinder head. There is also a balance shaft in the crankcase of engines used in 4×4 trucks, which is driven by a fourth chain directly off the crankshaft.

Why Ford designed the cam drives this way is anyone’s guess. It probably allowed the engine to be shorter and more compact. But one of the unintended consequences of this fore-and-aft split cam drive arrangement is that it makes the timing chains, guides and tensioners VERY difficult to replace — which makes for an expensive repair when a chain guide or tensioner fails on one of these engines (a common problem on high mileage engines, especially if the owner has ­neglected regular oil changes).

TIMING CHAIN PROBLEMS
Some of the early engines up through 2002 in the Ranger and Explorer have had a timing chain rattle problem due to the poor design of the original teflon chain guides. The noise is most noticeable when a cold engine is first started, and is usually loudest from 2400 to 3000 rpm.

The same noise problem can also develop in 2003 and newer high-mileage engines as a result of chain guide wear. In some instances, the guide may break and disintegrate and spew debris into the oil pan. This may also cause one of the timing chains to break (typically the front left chain).

Fortunately, the 4.0L SOHC is not an interference engine so a timing chain failure won’t bend the valves. But it does create an expensive repair for the vehicle owner.

Ford issued a TSB for the timing rattle problem and released a redesigned “‘cassette”‘ (the timing chain, gears, guide and tensioner assembly) for the left front timing chain. This timing chain cassette can be replaced without having to pull the engine out of the vehicle.

But, if the engine has a bad rear chain or guide, or a chain guide has failed and throws debris into the crankcase, you will have to remove the engine to make the required repairs. That includes removing the flywheel and flexplate so that the rear cam drive cassette can be replaced, and pulling the oil pan so any debris in the oil pan and oil pickup screen can be cleaned out.

You’ll also need a special tool kit (Ford or aftermarket) to hold the cams and tension the timing chains, and to prevent the crankshaft from rotating while you’re doing the cam drives. You’ll also need the proper puller to get the harmonic balancer off the crankshaft. one of the unintended consequences of the 4.0l’s fore-and-aft split cam drive arrangement is that it makes the timing chains, guides and tensioners very difficult to replace and an expensive repair when a chain guide or tensioner fails.  courtesy: cloyes gears

The redesigned Ford primary timing chain service kit includes an improved chain tensioner and chain guide, chain, jackshaft and sprockets. Kit number 2U3Z-6D256-AA is for balance shaft engines in 1999 to 2001 4×4 Explorer/Mountaineer, 2001 to 2002 4×4 Sport/Sport Trac and all 2002 Explorer/Mountaineer (except engine codes 2G-960-AA and 2G-964-AA). Kit number 2U3Z-6D256-BA is for non-balance shaft engines in 1999 to 2001 2WD Explorer/Mountaineer and 2001 to 2002 2WD Sport/Sport Trac, and all 2001 to 2002 Ranger.

ENGINE SERVICE
If the head gasket is leaking, replacing the left head gasket can be done with the engine in the vehicle (assuming there is enough room to pull the head). But if the right head has to come off, the only way to remove the head is with the engine out of the vehicle because of the rear cam drive on the right head.

At this point, some might argue that it’s cheaper and easier to simply find a good used engine and replace the old motor rather than repair it. This might be a viable alternative IF you can find a good used low-mileage 4.0L SOHC V6 that can be swapped into your customer’s vehicle. a short timing chain on the front of the engine connects the crankshaft to the ­intermediate jackshaft.

But by the time many of these engines end up in a salvage yard, they don’t have a lot of miles left in them. A better option if your customer is willing to spend the money would be to install a remanufactured engine. A reman engine from a reputable supplier should be completely reconditioned to original specifications and come with an extended warranty.

Some suppliers offer a three-year or 36,000-mile warranty with their reman engines. That’s a better deal than the 30 day guarantee many salvage yards offer (which doesn’t include labor!).

If the engine in your customer’s vehicle has a timing chain rattle problem, and the engine has less than 100,000 miles on it, doing an oil change and using a light viscosity, pure synthetic oil can sometimes quiet the noise.

The lighter oil will flow to the timing chain more quickly following a cold start and reduce the noise somewhat. However, if the engine has a lot of miles on it (more than 100,000) or changing motor oils makes no difference, replacing the timing chain cassette(s) will likely be necessary to quiet the engine.

As we mentioned earlier, this is a rather involved repair procedure so always refer to the Ford service literature for the step-by-step details. If you try to wing it as you go, you’ll likely be in for some unpleasant surprises along the way.

The jackshaft drive gear and cam drive gear retaining bolts are TTY (torque-to-yield) and should not be reused. If you don’t replace these bolts with new ones, there’s a risk of breakage. The rear jackshaft bolt is also covered by a small circular plug on the back of the engine. It looks like a freeze plug but isn’t.

The front left chain ­tensioner can be tricky to extract because of its close proximity to the thermostat housing and coolant sensors. You may have to remove the thermostat housing if you can’t get the tensioner out with a wrench or deep socket.

The left (front) and right (rear) cam drive cassettes for this engine are different, and the design and quality of the parts can vary depending on the supplier. Some aftermarket suppliers buy their cam drive cassettes from the same original equipment supplier that Ford uses, while others do not. Since this is a labor-intensive repair that should only have to be done once, don’t try to save money on a no-name part. Go with the genuine Ford replacement parts or parts from a quality-brand aftermarket company.

Other “fun” parts to replace on this engine include the heated PCV valve on the back of the left valve cover. It’s out of sight and hard to reach with little clearance between the engine and firewall.

DIAGNOSTICS
If the Check Engine light is on and you’re doing misfire diagnostics on a 2006 and up Explorer, a new scan tool PID that’s available on these ­models is the actual burn time of each individual spark plug. By comparing the spark durations, you can quickly see if a spark plug is fouled or a cylinder has low compression because the burn time for that cylinder will be longer. If you see a cylinder with a shorter burn time, it would tell you that cylinder is running lean or the spark plug gap in that cylinder is worn or set too wide.

On some 2005-’10 Mustangs with automatic transmissions, there can be an annoying vibration at idle, especially when the A/C is on. The problem is not the engine, but an exhaust ­vibration. Ford TSB 05-8-6 says the cure is to install a damper kit to dampen the annoying vibration. The kit is P/N 5R3Z-5F240-A.

MAINTENANCE
The original equipment spark plugs are platinum with a 100,000-mile service interval. Make sure you install the correct replacement plugs because the ones for the 4.0L OHV pushrod engine are shorter and won’t position the electrode the correct distance into the combustion chamber.

Though Ford diehards tend to stick with the original Motorcraft brand spark plugs, any brand of spark plug will work in these engines provided the plug manufacturer has a listing for the engine application. The plug gap is 0.054” on most applications.

The crankcase oil capacity on the 4.0L SOHC V6 is 5 quarts, usually 5W-30 for the older vehicles and 5W-20 for the newer ones. Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for the recommended viscosity.

The following two tabs change content below.
Larry Carley

Larry Carley

Larry Carley has more than 30 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket, including experience as an ASE-certified technician, and has won numerous awards for his articles. He has written 12 automotive-related books and developed automotive training software, available at www.carleysoftware.com.
Larry Carley

Latest posts by Larry Carley (see all)

  • hogman

    This engine is an interference engine contrary to the expert’s statement above. If a chain breaks or gets out of time, the valves will definitely hit the pistons.

    • Moose

      Amen to that…Gotta love the experts…I have 6 damage pistons to prove it.

  • Bob Schmelter

    A real good summary of the situation I am looking at. Having a 98 explorer and knowing the engine is basically quite good with the exception of water in the oil, ie head gasket. So..how best to determine which side has the problem makes a big difference because, gulp, having to pull the engine out is a much larger step than I care for. .Is pulling/examining the spark plugs the best way or what device can I test with best to determine which side has the leak?

    • Sean Davis

      A clean plug might mean a blown head gasket or try a compression test,

      • Bob Schmelter

        Ok, thanks! Plan to pull the plugs and see whats up there..

        • Carl

          Look in the spark plug holes, the leaky cylinder will have a “steam cleaned” top visible in comparison to the others.

          • Bob Schmelter

            Also a good way! I just haven’t got to the job yet. Thanks.

          • Okc Dave

            Is everyone forgetting a compression test? Try that.

  • Bob Schmelter

    A really good article and perfect under my 98 Explorer situation, a head gone bad, water in oil, big back pressure into radiator. What is best way to easily determine which side is leaking?

    • KenFedUpWithPC

      Compression test or pull the plugs one at a time and see which one looks very clean.

  • Dixie

    2002 explorer sport track 4.0L V6 I had a coolant leak and replaced the water pump and thermostat… Still leaking water lots of water seems to be around manifold and left head….. No water in the oil Any suggestions also little triangle crack in manifold housing ford guy says its for water to come out

  • Art

    Can a 4.0 L v-6 SOHC engine out of a 2000 Ford Explorer XLT be put into a 2002 model with a 4.0 L ? If anyone can help…thanks a bunch

    • DMcC

      yep, any 4.0 SOHC long block will work from 97-2010, just swap out the pans and manifolds etc. I have a engine from a 2007 mustang in my 2002 explorer.

      • mike509

        Hi there, would like to replace my engine on 2002 mountaineer, the swap seems like best option, besides the oil pan and manifolds what else needs to be swapped over. Does the engine mount up to transmission. i have AWD willl that make it a problem? Any information would help? What would you look for as replacement. Low mile 2004-2007of better?

  • Wile E Coyote

    Are the bear8ng cap bolts torque to yield? I am building g a 4.0 SOHC and there is nothing in the Ford Shop DVD that says the bearing cap bolts cannot be reused, but they are to be torqued to a certain value then torqued again 57 degrees.

    • derp

      That means they’re torque to yield.

  • tim roe

    I have 2004 ford explorer idles and runs rough keep throwing code misfire cylinder 1 and gylinder 6 any help please ?

    • Shawn

      Sometimes it can be as simple as a plugged fuel filter that can cause this. Misfire can be caused by a shortage of fuel.

  • andre

    i just bought an explorer advanced trac rsc 2007 i changed the mass air flow sensor and i still have that rattling sound . can somebody help

  • Gary

    can a 2000 4.0 in a 4×4 run in a 2001 2×2 sport? the 4×4 motor has a balance shaft?

  • Paul Shellenhamer

    i have a 2330 ford explorer with 4.0 sohc just rebuilt the heads due to timing failure have it all back together and now have what seams to be a Leakey exhaust in chamber 4 anyone know of a fix without pulling the head again?

    • amarkel

      Pull the head.

      • Paul Shellenhamer

        I said without point that had

      • Paul Shellenhamer

        Sorry darn auto correction I mean without pulling that head off the block

  • Ross Cypert

    How do I tell if it is the right or left head. Is it from the driver seat or from the front looking at the engine? If I am looking at engine it is the head on the right side. Is this the one that is replaceable without pulling the engine?
    Thank you for any and all help!

    • Tim

      In keeping it simple r

      egardless of the point of view where you are looking at it from; the left head is always the drivers side and right had is on the passenger side

  • nino

    I have a 2003 mountanair 4.0 cylinder 1 2 and 3 misfire thinking a jumped timing chain

  • nino

    I have spark did a back pressure test I have injector pulse I have compession

Latest articles from our other sites:

America's Car Museum Celebrates 100 Years Of 'The Ultimate Driving Machine'

To celebrate 100 years of BMW, America’s Car Museum (ACM) is opening a new exhibit on May 7 – “BMW: Propelling a Century of Innovation” – to highlight some of the brand’s most gripping vehicles....More

Monroe ProSolution And Total Solution Brake Pads Now Available For Millions Of Additional Passenger Vehicles

Tenneco has expanded its Monroe Brakes product line to include dozens of new Total Solution and Monroe ProSolution pad sets offering combined coverage of more than 53.2 million additional late-model European,...More

Permatex Fast Orange Grease X Mechanic's Laundry Detergent Brings Cleaning Breakthrough For Service Pros

Permatex, a leading innovator in chemical technology for automotive maintenance and repair, has added a revolutionary automotive first to its #1 selling Fast Orange Hand Cleaner line with the addition...More

Federated Announces 4-Wheelin Car Care Sweepstakes

Federated Car Care Centers work hard to keep America’s vehicles on the road. As a thank you, Federated will award one lucky Car Care member with something they can use both on and off the road, a completely...More

ETI Announces New Officers and Board Members

The Equipment & Tool Institute (ETI) has announced its new officers and board members for the 2016-’17 term. Officers (one-year term) President – Bob Holland (Chief Automotive Technologies) Vice...More

Snap-on 18V Lithium Cordless Angle Grinder Features Safety Switch

The new Snap-on CTGR8855 18V Lithium Cordless Angle Grinder is the next step in grinders, similar to the CTGR8850, but features a unique safety switch that cuts off power if the tool is dropped. “We...More