Worn Timing Chain Cassettes May Cause Rattling Noise From Engine on Ford Explorer

A rattling noise from the engine may indicate that the timing chain cassette is worn. Our technicians tell us that installing an updated cassette and timing chain tensioner should correct this concern.

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 142,419 (13,000–276,000)
Engines affected: 4.0L V6, 4.0L V6 SOHC, 4.6L V8, 5.0L V8
14 model years affected: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, more2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
148 people reported this problem
Get Your Car Fixed at a RepairPal Certified Shop.
We certify shops based on expertise, quality work, and verified customer reviews
Viewing 1 - 20 of 85 problem details
1997 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 155,555 mi,
A year ago I had the upper and lower intake, the plenum and head gaskets replaced. There was a slight rattle and was told it was a heat shield on my exhaust close to the manifold that had a broken weld and was rattling,I already knew this to be true I had found it doing an oil change. The mechanic removed the heat shield hence removing the rattle only there is one huge problem the rattle didn't go away but got worse. It is so loud now that my V6 sounds like a diesel while idling and even worse when accelerating, HELP!
2004 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 SOHC 141,000 mi,
Noisy timing chain tension adjusters and has not been repaired yet. Looking for economical solution.
2004 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 SOHC 121,000 mi,
Rattle noise at cold start is becoming more apparent most of the time.
2002 Ford Explorer - 4.6L V8 42,000 mi,
rattleing noise on acceleration until shifts into overdrive an then noise stops
2003 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 SOHC 160,000 mi,
all 3 timing chain cassettes broke causing all 3 camshafts to jump time.it bent 5 valves I had to have engine removed for repair( r. side timing chain cassette can only be accessed from inside bellhousing flange!)also had to have auxilliary shaft brgs. replaced because the front 1 had spun into the engine resulting in sudden loss of oil pressure.my mechanic said "this engine must have been designed by aliens!" it is actually designed by, Ford of Germany. there goes my faith in Ford delivering a well designed &built product!
2000 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 93,000 mi,
Ford XLT Explorer. My mechanic removed the oil filler cap to listen to the sound coming from the right side front of the motor. It sounded like the clicking of a diesel near where my power steering pump is located. This problem seems to be intermittent. It was not there on a cold start so I left and drove a short way; parked for about 15 minutes. Upon restart, there it was. It's his opinion that a timing chain nylon tensioner on the front is either worn or gone entirely causing the chain to slap the sides or the another chain that is near it. It takes special tools for this so he recommended I take it to Mountain View Ford in Chattanooga to diagnose and repair. Carl
2002 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 146,000 mi,
valves rattlin like it lost its oil preasure
2004 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 101,000 mi,
Rattle coming from engine almost sounds like a bad valve.
2000 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 SOHC 110,000 mi,
Rear timing chain cassette was broken causing rattling noise, engine had to be removed in order to repair it.
2004 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 76,000 mi,
started hearing a rattling noise one day.the rear timing chain snapped and came through the valve cover.apparently this is a common problem with these motors.a friend of mine had this happen to both of his 04 explorers,and its the biggest problem i find on every forum. .it was pretty easy to diagnose the problem since about 5 inches of chain was sticking out of the cover and oil was everywhere.i currently have the motor out of the car (which you have to do to replace the rear timing chain).
2003 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 190,000 mi,
It just started and I'm finding out the problem by looking online. It was running fine perfectly yesterday and now this
Small rattling noise turned into timing chain broke cover and lost all oil out of top of motor
2003 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 175,000 mi,
It sounds like a wrench jumping around in said the motor and gets worse when given gas
2003 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 SOHC 130,000 mi,
Rattle upon startup that almost goes away after oil pressure comes up.was told about the timing cassette guides ! Nice design ford! Buy a truck under the auspices of ford quality and dependability and find out its neither! I'm all for regular services and have no issue with that but 2800.00 to pull the engine to replace inferior parts ! Ford should have been more diligent about the quality of the plastic they put inside their engines .especially the ones that can ruin your engine and your bank account ! I love the aesthetics of the explorer but I doubt now that another ford is in the offing for me! The 4.0 is a peppy engine but the timing chain issue is ridiculous ! It ruined my faith in ford! With the number of issues I see people having with these ,why ,with the billions ford makes wasn't a recall done??this is not just an issue with a couple years models but many ! I have to wonder why ! I am a 40 year ford man but I'm disgusted with the timing chain debacle.cmon ford!!!!
2003 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 206,000 mi,
Engine knocks louder the longer it is driven. Early in the morning practically no knocking.
2010 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 SOHC 60,113 mi,
The engine was running perectly when all of a sudden it started misfiring and check engine light began to flash. Ford Dealer said timing chain jumped bent a few valves, broke apart and pieces fell down into the internal engine. Also said this has been an ongoing problem for years.. Dealer said approximately $10,000 to repar... YES "$10,000" is the exact number he quoated me. My warranty is 60,000 miles I am 113 mile over the warranty and FORD refuses to do anything for me. Let me repeat that ONLY 113 miles over the warranty. This is my third EXPLORER and I'be been a Ford Buyer for Many Many years. FORD SAID "SORRY HAVE A NICE DAY!" I will NEVER BUY ANOTHER FORD PRODUCT.. and I will tell EVERYBODY about how FORD treated me..!! Going to look at Chevy Truck today !
2004 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 243,500 mi,
Noisy rattle starting then once engine warms up the rattle comes back at idle. Once engine gets between 1800-2500 rpms it has the same rattle.
2002 Ford Explorer - 4.6L V8 170,000 mi,
Drives like the day I purchased except for the rattle of the timing chain guide/cassette. Oh and the cracks in the rear hatch that was fixed three times under recall/service bull then Ford decided they were done with it.
2003 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 147,000 mi,
Timing chain bust..
1996 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 213,000 mi,
Timing chain in truck will not let truck start