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Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? #4114589 06/03/16 10:15 PM
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chucky2 Offline OP
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I have a 2003 Ford Ranger FX4 Level II, automatic, with 220k mi (I'm the original owner). All of the Level II's had the 4.0L SOHC engine in them, spec'd 5W-30, and have like 4 chains; one for each cam, and I think 2 for whatever else. The winter of 2015 my chains started rattling most of the time on startup/idle, and at the 2700rpm sweet spot. I replaced both the external screw-in tensioners hoping it'd cure the problem, but alas, it still rattles...this on Mobil-1 5W or 0W so it's not a dino cold flow problem.

I'm not looking to open up what is otherwise a perfectly running engine, however, I'm wondering if perhaps now that I'm coming up on an oil change, if I shouldn't try something other than straight Mobil-1 X1 ESP 0W-30 and instead either spike that with something like MoS2 or even try something else. For example should I try dumping in a quart, or even two, of Mobil-1 0W-20 and see if the lighter oil perhaps helps some of the rattle? Or, maybe I should go the other way and try running something like Mobil-1 0W-40, which is just over 30W territory?

Short of opening the engine up and actually fixing the cassettes and everything else, which means pulling the engine, anyone have advice on this? Yes, Yes, the obvious is: Sell the truck while it's running and buy a Mustang GT since it's Summer...I know, I know... laugh

Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114603 06/03/16 10:39 PM
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andyd Offline
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Yah, the SOHC 4.0 cassettes.200 K Thing is, if a piece of heat blasted plastic from the guides breaks off and de-rails the chain... It happens way after warranty expires, but even so. It leaves you with a broken engine in a high miles truck. Scrap. Fish or cut bait. Fix it. Ka-ching. Sell your future head ache to some poor shlub. grin2


'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2
Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114605 06/03/16 10:43 PM
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Kuato Offline
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Agree that replacing the worn chain guides inside is what is needed.

Since that's not your plan, then I would think that a thicker oil, rather than thinner, would help with the rattle. It'll depend on how bad the guides are on the inside....


Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete
Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114622 06/03/16 11:24 PM
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chucky2 Offline OP
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I know, I just don't have time with house projects (to sell this place), looking for new to us house, and my sick parents...plus work. I'd do it myself with the online write-ups available to save some money and have fun, but, at this point I'd have to pay someone to do it.

I guess I could always buy a lower mileage 06+ 4.0L and swap my stuff over to it and be done with the problem...IF that engine turned out to be good.

What I was hoping for was a good diesel conversion thread using the VW 2.0L TDI. Someone actually was going to do one with a '02 Level II (same as at least 03-05 Level II), but he bailed for whatever reason (maybe too many projects himself). If I'm going to drop $2k I mine as well drop $2k on something worthwhile.

I keep wondering given my situation if the MoS2 wouldn't help some. But I don't know if I should try a lighter oil that might get up into the engine quicker or a heavier oil that would "cushion" some of the likely damage being done.

Perhaps heavier w/ MoS2 in summer, and then lighter w/ MoS2 in winter is ticket?

Last edited by chucky2; 06/03/16 11:25 PM.
Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114646 06/04/16 12:14 AM
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DoubleWasp Offline
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Doubt if MOS2 is likely to "plate" plastic.

PYB 10/40 might be worth a shot. PYB works real good at quieting our Jeep 4.0 engines. Also has a lot of moly in it.

RT6 silenced my Caprice's rattly timing chain before I got around to replacing it.


07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio
Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114665 06/04/16 01:08 AM
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I had a Ford Ranger 4x4 that I used for work and accumulated 253,000+ miles before it went to auction (running fine). Around 175K, when it was on the dyno for a SMOG Check (under load in some jurisdictions), I could no longer stand the rattles and the noise. Standing across the yard in front of the engine, it was nasty loud. It ran fine, it just sounded very bad...

The next oil change on the boss's CC was at Oil Stop (a Chevron affiliate) so I decided to try my old high mileage make then run better oil - Delo 400 15W-40. They asked if I was sure, etc. I said yes, do it. Engine quieted right down and was as mellow as a putty tat from then on. Had a steady diet of Delo from there on out.

Give it a try, may work well for you to smile

15W is good to about -15* or something like that, so it should be fine, even in Chicago if it's still in there late in the fall ...

Last edited by BrocLuno; 06/04/16 01:11 AM.

Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114689 06/04/16 02:18 AM
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Marco620 Offline
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I think Mos2 will work. Give it a try. It cant hurt you in moderation.


15' Civic 1.8 i-vtec 262,000 mi Redline 5w20, BP Cvt fluid, Archoil9100
Tornado Chaser/Doberman Whisperer
Son of a Navy Corpsman.


Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114697 06/04/16 02:54 AM
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Merkava_4 Offline
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Originally Posted By: chucky2
For example should I try dumping in a quart, or even two, of Mobil-1 0W-20 and see if the lighter oil perhaps helps some of the rattle?


Yeah that'll do it! Like pouring acetone on an open wound! crackmeup

Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114702 06/04/16 03:33 AM
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UltrafanUK Offline
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Thinner oil will make the rattle worse, I would just try Mobil 0w40 rather than the present 0w30.

Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114704 06/04/16 03:44 AM
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Ducked Offline
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I'd do the Delo thing.

Thick good. Thin bad.

Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114735 06/04/16 05:48 AM
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Merkava_4 Offline
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Now I'm not no oil expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me that if you want to put an oil BARRIER between the timing chains and their mating chain guides so that they don't come in contact with each other so easily causing that rattling noise, you might stand a better chance of keeping them separated with a THICKER oil. grin2

Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114745 06/04/16 06:05 AM
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skyactiv Online Content
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Either sell it now or fix it. No oil or additive is going to unwind the wear and offset the inevitable. If you wanna try a different oil, use Castrol Edge Titanium or any oil that contains titanium. Titanium is one of the better anti-wear adds when the oil is still cold before the other anti-wear adds start doing their job.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
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Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4114824 06/04/16 08:19 AM
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Kuato Offline
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Originally Posted By: chucky2
I know, I just don't have time with house projects (to sell this place), looking for new to us house, and my sick parents...plus work. I'd do it myself with the online write-ups available to save some money and have fun, but, at this point I'd have to pay someone to do it....


That might be your best option. My brother had a vehicle with the worn chain guide rattle...perfectly good engine mulched a few plastic parts and killed the engine. Certainly wouldn't want that to happen to you.


Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete
Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4115236 06/04/16 06:08 PM
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chucky2 Offline OP
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DoubleWasp- Yeah, I know the MoS2 won't plate to the plastic, I was thinking more it might plate to the chain and provide some small level of protection. Thanks for those two recommendations, I'll check them out - I have both available to me locally.

BrocLuno- Man I've used 15W-40 before, that stuff is thick! I might consider it though, maybe I'll try one of these other somewhat lighter alternatives first and if doesn't work, dump after 1-2k and try the 15W-40. I remember one winter turning a mostly empty bottle of that stuff that was in my truck bed outside upside down once when I moved back up to Chi area, and I thought, What the heck, I know I had some left in here? After like a minute, it started finally appearing at the other end of the bottle! shocked2 But, it's Summer...so maybe I should at least give it a try!

Merkava_4, UltrafanUK, Ducked- My only thought on the thin oil would be it might get up into the chain and cassette (whatever is left of it at this point) quicker than a thicker oil and, while sounding more harsh, may yield less wear since the oil would be up there quicker. You all are likely right, along with everyone else, that probably a thicker oil is what I need.

skyactiv- I know I should just have it fixed, but to have it fixed properly in the Chi area it's going to be over a grand between parts and labor. If the cab corner on the drivers side hadn't started rusting last year, it'd be a no brainer. But now...if the body is going to Chi salt disintegrate, then dumping money into it doesn't seem like a good idea. If I trade it, now that that corner is rusty and it's rattling, I'm going to get little for it...and I really don't want a new car payment right now before buying a house. I'm just looking to buy as much time as I can reasonably buy...

Kuato- I know, I know...but I just don't know if it's worth the money. The other thing is, I don't really have the garage space to do this myself. Maybe when we move, I'd be able to pull the engine myself and slowly fix it properly as sort of a fun project. I'm just trying to protect what's in there as much as a I can for another year. In a year we should be in the new place (wherever that ends up being), and I should have the garage space necessary to tackle it myself.

Thank you all for your comments! thumbsup

Re: Cam chain rattle: Oils to use going forwards? [Re: chucky2] #4115273 06/04/16 06:41 PM
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Rotella T6 5W-40 HDEO


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