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#4541360 - 10/12/17 04:37 PM Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue
HawkeyeScott Offline


Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 785
Loc: El Oeste
Kicking tires on a 1998 Town Car with the 4.6. It, supposedly, only has 73k miles on it but the older lady selling it says it needs a timing chain. I know the 4.6 is known as a tremendous motor. So I wonder why, with such low mileage, this car may need this work. Any thoughts? I once had a '97 Crown Vic and it was a really good car. The price is right on this one *IF* it's only a timing issue.

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#4541362 - 10/12/17 04:40 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21185
Loc: Orlando, FL
Ask yourself do you really want (need) that 20 year old car ?

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#4541363 - 10/12/17 04:42 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
HawkeyeScott Offline


Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 785
Loc: El Oeste
Honey, is that you posting on BITOG?! grin

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#4541372 - 10/12/17 04:56 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
buck91 Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 2449
Loc: West Michigan
That would be unusual. I've had a couple of 4.6L with far more miles on OE chains. Possible that its developed some timing chain rattle from worn tensioner guides, though.
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#4541407 - 10/12/17 05:41 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
cpayne5 Offline


Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 605
Loc: Virginia
Failure to change the oil at prescribed intervals, or allowing it to run low, causing the chains to wear prematurely?

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#4541413 - 10/12/17 05:50 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 390
Loc: MN
Highly unlikely... But not unheard of. Go take a peek and try to get more info. Sounds like there's missing information here.
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#4541453 - 10/12/17 06:50 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7146
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
The plastic chain guides probably broke. A known failure item. Causes a death-rattle type sound. Especially on cold startup.



Sometimes they get to this point....

[img]http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?attachments/000_0180web-jpg.44802/[/img]


Edited by Cujet (10/12/17 06:54 PM)
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#4541539 - 10/12/17 08:09 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
Colt45ws Offline


Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 9637
Loc: Central Washington
Yeah, what Cujet said. It happens. Most of them last and last but you get the odd one that breaks for some reason.
And I'd take a '98 town car with under 100k over anything '18.


Edited by Colt45ws (10/12/17 08:12 PM)
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#4541557 - 10/12/17 08:25 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: Colt45ws]
bbhero Offline


Registered: 03/20/15
Posts: 4616
Loc: Virginia
+1 to all that is stated here.

A very good 20 yr old car is something to buy and keep rolling. A poor 20 yr old car should be salvaged for scrap.
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#4541643 - 10/12/17 09:24 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
I'd be all over that car if $2K or less and clean overall. Though a timing chain repair could be fairly expensive ($1,000+) though at least it would be done...along with belt, idler, idler tensioner, water pump, and probably vcg's and plugs/coils if needed. If you can do all the work yourself, not such a big deal. And the lady and/or her mechanic could be mistaken and not be a timing chain issue. This is pretty early for one of those to go...unless she's a lead foot driver (not likely). Just using the wrong oil filter can give startup ticking than sound like timing chain "problems."

The 1998 TC was specced for 5w-30. Then back specced by Ford for 5w-20 in 2001. Using that oil for the past 16 yrs could possibly contribute to more timing chain/chain guide wear...especially if OCI's were on the long side. My 1997 Lincoln 4.6 liter went 232K miles on the original timing chain, guide, and tensioner...all the way on 5w-30 conventional oil with 3K OCI's. That was a superb running 4.6l until the water pump failed.
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2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
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#4541745 - 10/12/17 11:39 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
Dave9 Offline


Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 176
Loc: Cincinnati, USA
The thing that needs to be remembered is that not all miles are equal. A car with that few miles after this long was likely driven many short trips, very little highway miles, so comparisons to what seems like an average # of miles for them 10+ years ago, don't apply.

Inspect the vehicle. Make sure they didn't put extra thick oil in trying to quiet it down. Insist it has not been started recently before you get there, start it up cold and listen for chain rattle which will be worst right after it starts and decrease as it gets warmer. If the rattle is quite loud or still unreasonable as it warms up, expect to need to replace it soon. If it is only a minor cold rattle then it may go another 20K+ mi before work "must" be done or it implodes.

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#4541804 - 10/13/17 04:07 AM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: Mr Nice]
Lubener Offline


Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 2576
Loc: N.Ohio
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Ask yourself do you really want (need) that 20 year old car ?

Why not? If he can do the work himself and get a deal on it. If you have to pay someone, forget it.I doubt the timing chain/components are bad after 73k miles anyway.


Edited by Lubener (10/13/17 04:09 AM)
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#4541849 - 10/13/17 06:45 AM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7146
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Another thought, low mile, replacement 4.6L engines are $800 around here. You could even find a later model PI (power improved) 4.6L for that.
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#4541870 - 10/13/17 07:02 AM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
punisher Offline


Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 2425
Loc: snowblind in TX
This job is not really tough to do. Granted my judgement is clouded by a decade at Ford, but tensioner/timing chain replacement on a 4.6 in a CV/GM/Town Car is easily doable for a DIYer of even moderate talent.

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#4542141 - 10/13/17 12:54 PM Re: Late 90s Ford 4.6 timing issue [Re: HawkeyeScott]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
My 2002 Lincoln 4.6L is 17 yrs old with 78K miles. Despite mostly shorter 6-8 mile trips since I bought it with 22K miles, it's quiet and runs clean on the lubricating fluids. Buying a 20 yr old/low mileage 4.6L that has been taken care of is not a big risk imo. I'd be willing to bet this particular car has no timing chain/guide wear issue. Probably just a shop trying to scare the owner into a costly repair job that isn't even needed.

I know the Crown Vics and Grand Marquis in the late 1990's to early 2000's have plastic coolant "hoses" and parts that fail around this mileage and age. Not sure if the Lincoln Town Cars got something different. The 1996-2002 Lincoln Continental 4.6L didn't use plastic coolant parts.
_________________________
----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs

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