CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2005 Ford Ranger 2ND Timing Chain issue

Hello Cartalk World.

I have a 2005 ford Ranger FX4 with a 4.0 L V6 SOHC engine. 18 months ago when the truck was at 94,000 miles I was driving around a neighborhood and heard a disastrous rattling noise. Towed the car and found out the timing chain was thrown and all the tensioners were shredded. OK $4,000 repair.

Now, 18 months, and 10,000 miles later, driving on the highway, lost power and then engine would not turn over. Towed the vehicle to the shop I’ve used before and was rudely told no compression and I need a new engine. Unsatisfied with that answer I went to a more well respected mechanic in town and told him the same story I’ve just shared. He agrees to take a look saying the previous shop I used are CRIMINALS. He reports that the cams are 100% out of time and now the valves are bent = new engine. He also explained to me that the only way to be out of time is because of the timing chain, whether that is because of faulty labor or parts the first shop needs to fix it. At this point the second mechanic offers to join me in small claims court if I decide to follow up.

At this point I have returned to the first shop, after finding out this job is covered under Napas 24 month / 24,000 peace of mind warranty. however, this is a 6-9 month process in total, will only cover the parts not the labor, and they need the chain and tensioners which will be 10 more hours of labor to get to. So doesn’t sound like a good solution, but the original shop is claiming no fault and saying they are Napa parts…

Now I need to decide: 1) Is it worth putting a new/used engine in the truck. Benefit of this job is then I can get to the chain and have some hard evidence as to what went wrong. And 2) Should I follow up with the first shop and try and get some sort of refund? And do I have a potential claim in court?

Or is this just the way the world works and time to cut my losses…

Thanks for reading and the input!

Good idea at this point.
Find out what’s the monetary limit they are allowed to settle and decide if this is going to be enough.
I would not go back to the original shop who botched the engine repair, even if they offer fixing it.
If you can get them to pay for the repairs by the second mechanic, that would be what I would do.
Now, bent valves are not necessarily mean you need a “new” (really “used transplant”) engine, as heads can be removed and repaired and if pistons are not damaged, you could be better with your known engine than some unknown junkyard-sourced transplant.

Thanks for the reply! limit in small claims is $6k. So would cover the new engine with a 3 yr 100,000 warranty installed at $5,500. Yes, will avoid work at first shop. They are not offering anything at this point saying no way it was related to their labor 18 months later…

If it were me? I’d cut my loses just for this reason.

Tester

Do I have any case against the shop that did the repairs? Or ford? Tough hearing my truck I just dumped 4k into is done for.

After 18 months it is doubtful , as for Ford that is also doubtful as the truck is 14 years old and had work done to it.

1 Like

Ya I hear ya. This new shop feels strongly that something was done wrong

I hope you’re aware this particular engine doesn’t have just one timing chain

It’s not like an old school small block chevy with just one chain

this engine has multiple chains, and they’re not all quick and easy to get to

Did the first shop replace ALL of the chains and tensioners?

I suggest you look very carefully at your paperwork and tell us what it says

4 Likes

Did the original shop replace all the timing chains? Or just the ones in front of the engine?

Tester

1 Like

I’m with @db4690 and @Tester . This engine has (I think) three timing chains the ones on the front are comparatively easy to get to. The one on the back of the engine is much more difficult and often times the engine has to come out to get to it. For $4k I would hope that all of them were replaced. However if the front was replaced and not the the rear then that could be the issue. I’d check your work order and see what was replaced.

It’s not unheard for the rear timing chain to go bad and then just replace the engine because with the labor involved an replacing the engine altogether isn’t much more expensive than replacing the timing chains.

Getting some clarification. I think I remember the engine being pulled, so hopefully they replaced all of them

The labor line shows 22.8 hours, Timing chain remove and replace. Includes; remove and install engine.

You were charged for complete timing chain replacement, front and rear, perhaps shop # 2 can tell you if all of the chains were replaced.

from the @Tester article above, this is a non-interference engine, so it will not require pulling heads to fix valves

still, the engine design is … unorthodox… not to say something more strong…

Getting to be over my head…been told needs a new engine

It was a quick and dirty pushrod to OHC conversion.

in 2002 ?
wow, took Ford some time to realize they need to go OHC route? :slight_smile:

After 18 months and 10k miles I don’t think you have a prayer of winning a lawsuit. How is the motor oil level and what kind of oil change regimen have you been using?

A 15 year old truck with only about a 100k miles has apparently seen light use. Point here being the possibility of oil sludging which can affect the timing chain tensioners.

3 Likes

Yeah, the original 4.0L Cologne V6 was a pushrod engine that came out in 1990. Around 1997 Ford came out with a SOHC version of the same engine. On the SOHC version there’s a shaft where the camshaft in the pushrod version would be. The timing chains run off of that, one of the three timing chains runs off of the crankshaft. Shockingly there were problems with the design.

Tester’s link above says the 4 L engine is a non-interference design. A timing chain failure on that type of engine normally wouldn’t damage the valves. It would usually cause loss of compression, but that itself doesn’t imply the valves are damaged.

As far a what to do, I think your best bet is probably to use the NAPA warranty for the parts, and see if you can negotiate a reduced rate for the labor, then have the shop re-do the job. This time however ask for a warranty on the labor should the job fail within 3 years or 36,000 miles, provided you have documentation that the oil and filter changes were done on schedule.

Before you do all that, ask a Ford dealership if they have any customer interest bulletins or recalls on this issue for your truck’s VIN.

I also like the alternative of moving on to another truck with an improved engine designed for reliability, and letting a diy’er (teenager, school auto shop, etc) who has the time and space to figure it out themselves buy the truck for cheap.