Camshaft engine problems on a ecoboost engine in Ford Transit Cargo

Hey there folks, I am looking to buy a used ford transit cargo van and noticed a few worrying things with its 3.5L ecoboost engine and was hoping you could provide some insight into whats going on?

Outward symptoms:
Really really loud sewing machine sound, noisier than any other ecoboost I have tested by at least double.
“Service Engine” light on

Engine codes:
P0012: A camshaft position timing over retarded bank 1
P0390: Camshaft position sensor B circuit bank 2
P0394: Camshaft position sensor B circuit intermittent bank 2
P052B: Unknown code
P068A: ECM/PCM Power relay de-energized performance too early

Van has about 120k miles on it, any idea whats going on and what something like this may cost to fix?

It sounds like it needs a camshaft position sensor at best and at worst something is wrong with the camshaft position actuator itself and the sensor is good. I would guess if it’s beyond just a sensor it probably didn’t have the oil changed very often. If you just buy a timing chain and everything you need it would probably be $500 and closer to $2000 if you have it repaired at a shop.

My vote would be walk away. There have to be more fish in the sea.

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I will say what I always say. If you are going to ask complete strangers on the internet about a vehicle with problems then look elsewhere.

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The error codes are a clue. The noise from the engine is a red flag. I’d say timing chain and guides need replacing as well as any tensioners inside.

Having just typed the above… searched “timing chain problems ecoboost 3.5 v6” on Google. Timing chain stretch on these engines IS a problem, there IS a TSB issued for this, or so I read. Chain stretch can throw codes and make noise as early as 68K

Its gonna cost $2000 or better like @toomuchboost says.

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Thats a lot of help, thank you! It at least gets me looking in the right direction and figuring out if the van is worth repairing/having repaired. Thanks for all your guys’ help!

Agree with everything you said, right down to the TSB. I’ve been researching trucks and have come to the conclusion that timing chain stretch is somewhat common on the 3.5 ecoboost from it’s inception in the f150 (2011) to at least 2015.

OP, google “ecoboost timing chain rattle” or “ecoboost cold start rattle” and see if the sounds and symptoms seem similar to what you encountered.

Odds are the engine is prematurely worn out from lack of regular oil changes.