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Timing chain

98 Ford Explorer with 98,000 miles with a broken timing chain. Should I have the exiting engine rebuilt, buy a new engine or buy a rebuilt engine? One mechanic says $1100 to rebuild existing.

If it is not an interference engine, I would fix it up; 98,000 miles is not excessive mileage (if the car has been well maintained) to be doing this. The price quoted is about right, unless there is other damage as well.

If the car has not been well maintained, a cheap used engine would be an alternative.

Under no circumstances does a new or rebuilt engine make economic sense here in view of the age of the vehicle and it’s current market value in operating condition.

Is this an “interference” engine where the pistons hit the valves and bend them? If not, why not just replace the timing chain??

This is a VERY rare failure at 98,000 miles with these engines…Is there more to this story? If the engine has suffered internal damage, I would consider a salvage yard engine…

$1100 to rebuild a Ford V8?? Not possible. How about $1100 to replace the timing chain…

Pep Boys quoted $1500 to replace the timing chain. The dealer says that if the chain goes other things will go soon if not already. They recommend to change the engine. The $1100 is from an independent mechanic.

never go to a national chain for auto repairs, go to a local garage with a good rep.

I’ve seen an 85 Ford pickup with a 351W engine bend valves when the timing chain failed.

If there’s no valve damage done, install a new timing chain kit and drive on.

Oh! Wait! Aren’t timing chains supposed to last the life of the engine?


If this 1100 dollar quote is to rebuild an engine then you might rethink that because that sounds woefully underpriced for a rebuild and is likely trouble brewing.

Change the oil regularly enough and the chain won’t fail.

This is an overhead cam modular engine…The timing chains usually last the “life of the engine” which is usually 250,000 (or more) miles…With a roller chain cam drive on a V6 or V8, lots of other stuff must be replaced too, all the sprockets, the chain guides and tensioner, and dealing with the large chain cover…

$1100 sounds reasonable enough as long as the rest of the engine is in good shape…Was it burning any oil before this happened?

$1100 to rebuild a Ford V8?? Not possible. How about $1100 to replace the timing chain…

I was thinking the same thing…$1100 for maybe a used engine installed…but not a rebuild.