1999-2004 Mustang GT timing chain replacement? - Ford Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010 Thread Starter
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1999-2004 Mustang GT timing chain replacement?

So the 4.6l lump in the 99-04 GT Mustang is a chain (belt on the front is accessory?)

This being the case, does the chain need replacing or just the auto tensioner?

Does the auto tensioner need "adjusting" like some of the old motorcycles? ie. loosen then allow it to auto adjust then tighten back up again?



PS, sorry for thread necro.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010
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The timing chain on the 4.6 does not need adjustment. The chain tension adjusters are hydraulically controlled via oil pressure. It is normal to have “some” chain noise when first stated up while the oil pressure builds. The noise should go away in a few seconds.

That’s not to say the timing chains never need maintenance. It happens from time to time that the adjusting shoes will ware all the way through the plastic and down to the metal. Once this happens, there is nothing to control the slack and a catastrophic failure will result.

That is what happened to the motor in my 2000 GT.

Do not ignore excessive noises from the front timing chains (other than at initial cold start up). For a high mileage engine, get yourself an oil filter cutter. As part of regular maintenance, cut the filter open and look for bits of metal on the filter element. If there is metal to metal ware going on, the bits of metal will tell the tale.

Here is an example that I use since personally experiencing a motor failure. It is easy to use and now a part of my oil change routine.

http://www.amazon.com/Longacre-Oil-Filter-Cutter/dp/B000BO9KSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1285252302&sr= 1-1

Get yourself a mechanic's stethoscope. Probe around to see if any unusual noises can be located and or isolated.

With regards to your question about what needs replacing. Under normal situations, the entire timing set is good for the “life” of the motor. The definition of “life” varies. But let me state this emphatically. If I had to remove the timing cover to replace the adjustors or tension arms, I would also replace the chains. Reason? Over time they will stretch. It is a fair amount of work just to access the timing chains and re-time the motor. The 4.6 timing procedure is complicated and unfortunately the results of getting it wrong are often catastrophic.

Is there a reason you are asking questions along this line?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010 Thread Starter
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Short answer: i'm fairly ignorant to American V8's.

Thanks for the technical info though, very useful, how long do the auto tensioners last and are they easy to inspect?


I'm pretty much a jap guy, but it's so hard to find a 5-speed here, especially one that's not been molested by a monkey, so, my second 'love' is for the Mustang.

It's just not a car i'd otherwise choose, it's a Ford (had a bad name in England until around the turn of the century) and they still do things the Ford way for the most part.
However, the Mustang is a weakness of mine :blushed:


So the point being, i know what's involved in cam belt changing on your average Prelude or Accord etc. however, despite staring at many Mustang engine bays over the past week, i embarrassingly just assumed what i now believe to be the accessory belt, was the cam belt.

Guess i was just too distracted by the number of engines with empty coolant tanks!!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010
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My timing set gave out at 145 K miles. There are TONS of modular 4.6 in taxi service that routinely make it to 250K miles with no issues. So it is somewhat up to luck.

There is not an easy inspection procedure for the timing chain. The valve covers can be removed and a crude inspection can be done.

Otherwise, if you go to the work to remove the front timing covers, you might as well service it while you are there. Just my opinion.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010 Thread Starter
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Hmm, ok thanks.
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