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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last few weeks I have noticed that in the morning when I start up the truck, it gives a little grind or rattle for about 1 second. I didnt think much of it, figured it was a fan rubbing on a casing or something minor until I googled and youtubed examples of the problem. It sounds exactly like a timing chain stretch issue.

I called the dealer to ask about this, they said its fairly common and that its going to cost $2500 +/- to fix. I have just hit 112,000km, so no powertrain warranty, and I've only had this truck for a few months. I love this truck, my first nice vehicle, my last was a 25 year old ratty pickup.

I did some more reading on this, and heard stories that changing the oil with a full synthetic can help. I changed the oil/filter last night with Mobil1 synthetic. I noticed when I drained the oil it was pretty dark and gritty, and was a bit low.

Started the truck this morning, no rattle. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this issue and how it relates to oil. Could it be that my oil level was low so that there wasn't enough pressure to compress the chain tensioner properly? Its not rattling now, but I'm worried since it already has, its bound to show up again. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.
 

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That’s a negative chef!!. The oil type has nothing to do with it and yes you have a ticking time bomb on your truck. It’s going to get worse, I hate to tell you.


2012 screw 3.5L
 

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Trade it off
Most of us would think of doing this but it ultimately just pisses off the next new owner who buys it. Also he has only had truck for a few months he will most likely loose money on the trade in. Then get a Dodge or Chevy next. It's kind of a catch 22. If you loose $2500 on trade in would it be worth just fixing it. I don't know. Sorry to here that happened to you but I feel like previous owner traded in because of chain also.
 

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Most of us would think of doing this but it ultimately just pisses off the next new owner who buys it. Also he has only had truck for a few months he will most likely loose money on the trade in. Then get a Dodge or Chevy next. It's kind of a catch 22. If you loose $2500 on trade in would it be worth just fixing it. I don't know. Sorry to here that happened to you but I feel like previous owner traded in because of chain also.
Most likely. I get your point but Ford has not come up with stock replacement parts that change anything right? It's just a Band-Aid till it stretches again? Why would anyone want to keep a motor that cost them 3K over and over again
 

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Agree prevoius owner unloaded. Question why your oil is dark and gritty????? When's the last time oil was changed??? How many miles/time????? Piss poor maintenance is a significant leading cause of this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Agree prevoius owner unloaded. Question why your oil is dark and gritty????? When's the last time oil was changed??? How many miles/time????? Piss poor maintenance is a significant leading cause of this!
Thanks for all the opinions here - not good news but thats what I was expecting. Like I said above, I've only had the truck a few months. I did an oil change when I got it, reset the oil counter in the computer, and just changed it again, it was at 45%. I'll be honest, since it has the counter in there, I wasnt watching the KM like I would normally do.

I'm not sure what the best move is now. I want to just take it in a trade it, since like ford4thot said, the $2500 fix seems like a bandaid, and it often comes back. I'll have to think on this one.
 

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While I agree with most of the above, a single second of chatter can also be an issue with the anti-drainback valve in the filter. If the oil isn't staying up in the passages, it will clatter a bit. The silicon valve and its location in the FL500S filter from Ford works quite well in this regard. That doesn't discard other filter types, which may work as well or better, but butyl valves in cheaper filters can become brittle and leak down.

Before panicking and throwing the truck away, see if the clatter returns now. As far as chain wear, specific types of oil can help with the sheering that occurs in a timing chain, thereby reducing wear. The first gen 3.5 eco has a long timing chain that snakes its way up both banks of the engine. Even a small amount of stretch on each link translates to quite a bit of overall lengthening. Oils higher in PAO (class 4 synthetics) or Esters (class 5 synthetics) are more sheer stable and could reduce wear in the chain. Unfortunately, those same oil types have recently been shown to be somewhat worse in LSPI (low speed pre-ignition) that can be an issue in direct injection and turbo direct injection engines, as compared to class II and III oils.

I personally see why the semi-synthetic oil spec'd by Ford works well controlling valve coking and LSPI in the 3.5 eco, but leaving the timing chain with less-than-stellar wear protection. There are always tradeoffs.

People love to point out that the engineers at Ford must know what's best for their products so following the specification and oil change interval as per the minder must be the best route. Those engineers definitely do know, but they don't get to make the decision in isolation. Marketing (lowest overall cost of ownership equations), sourcing (lowest supply costs to the factory), accounting and regulatory (EPA, maybe NHTSA, etc.) all have their hands in the how often and what type/viscosity of oil is specified for your truck. It's a compromise. I chose to use slightly different oil than specified based on my own research, expectations and requirements.

My point is that you may need to replace the timing system now, in the future or never. If you are out of warranty and Ford won't help, I would save up my pennies and wait until the timing system throws a code. Maybe will happen soon, maybe never with good maintenance from here on. Have the money on hand if it does and put it toward a new truck if it doesn't and you get the urge to replace this one. All my opinion, YRMV.
 

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It is not a band aid fix. The replacement parts will solve it and last. It can be DIY if you have some experience.
Im pretty sure you are right. If the rest of the truck is in great shape I'd chance a new chain and relateded parts. I'd also wait till it threw a code unless it got to annoying for me.
 
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