really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
117,500 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace plastic (!!) chain tensioner and sprockets (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Owner Comments

problem #4

Jan 162013

Explorer Sport Trac 4.0v V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


click to see larger images

timing chain chatters at low RPMs

This is the worst issue that Ford knows about and will not pony up and repair. The timing Chain should never have any issues for the life of the engine! It would cost $1200 to replace the front ones and to repair the rear ones the entire engine has to be pulled out. Parts and Labor $2800

Ford has put out a notice that this is an issue but never put a recall on it. The average miles to when this breaks is 115,000 mi. Mine was at 120,000. i absolutely loved my Sport Trac but had to trade it in because I did not want the expensive repair.

2 Mechanics mentioned that by replacing the external spring tension-er that it might fix it for a while but is not the cure. See photo of that part. There are 2 of these on the engine.

- , Berlin, WI, USA

problem #3

Mar 082010

Explorer Sport Trac V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

My 2002 Ford Employer Sport Trac started to have a slight rattle or engine knocking sound at low RPM's. The oil pressure seemed ok, I had the oil changed out the sound didn't go away. I had just driven the Truck on a 150 mile interstate trip and it ran good but had the knocking sound at low RPM's. The next day the sound was much louder and the oil pressure was gone. I parked the Truck but checked to see if it would restart it did. I had it towed into my local mechanic and he now says the engine has no compression and will spin over but will not fire. He says it is most likely the timing chain but has little info from ford about what it involves. He also thinks my oil pump might be gone or just the screen blocked but cannot tell anything with out pulling the engine.

I called ford and they told me that that was a very problem with the Sport Trac when it cam out 2001 & 2 but they haven't seen the problem in a long time. From this site I cannot believe they are telling me the truth. I was suggested to buy a rebuilt engine and trash the one I have since it would be the same price but come with a better warranty.

I do not know waht to do?

- , Carrollton, GA, USA

problem #2

Feb 232009

Explorer Sport Trac 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

$160.00 part , after market spring tension that Ford should have put on in the first place. The big price tag is the $650.00 for labor, taking most of the engine apart just to get to this problem which seems to have been a problem on older model truck which was never engineered properly. Can YOU say Lemon.....

- , Perry, OH, USA

problem #1

Apr 282007

(reported on)

Explorer Sport Trac 4.0L SOHC V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

This is truly engineering Stupidity. Ford designed an engine where the chain that drives the camshaft is constantly rubbing a fix plastic object - the tensioner. No, not a tensioner like a belt has with an idler pully that spins and keeps the belt tight. No, this is a fix piece of plastic that the chain slides over to keep the chain tight and not chattering. Duh Ford, its going to wear out! Better yet, its not adjustable. So as it wears the chain gets loose and begins to get sloppy and chatters. Also, where's the plastic going as it wears off the tensioner? Does that go in the oil and pollute the rest of the engine? I read somewhere all Ford OHV engines use chains and not belts. Does anyone know if they use tensioners like the one in this engine? If so, I'll never buy another Ford like it. No wonder the Japanese use belts. I'll never complain about the couple hundred it takes to change one of their belts again. This Ford just set me back $1,300. Buyer beware!!!!

- , Landisville, PA, USA

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