2001 Ford Explorer Engine Noise at 3000 RPMs

Tiny
X6STRINGERX
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD EXPLORER
  • V8
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 128,000 MILES
Last week, my 5.0 Explorer began making a screeching noise. I noticed that it only occurred between 2800-3200rpms. It doesn't matter if I'm on the road or sitting still, in drive, in park, in neutral, etc. If I stay above or below that RPM range, no screeching sound can be heard. The sound can clearly be heard in the video at the bottom of this post.

*NOTE* - The sound is still present with the serpentine belt removed, so it is not accessory related.

http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o210/jlatha86/?action=view¤t=MOV00734.flv
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Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 AT 11:40 PM

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Tiny
X6STRINGERX
  • MEMBER
After taking a closer look under the engine bay while the engine was running, I decided the noise was coming from the front side of the engine and it sounded like it was under the intake or possibly behind the timing cover. I don't have an automotive stethoscope, but from my younger days, I can remember my grandfather troubleshooting with a stick. I found a suitable "tool" and began listening and feeling different areas of the engine. When I touched the top of the camshaft sensor, I could immediately feel the vibration much stronger than anywhere else. When the screech occurred, I would compare the feeling to that of hitting a solid object with an aluminum baseball bat. It made sharp vibration. With that being said, I believe the culprit is the camshaft synchronizer (aka crankshaft angle sensor depending on where you buy the part). After doing a lot of online research, I've determined that Dorman products should be avoided at all costs due to inferior build quality. A1 Cardone seems to make acceptable remanufactured units, but I decided to go with a genuine Motorcraft part. It will probably take a couple of hours to swap because the spark plugs need to be pulled to ensure the #1 piston is at TDC on the compression stroke. If any of you have changed plugs on a 5.0 Explorer, you already know how time consuming that job can be by itself. If anyone finds this thread in the future and you're not mechanically inclined, this is definitely a job for a mechanic. Proper installation of this part is vital to both the firing order and your oil supply.
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Saturday, December 5th, 2009 AT 7:05 PM
Tiny
X6STRINGERX
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I just wanted to followup. I replaced my camshaft synchronizer last Wednesday, December 9th, and everything has been functioning flawlessly. Here's a short video of the sound the synchronizer was making once it was out of the vehicle. As you can hear, it is quite harsh. I've found a few videos on YouTube of other bad synchronizers, but they sounded much more birdlike.
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Monday, December 14th, 2009 AT 1:52 PM

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