99 Explorer SOHC - Noisy timing chain, stalls on cold starts

I bought a 99 Explorer with 92k miles 3 weeks ago. It had a few problems the dealer was willing to fix (defective oil pressure sender, improperly
balanced tires, siezed parking brake), but a few that he won't.
The car does not idle properly on cold starts. It idles at about 1,000, and then drops down. If it is not too cold it will then jump up to 1,500, and down to 1,000. It will then repeat until it warms up. If it is really cold, it will just stall unless you give it gas to jump up on. Any idea what is involved here?
Second problem is a noisy timing chain. It seems to go away after a few minutes, so I am guessing it is the tensioner rather than the guide. Ford says it is not a problem other than annoying. Is that true, or will it likely fail later on? I can live with a little noise, but not with a liklihood of an expensive repair in the near future. Any easy way to be sure it is the tensioner rather than the guide; as Ford also says a bad guide can lead to engine damage.
The dealer says he lost money on the car already and can't afford to do expensive repairs. His contention is the the car is 6 years old, I got a good buy, and a few problems are to be expected. If push comes to shove I can sue him and win, but I don't want to go there if at all possible. If these problems are not as serious as I fear, working something out will be much easier.
Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Does the timing chain noise sound like marbles rolling around a box? If so, it might not be the timing chain making noise. There were some intake manifolds that could cause both your noise concern and the erratic idle-ask around auto repair shops to have someone listen to it, as they might be familiar with it. When you buy a vehicle "as is", that is exactly what you get. The dealer is right, little money is made on older vehicles, and they usually don't even sell them to the public, but to auto wholesalers. And you probably did get it for a good price. HTH Ted

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

made a big deal of how important the warranty was when he was trying to sell it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Toller wrote:

get"? AND you PAYED for the warranty.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I didn't buy it "as is"; it came with an unconditional 30 day warranty. He

Unconditional? Does that obligate them to buy it back?. You can see there are varying opinions, but I don't think anyone in the NG can tell you what is making the noise without actually listening to it. The only thing I can recommend is to have it checked before your thirty days are up. Best of luck to you. Ted

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, it does obligate them to buy it back if they can't (or don't want to) fix it. The warranty is good on any problem noted before the 30 days. And they pay legal fees if they lose. So I am in good shape legally; but I really really want a peaceful resolution, and that is easier the less serious the problem is. I was just trying to get a handle on it. My sense is that it is mandatory to rehab the timing belt, at a cost of about $1,000. That will be tough to do peacefully.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 18 Feb 2006 19:48:17 GMT, "Toller"

I would either agressively clean the IAC or replace it for starters. Cleaning is pretty cheap. The throttle body is also probably gummed up and in need of cleaning. While you are at it, the MAF sensor is also easy to clean with a residued free electronic cleaner.

I would change the oil using the recommended 5w20 oil and a Motorcraft filter to see if that helps. Many folks still believe in less than adequate filters and heavier oil than recommended. This makes the engine quieter when it is hot but can cause problems on startup and warmup. This makes it harder for oil to properly pressurize the system in short order as it should.

HTH. You're welcome if it helps. Apologies if it does not.
Lugnut

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.