Re: timing chain longevity
Yes, it is a timing chain motor.
You can measure the slack in degrees and determine if it's out of spec.
My Tempo 2.3L HSC (inblock cam) with 180K has a similar chain with an oil pressure driven tensioner like a 2.9L and it was severely worn. It will be interesting to see because the car ran like crap/popped before I started, but was leaking oil really bad from the rear main. But also cleaned the TB, fixed a handful of vacuum leaks, ETC, o2, changed the timing chain, plus a few other things. Everything else looked good, fuel pressure, good compression, and all tuned up. I pretty much have been working on a poormans overhaul on it and I got a lot done this weekend, and should be starting it up within the next couple of days.
If you decide to replace, be sure to also replace the tensioners.
It's kind of a big job, the harmonic balancer is almost always a bear to remove. But the real pain in the butt is that there are two studs at the bottom of the timing cover that go through the oil pan that would sure make it a PITA to change in the truck if needed. But on the other hand, you would be looking at the cost of replacing what was removed to actually get to the chain. Plus resealing the timing cover to the oil pan I would worry about. I would do it if I planned to remove the oil pan. But you can measure the amount of slack in degrees to make sure that it's within spec, but some would just recommend changing it while the motor is out.
1987 Ford Ranger Short Bed 5.0L/T-5 Project
1988 Ford Ranger Long Bed Parts Truck
1993 Ford Tempo 2.3L OHV HSC Auto - D/D Stock.
1999 Honda Accord VTEC Auto
2002 Dodge Caravan - 3.3L Auto