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Ford Truck Club Forum > FORD F-100 | F-150 SERIES > 2004-2008 Ford F150



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Old June 13th, 2018, 01:09 PM
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Smile 5.4l Triton

Hi All,
I'm posting this thread more of a question than a problem.

I need help with understanding Ford's 5.4L Triton engine in the 2005 and newer trucks. I'm looking at getting a F-150 4X4 Lariat supercab longbox with a 5.4L Triton engine.
What I'm reading and hearing is that the 5.4L Triton was not a good design something like the gas engine sounds like a diesel engine over time, cam phaser and blowing out spark plugs etc.
I'm looking for opinions, point of views and any repair cost that anyone has done to fix the problem.

Anyway, thanks for any feedback.

Bulldog74
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Old June 13th, 2018, 04:16 PM
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The variable cam timing system had problems. It's very sensitive to oil pressure, sludge, and wear. The spark plugs do not blow out, they are 2 piece plugs that stick and break, requiring an extraction tool to get them out.

2004 was the first year, 2010 was the last year of the 5.4 3V. Late 2008, the heads were redesigned with conventional spark plugs, but it still had the VCT/phaser system.

My honest opinion? Get a 2011 or later with the 5.0. If you do look at a 5.4 3 valve, look inside the cam cover. If you see any sludge, take a pass. If the engine is not smooth and quiet, take a pass. Use only Motorcraft 5W20 oil and Motorcraft filter, change the oil every 3k.

2003 F-150 XL RCSB 2wd 4.2 5 speed 3.55 LS
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Old June 13th, 2018, 07:30 PM
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Is there any earlier models from 2011 that didn't have these VCT /phaser system issues? Or did Ford put 3valve into all v8's 2004 and later?
If there is I'd look at a smaller v8 that didn't have these problems?
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Old June 13th, 2018, 11:53 PM
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The 2004-2008 generation did have a 2 valve 4.6 which is solid except for spark plugs blowing out. Torquing them to 28 ft/lb eliminates that issue. Don't expect high performance out of a 4.6, especially in a 4wd crew cab, the engine is a bit small for the truck.

The 2009 and 2010 was available with the 2 valve 4.6 in limited configurations, the 4.6 3 valve and 5.4 3 valve were options. Both those 3V have the VCT issues.

2003 F-150 XL RCSB 2wd 4.2 5 speed 3.55 LS
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Old June 14th, 2018, 01:00 PM
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glc, thanks for the information.
I'm trying to get into a newer Ford truck 2004-2008 with a 5.0-5.6 in a 2valve configuration (staying away from 3 valve). My choices seemed to be limited but I'm on the hunt (this choice is the result of a retired income)
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Old June 14th, 2018, 02:38 PM
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Your choices are not limited, they are nonexistent.

The 2004-2008 generation F-150 was only available with the 4.6 2 valve or the 5.4 3 valve. The 5.4 2 valve was discontinued in the F-150 after the 1997-2003 generation, except in the 2004 Heritage trucks, which were leftover 2003's. The 4.2 V6 was available in 2005-2008, but only in regular cab short and long bed 2wd work trucks. The only Ford vehicle that had a 5.4 2 valve available after 2004 was the E-series van.

2003 F-150 XL RCSB 2wd 4.2 5 speed 3.55 LS
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Old June 14th, 2018, 04:25 PM
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Thanks glc again for the info and understanding the 5.4.

My options in an earlier model are not so good. So, If find what I'm looking for (with your information) in a 2008 low miles in good condition then play the odd's, worst case engine replacement. Or go after a 2010-2011.

Thanks again glc I appreciate the help.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 05:33 PM
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The 5.4's from late 2008 through 2010 were the same. The 2009 and 2010 did upgrade to a 6 speed transmission. First year of the 5.0 in the F-150 was 2011, they discontinued both the 4.6 and 5.4.

2003 F-150 XL RCSB 2wd 4.2 5 speed 3.55 LS
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Old June 16th, 2018, 12:10 PM
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I think I know where I'm headed with the year of truck to entertain in buying. I have one more question regarding the 5.4. That is what is your take on remanufactured engines like powertrain and jasper etc... that have resolved the manufacturer vct, sparkplug, and head problems? Would this be worth looking at in engine replacement?
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Old June 16th, 2018, 02:06 PM
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There really isn't much that can be done with the VCT, and only the late 2008 and later heads have the conventional spark plugs. Remans are quite expensive, and you really can't solve an inherent design issue.

2003 F-150 XL RCSB 2wd 4.2 5 speed 3.55 LS


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