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Old 04-29-2009, 05:03 PM   #1
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Default 5.4L cam phasers.. What goes bad?

I recently bought a 2005 F150 SCrew with the 5.4L. The cam phasers are clearly bad as the engine sounds like a Powerstroke at idle when warm. Noise goes away with speed or when the engine is cold. 123K miles. Really like the truck but I can't stand the noise at idle.

Anyway, I've read varying reports that some people that have had their phasers replaced had the noise come back whereas others said new phasers fixed it alltogether.

My question is has anyone actually looked at a "bad" phaser and tried to figure out what failed or wore out to make all the noise? Does anyone have a "bad" phaser(s) they'd like to get rid of?
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:10 PM   #2
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Its been quite a while, a member put up a thread with a video on the subject from Ford. It was excellent and very long. Basically its a do not touch thing. Maybe someone else will remember it and respond.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:15 PM   #3
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I can't help you much other than to chime in with a bit of info on my story. Traded my '00 F-250 in for my '09 F-150 (4.6-3V) about a month ago. Less than 2 days after I took delivery, engine started in with a knock at idle. Camp phaser was bad. The dealer obviously wanted to make things right, but it took 6 days to diagnose the problem, order the part, and install. Dealer told me they actually had to get special permission from the home office to unbutton the motor and work on the parts vs pulling the cab and replacing the engine with a new crate motor(not sure I'm total believing that part of the story).

Bottom line: I understand the theory behind how the cam timing is varied using a solenoid, electronic controls and hydraulic pressure, but it must be purty involved to troubleshoot and repair the system. I'm guessing unless you're a Class 1-A shadetree mechanic with lots of factory training/knowledge, I'd leave it to the dealer.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:19 PM   #4
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In case you still want to look and touch, it's located under the valve covers on the front of the cam journals. Shouldn't have to take off a lot of hardware to access (valve covers, fuel rails, some of the belt drive accessories, a few other bits of hardware, but not the intake manifold). Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:20 PM   #5
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Been building drag cars, homebuilt airplanes, go karts, race motors you name it for the last 15 years. If someone has a set of junk phasers, I can probably figure out what goes bad. Won't say I can fix it, just like to see what the failure mode is before I tear mine apart.

My truck won't be touched by anyone but me. Don't trust the dealership to do much beyond process the paperwork to let me drive off the lot. No disrespect intended to any ASE mechanics out there, but I worked in the jobber auto parts business for about 13 years and only ever came across 2 or 3 mechanics I'd ever trust to a job that I just can't do myself. None of them worked at a dealership.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icantdrive55 View Post
In case you still want to look and touch, it's located under the valve covers on the front of the cam journals. Shouldn't have to take off a lot of hardware to access (valve covers, fuel rails, some of the belt drive accessories, a few other bits of hardware, but not the intake manifold). Good luck!
LOL.. thanks. I know what they are and where they are located. Even understand the theory behind them.

It's racing season, so I doubt I'll have time to take it down much before September anyhow.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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Posted the same reply in another thead, but this is my thread, so I thought I should post a follow up:

Fixed my cam phaser noise with $.50 worth of springs from the hardware store and a couple hours of my time. Used progressive or cone shaped coil springs and simply installed 1 spring per cam phaser to help hold the phaser at full advance. The phaser can still move under oil pressure but the spring helps keep everything from slapping around inside the phaser. Dead quiet now, all I hear is injector noise. After I finished the mod, I found the cam phaser limiter kit that Livernois sells: (http://www.livernoismotorsports.com/product.phtml?p=1884). The difference between what I did and what they offer is that mine does not limit the amount of retard the cam can have by near as much. I estimate that with the cam fully compressed, I'm losing about 10 degrees of retard. Factory can be as much as 60 degrees. So far no codes or any issues at all. These are original 126K mile cam phasers that I reworked for what it's worth.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:41 AM   #8
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This is not my work but here are some nice pics.

Click the image to open in full size.

These two came out of a 2005 Expedition, and were noisy as hell. Sounded like the valvetrain was about to explode. Let's take one apart.

Click the image to open in full size.

The back side of the phaser. Pictured off to the right is the trigger wheel for the cam position sensor, and the spring. The pin at 12:00 in the middle of the phaser indexes to a slot on the camshaft.

Click the image to open in full size.

The trigger wheel is held to the cam phaser by three small roll pins. These roll pins bend or shear off completely. This is where the dull knocking noise comes from.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's the internals of the phaser, shown from the back side with the cover plate removed. The VCT actuator (the thingy sticking up through the valve cover) energizes and allows oil flow into the phaser. The phaser is actually two halves; one half is connected to the camshaft, one half is connected to the timing chain. The chambers, the little spaces between the vanes, create sort of a fluid coupling between the camshaft and the timing chain. Oil flow into one side of the vanes advances the camshaft, and oil flow into the other side retards it.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:03 PM   #9
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Default Thank you Closet Ford Fan

Thank you for your post. My truck has been making this noise for 95,000 miles. 12/30/05, while the truck was under warranty, I took the truck to the dealer for it (it was a slight noise then) and they showed me a TSB. In this TSB I remember them showing me that this was a "known" issue and that it did not effect the operation of the vehicle. I lived with it all this time. Now that I am trying to sell the vehicle, people are afraid of it. Because of your post, I am sure that I will find someone to buy the vehicle that is capable of doing these repairs. BTW - Dealer told me $332 for parts, and 7 hours labor at $102 per hour.....
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:52 PM   #10
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Hey Heres a story for everyone! I bought a 04 F-150 at an action sale with 200 000 k on it in nice shape it ran good. After driving it abit and changing oil , I noticed the Oil lid had a white film on it and if I cleaned it and drove it again it would come back. So one day after driving to town it started vibrating teribly and shut down. It started up right again and it did it every now and then when the moter was warm and it was idling. We took it do a dealer and when the ripped the engine apart they said it was the dirtiest engine they had ever worked on, and they said it was the cam phasers that were shot. They replaced them and it did not help so they put the old ones back in and I have been driving it since. After I got it back I ran an engine flush to try and get rid of some of the grime and it hasnt done it since. Im going to try a deisel flush next. But after I saw those pictures I thought maybe the holes were clogged with sludge. just a thought let me know what you think!!
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:52 PM
 
 
 
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