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Ford 5.4 3V Triton Deffective Design

 
Old 08-27-2013, 07:21 PM
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Default Ford 5.4 3V Triton Deffective Design

For those of you whisper quiet 5.4 3vs with over 100K congratulations, you lucked out. For those with the tell tale diesel sounds or valve train tap you may want to read on. My crappy for a V8 idle was referred to the dealer at about 24K miles and I was told not to worry "these engines idle like that". My diesel sounds were referred to the dealer at 55K miles and I was told not to worry "these engines are noisy, its normal". At 114K I decided to take truck into dealer because my usual by now tapping sound started to get louder. Here is where things get interesting. Before tearing into engine tech told me engine will likely need to be replaced. I said hold on a minute what I have is a valve train issue, likely a valve lash adjuster or rocker, he said they'll take a look at it and call me back. Well today I received the call that the engine was beyond economical repair and would have to be replaced. Not satisfied with what sounded like customer raping bs, I asked what specifically about a bad lifter or lifters and cam and phaser and anything else on the head can possibly cost more than an entire engine replacement? Service staff couldn't really answer to my satisfaction and referred me to manager. Manager stated that when the 5.4 3vs start exhibiting cam phaser, valve lash adjuster, and/or rocker arm failure that it is a sign of oil starvation on the top end and therefore at that point all top end components are beyond repair and most be replaced at a cost that almost exceeds engine replacement. My particular engine was sludge free and no oil blockage could be identified. I asked them if these Tritons are basically 100K mile engines and he said "what can I tell you I'm sitting on a Ford seat". He went on to tell me that he sees 4 to 5 of these trucks a week and they stopped repairing the engines because the noises would go away for a while and eventually return. He states that al the components start to seep because of the wear and the process repeats itself.

I though I'd fill everyone in because there is info all over the net concerning this issue however it tends be in bits pieces. Basically these engine have a design flaw that starves that valve train of oil and in some cases like mine result in an engine that sounds like a sewing machine and in other instances results in very early engine failure. Do not waste your time and money fixing valve train noises unless your just counting on a temporary fix to pass the truck on to some unsuspecting smuck. If you're fortunate enough to have a low mileage truck that is still quiet get rid of it sooner rather then later.

I for one have a brand new looking truck inside and out that's on it's last legs and costs more to fix than its worth and the repair option is putting back in the same POS engine that needs to be replaced. Oh and the 4R75W, another Found On Road Dear engineering marvel. I was told that's crapping out too. And yes tranny has always been dealer services as scheduled and engine has always had Motocrap filter and 5 20 synthetic oil.

Unfortunately now I need a new truck and a faced with the dilemma of having to choose reliability over styling and finish. That only leaves me with GM or RAM as potential options. I feel very burned by Ford and am afraid that the 5.0 or EB may be equally as unreliable as the 5.4 in the long run. I hope this will spare someone from the crap I'm currently dealing with
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by primalurges View Post
For those of you whisper quiet 5.4 3vs with over 100K congratulations, you lucked out. For those with the tell tale diesel sounds or valve train tap you may want to read on. My crappy for a V8 idle was referred to the dealer at about 24K miles and I was told not to worry "these engines idle like that". My diesel sounds were referred to the dealer at 55K miles and I was told not to worry "these engines are noisy, its normal". At 114K I decided to take truck into dealer because my usual by now tapping sound started to get louder. Here is where things get interesting. Before tearing into engine tech told me engine will likely need to be replaced. I said hold on a minute what I have is a valve train issue, likely a valve lash adjuster or rocker, he said they'll take a look at it and call me back. Well today I received the call that the engine was beyond economical repair and would have to be replaced. Not satisfied with what sounded like customer raping bs, I asked what specifically about a bad lifter or lifters and cam and phaser and anything else on the head can possibly cost more than an entire engine replacement? Service staff couldn't really answer to my satisfaction and referred me to manager. Manager stated that when the 5.4 3vs start exhibiting cam phaser, valve lash adjuster, and/or rocker arm failure that it is a sign of oil starvation on the top end and therefore at that point all top end components are beyond repair and most be replaced at a cost that almost exceeds engine replacement. My particular engine was sludge free and no oil blockage could be identified. I asked them if these Tritons are basically 100K mile engines and he said "what can I tell you I'm sitting on a Ford seat". He went on to tell me that he sees 4 to 5 of these trucks a week and they stopped repairing the engines because the noises would go away for a while and eventually return. He states that al the components start to seep because of the wear and the process repeats itself.

I though I'd fill everyone in because there is info all over the net concerning this issue however it tends be in bits pieces. Basically these engine have a design flaw that starves that valve train of oil and in some cases like mine result in an engine that sounds like a sewing machine and in other instances results in very early engine failure. Do not waste your time and money fixing valve train noises unless your just counting on a temporary fix to pass the truck on to some unsuspecting smuck. If you're fortunate enough to have a low mileage truck that is still quiet get rid of it sooner rather then later.

I for one have a brand new looking truck inside and out that's on it's last legs and costs more to fix than its worth and the repair option is putting back in the same POS engine that needs to be replaced. Oh and the 4R75W, another Found On Road Dear engineering marvel. I was told that's crapping out too. And yes tranny has always been dealer services as scheduled and engine has always had Motocrap filter and 5 20 synthetic oil.

Unfortunately now I need a new truck and a faced with the dilemma of having to choose reliability over styling and finish. That only leaves me with GM or RAM as potential options. I feel very burned by Ford and am afraid that the 5.0 or EB may be equally as unreliable as the 5.4 in the long run. I hope this will spare someone from the crap I'm currently dealing with

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Old 08-27-2013, 07:29 PM
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and i have 34.7K miles on my 07 and i have no intention of getting rid of it i love that truck to death
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:39 PM
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I heard they fixed the 5.4 3v issues later in this generation of truck, maybe you could get an newer 5.4 3v?

If you don't mind buying an older truck you could look for a 2003 5.4L 2v. These engines had none of the issues inherent with the 3v. Some people in the 1997-2003 section have gotten 300k off of these engines. Plus, the 5.4 2v makes maximum power lower on the rpm scale(around 2500-2800rpm) compared to the 3v(somewhere in the 3,000 rpms).
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:05 PM
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04-06 could have cam phaser issues, get some livernois lockouts an a tune an never have issues again

I know you feel like a caped crusader saying this but this is all old news, they had cam phaser issues in the 04-06 models, there are several methods to fix this. Take it somewhere else because I don't think you know exactly what's going on with your motor, there are tons of things that can make noise an you shouldn't need a new motor. If you're really buying the dealer bs then that's your real problem

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Old 08-27-2013, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by me1234 View Post
I heard they fixed the 5.4 3v issues later in this generation of truck, maybe you could get an newer 5.4 3v?

If you don't mind buying an older truck you could look for a 2003 5.4L 2v. These engines had none of the issues inherent with the 3v. Some people in the 1997-2003 section have gotten 300k off of these engines. Plus, the 5.4 2v makes maximum power lower on the rpm scale(around 2500-2800rpm) compared to the 3v(somewhere in the 3,000 rpms).
I know 03s and earlier were very good engines and a buddy of mine has one approaching 300k that has been neglect and it idles super smooth and is noise free. I think that my option are probably limited to the 04 through 08 because I don't want a swap to become too complicated. I also thought about the 07 & 08 because of the head design change but don't know if that change only addressed the spark plug issue or if it also improved lubrication.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by AKBray907 View Post
04-06 could have cam phaser issues, get some livernois lockouts an a tune an never have issues again

I know you feel like a caped crusader saying this but this is all old news, they had cam phaser issues in the 04-06 models, there are several methods to fix this. Take it somewhere else because I don't think you know exactly what's going on with your motor, there are tons of things that can make noise an you shouldn't need a new motor.
Yeah I get that but what I'm being told is that all the noises are a symptom of underlying lubrication issues. And it has to be more than a coincidence that many of these engines have these symptoms.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:18 PM
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i use 5W-30 in mine...quiet as a church mouse
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by djfllmn View Post
i use 5W-30 in mine...quiet as a church mouse
Since this was a major issue with these engines I doubt type of engine oil would stop a problem from occurring.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:34 PM
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you guys act like every 5.4 is going to grenade itself
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