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VCT lockout... Operation: Bulletproof Triton

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VCT lockout... Operation: Bulletproof Triton

Old 12-08-2018, 04:07 PM
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Default VCT lockout... Operation: Bulletproof Triton

Hey all! Lurker finally making a profile and I had a question I’d like to get some advice on. Monday I’m installing my VCT lockout kit from 5star Tuning and I’m coming from the diesel world where it is common practice to “bulletproof” your truck. With the 6.0’s there’s headstuds, oil cooler, injectors, etc. and 6.4’s have their own catastrophic failure list. I’m attempting to bulletproof my 2006 5.4 F-150 with 155k miles. Self diagnosed cam phaser knock. Might be both, but definitely louder in the passenger side valve cover which I’ve read is coming because of how oil flows. Anyway, I’m doing the VCT kit Monday and don’t have plans to pull the front cover quite yet for financial reasons. I unplugged my VCT solenoids and went for a drive and the sound didn’t change so I ruled them out. It has to be the phasers or the chain itself. I was planning to look down into it when the valve cover comes off and see if my guides, chains, and tensioners are okay. I have plans to intall the high volume Melling (or Ford) oil pump and all Ford OEM parts on the way out, but that job will have to wait a few months until I can scrape the money together. My biggest questions are if I plan to leave the VCT lockouts installed and refresh my timing set;

1- Do I need to use Ford OEM chains, guides, tensioners, crank sprocket, and phasers?

2- Would you recommend the Melling oil pump or the Ford?

3- Do I need to replace the VCT solenoids?

4- Should I replaces the roller followers/all valve train components?

5- If you were to “bulletproof” your 5.4 3v, what would you do?

Last edited by Ian Anderson; 12-08-2018 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:01 PM
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You use OEM parts.
Melling high volume or ford racing
Yes.
Only if they are in need.
Subjective, for me replace the rods/pistons for forged components, arp hardware, upgraded valve train maybe oring the heads.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ian Anderson View Post
Hey all! Lurker finally making a profile and I had a question I’d like to get some advice on. Monday I’m installing my VCT lockout kit from 5star Tuning and I’m coming from the diesel world where it is common practice to “bulletproof” your truck. With the 6.0’s there’s headstuds, oil cooler, injectors, etc. and 6.4’s have their own catastrophic failure list. I’m attempting to bulletproof my 2006 5.4 F-150 with 155k miles. Self diagnosed cam phaser knock. Might be both, but definitely louder in the passenger side valve cover which I’ve read is coming because of how oil flows. Anyway, I’m doing the VCT kit Monday and don’t have plans to pull the front cover quite yet for financial reasons. I unplugged my VCT solenoids and went for a drive and the sound didn’t change so I ruled them out. It has to be the phasers or the chain itself. I was planning to look down into it when the valve cover comes off and see if my guides, chains, and tensioners are okay. I have plans to intall the high volume Melling (or Ford) oil pump and all Ford OEM parts on the way out, but that job will have to wait a few months until I can scrape the money together. My biggest questions are if I plan to leave the VCT lockouts installed and refresh my timing set;

1- Do I need to use Ford OEM chains, guides, tensioners, crank sprocket, and phasers?

2- Would you recommend the Melling oil pump or the Ford?

3- Do I need to replace the VCT solenoids?

4- Should I replaces the roller followers/all valve train components?

5- If you were to “bulletproof” your 5.4 3v, what would you do?
I am by no means a 5.4 expert, but I have done lots of digging on the 5.4 and here's what I've come up with and will be doing to mine.

1) New (upgraded) phasers. I considered the lockout kit, but upon learning that the root cause of all of this madness is a wacky OEM oil pump and wimpy tensioner seals along with 5w-20 oil being a questionable viscosity for our engines, I prefer to go with upgraded parts to ensure the new phasers get the correct amount of oil and maintain full operation of the VCT system for full horsepower across all RPM ranges, which would not be the case with the lockout. For my engine, I will be going with the M360HV pump and an oil viscosity no less than Xw-30 or Xw-40.

2) Metal timing chain tensioners with a thin bead of RTV around them. The reason I will be adding the thin bead of RTV is that the plastic tensioners do have a seal around them, which indicates that sealing oil flow to the tensioners was part of the original design that was (and is) supposed to be instrumental to oil pressure.

2a) New timing chain set - I am using the Melling set that has the metal tensioners.

3) Melling M360HV oil pump. The M340HV is an option as well if you have concerns about pressure.

4) New VCT solenoids

5) New OEM roller rockers - The latest OEM ones have a different design from the original ones.

6) New lifters (or lash adjusters or whatever you call them)

7) New OEM valve springs - There is a new OEM part number, which leads me to believe there was a problem with the original ones.

8) New valve stem seals - While you're in there, swap them out and possibly eliminate any sort of oil consumption that might be happening through old seals.


These are the upgrades I am making and would suggest to anyone looking to go bulletproof. And upgrade any sort of gasket you can. If you can remove the intake and replace the sensors under there (and inspect the wiring on the temperature sensor connector), that would be a wise thing to do as well.

Lastly, I am going to give my opinion on some parts and I expect a bit of "feedback" and that is perfectly fine. I've done my own research and came to my own conclusion.

1) Upon doing some research on the FL820s oil filter, there are some quality issues with it. On Bobistheoilguy, I have seen too many of these filters dissected that had tears in the media. I really wanted to run this filter on my engine, but I can't unsee what I've seen. If this problem is fixed in the future, then I'll reconsider using them. In the meantime, I am running another brand of filter that has a better track record. If going bulletproof, the filter shouldn't be compromised.

2) Regarding phasers, I love my Ford, but I have a bit of a problem with Ford charging such a premium price for the phasers seeing that the engine had a poor design from the factory with the oil pump, tensioner seals and phasers.....and to a lesser degree the VCT solenoids. I did some digging around and found that Standard Techsmart Part Number S21001 appeared to be the OEM unit with the part number machined off. I ordered two of them and sure enough, that is what I saw. Also, I noticed that Melling phasers appear to be OEM with the part number machined off as well, but are priced higher than the Standard brand units.

3) Regarding VCT solenoids - I wasn't too bothered by the OEM price on these, but I really like the quality of Wells/Airtex parts and I've already installed their solenoids on my truck and have not had any problems yet. It's been about 10,000 miles or so. OEM is the safest bet, but I am pretty sure I'll be ok here. Just something else to consider.

These are my thoughts.

Last edited by qdeezie; 12-08-2018 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:27 PM
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Thanks for the replies gents, don't think I'll do anything engine internal related... thats a bit too advanced for me. I'll probably just do all Ford timing set, new lash adjusters and roller followers. And as qdeezie said, new upgraded gaskets anywhere I can .
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Ian Anderson View Post
...
...
My biggest questions are if I plan to leave the VCT lockouts installed and refresh my timing set;
...
If you leave lockouts - why on earth would you replace phasers and VCT solenoids when you do chains & guides? For that matter... @ 155,000 miles --- what exactly does 'bulletproof' mean. ? Another 155,000 miles? That is not really an unreasonable service life for steel chains, phasers, guides on any brand or model engine.

Only way to better bulletproof one would be to 'mothball' it.

I would recommend piggy bank the lockout money until you can replace guides & chains - which at 155k miles you almost certainly need if you have phaser noise. At that point, if you don't care if its 'really' done right - just replace chains / guides / tensioners and stuff the lockouts in the existing phasers. The gear teeth is not what wears out.
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:39 PM
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What’s a “mothball”? And that’s why I’m asking. If I plan to leave in the lockouts, what other timing components should I replace... that was my question. Tensioners, guides, and chains sound like all I need unless the valvetrain components are worn out, am I right? Sparks were all done 3k ago. All 150k recommended maintenance is done. I guess coming from the Powerstroke world, I’m just used to having a million things that could go wrong, and a way to prevent all of them with new or innovated parts. And thus, the term “bulletproof” was born.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:01 AM
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“mothballs” are what grandmother put in her linens when she was going to store them in the cedar chest for LONG PERIODS.

Originally Posted by Ian Anderson View Post
...
If I plan to leave in the lockouts, ...Tensioners, guides, and chains sound like all I need unless the valve train components are worn out, am I right?
...

I'd say yes. I'd still recommend removing the pan and making 'double dog sure' there are no pieces of broken guides clogging up the pickup screen. At that point - you could replace the oil pump if you see fit. Basically, IMO - if you are not going to go back with variable valve operation - I see little reason to replace the oil pump. The oil pump is not what wears out / fails. It's volume and pressure is border line inadequate to operate phasers when they (and other bearing surfaces) begin to wear degrading pressures at idle. But above idle, the original one will produce PLENTY of pressure - and the lockouts effect low end torque so you'll be running RPM's up more anyhow.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by F150Torqued View Post
“mothballs” are what grandmother put in her linens when she was going to store them in the cedar chest
I always hated the way they smell. It was always a pain in the *** trying to get their little legs open to get my nose in there.

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Old 12-10-2018, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by FordFrenzy06 View Post
I always hated the way they smell. It was always a pain in the *** trying to get their little legs open to get my nose in there.
Some really good replies here . Well I would add that I don't like lockouts they fix nothing but I will shut up on that . But when my failure occurred the final straw was it threw one number 8 intake roller to the side missing the cam .It was not sludged up but I had done some extended oil changes ,never again !!!Always full syn . but some poor filters . I learned that the lashs and rollers need the new design and cleaned out .I believe the plastic parts were a major factor . The guides broke and tensioners were leaking. I'm sure that the fibers blocking some of my oil pu was a large part of the problem .I do believe the chain wear allowed the chain to whip once it had low pressure on tensioner due to tensioner gasket leak and blocked oil pu . Plus there is no pressure on chain at start up until oil pressure builds up . . The old style ratcheting tensioners do take care of that and need no gasket . I doubt they can leak enough to effect oil pressure silicon rtv or not .
I would replace the oil pump with the melling hv model I have the old melling 360 . This new one has extra volume to overcome some failures. But there aren't isn't any fix for the guides that break . Just stopping the whip is key . It doesn't take much chain play to overcome the tensioners ability to tighten it so I would use the best oem chain on that . Other than the melling stuff-- tensioners /oil pump parts inside is hard to get to and requires a lot off throwaway parts to go back in .
To not do lashs and rollers for new design is also a bad bet . Keep the oil very clean !!!
But lastly injectors are a big problem on these years change them for new over 100k . A leaking injector can hydro your engine then its reman time .
My neighbor just lent his gas 4 cyl Honda to a friend who put diesel in it . It flattened all the plugs and blew head gasket .Luckily he did the head job himself and sold the Honda No hole in piston no real bent rod he thinks .Head gasket saved it .Hydro slammed electrodes together on all plugs
My high school friend wrecked my car on his drivers test- Refused to make it good --do you think I ever lend a car now !!!.Boy was the trooper pissed on the test run and he couldn't give him a ticket !
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:53 PM
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Redfish nailed it down pretty well. Use the old style tensioners and DON'T lock out the phasers. Regardless of tuning, you'll have a broader torque curve with functioning phasers. Lock-outs are a band-aid, not a cure.

Last edited by PerryB; 12-10-2018 at 07:32 PM.
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