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5.4 3V VCT solenoid replacement #4105492 05/24/16 05:11 PM
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04SE Offline OP
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Anything I should be aware of before I dive in this weekend? I have watched countless YouTube videos and read countless posts on F150 forums. I have the new/updated design VCT solenoids in route along with a fel-pro gasket set. I will snap pictures of the valve-train to share.

Will be working on 2009 F150 with 116,000 miles. It has a slight rattle/tick at very low throttle input while driving between 20-30 MPH along with the occasional stumble at idle. The old version of the VCT solenoids are well documented for failing in a few ways and causing these issues. Ford apparently updated the design sometime on the 2010 model year trucks.


Life's little problems can be solved with a shovel and silence.
Re: 5.4 3V VCT solenoid replacement [Re: 04SE] #4105531 05/24/16 05:49 PM
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DSparks Offline
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Pretty straight forward just time time consuming......if its a light rattling at idle and just off idle when hot is usually the phasers getting sloppy...the stumble is usually the solenoids but could be the phasers also...solenoids and phasers work together so its kinda a [censored] but the solenoids are easy compared to the phasers.....let us know how it works out....if it still has a phaser rattle at hit idle thicker oil helps ....i like the 5w40 diesel oils in mine...buy have gone all the way to 15w50 to keep one fairly quiet.

Re: 5.4 3V VCT solenoid replacement [Re: 04SE] #4105538 05/24/16 05:55 PM
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Have you watched the FordTechMakuloco videos ? He's the best at Fords.

Re: 5.4 3V VCT solenoid replacement [Re: Merkava_4] #4105554 05/24/16 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Have you watched the FordTechMakuloco videos ? He's the best at Fords.


Yep, watched his 5.4/VCT videos numerous times.


Life's little problems can be solved with a shovel and silence.
Re: 5.4 3V VCT solenoid replacement [Re: 04SE] #4107772 05/27/16 06:29 AM
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DSparks Offline
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How did it turn out?

Re: 5.4 3V VCT solenoid replacement [Re: DSparks] #4108703 05/28/16 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted By: DSparks
How did it turn out?


I will be starting the project in about an hour.


Life's little problems can be solved with a shovel and silence.
Re: 5.4 3V VCT solenoid replacement [Re: 04SE] #4108863 05/28/16 11:14 AM
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artificialist Offline
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I had to install Fel-Pro gaskets on a 4.6 2V Ford Modular. It was really difficult to get the valve cover gaskets to stay in place. I would have used Motorcraft if I had the choice.


2010 Lancer Ralliart Sportback
Re: 5.4 3V VCT solenoid replacement [Re: 04SE] #4109032 05/28/16 03:51 PM
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Well, I am all done and will have another thread for the pics and will link it below.

Overall, it was very easy to do, just time consuming. I am short (5'10") and had to stand on double stacked 6x6 blocks to be able to lean over and reach everything. It took me about 6 hours total and this was with half my time spent chatting & taking breaks to stretch my back and calves. Non-stop, I think 2.5-3 hours is easily doable having done it now.

The hardest part was getting a vacuum line detached from the driver's side valve cover towards the rear. I fought and fought it to no avail. It has two tabs in a 'C' shape on a stud. I ended up using channel locks to compress the 'C' flat and then this gave JUST enough clearance to pull it off the stud. I then used the channel locks to bend the whole bracket out of the way and didn't return it to the OEM location upon re-installation. The line comes off the back of the motor and around the drivers side up to the brake booster. It is stiff enough it won't be an issue.

The driver's side solenoid had a clear failure in one of the screens but overall looked good compared to others I have seen during my research leading up to this. The driver's side valve cover had quite the varnish layer and the head had a very light yellowing to it but was overall in great shape for 116,000 miles. Previous owner ran Mobil 1 5w20 via OLM with Motorcraft filters for 90,000+ miles.

The passenger solenoid was in perfect shape (visually). The passenger valve cover had minimal varnish and the head had no measurable varnish, it was factory silver. I didn't take pictures on the passenger side as there was nothing to show.

So, either (A) the driver's side head runs hot(ter) as designed (B) the driver's side head has overheated prior to my ownership or (C) the driver's side solenoid was advancing cam timing too much too early/late causing a severe temp differential compared to the passenger head. Any input on this?

The 2 bottom, rear most valve cover bolts on the drivers head were a PITA, but doable. I used a 1/4" ratchet for all of the work with various extensions.

I used fel-pro gaskets with zero issue(s). I used black RTV on the head & timing cover joint.

Upon first start up the difference was immediately noticeable. The truck has always idled low in gear and in park. It fired right up and had a bark to it (Borla muffler) that it has never had. I don't know how to describe the difference while idling now, the difference is unbelievable. Driving it is a 1,000% improvement through normal acceleration. The in gear (foot on brakes) stumble is 100% gone and so is the low speed/low RPM tick between 20-30 MPH.

Digging deep in the throttle feels like I have picked up 50HP and 50 lb/ft. The old solenoid(s) were clearly sticking open or closed and having issues.

PICTURES:

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/4109031#Post4109031


Life's little problems can be solved with a shovel and silence.
Re: 5.4 3V VCT solenoid replacement [Re: 04SE] #4109917 05/29/16 05:25 PM
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Merkava_4 Offline
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Originally Posted By: 04SE
The passenger solenoid was in perfect shape (visually). The passenger valve cover had minimal varnish and the head had no measurable varnish, it was factory silver. I didn't take pictures on the passenger side as there was nothing to show.

So, either (A) the driver's side head runs hot(ter) as designed (B) the driver's side head has overheated prior to my ownership or (C) the driver's side solenoid was advancing cam timing too much too early/late causing a severe temp differential compared to the passenger head. Any input on this?


I watch a lot of FordTechMakuloco videos and in one of his videos about VCT solenoids, he blamed the failure squarely on varnish build up. The varnish is sticky and causes the solenoid to seize up. He also mentioned that one side of the engine runs hotter than the other side which is a direct correlation to the varnish build up. He recommends changing the oil often with a full synthetic since synthetic doesn't varnish up as easily. I suspect the previous owners went too far between oil changes.

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