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#4803413 - 07/02/18 06:32 PM What the Ford?!
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1174
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
Took on my first work on a 5.4 3V (in an '05 F150) today. Okay, what I've seen of post-squarebody F150's so far is that they just don't seem to age well and the 5.4 is, at the least, prone to exhaust leaks. Trim parts, interior pieces, etc. aren't available or are hard to find, especially in comparison to GM trucks that I can get door handles, climate control knobs, etc. for at most any parts house - in stock. I'm guessing that comes from the fact the F150 has been split off from the 250/350 for quite a while, making all cosmetic parts relevant to only a few models where Chevys are the same over 10/20/30 series, and usually stay that way for 5-8 years at a time.

But what really amazes me is under the hood of this truck. Plugs... well, of course we already know about those, but thankfully none broke on this one. I could do the VC gaskets and plugs in an LS-powered Chevy in the time it takes to do the plugs alone on the 5.4, even if it has the updated plugs that you don't have worry about snapping off. I'm going to guess doing VC gaskets on a 5.4 would take as long as doing exhaust manifolds, VC gaskets, and plugs on an LS, but then there's the EXHAUST MANIFOLDS on this engine. Remove fender liner (no biggie), remove exhaust (which won't actually come all the way out on the passenger side, after separating the Y-pipe), remove starter (3 bolts that are tight as the blazes and take the perfect combination of tools to gain access to), then use $100 worth of extensions, open end wrenches, and swivels to get at the studs, half of which are jammed right up against the upper control arm/coil over tower. Break half the studs, drop sway bar (because the passenger half of the Y-pipe won't come all the way out and make room), then fish the manifold out in just the right fashion, and go buy another $75 in tools I've never needed for anything else to drill out the studs that have barely a fist's space in front of them inside the frame.

No wonder a GMT800 goes for 50% more than an equivalent F150.
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'13 Cruze, 1.4T, 113K
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#4803436 - 07/02/18 06:58 PM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 427
Loc: MN
This is why any time a job like that comes in on an F150 I take the cab off. It just isn't worth the [censored] on those things trying to work on them with the body on. If I sold plugs and manifolds, I would have had the cab off in a jiffy.

Sorry you had the misfortune of working on one of those bad boys! Take a look at the project I just had on one last week:

2011 F-150 Ecoboost timing chain replacement

I completely agree about the Chevy trucks. Couple years ago I had to do head gaskets on a 6.0 2500. Did it in the body, no problem. Plenty of room for everything.

Try that on a 5.4...


Edited by 14Accent (07/02/18 07:00 PM)
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#4803452 - 07/02/18 07:17 PM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15832
Loc: OH
OHC vs pushrod.
Advantage pushrod.
What advantage is there in these OHC Ford engines?
I can't see any.
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#4803471 - 07/02/18 07:44 PM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8765
Loc: North Carolina
Plus the non afm 5.3 T motors are good for at least 250k+
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#4803496 - 07/02/18 08:22 PM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: fdcg27]
cb_13 Offline


Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 930
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
OHC vs pushrod.
Advantage pushrod.
What advantage is there in these OHC Ford engines?
I can't see any.


Torque, back in the 5.4 2v vs GM 5.3 iron block days the 5.4 was making 360 lbft in the 2500 rpm range. The 5.3 was around 330 at 4000.

I don’t feel like any engine can claim that much of a longevity advantage over the 2v modulate. Just look at how many 4.6’s are running around with 300k+ miles. My buddy’s work truck is just shy of 500k on a 2v V10.

I won’t make excuses for the 5.4 3v. That thing should’ve never happened.


Edited by cb_13 (07/02/18 08:28 PM)

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#4803498 - 07/02/18 08:24 PM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: fdcg27]
maxdustington Offline


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 856
Loc: Toronna
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
OHC vs pushrod.
Advantage pushrod.
What advantage is there in these OHC Ford engines?
I can't see any.

Planned obsolescence and more money for dealers in parts and service.
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#4803506 - 07/02/18 08:38 PM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
honeeagle Offline


Registered: 12/16/12
Posts: 20
Loc: Canada
What is the problem ,its called job security

if cars were perfect what would you do to feed your family
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#4803577 - 07/02/18 09:48 PM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: fdcg27]
Cujet Online   content


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7219
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
OHC vs pushrod.
Advantage pushrod.
What advantage is there in these OHC Ford engines?
I can't see any.


I'm not at all sure the method of valve actuation has much to do with it. There are plenty of OHC and DOHC engines that are easy to work on and last a very long time.

I will agree that the modern Chevy Small Block is an excellent engine and is probably impossible to beat when it comes to outright power to weight and capability. Manufacturers, including Ferrari dump millions of dollars into exceedingly complex designs that cannot beat a simple, normally aspirated 5+ liter LS based engine. Watching the Corvette C7r cleanup at the Daytona 24 hour race, against the worlds best, was rather enlightening.


Edited by Cujet (07/02/18 09:53 PM)
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#4803672 - 07/03/18 03:23 AM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
Black_Thunder Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 1300
Loc: Wisconsin
same argument could be had with Cadillac Northstar engines or any other FWD with a v8 wedged in the engine bay sideway or even a V6 for that matter.


they are trying to make vehicles lighter weight/smaller without allowing excess room for the drivetrain.

I know several guys with Duramaxes that say its easier to take the cabs off or pull the engine to do any real work on it, so its not just a ford thing.


the super duties are easier to work on with the larger engine bay, the f150's have had smaller engine bays since the late 90's


I do miss the old 4.9's
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#4803747 - 07/03/18 08:06 AM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1174
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
I don't disagree, it's not a Ford-only thing - but this isn't a diesel truck that was, almost, designed for commercial use and duty cycles. Hail the 300! Makes this thing look like trying to cut grass with the space shuttle. And, also, the 5.4 may have been more powerful than the 5.3, but it wasn't GM's only big gas engine for trucks. In the Chevy world it's the equivalent of the 6.0 never having existed and the only good-size gas engine choices for trucks being the 5.3 and 8.1. If the 5.4 had been less troublesome I wouldn't scratch my head, but from what I've seen of its longevity and capability it's never been superior to the LS, yet FMC kept using it and actually made it worse. BTW, I think 250K for a non-AFM LS is a pretty conservative number. I've seen them take serious abuse with over 250K already on them and not phase them.

I don't have the equipment to pull the cab or I would.

And cars don't have to be intentionally flawed for me to feed my family - I still make enough money working on 3800 V6's, OM617's, and the Honda F23. wink
_________________________
I like Chevy and Valvoline.

'13 Cruze, 1.4T, 113K
'85 GMC C3500, 454, 130K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 169K
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K

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#4803771 - 07/03/18 08:32 AM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
Silverado12 Offline


Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 3145
Loc: Central Virginia
Don't forget the 5.4 also gets awful fuel economy. I've become a big fan of the 4.6 2V, though. Even the 4.6 3V in my wife's Mustang seems decent. Not sure what the differences are between it and the 5.4.
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#4803901 - 07/03/18 11:23 AM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Silverado12]
cb_13 Offline


Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 930
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By: Silverado12
Don't forget the 5.4 also gets awful fuel economy. I've become a big fan of the 4.6 2V, though. Even the 4.6 3V in my wife's Mustang seems decent. Not sure what the differences are between it and the 5.4.


Stroke and deck height. The 4.6 3v came along late enough that the most obvious flaws of the 5.4 3v were redesigned already.

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#4803909 - 07/03/18 11:30 AM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
Delta Online   happy


Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 1183
Loc: South Central PA
The 2V 5.4 wasn't the easiest to work on either. We had one in the old '01 Expedition, and replacing coil packs and plugs was a chore and a half with the fuel lines going right on top. The rear HVAC stuff under the hood didn't help as far as room though. It would like to go through the recommended 5w20 oil pretty fast too.
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#4803949 - 07/03/18 12:17 PM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
MNgopher Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 4065
Loc: Lakeville, MN
Not going to get a lot of arguement on the 5.4 3V being a piece of work. I owned one in my '04 F150, and in this conversation, the wonderful timing chain and VCT system hasn't been touched on, but that is what doomed mine.

The 2V version all in all was pretty decent, though it never got the fuel mileage the Chevy's did.

And not everything was figured out on the 4.6 3V - my '07 Explorer has one of those, and two exhaust manifolds later (and you thought the F150 was fun...) They also initially had the same plug issue as the 5.4's did...

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#4804127 - 07/03/18 03:40 PM Re: What the Ford?! [Re: Alex_V]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1174
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
I've done plugs and manifolds on a '01 5.4-powered F150 and, while everything's in the same spot on the engine, the plugs are conventional and the standard control-arm front suspension isn't all up in the way of the manifolds. Still inferior to an LS engine but manageable. This 3V is just silly.
_________________________
I like Chevy and Valvoline.

'13 Cruze, 1.4T, 113K
'85 GMC C3500, 454, 130K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 169K
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K

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