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Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... #5190713 08/18/19 08:46 PM
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Navi Offline OP
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There is a huge problem with Ford F150 and any platform they have the 3.5 liter Ecoboost engine. My vehicle was in the shop for 2 months and yes it was painful. Here is a video of the pain:



The diagnosis was faulty camphasers and stretched timing chain. The amount of work to replace everything was substantial and I think at some point they had the body off to access the engine.

I had religiously changed my oil with Valvoline Full Synthetic Maxlife every 7000 mile.

My question is there anything I could have done differently with the oil or oil changes? From reading this board I know certain oils shear and camphasers are sensitive to viscosity.

I was reading the faq on Shell Gas Truck and thinking that might be ideal as its a thicker than most other 5w30s.

Lastly I will admit when I brought this up on Ford related message boards the thread gets locked because no one wants to hear about problems with their truck. Im not looking to poopooing the Ford brand or the F150. Just need answers...

Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190725 08/18/19 08:55 PM
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donnyj08 Offline
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How many total miles were on the engine? Ford has had phaser and chain issues in the past especially on the 5.4L engines.


2008 Silverado Z71 LT 98k Maxlife FS 5w30
2010 Ford Escape 196k QSUD 5w20
2016 Yamaha XSR900 13k, Spectro 10w40, Yamaha Filter.
Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: donnyj08] #5190734 08/18/19 09:09 PM
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Navi Offline OP
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Originally Posted by donnyj08
How many total miles were on the engine? Ford has had phaser and chain issues in the past especially on the 5.4L engines.

About 85000 miles...

Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190749 08/18/19 09:24 PM
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clinebarger Offline
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I done quite a few.....All four Phasers, & All 3 Chains & Tensioners. ALL of them showed signs of neglect, heavy varnish, & sludge.
7000 mile OCI's might be a bit much for high HP, DI/Turbocharged engine with such a complicated cam drive system??

This one was really bad! Believe it or not....Cold start rattle was the only symptom, No Cam/Valve/VCT Timing DTC's & the Timing Chains were in decent shape.
*I was able to clean the VCT solenoids (Berrymans Chem Dip) soaking just the spool valve part on the solenoids.
*The filter was completely clogged allowing it to bypass sending sludge into the VCT Solenoids.
*Pulled the oil pan & flushed the engine with Kerosene.

I was able to do this job in 2 days....No reason for a shop to keep your truck for 2 months! Pulling the cab on a F150 is very easy & was designed to be so!!

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190757 08/18/19 09:34 PM
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BISCUT Offline
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Interested in what thread got locked and why. Lots of threads on this with tons of hate. Plenty warranted too. I had a 04 5.4 3v changed solenoid and that was a cheap jackpot for me. Never had another issue...I should say my issue was ticking.

I have a 15 5.0 and has been zero issues. And frankly I expect zero issues for a 50k truck.

You dont mention particulars. What year? What oil and what OCi? History of oils and OCI.

No utopia here but I do ask and I want to hear. Ford trucks since 97 have been really good to me. I see plenty that Ford has not done well with as well.

Can you give us more to go off?


2015 F150 Lariat M1 5-30 EP FRAM Ultra(39k)
2017 Sub OB M1 5-30 EP FRAM Ultra(64k)


Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190780 08/18/19 10:01 PM
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tcp71 Offline
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I've had a 2009 5.4 3V 5.4 as well as my current truck, a 3.5l eco 2016 F150. Neither had phaser problems. Both were run on Castrol 0w40 and changed at MAXIMUM 5000 miles.

The first gen 3.5 eco has a LONG timing chain that goes up both bank of cylinders. Are you the first owner of the Navigator? Do you know its history? The soot in the direct injection eco can play a roll in wearing the chain and those particles aren't filtered by standard oil filters.


2016 F150 Eco: Edge 0w40
2005 Sienna 3.3: mobil 0w40 (varies)
Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: clinebarger] #5190793 08/18/19 10:18 PM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted by clinebarger
I done quite a few.....All four Phasers, & All 3 Chains & Tensioners. ALL of them showed signs of neglect, heavy varnish, & sludge.
7000 mile OCI's might be a bit much for high HP, DI/Turbocharged engine with such a complicated cam drive system??

This one was really bad! Believe it or not....Cold start rattle was the only symptom, No Cam/Valve/VCT Timing DTC's & the Timing Chains were in decent shape.
*I was able to clean the VCT solenoids (Berrymans Chem Dip) soaking just the spool valve part on the solenoids.
*The filter was completely clogged allowing it to bypass sending sludge into the VCT Solenoids.
*Pulled the oil pan & flushed the engine with Kerosene.

I was able to do this job in 2 days....No reason for a shop to keep your truck for 2 months! Pulling the cab on a F150 is very easy & was designed to be so!!

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Do you recall how many miles were on this one? Reading here on Bitog 10K OCI's seem to be a walk in the park type recommendation for synthetic oil, 5K for dino. You're saying even 7K is too much for this setup. I agree with you 100%, even with synthetic oils. Some of these DI turbo engines are prime candidates for severe service intervals with a synthetic oil no matter how they're driven.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190809 08/18/19 10:37 PM
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double vanos Offline
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In my book that looks like a neglected engine. The sludge and varnish look like a cheap conventional was used instead of a full syn. Is that a gen2 or gen 1 engine? If Valvoline syn can’t do any better than that over 7k OCIs there’s no way I could recommend it.


Sabine Schmitz is the Queen of the 'Ring; Svetlana Kapanina is the Queen of the SKIES...
Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: demarpaint] #5190821 08/18/19 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by demarpaint

Do you recall how many miles were on this one? Reading here on Bitog 10K OCI's seem to be a walk in the park type recommendation for synthetic oil, 5K for dino. You're saying even 7K is too much for this setup. I agree with you 100%, even with synthetic oils. Some of these DI turbo engines are prime candidates for severe service intervals with a synthetic oil no matter how they're driven.


2012 F150 126,xxx miles, Bought at a auction, No idea about the maintenance history. 10K OCI's are a walk in the park for many engine designs, I just don't believe this is one of them.

Now this is a really neglected engine in the pictures....But didn't have any noticeable Timing Chain stretch, The tensioner just had one "ring" on it & was not near it's maximum travel.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190884 08/19/19 01:43 AM
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Navi Offline OP
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#1. It was 85000 miles on a.Gen 2 engine...2018 Navigator L

#2. Vehicle is a work truck in the livery industry.

#3. Ford in its manual said the engine would have no problems with 10k mile OCIs so I went 7k mile changes using Valvoline full synthetic maxlife.

#4. The delays at the dealership were as a result of part backorders. I was told I was like 1000 on the list for some of the parts. Dealership treated me ugly...not happy to see this repair project. Also only a certified tech could do the work.

#5. Yeah the 5 liter is probably a better engine until Fords turbo technology improves. If I had a choice would rather go with a natural aspirated engine.

#6. If you go into a forum dedicated to a certain brand or model dont bring issues. It was funny. I honestly thought Ford owned the F150 forum as I was not welcome to post problems about the trucks. As soon as I posted problems mods were right on top of me.

#7. Took dealership two repair tries to get it right.

Lastly here is part of the dealership parts list. An extensive job.

Im going to experiment with different oils and have Blackstone tests run.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Navi; 08/19/19 01:44 AM.
Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190889 08/19/19 02:03 AM
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I am currently trying Amsoil 5W-30 and next will be Shell Gas Truck 5W-30. Going to send samples to Blackstone and will post them here.

I notice the Shell Gas Truck oil [email protected] degrees is 11.8 which is 1 higher than the Motorcraft factory fill. Its a thicker oil which might be better suited for this work.

Im going to take a science based approach based on lab data versus anything else...

Last edited by Navi; 08/19/19 02:20 AM.
Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190899 08/19/19 02:36 AM
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I found a thread from the F150 forum where a poster talked about using a 5W30 that is on the thicker side of the 5w30 viscosity range to help keep it in spec as the oil shears in the turbo engine. This is what gave me the idea of using Shell Gas Truck. I have never used Shell brands so this will be new for me. Not that Shell is bad but it simply never came to mind grabbing a big bottle of Shell off the Walmart shelf.

When your work truck is sidelined for 2 months you kind of look for preventative measures. It was painful and getting treated badly by Ford enthusiasts at the dealer or on a forum didnt help. I know you guys love the trucks but these are big problems for me...serious money losing problems and Im the victim.

https://www.f150forum.com/f70/ecoboost-oil-report-259723/index4/

Last edited by Navi; 08/19/19 02:40 AM.
Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190917 08/19/19 04:03 AM
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Gasbuggy Online Happy
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Ford should eat some of the cost for you, it's two years old.

Last edited by Gasbuggy; 08/19/19 04:03 AM.

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76 Mercedes 300D Rotella T4
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Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: clinebarger] #5190928 08/19/19 04:48 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted by clinebarger
Originally Posted by demarpaint

Do you recall how many miles were on this one? Reading here on Bitog 10K OCI's seem to be a walk in the park type recommendation for synthetic oil, 5K for dino. You're saying even 7K is too much for this setup. I agree with you 100%, even with synthetic oils. Some of these DI turbo engines are prime candidates for severe service intervals with a synthetic oil no matter how they're driven.


2012 F150 126,xxx miles, Bought at a auction, No idea about the maintenance history. 10K OCI's are a walk in the park for many engine designs, I just don't believe this is one of them.

Now this is a really neglected engine in the pictures....But didn't have any noticeable Timing Chain stretch, The tensioner just had one "ring" on it & was not near it's maximum travel.

Thanks for the update. 126k is a baby. LOL Yes it appears to be neglected.

As you say a 10K OCI can be a walk in the park for many designs. I would just add under the right conditions. I do agree this design is not one of them.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Is problem with camphasers an oil issue or a bad design... [Re: Navi] #5190929 08/19/19 04:55 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted by Navi
I found a thread from the F150 forum where a poster talked about using a 5W30 that is on the thicker side of the 5w30 viscosity range to help keep it in spec as the oil shears in the turbo engine. This is what gave me the idea of using Shell Gas Truck. I have never used Shell brands so this will be new for me. Not that Shell is bad but it simply never came to mind grabbing a big bottle of Shell off the Walmart shelf.

When your work truck is sidelined for 2 months you kind of look for preventative measures. It was painful and getting treated badly by Ford enthusiasts at the dealer or on a forum didnt help. I know you guys love the trucks but these are big problems for me...serious money losing problems and Im the victim.

https://www.f150forum.com/f70/ecoboost-oil-report-259723/index4/

Have you checked the specs on Mobil 1 ESP 5W30?


God Bless Our Troops

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