Repowering a 2004 F150 5.4L 3V.

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by dbhost, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I've had issues with Fram filters. I used to use them exclusively up until about 2000, when I had my 84 Jeep CJ7, I did an oil change on it, and there were visible chunks of filter media clogging the tube, like the filter basically disintegrated in the canister. Haven't used one since.
     
  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I have used Fram filters for 30 years or so with no problems. As far as Toyota sludge goes haven't seen it yet in the 1994 22re pickup that I have been driving for the past 25 years.
     
  3. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    Also an ex Ford Sr. Master here, left Ford in 2013 and worked on and continue to work on 3v 5.4's as side jobs. I also own a 2005 3v with 215k on the clock and original phasers though the right is just starting to knock a little. Couple of observations over the years, you can take it or leave it, I don't care...
    1. The secret to long phaser life is mostly oil. DO NOT USE 5/20 OIL, 5/20 was adopted to help meet CAFE requirements and it does nothing to help your engine. It will get you through the warranty period and even the extended warranty period in most cases but if you keep your vehicles use 5/30 and change it regularly as others have said. Ford's oil pumps on the modular engines are barely adequate, the thin 20w oil doesn't help...
    2. When changing phasers only use Ford OEM phasers. Dorman and some of the "better" aftermarket ones suck! When I do the "kit" I use the Cloyes chains and guides, OEM phasers and Melling high pressure pumps. The only time I would use an aftermarket phaser is if I am installing a Lavornis lockout kit.
    3. Lavornis lockout kit: I have installed a few of these and I would probably do it to mine when I go through it. Works well and completely makes the phaser issue go away.
    4. replace the VCT solenoids when you go in there. More importantly clean the crap out of there!!
    5. Check the cam and followers, especially the right side. If there is damage consider replacing the engine. If there is crap all over inside the engine like the OP has, probably a good idea to replace the engine.
    6. Use Motorcraft oil filters, Just what I always do.
    I am sure I missed some stuff.....

    Adam
     
  4. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    Oh and these engines do not sludge any worse than any other engine if you don't stretch your oil changes out. Factory stretches it to the max to lower the maintenance cost calculation as a marketing gimmick. You see the estimated annual cost of maintenance on the window sticker, the lower that number is the better.
     
  5. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Until your engine sludges following their recommendations...
     
  6. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I agree the oil pumps are poor. I have seen tests on them and the back plates flex too much and allow for pressure / volume drops that are just unacceptable.

    Unfortunately I hadn't run accross the recommendation for 5w30 until after the damage was done. Again Fords recommendation for 5w20 is in my eyes, about as responsible as GMs varied tire pressure recommendation on the Corvair. Just a bad idea.

    I've heard about making sure you use only Motorcraft replacement internals as far as the VCT system goes... Your component list is along the lines of what the overwhelming majority of Ford techs I have talked to reccommend.

    I have considered the lockout kit, but am concerned about the emissions impact of that kit, I am subject to an annual emissions inspection here.

    Mind you, budget is just not there at this time. Until my wife finds work, and I get a better job, and repair my finances some, I am SOL and just sitting on the truck for now. God willing that won't take too long...
     
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  7. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    Or GM's recommendation to use Dexcool in the cooling system and watch your engine rot from the inside out. Yes, 5/30 is definitely better unless you live in a very cold climate, even then....

    Check with Lavornis, last time I checked they were getting an EPA/CARB certification. We have strict emission testing here also and they never knew it was installed and the PCM reprogrammed but always do your own research. It is expensive though.

    I have always done 5k mile or 6 month oil changes with regular old whatever is on sale dino oil.

    Adam
     
  8. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    BTW, if your cams and followers are not toast and you didnt bend valves, maybe pull the pan and clean the engine out and do the timing set, pump and pick-up. They're pretty tough engines...
     
  9. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I am hopeful, but not too much...

    I'm not California type emissions, just EPA. What mods I do have in place are all CARB / EPA approved though. Nothing radical.

    I seriously wish I had known about the oil long ago...

    FWIW, full synthetic, at least Mobil 1, goes on sale here all the time.

    And quite the reverse, I live in a HOT climate.

    Funny thing is, I recall seeing the owners manuals on the cars I owned in the 80s showed different weight oils for different times of year and climates. I went with the factory recommendation with the 3V due to the concerns over the VCT system.

    I think the biggest weakness with these engines is that VCT system and massive unfamiliarity with how to properly maintain the things... And what looks to be very poor factory recommendations...

    I absoltely will not take the advice of those that swear up and down that factory had it right the first time. The evidence does NOT support that assertion. The best thing I can say about this engine is. At least it isn't a 6.0 Powerstroke.
     
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  10. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    I had Ford engineers to state that you will get better protection from a heavier oil.
    The biggest cause of sludge is operating temp.
    And don't blame the 6.0 Powerstroke on Ford, it's not their engine.
     
  11. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/car-parts-and-accessories/engine-sludge/index.htm
     
  12. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Doesnt sound like much to worry about unless you plan on upgrading your TV to a 20 year old Camry...lol
     
  13. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    I too have been away from the dealership for a number of years now, actually more years than I care to remember. I didn't work on many of these back then.

    So, I will ask the advice of a fellow Ford Tech. I have a 5.0 in my 2013 F150. I picked this thing up when it was about 6 months old. It only had 1 oil change on it when I bought it, and I have done every oil change since, using 5w20. I struggled with that at the beginning, and called every dealer in our area to see what they said about not using 5w30. I had tons of 5/30 here left over from my old Caravans. I used to do the 10/30 in the summer, 5/30 in the winter thing here and got great service out of those engines. 450,000 kms (275,000 miles) on 1 of them, and still going strong until the trans crapped out. When I got the truck, I had questions about 5/20 vs 5/30, and full synthetic, vs a blend, vs conventional depending on weather in Canada or USA according to the manual. All the dealers here use a blend or conventional, so I use conventional, and get it out of there somewhat earlier than the 14,000 kms that the dash says (usually about half that). A tech (that I don't know from my time there), at my old dealership said that the orifices are so small in the VCT that you need the thinner oil to get through there. The oil is used as hydraulic fluid there instead of just lubricant, so you need the thin stuff to get there. I scratched my head on that one. 5/30 at operating temp is as thin as water, I'm sure it'll get through the holes. So I checked out a few forums on it, and opinions were split about 50-50 on the oil grade. I've got 170000 kms on it now (105000 miles), and always thought of swapping over to 5/30 in the summer. We occasionally get to 100 degrees here in the summer, but usually sit between 85-90. When you sit out in a traffic jamb, in 6 lanes of parking lot on the highways of Toronto, roasting in the mid-day August sun/heat, that frickin 5w20 in that pan is as thin gasoline. I almost can't picture it lubing anything.

    So the question is, do the 5.0's suffer the same fate as the 5.4's? What is your opinion about using 5w30 in my 5.0 during the summer months?
     
  14. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    When I left Ford the Coyotes were just coming out so I don’t have a lot of knowledge about them but I haven’t heard of them having these issues.
    That said, I wouldn’t use 5/20 as bar oil in my chainsaw let alone any engine!
    I heard the same small passage / thick oil BS may times. Both my Ford vehicles have over 200k and have never seen 5/20 except the factory fill on my F150 which I dumped during the PDI.
     
  15. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    It was both Ford and International’s fault.
     
  16. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    There is a certain truth that the 6.0 / PowerStroke is not Fords engine, but then again, Navistar didn't forcibly shove those engines in Fords without Fords concurrence. So yeah, I can blame Ford for that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  17. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    Trying to not get off topic here.... Let me start by saying the 6.0 was and is garbage.
    That said, the International medium trucks run a long happy life with the 6.0. What's the difference? All the emissions crap Ford was forced to install to meet light duty truck requirements. This was not the cause of all but most of the issues. i.e. EGR coolers. Lots of blame to go around. Ford, International, EPA, CARB
     
  18. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    So... with the fact established that my existing 5.4L 3V is most likely unsalvageable without a major rebuild / remanufacturing, the question is now. What is a good, reputable supplier for 5.4L 3V crate engines? I hear good things about Jasper Engines but want to make sure I am not making a couple of thousand dollar mistake in going with them...
     
  19. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    I put a Jasper 5.7 HEMI into a Durango 3 years ago for a friend and it is still running strong. FWIW
    I would check and see if they put the HP oil pump in, keeps you new phasers happy. I doubt the Ford ones do.
     
  20. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    The only high flow oil pump on the market for the 5.4L 3V I know of is the Melling. Jasper advertizes they use a high volume pump. They offer a 100K mile warranty, and from what I have been told, they use the updated design Ford phasers. I think it should be good. Like I mentioned above, I REALLY love the truck itself, I just hate the service I got out of the engine. I followed the maintenance recommendations and ended up with a major engine failure with less than 120K on the odometer.
     
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