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2004 - 2008 F150 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Ford F150's with 5.4 V8, 4.6 V8 or 4.2 V6 engine
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:54 AM
alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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2004 F-150 Lariat 5.4 Triton

A few weeks ago I overheard my boss saying he was going to sell one of the company trucks, a 2004 F-150 Lariat 5.4 Triton, to a wrecker for $500.00 to $1,000.00. I spoke up and said I would pay $1,000.00 for the truck. I figured at the least I could part it out for double what I paid. It's pretty loaded; auto, 4 doors with PW, leather PS w/heat, cruise, sun roof, buckets and console, e-4x4, good factory sound, new 18" tires.

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When I drove it out to my place, it fired right up with a smooth idle and took off just fine. Wow, I thought, there's nothing wrong with this truck, what a bunch of morons I'm working for!!! After traveling for about ten minutes I came to a stop and the motor was stumbling and almost dying, I had to feather the gas in order to keep it running. I guess the boss isn't such a moron after all. After doing some research I found out the 5.4 is known for the cam phasers buggering up due to lack of oil changes. It seems the oil passages are easy to plug and without regular oil changes the passages plug and the phasers don't do what they should: keep the cams in phase with speed and load. I spent a couple of days online researching and then talked to my local mechanic. He said that if I didn't have bad oil pressure that it is feasible to repair the phasers, cost ~$2,500.00 parts and labor. With bad pressure, the option is replace the motor, either with rebuilt or from a wreck. Cost with motor from wreck; ~$6,000.00 includes parts and labor. A shock to me was the 24 hour time span it takes to r+r the motor, the engineers must have been having crack withdrawals. Anyways, I drained a liter of oil and replaced it with trans fluid. I ran it like that four or five time over the course of a couple of weeks, putting on about 10 kilometers. I then decided to add a manual oil pressure gauge teed off the stock sensor;

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I flipped the rubber cup holder upside down, it was the only place I could find to hold the 2 1/2" diameter gauge;

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What a pain in the wrist it was to tee off the motor, I wish I had another joint between my wrist and elbow.
After draining the oil, which had a total of about 100 kilometers on the last oil change that the company did, it looked a little dirty. It looked like it had copper pearl added to it, I hope its not worn too much inside. The recommended oil is 5w/20. In my research, it was suggested a quick fix was to go to a heavier oil, so I decided to mix 0w/30 and 15w/40 half and half to make 7.5w/35. It seems to be working!!! Cold idle was 72 psi, warm idle dropped to 60 psi. After running hard for 5 or 10 minutes the in gear idle pressure was 23 psi and in park idle was 30 psi. In gear at 1000 rpm and higher the pressure was @ 55 to 60 psi. The truck seemed to run smooth the whole time, other than a tick similar to a 2.9 or 4.0 lifter tick. Maybe the thicker oil is preventing enough oil from reaching the upper parts of the motor, but I don't have a clue. Can anyone shed some light on this? Anyone with experience with what I'm attempting please speak up.
Thanks,

Richard
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:50 AM
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great find.......
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:30 AM
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I think you got a good deal on the truck. If it was me, I'd be runnign the thinner oil and changing it regularly. You want it getting to all the nooks and crannies in that engine.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:21 PM
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I would de-sludge the engine. Look up Kreen. Works great. Follow the directions. After that I would run at minimum 10w30. I have heard people extending the motors with these exact symptoms with Rotella 15w40. You need to keep the oil pressure above 25psi at idle.




Some info from answer.ford.


Different expert here, you do have codes for both sides of the engine, P0012 is for bank 1 (passenger side) and P0022 is for bank 2 (drivers side) usually when both of these codes set it is more than just a solenoid. Usually there is an oil feed pressure concern that will also cause the cam phasers to stick even if the solenoids are ok. I work on 3-4 of these a month when were busy and 90% of them need engines because the crankshaft thrust bearings wear and the front crank journals wear and cause excessive pressure bleed. Not to mention the cam bearings, phasers, VCT bodies and chain tensioners.

These engines are notorious for phasers and VCT solenoids sticking from oil feed problems to the cylinder heads. Cam sensor codes do not mean the sensors are bad. They can be set by any timing drive component that is making the valve timing incorrect due to over retarded or over advanced cam timing due to a sticking or inoperative phaser/VCT. The bad or sticking phaser or VCT solenoid is usually the result of the problem not the root cause. Here is a list of what I check or replace on these every time I get one in with phaser noise, VCT codes, cam sensor codes or misfires caused by VCT issues. Before any disassembly the PCM data pids for VCT error correction should be monitored to confirm it is a VCT issue. If the vehicle won’t run, a compression test can also verify the VCT problem.

Oil Pressure. Any thing under 25 at idle will cause phaser issues. Oil pressure needs to be steady and not fluctuating. If low or fluctuating suspect crankshaft thrust bearing wear. This can be verified by a simple end play check. Also if engine is sludged in the least amount there could be oil starvation to the valve train which is also very common on these and can be verified by pulling a few cam caps on each side, it will be obvious if the there is an oil supply issue to the valve train by the condition of the caps and journals.
VCT valve body/solenoids. Have seen many issues with solenoid plungers sticking and restrictions in valve body due to plugged or collapsed screens.
Timing chain tensioner gaskets blown. This will cause oil pressure bleed to the valve train and affect phaser functionality.
Camshaft phasers sticking due to contamination or low oil volume/delivery pressure.
Crankshaft endplay, I don’t bother fixing the engine if endplay is over .010
Oil pump, I change if there was any evidence of sludge or varnishing. There are passages in the pump that clog and can cause oil starvation problems.

In short if I don't find oil pressure concerns and my cams are in good shape I usually replace the phasers, VCT bodies, oil pump and tensioners on every one of these. Ford has updated these part numbers several times with improved engineering designs.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:26 PM
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Wow, 1000 bucks for a lariat 4x4 that runs. What a great deal. Even if you have to replace the engine, the truck will still be worth more than what you have in it. Granted it doesn't have a million miles on it.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:31 PM
ChrisCarter ChrisCarter is offline
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After all the write ups you post this? Listen first of all its probably nothing more then a VCT Solenoid sensor that is bad. Second of all missing and rough idle will all cause the problems you relayed. Do not put thick oil in that motor. You'll ruin it. Check coils, plugs and those two sensors... how many miles is on it? Extending the life? The cam phasers go out it just ticks... I know a guy with 250K+ his has ticked since 90k it sounds awful but runs great, and its fine. Ticking should go away after a certain amount RPM's should be fine after 1200... at 1200 these trucks make a slapping sound almost like something slapping together inside the motor. A brand new one with no miles will do this. Its the nature of the beast. If the ticking stays even after 1000 RPM's and is noticeable through all RPM's The VCT sensors are bad, which are common on these trucks.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:58 PM
alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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Thanks to everyone for the responses. I'm pretty sure that I won't lose on this truck.
I've gone through the receipts that came with the truck, from 116,000 Km to present @ 215,000 Km. The rear diff was rebuilt @ 180,000 Km 3.73 gears, auburn limited slip. The spark plugs were changed and the fuel system gone thru @ 185,000 Km. Actuators [4x4?] and front bearings @ 202,000 Km. It seems there was regular oil changes ~ 5000 Km. The last receipt is for diagnosis; code p022 - cam position timing over retarded bank 2, may need t/chain, belt, variable cam timing actuators, and chain guide. And garage replaced oil sending unit and bank 2 variable cam timing solenoid at that time.
I pulled the codes [unsure of procedure but wth, I gots to lern sometime lol] and got these the first time;
p0134 o2 sensor circuit no activity detected bank 1 sensor 1..... is this indicating the first o2 isn't working or maybe the wires are dislodged?
p0171 and p0174 system too lean banks 1 and 2.... maybe has something to do with 1st code?
After fiddling with reader I pulled another code;
p0022 a camshaft position timing over-retarded bank 2..... the same as the garage pulled.
I don't have enough experience for diagnosing the problem, I'm a 50 year old playing with cars and maybe learning something along the way. I will buy the manuals needed and if someone is kind enough to give directions, I can and will fix the problem, I don't give up easily. I once pulled the ac from a '91 ranger without letting any gas escape because I was told it couldn't be done, tho it did take me quite some time....and it never got put back in.
After putting in the a fore mentioned 7.5w/35 oil I went for a 100 Km drive and the truck ran great until coming to a stop in gear. Oil pressure was @ 55-60 psi at cruising speed of 110 Km/h, 1800 rpm, not fluctuating except in relation to rpm. At a stop oil was @ 20-23 psi, 500-650 rpm. Rough running was experienced when oil dipped below 23 psi and idle dropped rpm in relation. Feather the gas and idle smoothed out. Turned around and drove back no problems, gas mileage indicator showed an average of 15.2 L/100Km over the whole trip. No codes came up after the trip. There are no problems experienced until an extended driving time.
I'm inclined to do as berry1234 suggested; de-sludge the engine for 1000 Kms and next oil change I'll use 15w/40 as I happen to have some synthetic of that grade I picked up for cheap. When I ran 5w/20 the motor ran like crap warmed up at an idle, I didn't have a oil pressure gauge installed at the time.
OTOH it may be best to tear into the front of the motor and fix the possible blown chain tensioner 'gasket' as suggested by Sasquatch_Ryda. Can anyone give me an estimate of time and parts needed for this?

Thanks,

Richard
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysFlOoReD View Post
Thanks to everyone for the responses. I'm pretty sure that I won't lose on this truck.
I've gone through the receipts that came with the truck, from 116,000 Km to present @ 215,000 Km. The rear diff was rebuilt @ 180,000 Km 3.73 gears, auburn limited slip. The spark plugs were changed and the fuel system gone thru @ 185,000 Km. Actuators [4x4?] and front bearings @ 202,000 Km. It seems there was regular oil changes ~ 5000 Km. The last receipt is for diagnosis; code p022 - cam position timing over retarded bank 2, may need t/chain, belt, variable cam timing actuators, and chain guide. And garage replaced oil sending unit and bank 2 variable cam timing solenoid at that time.
I pulled the codes [unsure of procedure but wth, I gots to lern sometime lol] and got these the first time;
p0134 o2 sensor circuit no activity detected bank 1 sensor 1..... is this indicating the first o2 isn't working or maybe the wires are dislodged?
p0171 and p0174 system too lean banks 1 and 2.... maybe has something to do with 1st code?
After fiddling with reader I pulled another code;
p0022 a camshaft position timing over-retarded bank 2..... the same as the garage pulled.
I don't have enough experience for diagnosing the problem, I'm a 50 year old playing with cars and maybe learning something along the way. I will buy the manuals needed and if someone is kind enough to give directions, I can and will fix the problem, I don't give up easily. I once pulled the ac from a '91 ranger without letting any gas escape because I was told it couldn't be done, tho it did take me quite some time....and it never got put back in.
After putting in the a fore mentioned 7.5w/35 oil I went for a 100 Km drive and the truck ran great until coming to a stop in gear. Oil pressure was @ 55-60 psi at cruising speed of 110 Km/h, 1800 rpm, not fluctuating except in relation to rpm. At a stop oil was @ 20-23 psi, 500-650 rpm. Rough running was experienced when oil dipped below 23 psi and idle dropped rpm in relation. Feather the gas and idle smoothed out. Turned around and drove back no problems, gas mileage indicator showed an average of 15.2 L/100Km over the whole trip. No codes came up after the trip. There are no problems experienced until an extended driving time.
I'm inclined to do as adam1234 suggested; de-sludge the engine for 1000 Kms and next oil change I'll use 15w/40 as I happen to have some synthetic of that grade I picked up for cheap. When I ran 5w/20 the motor ran like crap at an idle, I didn't have a oil pressure gauge installed at the time.
OTOH it may be best to tear into the front of the motor and fix the possible blown chain tensioner 'gasket' as suggested by Sasquatch_Ryda. Can anyone give me an estimate of time and parts needed for this?

Thanks,

Richard
Read this.

VCT Solenoid

And never replace a sensor becuase the code mentions it. I have seen so many people replace sensors for this reason. Waste of money.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:58 PM
alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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@ berry1234
Thanks for the quick response.
And I changed my mistake in spelling your name


Richard
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by alwaysFlOoReD View Post
@ berry1234
Thanks for the quick response.
And I changed my mistake in spelling your name


Richard
Sure, keep us posted. After you run whatever you decide to desludge the motor and change your filter, you can cup it open and look at the paper and see how bad the sludge is or isn't.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:22 PM
alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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I took a look at the link. If memory serves, the screens on the solenoids plug or break often. Is it possible to tell if the solenoid is pooched by pulling it and looking at it?
Thanks

Richard
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by alwaysFlOoReD View Post
I took a look at the link. If memory serves, the screens on the solenoids plug or break often. Is it possible to tell if the solenoid is pooched by pulling it and looking at it?
Thanks

Richard
Well you can for sure see broken screen and sludge easily.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:42 PM
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Update;
I didn't pull the solenoids to look at.
My wife and I took the truck and 18' travel trailer up to Tofield for a music fest for the July 1st long weekend. We had a great time and saw lots of great bands. The truck worked great except for one time. This was after running for a couple of hours and then pulling in for a rest stop. The engine rpm dropped, so did oil pressure to 21-22 psi and idle was terrible. Shut it down for a couple of minutes and from then on it ran great. It hasn't repeated the rough running since. I've been running the same oil as originally described with the addition of 1/3 quart of atf for cleansing. I'll update when something new comes up.
Cheers,

Richard

Last edited by alwaysFlOoReD; 07-09-2012 at 12:00 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:13 PM
alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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The truck finally gave up the ghost. I got two years out of it by running thicker oil so I figure it was well worth the $1000.00. I put on about 30,000 Kilometers.

Richard
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:23 PM
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More detail on the failure.

What finally happened??
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:23 PM
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