Ford vs The CompetitionTechnical discussion and comparison ONLY. Trolls will not be tolerated.
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Well, I just responded to a thread involving the Titan vs F150, and the thread starting going into differences in dyno's between the 5.4 and 5.6. I would like to see an honest discussion about the large engines in half ton trucks. Lets try to keep opinions like "it doesn't matter how good such and such engine is if the truck is going to fall apart around it", as I don't think that any truck made today is going to fall apart significantly faster than any other. Let's just try to have a good discussion comparing the engines only, and only as they are in their stock truck-tuned form. My ranking and opinion of is as follows:
1 (tie)- Nissan 5.6 - Awesome output and probably much more powerful than stated by manuf, state of the art, possibly too many things to go wrong in the long run
1 (tie)- Dodge 5.7 - Awesome output with a very broad torque curve making over 300lb/ft Tq from 1200-5600 rpm, sometimes seems hampered by overactive computer, ability to easily add MDS which can give over 20% better fuel economy
2 - Ford 5.4 - Dissapointing output for a new 3V design, poor dyno and acceleration numbers, probable good reliability, did Ford make bigger issue out of low end torque than they should have
3- Chevy 5.3 - Good fuel efficiency, outclassed by the competition, overdue for a redesign, ability to easily add MDS to give even better fuel economy
I know most probably won't agree with me, but this is my mostly unbiased thoughts. I do admit that I almost always buy Ford or Dodge, but I have driven trucks with all of these engines except for the Nissan. Let's hear your (unbiased as possible) opinions.
I drove a new Dodge with the 5.7, might be the one I drove but I wasn't impressed with the power. I hit the gas at 45 MPH and it felt like an old 318 under the hood. Leaving from a dead stop was better but didn't feel much quicker than the 5.4 in my '02. Two guys I work with have 5.7 Dodges and both claim no better than 13 MPG highway. Both love their trucks and have no problems with them, mpg is the only gripe.
I have driven a few 04 F-150's with the 5.4 and they all felt sluggish or slow to respond to driver input. I understand Ford has a reflash to help with this problem.
Can't comment on the GM or Nissan, never driven them.
Last edited by Paul Selby; 10-20-2004 at 09:03 PM.
The Ford modular 5.4 is bulletproof reliable. And its low end torque is nothing to laugh at. Even though I think the Nissan motor is technically superior, it does remain to be seen how reliable it will be.
On the other hand the Nissan engine is not really new. A smaller displacement version of the same basic engine has been in the Infiniti Q-45 for ten years, with very good reliability. The truck engine is a beefier block with larger bore and stroke, torque profile cams and does not (yet) have the variable valve timing from the car engine. Adding those computer adjustable valves would bump up both horsepower and torque even more. I look to see that in a couple years.
The Ford, on the otherhand, does have fewer moving parts (SOHC v. DOHC), and it did a very creditable job in getting a heavier truck moving while towing a pretty heavy load - better than either the Chevy or Hemi in one pretty good test:
You'll even note that the 5.4 Ford actually had a better 0-30 time than the Nissan pulling the trailer, although the Nissan did get up to 30 miles per hour in a shorter distance. The difference was that the Nissan and Ford both have traction control, while the Dodge and Chevy did not, and Nissan's traction control actually cut in a little too much during that test. Incidentally, one can push a button on the dash of the Nissan and disable that feature if it is not desired.
All in all the Ford did better than Dodge and Chevy moving off with a heavy load, but did fade behind both the Dodge and Nissan above 30 miles per hour.
It is pretty well-known now in technical circles that the major cause of engine failure in Ford modular engines is use of the wrong weight oil. Some of the oil passageways in the OHC heads are very, very small and require low viscosity oil. It is vitally important that Ford owners use the specified 5W30 oil. Heavier oils on the bottom number, like 10W30 or 10W40 will lead to trouble as there will be oil return problems and the bottom end of the engine will starve for oil. We are in the production engine rebuilding business, so I know a little about this. But, as stated, if you use the right oil, these engines are bulletproof.
The Chevy is just not cutting it. But it is only 5.3 liters in size and we know that Chevy certainly has the parts out there to put more power into that engine if it decides to do so.
The Hemi is a nice engine (even though it is not a true hemi head). It is not an OHC design, but will probably be pretty reliable, although there are a lot of complaints by Hemi owners about some kind of "tick" the engine is making. Not hearing much about any engine failures, however. They do seem to catch up to the Nissans at high speeds (above 80-90 mph) if you really want or need to go that fast, suggesting that the advantage the Nissan has in gearing in the lower gears has been evened out when they get in top gear.
I'd like to see Ford put the 4 valve heads from the Navigator 5.4 on the pickups, cam them for torque and give us a good, efficient 5 speed auto tranny and I think the Ford engine would perform much better in real world comparisons. I think that the horses and torque are down because the heads are not breathing as well as the Nissan and Dodge.
Does the Nissan and "Hemi" have 4-valves a cylinder? I thought a read somewhere in a Ford artical that they stayed away from 4-valve Heads partly because they didn't want to sacrifice too much low-end power? And of course they wanted to avoid more moveing parts (additional cams). Heck Ford seems to confident in this new 3-valver that they put it in the new Mustangs and even the 6.8 V-10. Also dumping Lincolns 4-valver in favor of the new 3-valve. Anyways I think there are several other things they can do to improve the power output. For instance i changed the oil in my dads '04 5.4. I was disgusted by the tiny diameter exhaust tubeing which was later comfirmed to be 2.5". My 2.0L Focus has a 2.5" exhaust...aftermarket but cmon! My Focus went from 2.0" to 2.5" and lost minimal low end and only gained massive amounts of mindrange to top end. I also agrea that a good 5-speed or even 6-speed could help ALOT. The 300hp Lincoln Aviator has a 5-speed auto. And now the Superdutys have a 5-speed auto for gassers and Diesel alike. I think the new style F-150's biggest downfall is the tranny....or lack there of. Also for the 5.3L. My step brother had a 2001 Z71 with 5.3. Custom cat-back and K&N FIPK. I was amazed at how sluggish it was. Worse so than the new 5.4's.
Other than the SS, why doesn't GM offer the 6.0 in the 1500 as an option. Seems like an easy way to get one up on everyone.
I have always wondered that myself. I'm not particularly fond of Chevy trucks, but a 6.0 in a reg cab short bed silverado would certainly be a heck of a truck. I have driven 3/4 ton chevy's with the 6.0, and they feel very strong. The HO version of the 6.0 is very equal to the hemi and nissan 5.6, and should be chevy's top 1/2 ton engine. It is closer in size and power to the 5.7 and 5.7 than the 5.3 is. If Chevy did this, and charged 800-1000 premium over the 5.3, I would probably take a look at a silverado next time around. I have heard rumors from the Chevy boards that this is coming.
Semi-hemispherical combustion chambers.
Also, I think the 6.0 is a competitor for the V10, right?
Semi-hemispherical or not, it still puts out one horsepower per cubic inch in its truck-tuned form. I don't think any other large truck engine does that. Possibly Toyotas new 4.7 and Chevy's 4.8 come pretty close, though. I know 1 hp per ci is not a big deal for highly tuned 4 and 6 cylinders, but not many large V8's can do that and be tuned for truck use. The current hemi is about as close as you could get to the hemi of yore with today's strict emissions.
I thought the 8.1 was a competitor for the V10. The 6.0 is direct competition with the 5.4 and 5.7 in heavy duty trucks, since the 5.3 isn't offered. If the HO 6.0 was offered in 1/2 ton form, it would definately be a three-way shootout, and the 6.0 might even edge out the 5.6 and 5.7. Especially since it seems GM has fixed the CSK issue.
Last edited by wnorman1192; 10-21-2004 at 05:55 PM.
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