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