Trucks & Trailers - 5.4L Triton engine any good?

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View Full Version : 5.4L Triton engine any good?


Cracker
10-08-2009, 02:52 PM
Maybe looking at new 4X4 Fords. I am really not a Ford man but going to look at them. A friend of mine in the auto part business says the 5.4L has some sort of plug wire or spark plug issue... I tow a 23 foot boat, mainly less than 20 miles. Several times a year I tow 300 to 400 miles


bsmit24
10-08-2009, 04:17 PM
I know several people that have been very happy with the 4.6 as long as the rear end is geared correctly if you plan on towing. The couple of people that I know with the 5.4 have not had any problems but say that it is not nearly as fuel efficient as the Chevy.

For what it is worth, I remember my Ford having a much better interior than my current Dodge.

The plug issue was from the first year or so and I have not heard of recent problems.

Cmann
10-08-2009, 04:28 PM
i knew a guy, that knew a relative, that knew a lost relative, that knew a long lost relative , that knew an aunt, that had an uncle that knew a cousin, who's father knew his sisters daddy that was smoking a blunt next to a guy on his way to the stable to pay the rent on a horse that was stored. the stable owner knew a guy that kept care of his horse from a past relationship w/ his brother's sweetheart. now this sweatheart knew a gal that knew a guy that had 5 horses. these 5 horses had a baby horse and together they totalled 5.4 horses. ( horse was missing the tail...therefore....4 of a horse..not the whole .5)....anyway.....5.4 sounds good to me.
:grin:


bsmit24
10-08-2009, 04:36 PM
i knew a guy, that knew a relative...:rofl::rofl::rofl: I know them a little better than you describe, they are company cars occasionally driven by me but mostly by inspectors and crews. If he had asked about fullsize toyotas or nissans then you would be more correct.:grin:

Cracker
10-08-2009, 04:37 PM
i knew a guy, that knew a relative, that knew a lost relative, that knew a long lost relative , that knew an aunt, that had an uncle that knew a cousin, who's father knew his sisters daddy that was smoking a blunt next to a guy on his way to the stable to pay the rent on a horse that was stored. the stable owner knew a guy that kept care of his horse from a past relationship w/ his brother's sweetheart. now this sweatheart knew a gal that knew a guy that had 5 horses. these 5 horses had a baby horse and together they totalled 5.4 horses. ( horse was missing the tail...therefore....4 of a horse..not the whole .5)....anyway.....5.4 sounds good to me.
:grin:

I appreciate the light hardedness of your post, but I want to hear any good bad or ugly because I am leary of the 5.4 and I dont like the 4.6 from prior experience in patrol cars... I probably will stick with the Chevy or GMC with tthe 5.3L but just trying to keep options open..

bsmit24
10-08-2009, 04:42 PM
but I want to hear any good bad or ugly because I am leary of the 5.4 and I dont like the 4.6 from prior experience in patrol cars... I probably will stick with the Chevy or GMC with tthe 5.3L but just trying to keep options open..

What was the problem with the 4.6 in your patrol car? We had a few problems with the first year or two but pretty reliable since. I know it does not have anything to do with the engine but the gauges in my Dads Chevy have been on the blitz since he got it and the mechanic says all the gauges are tied together and you have to change the entire board out. Mostly just aggrevating.

beachbumpc
10-08-2009, 04:55 PM
Mine has 92000 + and no problems.;cool;

Cracker
10-08-2009, 04:55 PM
The 4.6 is reliable but pretty gutless in my opinion. I have a lot of time in 5.3L, 5.7L Chevy and 5.7 Hemi and all of them had more the level of torque and power I am looking for compared to the 4.6....

MAGNUS
10-08-2009, 05:00 PM
The problem with the spark plugs is that they would seize in the head. There's not really a problem until you go to change the plug, then snap it breaks off and you have to remove the head to extract the plug. Just a suggestion, but you should take a look at the Dodge Ram. The Hemi is a great motor and they are building a good truck these days.

Cracker
10-08-2009, 05:16 PM
Mag,
I am definitely considering the RAM Truck and the Hemi... I have had it in other vehicles and love it

xrayengineer
10-08-2009, 06:07 PM
Cracker, the Ford V-8 motors are very reliable, but down on power compared to the other manufacturers. The Ford truck is a very good truck. All of the full size trucks are good trucks. I had a Dodge truck that had the 5.7 Hemi, and it was decent. Now I have the Toyota Tundra with the 5.7. I am the most happy with the Tundra by far, but any of the others would be decent. Besides the Ford being down on power, they are great trucks.

I would get whatever the best deal you could on a 4x4 with the large V8 motor. I would not get the "base" V8 on any truck with towing a 23 foot boat. It will probably hunt for gears going down the highway.

From my experience, Dodge will be the cheapest, Ford and Toyota next with Chevy being the most expensive.

Also Cracker, you are right about the Ford 4.6 being gutless. Reliable, but gutless.

hthoang
10-08-2009, 06:14 PM
Yes, plug problems. If they don't get stuck, no problem. If they do get stuck, be prepared for an expensive tune up. While this didn't happen to me, it did happen to my brother in law who has a 2005 or so 5.4 4X4.

gf
10-08-2009, 06:15 PM
All the full size trucks are good these days. Go with whatever you like and can get the best deal on.

MadScientist813
10-08-2009, 06:21 PM
we have a 5.4 at work and it performs great. its an 06XLT 4x4 with 90k miles. It tows a boat every other day sometimes 70 miles one way and performs flawlessly. As said, it's not the quickest but thats due to the way the tranny is geared. they are set up to tow and haul, not go fast. IMO, it's the best truck out there for work. if you want something fast, sure this isn't the truck for you. I do like the toyotas as well, but If I were buying a truck to tow all the time and haul gear, it's the Ford. I'm a dodge owner myself but my next one will be a Ford

Cracker
10-08-2009, 06:27 PM
I am not looking for speed just dependable power... Thanks for everyone's comments I am still kicking tires at this point looking and gathering info.

signmansez
10-08-2009, 06:53 PM
I have a 2001 F150 SuperCrew 4x4 with the 5.4. I am the second owner having bought the truck in 2002 with 28,000 miles on it.I now have 169,800! The plug issue on the older models was that they were actually blowing out of the head. Something about not enough thread depth. That has been resolved.

Things I have had to do to my truck
Spark Plugs and coil packs @ 100,000 miles
Radiator flush @100,000 miles
Oil changes every 6-8000 miles
Tires
Shocks
Ball joints (just did these)
Brakes

That's It! This has been the best truck I have ever owned and I grew up in Chevrolets. Pulls my Pursuit all over Florida. Gets a whopping 7 milles to the gallon when towing and 15 when empty. I bought it because it rode better than the Chevy's I had previously. Does not seem as heavy duty as the Chevy's but can't beat the ride.

MikeK321
10-08-2009, 07:05 PM
I have owned Ford's for the past 20 yrs. My last 3 trucks had the 5.4L V8. I recently purchased a 2008 Ford F-150 5.4L 3V, 4x4 Supercrew and pull my 22' Pro-Line. I have the 4.10 gear ratio and recommend that you go with the 3.73 gear ratio. The 3.73 was in my last truck and it pulled the trailer up with no problem as we have some steep ramps out here in Virginia. The only thing I added was a KN filter and an Edge Programmer as I can change the performance of the vehicle to shift firmer. My 0-60 times with the programmer installed are in the low 10's. Gas mileage varies, just commuting to work in NC for a week I average about 15-17 miles to a gallon with a 35 gallon tank. Towing the boat, I get roughly 10-12 miles to the gallon. Have any more questions feel free to e-mail me.

Mike

bsmit24
10-08-2009, 09:59 PM
Mag,
I am definitely considering the RAM Truck and the Hemi... I have had it in other vehicles and love it

I currently have a Ram 1500 with the 5.7 Hemi and it has been pretty good. The mileage on the highway (20mpg) is great but around town it is about 13mpg. But for me the convience of the two rear doors sold me, loading and unloading baby seats is a lot easier in this truck than the previous.

If you go with Chevy, definitely get the 5.3. My Dad has the smaller engine and when pulling his 19' Vee Twin or a 21' Blazer Bay it is always searching for a gear.

bustedflat
10-08-2009, 10:22 PM
Signmansez has it right, every now and then a 5.4 will blow a plug right out of the head. I have never seen one stuck in a head. Having said that any aluminum head motor has the potential to have a plug seize. There are several tool mfr. making kits to repair the threads on the blowout. The latest generation does have a problem where carbon builds up on the end of the plugs and makes removing difficult. You have to fill the plug tube with carb cleaner and work the plug back and forth slowly or the tip breaks off and falls into cylinder and then its ugly. Other than that its a great motor. We work on all makes and they all have issues trust me. Toyota may be better than most, but thats just my opinion. I work in the land of the Yuppie/Suv where everybody and his brother has one.Lets face it when you are towing a boat they all get crappy MPG. If you get ready to pull the trigger I can pull a reliability report from Identifix, PM me.

kerno
10-08-2009, 11:16 PM
Up until 2002, the 5.4 heads had about 6 threads in the head to retain the plugs. I have a 1999 with 190,000 miles that says that was enough threads. But I have been the one to change the plugs and I am careful not to over torque them. They are steel plugs in cast aluminum heads, not lug nuts. Likewise, I use some anti seize on the threads.

In 2003 the 5.4 heads were redesigned to double the thread length. That solved the blowout problem, but any plug can seize in any aluminum or iron head if it is installed dirty or over torqued.

crothers
10-09-2009, 05:25 AM
Cracker,
I may be recognized as the "ford engine engineer" by now. These posts are pretty accurate. The 5.4l is very reliable buy not competitive in power with the 5.7L Dodge or 6.0L Chevy. The spark plug issues (and there were some) are fully resolved. With 3.73 gears will pull your rig no problem. I had an Expedition set up that way pulling my 23 Proline express hardtop(7000lb scaled). If no head wind, 10mpg at 65mph. I have a '09 crew cab F150, 5.4l/3.73 limited slip that I haven't towed much with yet. The long wheelbase is nice, and certainly more than adequate power. The Expedition starting in '07 and the F150 in '09 have a 6spd auto. That helps. Drive one, I think you may like it. Good shopping.

SHAMROCK69
10-09-2009, 05:48 AM
I think it was 03 and earlier that have the spark plug issue. The head's don' t have enough threads and the plugs blow out. Ford would not warranty and a group of owners ask NTSB to investigate. They did and I think they found a couple of hundred thousand cases but could not force a recall becasuse none of the cases caused in accident.

There is actually a product called a big sert or something that you drill out the head and insert. Some claim this is a good quick fix but something you don't want to deal with. The Ford fix is to remove and re-tapp head a couple of grand.

I a have a 2000 F150 Super cab and it has been ok but not great. If you get a 5.4 I would look for a 3.73 rear end if possible. I have had to replace AC compressor, exhaust manifold, U-Joint and the normal wear and tear stuff. Each plug has its own coil and for a while I was popping them at about one a month. I ended up changing 4 of the 8 over time and have not had a problem for a couple of years. The AC compressor and exhaust manifold went out 2 years ago about 85 or 90 K on truck and it was close to 3k to get all fixed. I have never liked the way the tranny shifted in this Ford either but that is just me.

I pull 6k to 6500 and it is at max but does the job just fine.

Cracker on another note I saw the new 6 million dollar Tampa Bay fire boat went up on your beach the other day. Any idea what happened? The article seemed to indicate they claimed to be in the channel but I ain;'t buying that. Isn't the first bouy way south so if you are coming from the North a lot of folks cut it and end up on the shoal?

Cmann
10-09-2009, 06:19 AM
I am not looking for speed just dependable power... .

diesel !!!!

jhendric
10-09-2009, 06:49 AM
I have a 97 Expedition with the 5.4, I bought it back in 99 with 30k miles...it now has 170k miles. I tow a 3200 pound Whaler and a 7200 pound (with no gas) Parker. The engine and drive train on that truck have been perfect. I get 13mpg with no boat, 13mpg with the Whaler, and 9mpg with the Parker. It has enough power to pull both boats at the speed limit between Lake Gaston and MHC...although I limit myself to 65 miles per hour on the stretches where the speed limit is 70, it will go 70....

I believe JD power gave the Ford 5.4 an award for longevity...you may want to google that...

My only beef with my Ford is the electrical stuff, like the windows, electrical seat adjustment, side view mirrors etc...the buttons seem to be giving up on me....

Cracker
10-09-2009, 07:31 AM
Cracker on another note I saw the new 6 million dollar Tampa Bay fire boat went up on your beach the other day. Any idea what happened? The article seemed to indicate they claimed to be in the channel but I ain;'t buying that. Isn't the first bouy way south so if you are coming from the North a lot of folks cut it and end up on the shoal?

I may not be very experienced in travel boating outside of Florida but I have been to many places in Florida boating and St. Augustine Inlet is not that tricky by any means. You need to pay attention but someone got real sloppy on that one. The Inlet is as you state, the offshore edge is southward then you go somewhat North but not bad...

StPeteRebel
10-09-2009, 08:27 AM
I believe you are looking at new vehicles. I will set the record straight. The 2004 version of the 5.4 had plug issues; the carbon would build up along the side of the plug and lock it into place. When you went to remove the plug the bottom half containing the threads would sometimes stick in the head. I changed my own plugs in my 2004 and broke 2 off, there is a tool for $65 bucks that removes the broken pieces without having to take off the heads. This was fixed in the 2006 version of the 5.4.

I now have a 2009 F150 Supercrew with the 5.4 and 6 gear automatic and a 3.55 rear end. I get 21 mpg at 70 mph on the highway reliably and given a regular tank with around town driving, a short tow of the boat and some highway driving I have averaged about 18 mpg. I talked the dealership from the sticker of 40,975 down to 30,350 on the truck.

I test drove (for a week) a Chevy 5.3 LTZ 4 door with the 6 speed transmisison and 3.73 Or comparable) rear end and the tranny was always searching for a gear when towing the boat, I had to lock it into 4th gear to keep it from searching alot. The truck did get better gas mileage slightly than the ford cause it shuts down 4 cylinders. One thing I did like about the Chevy was you could manually select the gear you wanted, the Ford you can only select up to 3rd gear after that it is all on its own. The Chevy dealership wanted $39k for this truck and they would not budget on the price at all.

I went with the Ford becuase of better gas mileage with the boat by about 3 mpg. The interior is much, much nicer and bigger on the Ford and it seemed like all the stuff that was standard on the Ford Lariat was still an option on the Chevy LTZ (rear window defroster, upgraded radio, rear park sensors, 20 inch rims). I also got a back up camera and the SYNC stereo in the Ford is great, hands free cell and ipod capabilities. I also like the fact that it gets really good gas mileage without shutting down cylinders. I love the 6 speed trannys on both trucks. It seems like they added a really high gear and a really low gear. The low gear n the Ford is comparable to 4 wheel low on a 4x4. It will jerk the boat out at the ramp. I think there are sensors in the truck that will tell it when to use the low gear cause it doesn't use it in normal driving unless you really jump on it from a stand still.

Cracker
10-09-2009, 08:36 AM
Good Stuff... Thxs all.

Flot
10-09-2009, 08:59 AM
I was looking pretty hard at new Dodge hemi trucks earlier this year (when they were dirt cheap) and ran into a lot of threads on here saying the F150 towed better. ???

I'm a mopar guy at heart but got me doing some research and saw a lot of good comments about the Fords when it came to towing and handling with a trailer.

The 09 Rams, though, really impressed me with the layout, ride, and power. The truck I drove was all around a big improvement over my 04 Durango, but some of that may simply have been the age difference.

Cracker
10-09-2009, 09:17 AM
The only thing about the dodge pick up is they have shrunk in size this year...the gas mileage on the Hemi aint real good either from what I have read...

StPeteRebel
10-09-2009, 12:08 PM
The Dodges and Tundras come with a very low axle ratio, yes it has a great seat of the pants feeling but at speed results in fairly low gas mileage.

triumphrick
10-09-2009, 01:33 PM
One of the forum members recently posted of a problem towing with his 5.7 Dodge..did not have a low enough gear and it would search between high and third, even with the overdrive off...

swiseuf
10-09-2009, 01:48 PM
The problem with the spark plugs was that the older heads up to 2003 I believe had fewer spark plug threads and the plugs would pop out and in some cases strip the the threads out completely. I ran a 500 HP/600 ft lb Lighting for a few years, and never had a problem (other than the need for replacement tires). The 5.4 has been out for 10 years now and are great motors- as are the Chevy & Dodge offerings. The biggest advancement are the new Ford transmissions that make a big difference in towing- pulls much better and keeps the power band in the "sweet spot" much more effectively. While HP is an important thing to consider, it comes in third for me after brakes and suspension.

crothers
10-09-2009, 03:56 PM
"I believe you are looking at new vehicles. I will set the record straight. The 2004 version...."

New truck, $30-40K, quotes like above, PRICELESS.

BaitMaster
10-09-2009, 04:06 PM
I have a 2001 Ford Expedition 4x4 with a 5.4 Trition, with 172,000 miles on it. Get the car tuned at Ford and you won't run into any spark plugs issues (but then I do question if they actually replace those back spark plugs near the firewall).

I have a a 3.55 rear end, and while I and being discouraged to tow anything over 7K pounds, I tow a 4,500+ lb boat all the time without issue (well I appear to be burning oil at a rate of about 1 qt every 2 months), but I don't see or smell it when I park in the garage. I did add Firestone Airlift bags, as my boat is on a single axle "very heavy duty trailer" and I keep these bags inflated to 20psi.

I would be concerned with the transmission, as I would expect them to go out around 130,000 (just my opinion). I babied my transmission with a tranny change every 60K miles and still had to have it rebuilt at 130K.

You can pick up pretty cheap right now (around $5K to $6K), and I will be purchasing one down in Florida to use for a 'family tow vehicle" to go with a boat I will be keeping down there. I can tell you that my 2001 Expedition has a heck of a lot more pulling ability that my brothers 2001 Toyota Sequoia. We watched it struggle while towing a 24' pontoon up and over the skyway.

I love my Expy, and will keep it, even though I have a 2 vehicle garage. I am currently looking to purchase a 2001 to 2003 Excursion with a 7.3 Powerstroke for towing a much larger boat, and plan on keeping one of the trucks parked in the storage unit with the boat.

bustedflat
10-11-2009, 06:50 AM
Baitmaster, while those back plugs are very difficult they are done by honest mechanics. I have tuned 5.4's and found older plugs in those locations.

Jacob_24
10-11-2009, 07:29 AM
05' expedition with a 5.4L at 150k miles still running strong pulling a 22 ft boat.

welder
10-11-2009, 09:18 AM
Maybe looking at new 4X4 Fords. I am really not a Ford man but going to look at them. A friend of mine in the auto part business says the 5.4L has some sort of plug wire or spark plug issue... I tow a 23 foot boat, mainly less than 20 miles. Several times a year I tow 300 to 400 miles

Go with the Ford V10 , 6.8lt in a F250

reelapeelin
10-12-2009, 06:30 AM
Cracker, my 2001 5.4 is goin' strong at 233,000 miles...recently had it tuned up (all 8 plugs) and new fuel filter...most tows are 150 miles round trip interstate, w/occasional runs to coast (5 1/2 hrs each way) and several pulls to N Fla and back (11 hrs one way)...I got this truck in 2002 w/24,000 miles on it and have no complaints about the 5.4 and it's ability to tow my 4700 lb rig...

I did upgrade all 4 brakes to slotted and cross drilled rotors from Rotor Pros which solved the continual warpage caused by towing...but my Silverado prior to the F 150 did the same thing...

You question about the motor...I give the 5.4 a big :thumbsup:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y90/reelapeelin/IMGP04222.jpg

gary240
10-12-2009, 12:54 PM
When shopping for my new truck I was told by several Ford mechanics that there are no more plug issues. There was actually (2) different issues depending upon year. Earlier years could blow out a plug. '04-'08 had issues with the tapered part of the plug seizing to the head. Anyway, all that is supposed to be a thing of the past. I liked my '05 for the most part. It towed great and handled great. The interior just wasn't in the same league as the GM's i had previously owned. The seats soiled real easy, the paint was coming off the radio buttons and the windows didn't work that well.

katkt
10-12-2009, 02:31 PM
I bought a used 01 supercrew in 04, with the 5.4, and haven't had any issues with it. I've added the K and N intake, and a turbo muff with duals to the back.
It tows my cat(6500 to 7000 lbs w/trailer) pretty well. The heavier ford frame with the supercrew cab makes for a pretty stable truck. 200 to 300 miles a year wouldn't be a problem. Just remember, it doesn't like to pass up gas stations. I don't know if the 6.? motor gets better mileage or not. Mines a 4x4, and it gets a whopping 6 to 7 miles to the gallon when I'm towing. If it wasn't for the gas mileage, I'd be more inclined to drag my boat alot further then I do.
Mine gets around 15 or 16 on the highway w/o a trailer. I think they've managed to squeeze abit more out of them in the last few years.
I added the ARS helper springs to the back end on mine. I had two Ford vans, and the rear suspension was pretty whimpy on both. The ARS worked wonders on them, so I added it to the truck because of the boat weight.

When we take trips these days, the Supercrew is the go to vehicle. It has more then enough power to hold its own on two lanes in passing situations(when not towing:grin:).

reelapeelin
10-12-2009, 03:25 PM
I'll toss in another thought as well...I've used ramps from Indian Pass and Cape San Blas, FL to Ocean Isle, NC, to the steep-banked Lake Cherokee, TN in February and have never needed 4-wheel drive...my 5.4 F150 is 2-wheel drive and gets 19.5 mpg on hwy and about half that while towing...my point is, if you just don't NEED 4-wheel drive, why pay for it at the dealer on purchase and the pump everytime ya fill 'er up ;?

signmansez
10-12-2009, 07:50 PM
I'll toss in another thought as well...I've used ramps from Indian Pass and Cape San Blas, FL to Ocean Isle, NC, to the steep-banked Lake Cherokee, TN in February and have never needed 4-wheel drive...my 5.4 F150 is 2-wheel drive and gets 19.5 mpg on hwy and about half that while towing...my point is, if you just don't NEED 4-wheel drive, why pay for it at the dealer on purchase and the pump everytime ya fill 'er up ;?


For the one time you will need it:grin:

Spend a Saturday afternoon at Grill's Restaurant overlooking the public ramp at Port Canaveral. There will be a dozen boaters (along with a dozens boater's wives) wishing they had 4wd.

BaitMaster
10-13-2009, 08:30 AM
I've needed the 4x4 many times while towing up the steep cold ramps from Dec thru Feb.... Rear wheels sitting on ice, and the steep ramp has a light coating of ice as well.

I struggling with this delima right now as I look to purchase a 2001 to 2003 Excursion with a 7.3 PowerStroke, people requesting a higher premium for a 4x4, that you know has seen a lot of towing. While there are many Excursions with the 7.3 P.S., that are cheap and only used to transport the family on long vacations and sporting events , but do not have 4-wheel drive.

I am looking to move up to (in addition to my current boat) a much larger boat (and my boys take up a lot more room). Getting something with a little better mileage and even a slightly larger towing capacity is attractive.

big money
10-13-2009, 10:57 AM
I had a 2000 5.4 4x4 and it went 140,000 trouble free miles. Just routine maintenance including transmission fluid changes every 30k miles and spark plugs. Also, that truck would tow anything. We towed a 31 Contender from Baton Rouge to Orange Beach, AL and back without any problems. It towed it fine, but stopping it was a bit of a challenge :)

I now have a 2005 F150 5.4 and it has been great. Not the fastest thing off of the line, but it tows well. I pull a 26 Twin Vee quite a bit and truck tows it with ease.

Elbow
10-16-2009, 08:26 AM
I am late in this game and I see you bought a very nice Chevy with the 5.3.

I sold a 2001 F150 4x2 with the 3.73 gears and limited slip and the 5.4 -- not a single day in the shop and routine maintenance only. I towed, hunted and fished that 2001 truck hard and gave her some good scrapes along the way. Plus, she was a daily city driver for work. She is now in the employ of a friend that works at our hunting ranch.

I just bought a 2010 F150 4x4 Platinum with the 5.4. I also looked hard at the Dodge, Chevy and Toy. Ford came in 1st, then Chevy, with Dodge and Toy in a tie. For the Toy, I liked that 5.7 engine and the large interior but didn't see it holding up long term the way I abuse trucks. The Dodge is a steal and I dig the Hemi but build quaility was a concern as was the size of the back seating area -- and coil springs? The Chevy had great engine choices and is an off road beast in 4x4. But I found the overall engineering and build quality lacking; not bad at all, just not as good as Ford. The Chevy engines need a re-tooling if you ask me to get most torque and HP where you need it. After deciding on the Ford, I nearly changed my mind back to the Chevy Offroad 4x4. And I admit GM getting owned by the unions and gov't didn't help.

The Ford was simply a better engineered product overall. Better brakes, better frame, better towing "system," better safety features and an incredible interior with the Synch taking it over the top. Yes, the 5.4 was a bit of a downside but the new 6 speed tranny gives it the goose when and where she needs it -- plus, my racing days was way over. And the 5.4 is a very reliable engine that can real world use. The tipping point was probably a two-day hunting trip thru incredible mud and slop in a friend's 2006 4x4 F150 that performed very very well in the back country.

It was a blast doing the analysis -- looking at and comparing trucks is just a bunch of fun. I was sort of sad to finally make the choice.

MRGONET
11-20-2009, 06:01 PM
November 2008 bought a 2007 FORD EXPEDITION XLT with 10k miles plus the 100k mile powertrain warranty included for $19k.

This has the newer 6 spd tranny and it pulls like a truck, but drives and handles like a LINCOLN.

If you have not driven a 2007 or newer 5.4, I suggest you do.

tlasbill
11-21-2009, 10:41 PM
we have 3 5.4L f150s at my house, all bought new and all of them have at least 110K with the highest being 166K, they have performed flawlessly and have been a pleasure and being a ford man it makes owning a ford even more enjoyable with almost zero maintance. oil tires and such and thats it. i would highly recommend it...good luck

bms1939
11-22-2009, 05:18 AM
The 5.4 is an okay engine for an F150 or Expedition, not in the Super Duty. The engine just does'nt have the power to pull anything. I took one off the lot to pull my boat one night and almost turned around after the first hill. Not only was it gutless it sucked down the fuel like there was a hole in the tank. You may be alright because you are in Fla. but up here in the NE you could'nt give me a SD with a 5.4. Some of the problems we come across in the shop are: spitting out plugs/ siezed plugs, lots of coil problems, broken manifold bolts and now we are seeing some with oil pressure issues. I personaly would buy a V10 over the 5.4 but they arent much better, at least you would'nt think you left the e-brake on when you start pulling the boat.

Y&R
11-22-2009, 07:12 AM
Owned a two wheel drive 5.4L 2000 and put 120K without any engine probs. There was a recall at some point for the cruise control but everything else I had done to the truck was pretty minor. Pulled a 25' boat without a problem and have even pulled a 28' on more than one occasion for a short distance and had no issue getting up the ramp. I can't imagine you'll haven any trouble towing your boat for the short haul. No experience towing anything as long as 400 mi but I know you'll be stopping a lot for gas. Overall I was pretty happy with the truck but am not a fan of the Ford styling these days and couldn't get myself to purchase another one. There still the best selling truck though and there's got to be a reason for it.

pastaman1234
11-22-2009, 11:40 AM
5.4 is a good motor but thirsty. My ram hemi was way more fuel efficient and faster as far as passing on the highway but the 5.4 has more power down low and doesnt downshift nearly as much. I use the cruise control up most hills without downshifting while in over drive. The ram would not do that. They both have their pros and cons.

I like the 5.4 better for towing
I like the 5.7 better without the boat

With the boat in my sig over a full tank of fuel
5.7 Hemi.........12 mpg
5.4 ...............10 mpg

BlueWaterRunner
11-22-2009, 01:31 PM
I sell Ford parts so I see it all. The newer 5.4 is a fine engine and rarely has issues. The older 5.4s did have problems with plugs blowing out however I have a fleet customer with a 98 F150 that has a 5.4 that has over 600,000 miles on it. It has never been into and has yet to blow out a plug. We have a 99 E350 that has over 300k on it also. If you are looking at a 250-350 series truck you would be better served by the 6.8 V10 that gets about the same fuel millage in that size truck and pulls much better.

TSA
11-22-2009, 01:49 PM
have had two. a 2004 and a 2006 5.4 w/3.73, 2 wd crew cab.

with the 3.73 tow capacity is nearly 10k lbs, so you would be looking at a boat/trailer weight of about 75 percent of that.

still have the 2006. have had no problems with either. tows a heavy 23 Parker with ease. gets 17-19 mpg hwy, and 11 or so mpg towing on the flat FL interstates.

good luck on your search.

btw have you heard of the Dodge death wobble......i just heard about it.....not sure if it applies to their trucks. nothing against Dodge.......just something to look into.

signmansez
11-23-2009, 03:49 PM
The 5.4 is an okay engine for an F150 or Expedition, not in the Super Duty. The engine just does'nt have the power to pull anything. I took one off the lot to pull my boat one night and almost turned around after the first hill. Not only was it gutless it sucked down the fuel like there was a hole in the tank. You may be alright because you are in Fla. but up here in the NE you could'nt give me a SD with a 5.4. Some of the problems we come across in the shop are: spitting out plugs/ siezed plugs, lots of coil problems, broken manifold bolts and now we are seeing some with oil pressure issues. I personaly would buy a V10 over the 5.4 but they arent much better, at least you would'nt think you left the e-brake on when you start pulling the boat.

I've got the broken manifold bolt issue, noticable when the motor is cold but fine when hot. What type of job to repair this?

pastaman1234
11-23-2009, 04:50 PM
have had two. a 2004 and a 2006 5.4 w/3.73, 2 wd crew cab.

with the 3.73 tow capacity is nearly 10k lbs, so you would be looking at a boat/trailer weight of about 75 percent of that.

still have the 2006. have had no problems with either. tows a heavy 23 Parker with ease. gets 17-19 mpg hwy, and 11 or so mpg towing on the flat FL interstates.

good luck on your search.

btw have you heard of the Dodge death wobble......i just heard about it.....not sure if it applies to their trucks. nothing against Dodge.......just something to look into.

F-150's are good trucks but no way would I be caught dead towing 7500 lbs with one for a significant distance and no way are you are getting 11 mpg with 5000 lbs let alone 7500. Thats the job of a 3/4 ton.

My 08 is rated for about 8000 lbs (cant remember exactly). How is yours rated for 10k? Do you have the max tow package??

Tawn
11-23-2009, 05:17 PM
In Febuary 09 I purchased a new, leftover, 2008 F-250 SD, XLT 4X4 Four Door with the 5.4. I am utterly and completely disappointed with it marked lack of "balls". At first I just thought it was me going from a 7.4 L / 454 cid K2500 Chevrolet to a smaller engine and it would be something I would get used to - I haven't!!

The truck downshifts repeatedly on very minor hills and I frequently have to floor it to get it up to 70 mph to merge onto the freeway.

I went into the dealership to buy a new F-250 PSD but talked myself in to the gas truck due to the price tag (almost half the price of the PSD) - my mistake.

I currently pull a Carolina Skiff 218 DLV with T-Top and 115 Yamaha - the truck pulls it "okay" but it probably doesn't weigh 4,500 lbs with the tandem axle E-Z Loader Trailer. I will soon be moving up to a 23' Maycraft Pilothouse and am concerned about the trucks ability to pull it satisfactorily and the Maycraft is a "light boat" - good thing I'm not shopping for a Parker PH - I seriously doubt the truck as the stones to pull one.

The truck now has 8000 miles and the "Check Engine" light came on this Monday for the 4th time since new - 1st Time: O2 sensor, 2 & 3rd Time: Emission control problems associated with the gas tank vent, I haven't got it in to see what's wrong with it now!!

Bottom line - I have no experience with a 5.4 in a F-150 but my experience with it in a F-250 has been dismal at best - to be honest, I don't know why Ford offers that small a motor in that large a truck.

Tawn

John Boat
11-23-2009, 05:36 PM
I have a 5.4 Triton in my 1997 Expedition. Just over 300,000 miles. Replaced a transmission at 180,000 but nothing major done to the engine. When kept on a regular maintenance program I would think that most engines manufactured today will give many years of service.

Andrew134
11-23-2009, 06:02 PM
I had a 1997 5.4 in a van and I also have a 2004 in a 2 x 4 f350. I tow a 23' Regulator and I havent had any problems. It pulls the boat just fine and I've taken it to Florida from NJ.

jhendric
11-24-2009, 08:46 AM
How much did the transmission replacement cost you??

crothers
11-24-2009, 12:56 PM
I have a new '09 F150 but with the max trailer tow package. Rated for 11,300lbs. 2wd, lariat, crewcab, 5.5' bed. 6spd auto with 3.73ls rear. Just towed my Proline Express hardtop (a lot of windage) from Mich to the keys. The boat with 1/4fuel scales 7000lbs. Great tow vehicle. Much better tow platform than the Expedition I had with the same powertrain. Because of the long wheelbase which of course is a liability around town. The 6spd is nice and on the stretches with no headwind or grade, would tow the proline at 70mph, 2000rpm in 6th gear. Just hit the tow/haul button and drive on. Trans temp never moved.
The 5.4 3valve is a good step up from the 2valve version, and the 6spd is a further powertrain enhancement. My colleagues still working at Ford confirm the warranty performance continues to improve from already good levels. As with most modern gas engines, 200,000 miles is certainly attainable with just fluid changes at factory intervals.
Happy shopping

23Dorado
11-24-2009, 07:47 PM
In Febuary 09 I purchased a new, leftover, 2008 F-250 SD, XLT 4X4 Four Door with the 5.4. I am utterly and completely disappointed with it marked lack of "balls". At first I just thought it was me going from a 7.4 L / 454 cid K2500 Chevrolet to a smaller engine and it would be something I would get used to - I haven't!!

The truck downshifts repeatedly on very minor hills and I frequently have to floor it to get it up to 70 mph to merge onto the freeway.

I went into the dealership to buy a new F-250 PSD but talked myself in to the gas truck due to the price tag (almost half the price of the PSD) - my mistake.

I currently pull a Carolina Skiff 218 DLV with T-Top and 115 Yamaha - the truck pulls it "okay" but it probably doesn't weigh 4,500 lbs with the tandem axle E-Z Loader Trailer. I will soon be moving up to a 23' Maycraft Pilothouse and am concerned about the trucks ability to pull it satisfactorily and the Maycraft is a "light boat" - good thing I'm not shopping for a Parker PH - I seriously doubt the truck as the stones to pull one.

The truck now has 8000 miles and the "Check Engine" light came on this Monday for the 4th time since new - 1st Time: O2 sensor, 2 & 3rd Time: Emission control problems associated with the gas tank vent, I haven't got it in to see what's wrong with it now!!

Bottom line - I have no experience with a 5.4 in a F-150 but my experience with it in a F-250 has been dismal at best - to be honest, I don't know why Ford offers that small a motor in that large a truck.

Tawn

Should have done some research before dropping the coin. Did you not tow with it on the test drive or even take a freeway test drive?

TSA
11-25-2009, 11:02 AM
F-150's are good trucks but no way would I be caught dead towing 7500 lbs with one for a significant distance and no way are you are getting 11 mpg with 5000 lbs let alone 7500. Thats the job of a 3/4 ton.

My 08 is rated for about 8000 lbs (cant remember exactly). How is yours rated for 10k? Do you have the max tow package??

check the Ford website specs..........perfectly matched for my boat and pulls it with ease.

sorry, should have mentioned...11 mpg towing with non ethanol gas. 8 mpg or so with ethanol fuel.

FWIW max 75 percent of tow capacity is a standard rule of thumb for selecting s tow vehicle.

happy holidays,

jim

Tawn
11-26-2009, 07:41 AM
Should have done some research before dropping the coin. Did you not tow with it on the test drive or even take a freeway test drive?

I did a lot of research and all I found was guys that said a 5.4 pulled their 21-25' boat just fine (evidently their idea of "fine" and mine are different). I was on a short leave period between deployments, limited in time and didn't tow a boat as part of the test drive although, I agree, I should have.

I solved the problem yesterday - traded my 2008 F-250 XLT crewcab 5.4L 4X4 for a 2008 F-250 Lariat supercab 6.4L DIESEL 4X4 with 15k miles on it for my 08 gas truck and very little cash - dealer wanted the 4 door truck as much as I wanted the diesel - even came with a very nice color matching Leer camper which will be on Craigs List soon.

crothers
11-26-2009, 08:30 AM
Lack of Torque is NO concern now. Way to move and resolve your issue. Happy miles with the new rig.

Doublehook
11-27-2009, 01:00 PM
I had to pay a ford dealer $ 1800.00 to change the plugs in a 2005 f-150 with the 5.4 engine . Ford has 2 pcs plugs that seize in the block and break . The problem is only ford dealers have this special epoxy and puller to remove them. After they were removed i found aftermarket plugs one pcs stainless .

cjg367
12-04-2009, 04:39 PM
Just had the plugs replaced in my F-250 at the dealer. Yes 2 of the 8 broke but there was no extra charge for the removal. I new of the problem and that is why i let them do it.

I have towed alot of things with this truck from my boat a 22 foot sea hunt to a bobcat 763 and it performs great. But it does not do well on the Virginia highway's with a speed limit of 55. This is mostly because of the gears don't allow it tow well on the highway. At 55 on the highway it wants to shift to overdrive, bad thing is it does not have the power to stay in that gear and tow it so it drops down and then screams about 2600 rpm. At 65 to 70 it pulls just fine the rpms are up to the powerband of the engine around 1800 to 2000 rpms.

One more thing if you are looking at a Superduty be ready for it to burn some gas. Average in town unloaded is 10 and highway is a max of 15.

MRGONET
12-07-2009, 04:05 PM
Just drove by the local toy ota dealership to see two truckloads of truck frames being delivered for the major recall on their frames. What makes a truck if the frame is substandard?

When toy ota chooses to use quality metals they may become a real truck. Tin on a car is fine, just not a truck!

Until then, all their marketing hype is total b.s.



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