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Old 02-01-2008, 11:47 AM
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Default Ford F150 5.4 engine problem -OLD Thread, problem long solved

I have been on the Ford boards trying to diagnose this problem. My 2001 F150 Super Crew 4wd with the 5.4 ltr. is skipping at 1500 to 2000 rpms and when under load. Sometimes it feels like it misses when shifting into overdrive leading me to think a trans or torque converter issue. When pulling my boat last weekend it occurred throughout the powerband and gear range which leads me to electrical or fuel issue. Most opinions are ponting to a mis-firing coil pack. When I had this issue on my last truck a check engine light came on and the code pointed to a coil pack on a certain cylinder and the problem was solved. This time it is a similar problem but no check engine light. So I am throwing the question out to the world in hopes of solving the problem before I take it to the "BEND OVER" shop next Thursday.

The first one to solve the problem will get a $100 gift certificate from my sign shop!
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

I Know!!!!

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Not trying to be to technickle but in my learned judgement I'd say, well, IT'S BROKE!
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

Check plugs and plug wires, as in, go to Pep Boys and get a diagnostic check. And you heard it from me first ...
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

Its usually cheapest in the long run to go to a dealer and have them diagnose it - probably costs 60 to 100 depending where you are. But given the history (was your last truck the same engine and technology?) and knowing that it takes x number of occurances to light the light, I suspect it may be another coil pack. If you can isolate which pack (is there one per cylinder or for every 2?) you can do it your self. I don't recommend disconnecting each pack one at a time and see which one makes it run the same (disconnecting the wrong ones should make it even worse), but people have done that. Coil packs on GM cars can last forever and you dont replace them all (just the bad boy) if one goes - but that is an option. I have no experience with the Ford 5.4.

Some of the OBD (computer on board diagnostic) systems give very specific codes - some point you in the general direction. If you are a do it your selfer - maybe look into getting an OBD tester - they plug in under the dash usually and are available on line.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:18 PM
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Default RE: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

I just read the above post - if Pep boys does the OBD scan for free - go there!!!!!
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

I have the same truck and when one of my coils went out it only shuddered at a certain rpm range(around 2000). I was later told that because of the design of the coil water from the road or washing the engine down can actually short out a coil. My tech diagnosed the coil with the scanner and had a new one in in under an hour. Plus it was the hardest one all the way in the back. To me it sounds like a coil.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

There is a sensor that will burn out if leaves get into the air filter... it happened to me on my 06'
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

Clean all the connections on the coil packs. The coils may be good, but the smallest amount of corrosion may be the culprit. You may not even see it. Do you wash your engine?


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Old 02-01-2008, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

dbl, sorry...
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:21 PM
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Default RE: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

That same symptom drove me nuts for a while because it didn't lock in a code. I did resistance checks and all. I also thought it was a torque converter issue but it wasn't. I drove it like that for a while and it finally locked it a coil pack code.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

I've got to agree that it sounds like a coil pack but I'm not ready to bet money on it. Does that engine have a coil on each plug? Having the codes read won't tell you much, a problem like that needs a mechanic that can understand the codes that are being given and a scanner that can run diagnostic tests. I can assure you the mechanics at the dealer and at Pep Boys don't have that tool or how to use it. My suggestion would be to find a really good local mechanic with experience with that motor and the proper tools and pay what ever shop rate they charge. A good mechanic with a high shop rate is cheaper than an average mechanic with a cheep shop rate, especially when it comes to "weird" problems like this.
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

#4 COP was prone to going bad on the earlier 5.4. This was due to slight coolant leak from the hose that fed the heater core. This shouldnt be an issue with yours however. You could check to see if the hose clamps are tight , however Ill tell you they are hard to get to , and it only takes a little coolant to start making a COP fail.
Instead of taking your car to be diagnosed , Id purchase a diagnostic tool. They are cheap and available at Walmart. You can use them on any post 95 car.
Also the diagnostic tool wont nail down a COP , it will tell you which cylinder is misfiring and where to start looking.
Lastly , is the engine making a tapping noise or have the plugs been changed recently ? Some pre 2003 5.4s were blowing spark plugs out of the cylinder head.
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

Quote:
165Striper - 2/1/2008 11:12 PM

I can assure you the mechanics at the dealer and at Pep Boys don't have that tool or how to use it. My suggestion would be to find a really good local mechanic with experience with that motor and the proper tools and pay what ever shop rate they charge. A good mechanic with a high shop rate is cheaper than an average mechanic with a cheep shop rate, especially when it comes to "weird" problems like this.
I agree that paying for correct diagnostics is necessary and not cheap - but cheaper in the longer run, but Why would an independant have better Ford diagnostic tools and more experinece with any specific Ford than a Ford dealer?
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

Quote:
mtcfish - 2/1/2008 6:38 PM

There is a sensor that will burn out if leaves get into the air filter... it happened to me on my 06'
Yes these are common failures, but I think the MAP sensor would light the code immediately
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:55 AM
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Default RE: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

Quote:
signmansez - 2/1/2008 1:47 PM

I have been on the Ford boards trying to diagnose this problem. My 2001 F150 Super Crew 4wd with the 5.4 ltr. is skipping at 1500 to 2000 rpms and when under load. Sometimes it feels like it misses when shifting into overdrive leading me to think a trans or torque converter issue. When pulling my boat last weekend it occurred throughout the powerband and gear range which leads me to electrical or fuel issue. Most opinions are ponting to a mis-firing coil pack. When I had this issue on my last truck a check engine light came on and the code pointed to a coil pack on a certain cylinder and the problem was solved. This time it is a similar problem but no check engine light. So I am throwing the question out to the world in hopes of solving the problem before I take it to the "BEND OVER" shop next Thursday.

The first one to solve the problem will get a $100 gift certificate from my sign shop!
I think it sounds like you might have a problem with a coil or injector. Since the problem is more isolated to a specific RPM range and not constant throughout the RPM's, I would lean towards the coil (coil over plug, or COP). If it's not that, then possibly a bad sensor or something in the computer, but that's unlikely and you would have a dummy light for sure. If the COP is flaky, it might not trigger a code.

How many miles??? I have a 2002 5.4 and it still runs like a scalded ape with 93k miles on the clicker. The one thing I will warn you about though, there is a known problem with the 1998/99? through 2003 models with the 5.4's (not the 4.6's) and blowing out spark plugs. They (Ford) did not put enough threads in the head for the plugs and they can back out, blow out and the repair can range from a simple re-insert of the plug to new heads or more. It is due to the aluminum head without a steel plug sleeve also and the expansion/contraction. I had the #3 blow out and it took out the COP with it - thought the engine blew! The telltale pre-blowout warning is a ticking, like a valve lifter type of ticking for days/weeks or months before.... Recently I recognized the sound on the driver side and spent an hour re-torquing the plugs on the driver's side (it ain't easy!) and the sound/tick is gone now. Don't worry about it, but just thought you might like to know.




Quote:
Curmudgeon - 2/1/2008 5:11 PM

Check plugs and plug wires, as in, go to Pep Boys and get a diagnostic check. And you heard it from me first ...
Yeah, you know those 5.4's have a lot of plug wires and those plugs aren't real easy to just check...


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Old 02-03-2008, 09:48 AM
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Default RE: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

Quote:
Mud Runner - 2/1/2008 6:21 PM

That same symptom drove me nuts for a while because it didn't lock in a code. I did resistance checks and all. I also thought it was a torque converter issue but it wasn't. I drove it like that for a while and it finally locked it a coil pack code.
We have a fleet of 4 of those trucks. Same exact symptoms on 2 of the 4. The first truck finally set a code in the computer without tripping the engine light and the second truck had no codes until it tripped the engine light. Stupid Fords.
Both were #7 cylinder.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:46 PM
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Default RE: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

This is what the EPA calls a "pattern case failure". States with emissions programs are supposed to keep inventories of successful repairs. This way you would have real world statistical data on what type of repairs actually fixed specific failures. To my knowledge NO STATE does this to date. I devoted much time to this before I retired. There are several reasons why this never happened but the main is that EPA does not actually force the states to adhere to their various requirements. Also, gathering the data is challenging to say the least. Repairers have been known to be both reluctant to share the data and also (I know this will come as a surprise to many here ) have been known to be less than truthful in their reporting either by negligance or incompetence or who knows - occassionally perhaps outright fraud.

If you have a State emission program in your state you may want to contact them and ask them where the repair data is - and what and how it is made public. My personal opinion is that this single issue could save millions of $ in unecessary repairs and should be enforced.

The post above is an extremely valuable piece of information. Maybe 98% of all of this family of Ford engines in this application could be fixed with replacing a power pack for the #7 cylinder. If it was combined into a statewide or national database via the internet - just imagine how easy fixing your vehicle could be. OK its not always gonna be the answer for every case, but with proper statistical analyses and proper use of the data it would be goldmine!

Hey, if I was still working I would be censored in some way or other for posting this.....hey hey - give me areal cost of living increase every year and I'll shut up
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

Here is a quick update. Had the ODB reader hooked up and of course no codes showed up. I rolled the dice and replaced the #7 COP and plug as suggested by crystalc. The boot had rust stains on it and the plug was rusty. I know water and the COP's don't mix well. I toook the truck out and while it still has a slight miss it is nothing like it was prior to the change out. I have ordered a set of COP's and plugs and will change out the rest this weekend. I know why the dealer's charge over $300 to change plugs. Access to the plugs is horrible!! Can't wait to pull the plugs from the 2 back cylinders.

Thanks to all who replied. I will give an update as soon as I complete the job.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

Was this driver or passenger side? I ask because people often get the cylinders mixed up...

Here's the layout..

Driver Front passenger

5...............1
6...............2
7...............3
8...............4
Firewall

The #3 is typically the one that is prone to holding water, blowing the plug (as I mentioned) and the COP problem. The #7 is also on the list, but typically the order of problems by frequency is #3, #7 and #4 in that order... Be sure you torqued that plug down. DON'T USE ANTISEIZE and go back and retorque in a few thousand miles. If you hear a ticking noise, check it immediately!

I worked on vehicles for many many years and changes hundreds and thousands of spark plugs, I am affraid to change plugs on the 5.4. So are the mechanics...

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Old 02-06-2008, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Ford F150 5.4 engine problem

I changed number 7 and will change the rest this weekend. I was surprised to see the rust and plug corrosion. I don't "wash" my engine so the water comes from the rain and car washes I guess. Will heed the advice on the re-torque. Just the thought of having to go back in and remove all of that stuff to get at the plug is enough to make one scream. I love my truck but damn this is a poor design!
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