Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Nick asks: I just bought an 2007 F-150 with the Triton 5.4 liter 3 valve engine. Some people say that the engine is garbage. I may have some problem with the VCT or the timing chains. What do you think about those engines?
My reply: I think they’re under-powered engines. Specifically, under-torque engines . . . relative to the stronger (and OHV) GM and Ram V8s. The Ford 4.6/5.4 V8s feel wheezy down low . . . relative to the larger displacement (and OHV) GM LS series and Ram Hemis.
The Ford V8s are also more complicated engines – being OHC engines (and three valve engines) so there is more to deal with and more you might end up having to deal with – because greater complexity often means a higher chance of something going wrong.
One thing you will need to be careful about is spark plug removal. A special tool/procedure is needed to avoid breaking them off during removal – and if they break in half on you, that is a big PITAS!
Here’s an article that gets into some detail.
All that aside, assuming you got one that wasn’t abused – and was well-maintained – it’ll probably be okay. They’re not bad engines. Just not quite as good as the excellent GM V8 and the also very good Chrysler/Dodge/Ram Hemi V8.
Just don’t forget about those spark plugs!
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