5.4 Ford V8 Engine Problems

by Andy Josiah
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Introduced in 1997 for the Ford Motor Company's F-Series of pickups, the 5.4-liter V-8, called the Triton, is part of the American automaker's family of "modular" engines. The 5.4-liter V-8 also appears in other Ford vehicles such as the Expedition full-size SUV and its luxury-oriented sibling, the Lincoln Navigator. Despite its notoriety for Ford's ability to manufacture it in varying valve configurations -- thus the "modular" nickname -- the 5.4-liter Triton has had its share of problems since its debut.

Significant Problems

The most serious problem related to the Ford 5.4-liter V-8 engine is the tendency of the spark plugs to easily break during removal. Located at the engine's cylinder heads, they are responsible for providing the electric spark to ignite the vehicle's fuel's mixture. Another significant problem is the failure of the fuel pump driver module. Such issues can prevent the vehicle from starting, and it is most common with the 2006 F-Series trucks.

Other Problems

With some F-Series trucks, Expeditions and Navigators -- particularly those of the 1997 to 2002 model years -- the 5.4-liter engine might experience failures of the mass air flow (MAF), camshaft position and differential pressure feedback (DPFE) EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) sensors, as well as faulty idle air control valves (IACV). Such problems adversely affect engine processes such as exhaust gas recirculation, valve operation and air consumption.

Unique Problems

Additionally, the 5.4-liter V-8 has problems with the ignition coils and boots. These components are instrumental in providing the volts necessary for sparking the spark plugs. In its earliest F-Series applications, notably the 1997 to 1999 model years, the 5.4-liter V8 is the only engine fitted on Ford's larger vehicles to have this particular problem.

Cost of Repair

As of January 2011, the spark plugs of the 5.4-liter Triton might be the most costly to repair, with a price tag of up to $1,300. The fuel pump driver module is much less expensive to fix at around $127. The IACV is estimated at $116; and the sensors are split into around $183 for the MAF, $64 for the DPFE and $59 for the camshaft position. While it might cost nearly $79 to repair the ignition parts for the F-Series and Expedition, the expense is almost $30 more for the Navigator.

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