Shopped large GM SUVs, bought a Ford despite 5.4 3V issues

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Missouri
The later 3v(08+) engines can be very long lived with minimal problems but keeping up on maintenance is an absolute must! They still just are not the best of designs.

If only Ford would have found a way to get the extra power to compete with the competition from their 2v modular and left it in service until moving on to the 5.0. I agree about the interior quality differences and I have felt that fit/finish and interior has been better on Ford than GM light trucks and suv's since the late 90's.

GM at the time was making a great engine but Ford was making better vehicles. From interior, driveline and steering/suspension components I'd give an edge to Ford on all of them.
 
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3,685
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Phoenix, AZ
Glad you're happy with it, nice example to!

I had a poor experience with the 5.4 3v myself, lost the engine at 106K. My brother on the other hand has 173K poorly maintained miles on his and it still runs great. It's good that the motor is quiet and that you're prepared for the job, although I hope you don't have to.

I agree with you about certain eras of GM interiors, just awful. Congrats on the Lincoln and enjoy!
 
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Apple Valley, California
I agree. I hate GM trucks. They always rattle and the older ones the doors wont shut all the way. My 87 Ford is still rattle free.....Even with my dirt road. But Ford can't touch the reliability of the 5.3 GM.
 
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United States
The later 3v(08+) engines can be very long lived with minimal problems but keeping up on maintenance is an absolute must! They still just are not the best of designs.
They ditched the 5.4 4V in the gators and that was really a mistake. I’ve never heard of any real problems with those motors. No plug blowout, splitting in half or unwelcome noises.
 
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1,095
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Texas, USA
Keep a close eye on that transmission. My uncle, a Lincoln purist from way back into my childhood, had one the generation before yours, and one of your generation, and they both threw their transmissions in the exact same way, in nearly the exact same place. I still kid him about it, because they both spewed transmission fluid onto the highway on a drive from Gainesville, FL to Atlanta, GA to attend family functions. He's found himself sitting aside the road on the same highway, driving the same vehicle, for the same reason. It was uncanny, to say the least. Stay ahead of the fluid & filter changes, and pay attention to strange behavior.
 

Brons2

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Austin, TX MSA
They ditched the 5.4 4V in the gators and that was really a mistake. I’ve never heard of any real problems with those motors. No plug blowout, splitting in half or unwelcome noises.

Well, the 4V can have the same issues as all the others if the tensioners go bad and then they chew up the guides, for example, see below. Even the vaunted ultra-reliable 2V motors can have this issue if you ignore startup ticking and so forth.


I want to put the iron tensioners with ratchets on mine when the time comes.
 
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Dallas Texas Area
Nice navigator. I cant disagree with the poor materials quality of the GMT900 SUV's, The dash on my 08 Silverado looks like a bomb went off. But as you can see the LSX engines hold up nicely into VERY VERY HIGH MILEAGE. But heck if you can fix those 5.4 timing chain/phaser issues yourself in your garage more power to you

Both my 16+ year old Suburban and Escalade have over 300K miles on original LSX engines just basic tune up and basic maintenance done and run GREAT every time i need em.

Hope to see your 5.4 hold up that long without any serious engine work needed lol

Just friendly "sports type" ribbing (y) :cool:


Dave
 

CKN

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Utah
Ok how about this - driving down the exact same roads, the Fords seemed to hold the center of the lane more easily, whereas on the GMs I was making more frequent corrections.

I think when you drive a large sample size such as I did, we're talking more than 20 vehicles total driven, the comments become more objective because it's not based on the condition of 1 or 2 vehicles. But that's my opinion, and YMMV ;)
If you didn't drive those vehicles on the same stretch of road, with the same tires it is indeed subjective.
 

Brons2

Thread starter
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Austin, TX MSA
Very, very nice unit - does not look 10 years old! Good find!

What oil/filter will you run in it?

Havoline/Chevron 5w30 ProDS, because, I have tons of it on hand still. A few years back when this stuff was on closeout at O'Reilly for $7.17 a jug, I drove all over the local metro area cleaning up. I bought 29 jugs. 145 quarts.

5w30, because, the Modular engines were designed for it. 5w20 was a CAFE move. JMHO, of course.

I have some 10w30 ProDS on hand also. I will probably use that too, but limit it to April-October months where we're unlikely to get below 40F or so.
 
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23,080
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CA
Nice find. As long as you understand the risk of the engine developing timing issues, then it can be a good purchase for the right price.

ps- I would not count on being able to do a cam phaser/chain job. Low oil pressure is another driver of timing issues for these engines. Chances are, if the issue comes up, you’ll need to install a new engine.
 
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1,451
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Havoline/Chevron 5w30 ProDS, because, I have tons of it on hand still. A few years back when this stuff was on closeout at O'Reilly for $7.17 a jug, I drove all over the local metro area cleaning up. I bought 29 jugs. 145 quarts.

5w30, because, the Modular engines were designed for it. 5w20 was a CAFE move. JMHO, of course.

I have some 10w30 ProDS on hand also. I will probably use that too, but limit it to April-October months where we're unlikely to get below 40F or so.


$7.XX a jug ?? nuts I missed that one lol. Havoline ProDS is GOOD stuff and best bang for your buck !!! My buddy runs that in his '05 5.0 Mustang :cool: (y)


On a side note did the same as you. Few months ago, I worked my Suburban "Like a hoe on a South side Chicago corner"🤣 and scooped up
75 5qt jugs of Mobil Super Syn for $3.50 each jug in total I hit up like 10 O'reilly's stores in north Dallas area. At the time gas was $1.25 a gallon so it was "Game on" lol (y) :cool:

Dave
 

Brons2

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Austin, TX MSA
$7.XX a jug ?? nuts I missed that one lol. Havoline ProDS is GOOD stuff and best bang for your buck !!! My buddy runs that in his '05 5.0 Mustang :cool: (y)


On a side note did the same as you. Few months ago, I worked my Suburban "Like a hoe on a South side Chicago corner"🤣 and scooped up
75 5qt jugs of Mobil Super Syn for $3.50 each jug in total I hit up like 10 O'reilly's stores in north Dallas area. At the time gas was $1.25 a gallon so it was "Game on" lol (y) :cool:

Dave

Wow! 75 jugs! I will mention that to my wife when she makes derisive comments about my oil stash.

I would have liked to get in on that deal also but acquiring further oil at this point would be detrimental to my marriage, so I'll have to pass :D
 
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10,342
Location
Jupiter, Florida
Your thoughts?

The later 5.4 engines are superb. Use 10W-30 M1 and change regularly to avoid Phaser problems. You will still have cam chain tensioner leaks, as the plastic housing for the adjuster will eventually fail. As long as you are not using 0W-water oil, the tensioner and oil pump back plate leaks likely won't progress to the point where the heads are starved for oil and you should expect a very long lifespan.

The 5.4 also does not open it's throttle plate fully until 4500 RPM. A 5 star tune for 87 octane will fix this and you'll be much happier with the power output.
 
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10,342
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Jupiter, Florida
The later 5.4 engines are superb, and the vast majority of earlier problems have been addressed (spark plugs are no longer a problem for example) . Use something like 10W-30 M1 and change regularly to avoid Phaser problems. You will still have cam chain tensioner leaks, as the plastic housing for the adjuster will eventually fail. As long as you are not using 0W-water oil, the tensioner and oil pump back plate leaks likely won't progress or leak enough to the point where the heads are starved for oil and the phasers fail. You should expect a very long lifespan.

The 5.4 also does not open it's throttle plate fully until 4500 RPM. A 5 star tune for 87 octane will fix this and you'll be much happier with the power output.

Note: The phasers will have audible knock at just above idle. There is enough play in the system to allow this. It's normal and don't worry about minor phaser knocks at 1200 RPM.
 
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