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

Brons2

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3,442
Location
Austin, TX MSA
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.

Pro DS 10w30 is what I have on hand, so that's what I used. Dumped the weak sauce CAFE 5w20 stuff this weekend even though it only had 1000 miles and put Pro DS 10w30 in. Reward - virtually silent operation, only ticking of any sort is the fuel injectors.

Bad news. I have a transmission leak where the electrical connections come into the valve body. Apparently it's a common issue on the 6R80. It looks like an easy repair...if you have a vehicle lift. It looks like a miserable repair if I have to do it on my back on the garage floor.

I bought an extended warranty with this vehicle, I'm going to see if I can get them to warranty it. The cost of doing it myself with everything I need is around $120. The warranty deductible is $200. Time with my family is worth more than $80 to me, if the warranty will cover it, we shall see. For now I am backing into my driveway, it slopes uphill and this connector is at the back of the transmission. Parked in this manner and after wiping off the bottom of the transmission, it doesn't leak onto my driveway.

BTW Ford - your transmission mounted dipstick that is right next to the catalytic converter is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. You cannot possibly check the transmission level at full operating temperature because you will burn the (expletive) out of your hand and arm doing it. I am buying an aftermarket transmission dipstick for sure, B&M and Performance Automatic make them.

The offending part - $19 on the ecommerce site named after a large South American river.

6R80bulkhead-connector.jpg
 
Messages
10,342
Location
Jupiter, Florida
I did the trans leak myself. It was quite easy. Pull pan, make a mess, remove the internal retainer and replace the O-rings. Reassemble and fill. Do NOT use max life fluid. Get the right stuff (Mercon LV) from Ford. The pan gasket can be re used.
 
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8,449
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Texas
The dashes do all crack. There is a dash overlay that matches the dash perfectly and is undectable when installed - hides the cracks. It is like $150 and is glued down. I have installed atleast 20.
 

Brons2

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3,442
Location
Austin, TX MSA
The dashes do all crack. There is a dash overlay that matches the dash perfectly and is undectable when installed - hides the cracks. It is like $150 and is glued down. I have installed atleast 20.

I saw a Yukon XL with the dash overlay but whoever installed that particular one did a poor job and the color did not even match the original dash color. That particular vehicle was a hot mess anyway, had bald tires, pretty bad paint, seats looked more worn than usual and the driver's seat didn't go back.

I imagine that if the overlay part was made with higher quality plastic than the original and the installation was well done, it would last a long time, and probably also help with the rattles.
 
Messages
44
Location
Reno, NV
I bought the first generation of your Navi back in '04. Had the 4 cam 5.4 at the time. Engine was smooth but made no power. The interior was great. I put 80k on it before moving on. I do agree Ford over the years seem to fasten together and use better materials in their interiors than GM. I just got rid of a '07 Escalade I had 185k on and have to say one of the best vehicles I have owned. That interior held up very well and was solid. I did garage it like I do all my vehicles. As for the 22" wheels. Only after 160k did I have to buy new wheels because of the chrome killing the tire bead.
 

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Recently traded in my wife's 07 Navigator. It had AC issues, Power Running board issues, Head Unit Issues, Power Seat Issues...But it started every time, was a cushy ride, and was reliable otherwise. Good luck!
 
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3,685
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Agree with you completely on the trans dipstick! Same setup on my old F-150, I got a good pair of gloves to help with the heat but still a pain..literally!
 

wtd

Messages
2,588
Location
southwest Mo.
Pro DS 10w30 is what I have on hand, so that's what I used. Dumped the weak sauce CAFE 5w20 stuff this weekend even though it only had 1000 miles and put Pro DS 10w30 in. Reward - virtually silent operation, only ticking of any sort is the fuel injectors.

Bad news. I have a transmission leak where the electrical connections come into the valve body. Apparently it's a common issue on the 6R80. It looks like an easy repair...if you have a vehicle lift. It looks like a miserable repair if I have to do it on my back on the garage floor.

I bought an extended warranty with this vehicle, I'm going to see if I can get them to warranty it. The cost of doing it myself with everything I need is around $120. The warranty deductible is $200. Time with my family is worth more than $80 to me, if the warranty will cover it, we shall see. For now I am backing into my driveway, it slopes uphill and this connector is at the back of the transmission. Parked in this manner and after wiping off the bottom of the transmission, it doesn't leak onto my driveway.

BTW Ford - your transmission mounted dipstick that is right next to the catalytic converter is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. You cannot possibly check the transmission level at full operating temperature because you will burn the (expletive) out of your hand and arm doing it. I am buying an aftermarket transmission dipstick for sure, B&M and Performance Automatic make them.

The offending part - $19 on the ecommerce site named after a large South American river.

View attachment 30929
I installed the Performance Automatic dipstick on my 2014 Mustang because that is the only company that made it for the Mustang but would probably do the B&M one for the trucks because the adapter screws into the tranny case instead of press fit like the PA one.
 

Brons2

Thread starter
Messages
3,442
Location
Austin, TX MSA
Well I blew a heater hose on the test drive after fixing my valve body sealing sleeve, which had entailed the better part of an afternoon on the garage floor. lol. It's interesting filling up the transmission from the bottom side while the engine is running. I found good lighting is essential to checking the fluid level without burning your hand on the catalytic converter that is uncomfortably close to the fill plug. Took 7.5 quarts of Mercon LV to fill it up after the pan drop. You can put in 5.5 quarts with the engine off but then you have to start it before the rest will go in.

But overall the job was not as bad as I thought it would be, just time consuming. You have to wait for the dripping from the transmission to slow down once you take the pan off, and that takes a while. Unless that is, you want to take an ATF shower. I had to take a run to get a new pan gasket, the rubber on the old one was torn when I took it off. Supposed to be re-usable but I wasn't going to take a chance on the old one. Got a OEM one at the Ford dealer since it was only $10 more than the Fel-Pro one at the parts store. I got some wobble extensions at Harbor Freight while I was out getting the gasket, really helped with torqueing down the bolts that are mostly behind the exhaust cross member.

When it was all said and done I drove it three miles to a gas station and was rewarded with a cloud of steam from all the coolant on top of the valve cover. Lovely.

My wife hates this vehicle now, she wants to take it back, which I obviously cannot do at this point. I still like it though. She is unrealistic to think it's not going to need soft parts replaced after 10 years and 133K. She says "You're not a mechanic" to which my retort is basically "Says you!" She is Brazilian and is not used to American men...yet. I think it's going to to get worse before it gets better ;)

Drama aside, I'm basically looking at it as anything rubber that carries fluid needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Also would like to replace tires and brakes just so I know where we're at with them.

With regards to the heater hoses, I am buying the Dorman replacement hoses, the T and Y junctions are made of aluminum instead of plastic, and the parts are clamped together with actual clamps and not molded. Not always a fan of Dorman but I prefer their setup for the heater hoses, far more conventional design than the Ford ones.

I'll be filling with the new Ford Yellow P-HOAT coolant, VC-13.
 
Messages
5,253
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Use Ford parts, Dorman is trash & won't last 10 years.

I replace Dorman junk heater core Quick Connects on GM & Ford trucks all the time because O-ring leakage. And the worm gear clamps just tear up the heater hoses.
 

JT20

$50 Site Donor 2021
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4,182
Ford is much better than anything GM puts out. The spark plug issue is an easy fix with the tool.

Well a 98 or 99 Expedition was the best SUV I ever had.. It had the 5.4, the 4R100, and I'm pretty sure it was the top of the line edition, Eddie Bauer if I remember right. I never had a 2000+ (others here have) but yeah that is one I should just say, okay, I'm gonna spend more because it is a pig on gas, but, who cares. And it was. What, 17-18MPG.. but the vehicle was an absolute tank.

My GMs were OK and maybe FASTER but they were Garage Queens. I don't want them to be but that seems to happen. I'm sure I'll find out again.
 
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3,637
Location
Roanoke Virginia
Well a 98 or 99 Expedition was the best SUV I ever had.. It had the 5.4, the 4R100, and I'm pretty sure it was the top of the line edition, Eddie Bauer if I remember right. I never had a 2000+ (others here have) but yeah that is one I should just say, okay, I'm gonna spend more because it is a pig on gas, but, who cares. And it was. What, 17-18MPG.. but the vehicle was an absolute tank.

My GMs were OK and maybe FASTER but they were Garage Queens. I don't want them to be but that seems to happen. I'm sure I'll find out again.
Those were great they are hard to find now I liked the Excursions from that time period as well.
 
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