Ford Authority

Ford 5.4L V8 Triton Engines Also Have Major Valve Cover Issues: Video

Most Blue Oval fans are well aware of the many issues presented by the Ford 5.4L V8 Triton powerplant, at least the three-valve version, which has become a major thorn in the side of owners over the years. More than one technician/YouTuber has covered these issues in great detail over the years as well, including David Long of The Car Wizard fame and Ford Tech Makuloco, who has gone over that engine’s roller follower maintenance requirements more than once, as well as how to diagnose ticking noises and why only Motorcraft spark plugs should be used. Now, Ford Tech Makuloco is back with yet another Ford 5.4L V8 Triton video, this time discussing why those engines are cracking valve covers and jumping timing.

This time around, our resident tech has a 2009 Ford F-150 in his shop that’s in need of major repair with just under 200k miles on the clock. The tensioners on this particular powerplant blew out, the chains started beating on the guides, and the guides subsequently broke up into little chunks that wound up getting caught underneath the chain and lifted the chain off the phaser sprocket.

In this case, the chain was lifted high enough that it contacted the valve cover, taking a chunk right off of it in the process. After this, oil started spurting everywhere, which is what caught the attention of the owner of this F-150 and prompted him to take it into the shop for a once-over. At the same time, when the chunk of the guide lifts the chain and then lets it back down onto the phaser, it actually makes the engine jump timing as well.

Unfortunately, this can cause the valves to make contact, and once that happens, well, “it’s all over,” as our technician eloquently says. A little valve work would fix this issue, but in the case of a high-mileage Triton like this one that also needs exhaust manifolds and a timing set, the owner is simply going to swap out the original powerplant with a replacement unit and be done with it.

We’ll have more videos like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. The Gentle Grizzly

    Ford needs to go back to flat-head V engines. No valve covers to crack.

    If you can overlook the traditional overheating, and vapor lock common in all of the flathead engines from Ford back in the 50s and before, they were fine engines indeed.

  2. Leonard Russo

    I owned two F-150’s with the 5.4 3v and dumped them both around 60K miles before they became a nuisance! Good riddance! Lol

  3. Joe

    Mine unexpectedly overheated , dumped it at 57,000 miles.

  4. David W Mitchell

    I followed FordTechMakuloco videos on fixing the 5.4 3v timing and exhaust manifold repairs. He tells you everything you need to succeed. Personally I recommend that you disable the VVT by putting stops in the phasers and getting the ECU flashed. The 5.4 never had timing problems until VVT came along. Ford use VVT to perform EGR functions, so that will be disabled also.

  5. Death Spiral

    Ford and GM should continue to bilk and Kill Americans…
    They are in a Death Spiral of who can sell the best Crap and Kill the most Americans – and neither one wants to pull out of the Death Spiral and compete with real car manufacturers.

    So whoever buys a Ford or GM, knows exactly what they are getting, and they bought it on purpose. When Ford Incinerates or GM’s Ignitions Kill you, don’t start crying for your dead family members. You knew Ford and GM were in a Death Spiral designed to Kill you.

  6. Bill Pennington

    Mine has 218000 changed the timing chain at 200000. No problems. I change my oil every 3000 miles that’s it. Think it’s more on the owners rater than the engine.

  7. tull

    it’s a ford there all junk and any gm truck past the year 2006 are too gm truck from 99 to 06 are the best trucks ever build


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