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Discussion Starter #1
I just acquired a 08 f150 lariat for nearly a thank you.
200,000km
Box dented in at the right rear tail light, but other than that pearl white 4dr 4x4 leather heated seats sunroof etc.. decent looking truck... and it runs like a dream...... until you drive it for 10 min then it will start rumbling and missing nearly stalling unless you play with the throttle.... blip it once or twice then it will run smooth again until you touch the throttle..... all signs point to the dreaded cam phaser issue.
So, I know theres a few Ford guys on here that are familiar with this issue.
What do I do?
What is involved in a correct factory repair?
Or do I install a phaser delete kit?
OR, send it to Ritchie brothers inoperable.
My father in law is looking for a good truck, he lives in the city and wants a vehicle with a box, so if wants it, it will go to him, or I will fix it and flip it.
 

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Dad used to have that era of truck (can't remember exact year) that was developing a tick. Had a few mechanics tell him to stop using the recommended 5w20 and use 10w30. Had somewhere between 150,000 200,000 kms when it stated ticking, got it into the high 300,000 kms before the transmission went. We still have it and it runs good, might put a tranny in it. Not sure exactly how those cam phasers work to be honest, and possibly he just lucked out by changing the oil. My truck is an 04 with the 4.6 and it developed a tick around the same time his did so I also started using 10 30 oil, at 275,000 kms now and running fine.
 

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I bought an 08 with 300,000 km that sounded like a diesel at idle (but ran fine) due to the cam phasers. I replaced the phasers with factory Ford phasers, and whatever other updates were involved at that time, I think it included tensioners and chains. It wasn't a terrible job, very crowded at the rear of the head down under the cab, but otherwise nothing complicated or requiring special tools( except for the viscous fan, I just built a wrench for it).

Put about 50,000 km on it since then without issue.
 

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Have 2007. Had 168k and Developed the phaser tick. I purchased the cam phaser repair kit from rock auto. New phasers, chains, timing gears, tighteners. Also replaced oil pump with high flow/high pressure melling pump. About $850 in parts. Did the job myself, never done one before, in a lazy day and a half. Engine can stay in vehicle. Replacing passenger side valve cover was the worst. Did not remove a/c (aluminum lines can be carefully bent). Can replace oil pump without removing pan. The reason for the engine developing the problem is a lack of oil pressure to the top end because of a faulty 10 cent gasket between timing chain tightener and the block. Oil escapes internally, depriving top end of oil. Cam phasers are operated by oil pressure. Lack of pressure causes phasers to vibrate on springs. Truck runs great now. Installed mechanical oil pressure gauge. Factory one is only a dummy light-7lbs of oil pressure shows as just over half way up on dash gauge. Mechanical gauge now shows 70lbs at operating temp, highway speed. Running thicker oil may improve the sound for now, but internal clearances are very tight and thicker oil may cause more damage in the long run. That all said, you can quite easily do a proper fix, not the cheaper phaser lock out, yourself. Lots of good step by step info online. Good luck.
 

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I've done a couple of them. Its not that big a deal. FordTechMakuloco is the go to guy on Youtube for instructional videos.

You'll have to remove the front cover - there's a lot of crap in the way to get to it. You probably should put in a higher volume oil pump at the same time because its oil pressure that keeps the phasers working. There's a variety of different advice on the interweb about removing valve springs to take the backlash out of the camshaft. I ignore that and put a couple vice grips on each camshaft. If you don't lock them or release the springs they absolutely will move when you take the timing chains off and then it gets a lot more complicated. These are interference engines so you absolutely can not turn them with the chains disconnected.

Makuloco will cover all this in much more detail. You should use Motorcraft phasers and you want to find ratcheting chain tensioners. The OE tensioners rely on oil pressure to hold their position. As the chain stretches they let it slap around when the engine starts and eventually that tears the plastic guides up. The whole job is not an insignificant cost - probably $2k in parts using Motorcraft phasers & chains, new Melling pump and aftermarket guides and tensioners. If you find debris behind the front cover then you should also drop the pan and clean up the crap that has settled there. You can get the pan out without pulling the engine but its a bit tricky.

There's no cam bearings on the 5.4s which seems pretty cheesy to me. The camshaft just runs in journals moulded into the head. I'm running one right now with an obscene amount of cam wear but it doesn't smoke and seems to be OK. The guideline is supposed to be if you can't catch your fingernail on the bearing surface its good to go but this one is like a rough file in there.
 

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Those are not cam phaser symptoms...

You need to diagnose this properly. Cam phasers should not cause the engine to run rough, start with checking for engine fault codes then go from there. We have two F150s with 5.4 3V engines @ about 350,000km and they are both fine. One got a dose of water in the fuel and caused two injectors to fail, one injector I found and replaced right after the incedent, the other was intermitant and it took almost two years to figure out. When it acted up it displayed almost the exact symptoms you are describing.
 

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The turboed engines use a 5 w 30 or 0 w 30. And if you want' a racing filter is available with a half more filtering
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replys!
I'm a HD tech by trade so I'm not afraid of the job and what it entails... I just wanna fix it the best proven way the first time.. I've read about both methods, deleting and replacing. I never heard about ratcheting tensioners... ill keep that in mind.
Also oil pump replacement, if it's that easy, appears to be a good idea.

Now, offroadant says it's a different problem...🤔
I've done a bit of web research, and I've been pointed in this direction... (of course, the internet has known to be wrong...)
It made sense to me in that if a solenoid or a phaser is sticky if it cranks the valve timing opposite of where it's supposed to be at a idle it will cause a very rough running condition.
The factory phasers adjust cam timing up to 60 degrees... so, valve timing 60° off at a idle will cause a rough idle... to say the least. [I think]
Like I mentioned earlier the truck runs like a dream when cold, maybe a slight *slight tick... but I'm not familiar with how this engine is *supposed to sound or what's normal. Almost like I can hear a fuel injector ticking...
Once its warmed up idling for half hour, I went to load it on a trailer after washing it really good giving it throttle caused the extremely rough running condition (had to double pedal to load and keep it from stalling) but giving the throttle a good blip would settle it back into a nice idle... until I touch the throttle again
This makes me think a phaser or phaser control solenoid is sticking....
Also, I thought it was odd that the check engine light did not come on when this took place.....

So, maybe the timing chains and tensioners are ok but there is a cam phasing issue...??
Since I dont hear a bad tick or chain slapping when its cold...
Dunno, still open to discussion.
Thx.
 

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Been reading this and following the videos because I have the startup tick in my 2008 that I have ignored so far but maybe I now have a job to do.

I will put out that I had kind of similar symptoms Anvil is describing. Hard to say for sure. It was winter and going down the highway and my truck started running like crap. Stalled, would start and drive a bit, stall, sometimes idle, sometimes played with gas pedal. Eventually got it home the last 10 miles and did the fuel treatment and whatever else to solve a fuel issue. Eventually figured out the air density sensor in intake duct was dirty. A 10 minute cleaning solved it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That is interesting kenmb...
Worth looking into..
I should add that I just got the truck yesterday and have spent no more than 10 min in the driver's seat and haven't even hooked up a scanner yet... on and off a trailer, that's it. so all my findings are preliminary thus far.
 

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So, maybe the timing chains and tensioners are ok but there is a cam phasing issue...??
Since I dont hear a bad tick or chain slapping when its cold...
Engine should be quiet, even on start up. On the trucks I've heard, Phaser and loose chain slap typically gets louder as the engine warms up. I've heard some that make my 7.3 powerstroke sound whisper quiet. If you are not hearing the tick/slap, I'd say you may need to diagnose further.



Been reading this and following the videos because I have the startup tick in my 2008 that I have ignored so far but maybe I now have a job to do.
If you're hearing the tick now, I'd go ahead and do the repair. It won't get better. Just lead to more damage later.
 

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Been reading this and following the videos because I have the startup tick in my 2008 that I have ignored so far but maybe I now have a job to do.
Check your exhaust manifolds, I bet you have a few broken studs and it's leaking there, goes away after a few minutes. Mine is right side front bolt.

I will put out that I had kind of similar symptoms Anvil is describing. Hard to say for sure. It was winter and going down the highway and my truck started running like crap. Stalled, would start and drive a bit, stall, sometimes idle, sometimes played with gas pedal. Eventually got it home the last 10 miles and did the fuel treatment and whatever else to solve a fuel issue. Eventually figured out the air density sensor in intake duct was dirty. A 10 minute cleaning solved it all.
 

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Did the passenger manifold (cracked in half) already so know that sound. And had that front stud break and never did get it out but new manifold seals ok. Mine makes a few ticks on startup then gone in a few seconds just like the video says. Sounds like right behind the water pump but never listened all that close. Will give it more attention now.

Yes Anvil, just throwing it out there. If you start to get the impression it is symptoms like a fuel issue then the other side of that coin is false air flow sensing.
 

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The ticking is most likely the cam phasers but the rough running is most likely not . Your problem is almost certainly the cam phaser solenoids .
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Spent a little time farting around with the truck...
I'm pretty sure it's the phasers....
But no codes?? Odd.
I also cleaned the MAF before the video.

Started cleaning the interior.. smoked in, hairy dogs and some mystery liquid that made the carpet from and back passenger side goopy and kinda oily feeling.... dunno if a case of pop exploded in there... but yick..
 

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There are two different installs . One is a 10 minute job the other requires valve cover removal . Mine were the easy ones .
 

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Check your exhaust manifolds, I bet you have a few broken studs and it's leaking there, goes away after a few minutes. Mine is right side front bolt.
I was about to say the same thing. Mine does that exact thing, haven't bothered to fix it, only leaks for a minute on cold starts.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
There are two different installs . One is a 10 minute job the other requires valve cover removal . Mine were the easy ones .
So are you talking about the phasers them selves (cam drive gear assembly) vs the solenoids?

This leads to my next question... is it the cam gear or solenoid that is the typical point of failure? What's the chance I just have a sticking solenoid.... now that I said that... I dont remember on the scanner for sure but I think both sides went haywire at the same time.... do they rely on each other in some way?
 

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The solenoids are the easy change . After looking at your vid it appears you have the easy ones . The round indent behind your oil fill with the electrical connection will have a snap ring ( if it's the easy one ) . My truck would randomly act up stalling barely running etc then would work fine for days . If I remember correctly there was no indication of which side ( possibly my scan tool ) so I just changed both .
 
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