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Old 04-17-2011, 11:18 PM   #1
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Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

My basically new 5.4L motor sounds like a diesel. I can hear a ticking/tapping noise right through the engine cover. At idle especially. When the engine revs up other noises hide the ticking.

It also makes a sucking noise (like vacuum) when the accelerator is first depressed.

Has anybody else had these noises? Are there known problems and fixes?
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:35 AM   #2
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Re: Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

Is the engine cover seated fully?

The ticking noise is normal. That is the fuel injectors. They are pretty loud, but you won't hear them if the engine cover is installed properly. Ditto the sucking noise. Its the throttle body opening.

Now, a tapping noise.... That would not be normal. Is there oil in it? The correct oil? It requires 5w20. Running heavier oils, even 10w30 will make it very noisy.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:36 AM   #3
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Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

Were the noises present when you picked it up or did they present themselves sometime after?

Mine only makes that huge sucking sound from the gas tank LOL.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

The noise was there from the beginning. The engine cover has been on and off 2x now (auto dealer and Ford dealer in Redding). The engine has clean oil, I think somebody changed it during the 2 years the van was sitting. Good idea to change it again to ensure the correct oil.

Ticking, tapping -- hard to say. On my old cars when they made this noise I would dribble some ATF down the carburetor and the noise would stop for a while. Can't find a place to dribble the oil on this one!
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:18 PM   #5
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Re: Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

I'll 2nd the engine cover. If it is not seated fully, or if the gasket is not properly in place, you will get alot of noise. I had to reinstall mine after the dealer mis-installed it. Very noisy, yet it wasn't noticeable to the eye what was wrong.

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Old 04-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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Re: Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

If it were my van, I would immediately change the oil to 5w20. Somebody may have put too heavy a grade in there, which a no-no on the Triton motors. My brother has some extra 15w40 sitting around and put it in his 5.4L Expy. He drained it out 5 minutes later. Your engine should be nearly silent at idle, assuming the engine cover is seated correctly.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:02 AM   #7
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Re: Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

I had another dealer look at the noise problem, and they also said it was "normal." When I got the van back, one of the engine cover latches was sprung and would not latch any more. The hook on the end of it was straightened out. I bent it back with some pliers and now it latches. It does look like that side of the engine cover doesn't want to seat all the way down - it gets pulled down by the latch.

The noise is noticably reduced now but still present.

Has anybody heard of a warped engine cover? It just doesn't seem to fit, even with lots of farting around with it.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:07 PM   #8
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Re: Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

They can get warped if they get closed up over something (tool, floormat etc) and sit that way for a while. Good news it.... the base cover is the same back to '97 so they are cheap.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:57 PM   #9
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Re: Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

Maybe too far off topic, but I measured the noise level in my 2WD 2010 Ford 5.4L gas van and it is reading above 85 decibels. That means you need hearing protection if you incur driving times of eight hours a day...

I'ved seen some threads on this forum covering sound dampening, but I think they were doing it for their stereos. Is there room enough under the cover to add sound dampening material? If so, do you have to remove some other material? And are there fire retardent concerns to spec the sound dampening material to?
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:14 PM   #10
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Re: Ford 5.4L V8 engine sounds like a diesel

I have mine torn apart putting noise control in now. Obviously the noise control won't work if the cover isn't closed...

My gas van has some really thick dynamat type material on the inside of the plastic cover. Then there is a formed fibergalss insulation shell with aluminum foil covering inside that. in the transmission hump area there are two layers of fiberglass with a layer of additional sound blocking sandwiched in.

I have removed the fiberglass insulation and am installing SeconSkin Luxury Liner Pro under it. This is 3/8" closed cell foam bonded to 1/8" thick mass-loaded vinyl. I will re-install the insulation. However I may get a new engine cover first.

I don't know what the temperature rating of the Luxury Liner Pro is, or the flamability. But is shouldn't be any worse than the existing vinyl sound blocking or the engine cover itself. Plus I am planning to seal everything up with aluminum tape.
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