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Old 01-16-2016, 01:19 PM   #1
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Ford 5.L engine issues?

Is anyone familiar with around the year of 2000 5.4L Ford engines. I've been side stepping looking at these Ford vans because I've read so much about them blowing out spark plugs. Is this an engine that common knowledge says to stay away from or has there been a permanent fix around for a while. I keep getting conflicting results when researching the internet on the subject. Any advice would be appreciated. I haven,t been able to locate a thread on the topic on our site. Terry
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Old 01-16-2016, 02:53 PM   #2
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It is a great engine. The spark plug issue is way over hyped in both the V8 and the V10. I've owned nearly a dozen of both and have never had a spark plug blow out. If one did, it is not the end of the world. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 5.4L V8 or the 6.8L V10 Triton Motor.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for the information BajaSMB! That's good to know.
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:19 PM   #4
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Ditto what Baja said. I've had several too. Way overblown, no pun intended.


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Old 01-17-2016, 02:02 PM   #5
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Two great sources saying the same. So what do you think all the racket was about. Gouging on repair prices? Sounds like it was a small percentage with the problem. Perhaps just a couple of years?
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:29 PM   #6
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Two great sources saying the same. So what do you think all the racket was about. Gouging on repair prices? Sounds like it was a small percentage with the problem. Perhaps just a couple of years?
The plugs can be hard to remove and replace, and because the heads are aluminum with just a few threads, easy to over torque. I do almost all my own work, but took mine to the dealer for plug replacement since they have the tools and skills needed to effect a repair if one does strip out in the process.

Another issue on mine was the exhaust studs. When I bought it, two or three were missing the nuts, the studs had rusted away. Within a couple years two more broke off. I decided to try to fix it myself, spent 20 minutes getting a wrench on the first one, and snapped it off with three fingers worth of torque. Right then and there I decided to stop before I needed a tow truck to get it to the muffler shop. The shop guy welded a little piece of rod to each broken stud and got them all out. No idea how he did this, but it did take him about 5 hours, and he had done this job plenty of times before. Ford supplys new and improved studs now, so hopefully this won't happen again.

Other than that, my 5.4 has never had any issues. I'm at 120,000mi and it runs as good as new. It burns a quart of oil about every 3000 miles if I'm pushing it hard, but almost none if I take it easy. The in tank fuel pump is another story. I'm on the third one, and now carry a spare. The 5.4 seems to be a great engine.
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:05 PM   #7
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Is anyone familiar with around the year of 2000 5.4L Ford engines. I've been side stepping looking at these Ford vans because I've read so much about them blowing out spark plugs. Is this an engine that common knowledge says to stay away from or has there been a permanent fix around for a while. I keep getting conflicting results when researching the internet on the subject. Any advice would be appreciated. I haven,t been able to locate a thread on the topic on our site. Terry

I would also note: The E-series did not get the 3-valve 5.4 that you hear so much about. The older E-series Vans have a normal spark plug and are a completely different tune than the 5.4 that the F-Series line received.

Maybe the newer vans did, but I have no experience with the newer versions.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:33 PM   #8
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Very valuable information from all. Wheelie, please forgive my lack of knowing. When you say "The older E-series Vans have a normal spark plugs, to which years does that apply?
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:43 PM   #9
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Very valuable information from all. Wheelie, please forgive my lack of knowing. When you say "The older E-series Vans have a normal spark plugs, to which years does that apply?
Ford has had many variations of the 5.4 and the 6.8
my knowledge is only 5.4 based.

My response is only based on the Ford vans with the 5.4, later models with the 5.4....say after 07-08....I have NO idea which 5.4 version. so a google wiki search would be a good idea. as it will give you to much detail.
I love the detuned E-series 5.4.
Your key to knowing which Version is the 2-valve motor.
Late 90's through end of life for the E-series.
.........its a pooch on paper but does just fine for a van. Once you're use to how it works. It will satisfy anypone who's not pulling high altitude & loads regularly.
They get great mileage if use within reason.
The right gearing and real world mileage can see 16-17mpg @ 7,000LB @ 70mph.
75 mph can make those #'s drop drastically.

earlier Ford Vans had many options...most popular is the 5.8(351), the 460 Big Block.....1/2 tons had inline 300CI 6er.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:37 AM   #10
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Terry: I'm no expert here but I think the early plugs have an unthreaded nose projection that has little clearance inside the plug hole that gets carboned up making them sometimes difficult to remove. There have been some updates to the design over the years.
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