5.4 Engine buildup- Any thoughts on upgrades etc?

joezek

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I'm in the process of building up a 5.4 3V before my current one dies (hopefully). Just wanted to share what I've done and found out so far and see what options others are doing in my situation. I've got a few minor upgrades in mind to help make this engine a little more "bulletproof" if that's even a possibility. I know there are a few well known weaknesses on the Triton that can take it out of service very quickly. I talked to some cylinder head shops who said that the valve train is actually the weakest part of the engine and can easily cause a major loss in oil pressure too.

My driver that's about to fail is a 2008 5.4 3V. It broke a rocker and ruined the cam recently, which resulted in metal in the oil and now loss of oil pressure, filter keeps filling with metal too. I bought a 2003 5.4 2V from an F250 SD in the salvage yard. I just need the short block and ordered a set of rebuilt heads.

I tore down the block and found it has a Forged crank P/N F75E-A17G. Also has the markings "WF 2951" which is the identifier for "Woodhaven Forge" that built it. I'm really glad I got one with the forged crank, just more peace of mind. The bearings looked almost perfect aside from one with a minor line grooved in it. The pistons were totally trashed though, oil rings and 2nd rings were all completely burnt and seized. It looks like it never even broke in, not even enough wear on any part of the cylinders to wear off the cross hatching.

I've been putting it together with new bearings and pistons/rods etc. So far all the measurements are very close to the tightest limits for the bearings and pistons/cylinders. The main and rods clearances are about .0015" with the range being .001-.0026".

The mods I'm planning on doing are all mainly with the oil system aside from the cam upgrade too. There's a kit that adds an oil pressure line between the heads. It's supposed to ensure that both heads, cams etc always have the right amount of oil pressure. Apparently there's a small oil orifice somewhere that can easily clog and block oil from the cam/head. They claim this balance hose will continue supplying the same normal amount of oil and eliminate the chance of that oil passage causing an engine failure. Cylinder oil Mod. I'm installing a normal oil pressure gauge and oil temp gauge too, just don't know where to mount inside the truck without it looking rigged.

Also I'd like to use the Ford oil cooler that adapts to the oil filter housing but I don't know how to hook it up to the Expedition's cooling system. On the F250 there were two hoses tee'd into the lower radiator hose that went to the cooler at the filter. I don't see any suppliers that make one for the 08 Expedition.

The cam upgrade is a Comp Cams one P/N 127050, which doesn't require new springs. It's purpose is really to increase torque for towing my boat. I also am keeping my VCT's locked out That's another mod to prevent future failures in the valve train. The engine shops all said to eliminate the VCT and combined with this cam I'll gain more power in the daily driver range. On a dyno it will lose a few hundred RPM at redline and at peak lose a few HP.

On the oil pump I just ordered a Melling High Volume pump, this should really make sure there's not another oil related issue. Also using stainless exhaust manifold studs. I've had plenty of trouble with them on past trucks.

Anyone have ideas on things to do while assembling? Any little tricks or mods to make it more reliable would be awesome.

Joe
 
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Eric in Wyoming

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Uhhhh... you're wanting to put the '03 2V engine into your '08? Sounds like some solid mods, but that engine won't work in your '08 Expy. Not without some extensive electrical changes.
 
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joezek

joezek

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No, I'm just using the 03' short block. I'm still using 3V heads, I have a rebuilt set on the way. So far I have the bottom end almost done. Heads were supposed to be here Friday but are lost / stuck at the UPS store in TX they shipped it from.

Also, Amazon screwed me on my Melling High Volume pump. The box showed up with a used ripped grocery bag inside full of old timing chains and tensioners. They're telling me I have to wait 7 days AFTER they receive it back and inspect it for a refund. WTF...., there's a sticker on the bag of sh#t parts that says something about thanks for giving this item a second chance....amazon has inspected and repackaged it... And I can't get a person on the phone.
20220516_093252.jpg
 

Hamfisted

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No, I'm just using the 03' short block. I'm still using 3V heads, I have a rebuilt set on the way. So far I have the bottom end almost done. Heads were supposed to be here Friday but are lost / stuck at the UPS store in TX they shipped it from.

Also, Amazon screwed me on my Melling High Volume pump. The box showed up with a used ripped grocery bag inside full of old timing chains and tensioners. They're telling me I have to wait 7 days AFTER they receive it back and inspect it for a refund. WTF...., there's a sticker on the bag of sh#t parts that says something about thanks for giving this item a second chance....amazon has inspected and repackaged it... And I can't get a person on the phone.
Holy chit !! That's some funny stuff right there ! Funny as in bazzar I mean ....





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mr_dave

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I've contemplated doing this exact same thing. But then I think, if I'm going to spend the time and money I might as well go for a 5.0L Coyote or maybe a 6.2L swap instead.

In any case I'm very interested to hear how well this build works out, since it would definitely be the easiest path.
 
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joezek

joezek

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I'd rather look into a 6.2 but I don't have time for the changes it takes for the computer etc. Or the fuel..... Lol
 

Eric in Wyoming

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I thought about a 6.2 swap into our '97 Eddie, but then thatd be a LOT to change out - a V10 swap would be easier for it, actually.
 
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joezek

joezek

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I had to replace the V10 in my 2000 Excursion a few years ago. That thing is YUUUUUGE! I barely scraped it out of the truck without pulling the hood. If I remember correctly, I think I had to pull the front tires and lowered the front of the truck a little bit to get the best angle and height with the hoist.
 
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joezek

joezek

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UPDATE on the MMR racing oil modification hose. I'm having problems fitting the hose because the heads are close to the firewall. I tried to return the kit to MMR....however they are refusing to refund my money. Even though on all their items they advertise there's no mention of this no return policy, they do have a separate page under terms and conditions. It does say no returns on that page. I know every one of you goes and looks for "terms and conditions" and studies this before paying them right??? Of course, I have nothing better to do than look for all kinds of fine print on every single thing I buy.

I've never once seen a company have a no return policy, and not make it crystal clear upfront so the buyer knows his purchase is a COMPLETE GAMBLE and he will never get his money back, so better hope it fits/works. They must be hurting for money. Most of their items are extremely expensive.

UPDATE: after complaining to Paypal where I paid for the MMR parts, they decided to refund the money. However they pointed out that indeed there's a small checkbox that I apparently clicked without paying attention to. The check box says I agree to the "terms", which is located on a different page....so it is my fault in the end, but they should have said "I agree there is no return allowed" next to the check box....would have been more honest...
 
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joezek

joezek

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So I have a dilemma that I'm not sure how I'm gonna handle on this buildup. The older block has one knock sensor mount. The new 08 3V's use 2 knock sensors. There's no where to mount two of them, I'm not going to drill and tap threads into the block. I've seen some other vehicles that have a history of overly sensitive knock sensors, and they have a mod where they unbolt them and secure out of the way, so they're unused. Then you're on your own listening for detonation.

In this case my first thought is going to be to piggy back the two sensors in the same location. May not work though because the intake sits very close and may not be enough clearance. Other thought is to install one sensor, and leave the other one wired up but secured out of the way where it's not hitting anything metal. I'm thinking these sensors signal is basically on or off, and don't constantly transmit a wide range of data to control the timing. If so, I think the second option should work out fine.

ANyone have thoughts on this or seen it before?

Joe
 
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