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.
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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
 
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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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