Ford Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
Hello and thanks for your question.
These engines are notorious for phasers and VCT solenoids sticking from oil feed problems to the cylinder heads. The bad or sticking phaser or VCT solenoid is usually the result of the problem not the root cause. Here is a list of what I check or replace on these every time I get one in with phaser noise, VCT codes, cam sensor codes or misfires caused by VCT issues. Before any disassembly the PCM data pids for VCT error correction should be monitored to confirm it is a VCT issue. If the vehicle won't run, a compression test can also verify the VCT problem.
In short if I don't find oil pressure concerns and my cams are in good shape I usually replace the phasers, VCT bodies, oil pump and tensioners on every one of these. Ford has updated these part numbers several times with improved engineering designs.
do you recommed running sea foam through the engine before oil changes?
No I don't. If there is sludge present, it is going to make it worse. The passages in the vct bodies and the screens are very small as well as the cam bearing passages. Anything that breaks loose upstream of the filter can be trapped in the vct passages and screens.