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. Cam sensor/retard codes can be set by any timing drive component that is making the valve timing incorrect due to over retarded or over advanced cam timing due to a sticking or inoperative phaser/VCT. 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.