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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6208
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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Ford Expedition: I need a 5.4 Triton expert questions.

Customer Question

I need a 5.4 Triton expert for timing questions. Did chain and tensioner me, phasers and VCT solenoids. Now running rough upon startup and unplugging 3 different coils makes no difference
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Ford
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
Are you getting any trouble codes in the PCM (Engine Computer)?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I got a 351 but after I erased it, it won't come back for the life of me.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have retimed the motor just to verify, is this motor sensitive to possibly a cam being 180 off?
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
P0351 is a coil driver failure for cylinder #1. What other cylinders are miss firing when you unplug the coils? But do not unplug the coils, unplug the injectors.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
1,3,4 - both front, and 3 back on passenger side which comes out to 1,3,4. You state to unplug injector not coil. Any certain reason?
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
I need to first verify the cylinders. The cylinders are numbered on this engine 1-2-3-4 on the passenger side starting at the radiator and 5-6-7-8 on the drivers side starting at the radiator.As for unplugging the injectors and not the coils, you can cause the coil drivers to short out in the PCM if you unplug the coil with the engine running. Basically a voltage spike.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes 1,3 and 4 are the "dead" cylinders when unplugged by the coil.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
Ok. Have you inspected the spark plugs?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have pulled the front two plugs 1 and 4 and they didn't look totally screwed, to be honest tomorrow morning I was going to try putting new ones in.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
Do a manual compression test on the engine also before any repairs. This will tell us if the base engine is in good condition. Since you did replace the timing components, this will tell us if the timing is off or the pistons hit the valves since this is an interference engine. Compression should be 175 psi for each cylinder.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I did test cylinder 4 and it was at 170, I'll test the others in the AM. Is it possible for the cam to be 180 off and still run for this motor ?
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
If it is, you have damaged some valves.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
But at that same aspect the motor wouldn't run would it?
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
It is possible it could run, but very badly. If one cam is out, it will run mainly on the other cam and those cylinders.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She runs on her own at idle with a miss, and can hold 2-3,000 rpm just fine
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
Do the compression test and check the spark plugs. Also, make sure the coils are good. P0351 code was for cylinder #1.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Will do!
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
Please let know if you need any more help on this. I will be at work at my dealership tomorrow, and I'll get an email when you reply back. I'll be back online tomorrow evening.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Sad to say but I'm sure I will, this thing fought me a few weeks ago and I parked it in our lot and came back to it later.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
I completely understand. I have been working as a Ford technician for the last 30 + years. They are getting worse with all the modules in them now and all the networking built in. It is amazing what one bad module can cause!
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It's crazy. I've been a lead mechanic at a shop for 5 years now in the twin cities, giving the fact I'm still only 24, I have 2 of these under my belt with 100% success, but this one is a FIGHTER, owner of the company is strongly convinced I have timing off 180 and on the wrong "exhaust/intake stroke" with one of the cams. But the phasers are pinned and marked L and R.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
You are correct on the phasers. And you did use the "L" for the drivers side and the "R" for the passenger side. A manual compression test will show you is the timing is off. This engine has 2 intake valves and 1 exhaust. We have see the coils fail once they are removed and reinstalled for a simple tune up also.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Correct I did use L and R correctly. And now let me throw a fastball, I ordered 3 coils and put them on the three cylinders with no change! 🤔
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
Without replacing any parts, play what we call the swapping game. Swap spark plugs, coils and injectors with the known good ones to eliminate the cause. Throwing parts at it will not fix it as we call it. Let's locate the cause of the problem and then replace the parts.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
Bascially swap parts already on the engine between the working cylinders and the non working cylinders to the problem moves.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I agree, I just tried that and figured I'd wipe them off and throw them on the return shelf if it wasn't a fix, I was going to play the swapping game but usually get a 302, 306 or something to know what my problem cylinder is to swap injector or coil from .
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Just an update, 1,3 and 5 idk why I was thinking "4" that's the way back passenger side, my excuse it was Sunday lol
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
Do the compression test on the passenger side of the engine.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Compression test passed with 170-180 , put new plugs in and noticed a SEVERE difference. Ordered remainder 5 plugs and going to throw them in tomorrow
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
So cylinders are now working on 1.3 and 4?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
1,3 and 5 yes!
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
Ok. Let me know what happens after the rest are replaced.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
👍🏼
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.
ok

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