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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6593
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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What would cause the Cam Phasers to fail on a 2007 Ford F150

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What would cause the Cam Phasers to fail on a 2007 Ford F150 XLT 4X4 5.4l V8 with only 79,000 miles on it?


The cam phasers go out without warning. They end up hydraulically failing internally. Ford has redesigned them and they say these are better, but it remains to be seen. The engineers cannot give us a good explanation of why either. We end up knowing as much as the general public, maybe even less.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'm the fleet manager for my company and this particular vehicle is used for towing a 16foot box trailer around a five state area. This truck has had tranmission issues since we got it. This the third time we have had this truck in for what at first sounded like a transmission issue. The dealership replaced the transmission. When the salesman picked up the vehicle he drove it 1/2 mile and could still hear the noise. He took it back to the dealership and this time it had the warning light on. The dealership said it was the CAM Phasers and replaced them. I was told it was ready to be picked up the next day. About 3 hours later, a tech from the dealership called me back and wanted to know what my decision was about replacing/rebuilding the engine. I had no knowledge that the engine was damaged. The tech then said that the truck was taken for a drive after the CAM Phasers were replaced & that is when the truck showed low oil pressure. He got the truck back to the shop and pulled the oil pan where he found bits of bearing metal in the pan. He then told me that the low oil pressure caused the CAM Phasers to go bad causing the rod bearings to move around and that is were the metal came from. All I need to know is if this sounds plausible. I find it hard to believe that in a truck that has had the oil changed every 5,000 miles & never had a low oil pressure issue before to have this type of issue bad enough to have to replace/rebuild the engine. Please let me know what your opinion is.
The cam phasers run off of oil pressure. The oil pressure goes from the pump to the engine bearings up to the cam phasers and then to the timing chain tensioners. The cam phasers cannot cause low oil pressure. I feel in my opinion that the tech that was working on it did not properly diagnose the noise. If the oil pressure was low before he replaced the cam phasers he should have noticed it, if he even drove it. Replacing the phasers cannot cause low oil pressure. If they are done properly, all that has to be removed to do them is the valve covers. Ford has a special wedge tool that holds the timing chain into place so the phaser can be removed and the new one installed and the timing will stay in time. To me, I feel it was improper diagnosis. Checking oil pressure is part of and engine noise diagnosis. But cam phasers only cause damage eventually to the timing chain front cover. This happens when the cam phasers sticking allowing slack in the timing chain allowing it to scrape the front cover. This noise is very noticeable.
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