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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6574
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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Ron, 2004 f150 5.4 died while driving. I thought it was out

Customer Question

Hi Ron, 2004 f150 5.4 died while driving. I thought it was out of gas so I put gas in and it started but ran really bad and no oil pressure. Towed it home and checked codes it show a bad coil pack. Changed that and it showed a bad VCT solenoid I changed both of them also change the camshaft position sensor, the plugs air filter, changed the oil and battery (it was bad). it runs worse every time I try to start it. At this point it starts and then dies. The only codes I get when I can keep it running are O2 stuck in rich and sometimes coil pack. I have tried testing the Canister Purge Valve; it does not seem to be leaking.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Do you still have the actual trouble codes?
Example P0401?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Update I think my non running issue was caused by me spraying throttle body cleaner in the intake. I removed the throttle body and cleaned it, cleaned the mass air flow sensor and replaced the air cleaner again. The truck now runs but it has no power and will die after a few minutes. I have a p2196 and p2198 but I believe these are caused by the cleaner that I sprayed in the engine.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Did you have this problem before the throttle body and intake was sprayed with the cleaner?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not have the codes. But the rough idle and dying when I put it in gear that I have now was the original issue before I started doing anything. I plan on pulling the oxygen sensors tomorrow and cleaning them. I hope that will clear those codes. But I will just be back to where I started.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Do not replace the 02 sensors. The codes are from the 02 sensors telling the PCM that the engine is running rich. It could be too much fuel or too little air entering the engine.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am sure the O2 sensors are fine I just want to pull them a clean the goop off and pit them back in. I am hoping they will stop sending the false code so I can get to the real issue. I can hear some valve clatter on bank 2 and I was getting a code for cam over advance. I am starting to think I may have lost a timing chain tensioner.
What would you suggest I check next?
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

It could be the cam phaser or the VCT solenoid for that side. The VCT solenoid uses oil pressure to advance or retard the timing of the camshafts. There is one on each side.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The VCT solenoids were both changed. It was one of the first things I did.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

You may want to look at the cam phasers and the VCT housings that the VCT solenoids mount into.

Also, check the camshaft cam caps for scoring. This will also cause low oil pressure to the VCTs and cause the camshaft to stay over advanced.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was still getting a bad VCT solenoid code even after I changed them. what symptoms would I have with a bad phaser or tensioner?
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Cams over advanced, lack of power and stalling.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I guess I will be pulling the valve covers to check the phasers and check for slack in the chains.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Check the cam caps also. These are the caps that hold the camshafts to the cylinder heads. Check the underside for scoring. You do not want to feel the scoring with your fingernail.

Also, check the rocker arms (followers) and also the lifters (tappets).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks I will let you know what I find.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Sounds good.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I took my truck the the local Ford dealer and they tell the the injectors went bad and destroyed the bottom end. The only repair is to replace the engine at a cost of $10,000. I am trying to understand how bad injectors can damage the bottom end of the motor. What am I missing here?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay I went to the Dealer and spoke with the mechanic the diagnosed the truck. I ask how he determined the bottom of the engine was bad. He said not because he got an invalid reading on the injectors through the diagnostic. He stated that means the injectors are bad. He also started it up and it is making noise. I asked if he did compression tests. He said not. I asked if he did a flow test on the injectors. He said no there is no reason to until he starts putting the new engine in. I asked if he checked the timing and could it be a bad timing chain tensioner and the noise be because that whole bank is out of time. His response was that if I wanted to pay for him to pull it apart and see he would. I guess me question to him is want the hell is the diagnostic fee I am already paying get me? He started up and said bad motor $10,000 please. The service rep told me he does a lot of motor installs, He does really good work. It sounds to me he is not a mechanic, he is an engine changer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay I went to the Dealer and spoke with the mechanic the diagnosed the truck. I ask how he determined the bottom of the engine was bad. He said because he got an invalid reading on the injectors through the diagnostic. He stated that means the injectors are bad. He also started it up and it is making noise. I asked if he did compression tests. He said not. I asked if he did a flow test on the injectors. He said no there is no reason to until he starts putting the new engine in. I asked if he checked the timing and could it be a bad timing chain tensioner and the noise be because that whole bank is out of time. His response was that if I wanted to pay for him to pull it apart and see he would. I guess my question to him is want the hell is the diagnostic fee I am already paying get me? He started it up and said bad motor $10,000 please. The service rep told me he does a lot of motor installs, He does really good work. It sounds to me he is not a mechanic, he is an engine changer.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Sorry I have been out of commission getting surgery done to my left arm to get skin cancer removed. Finally got use of my left arm again. But still sore.

We did have problems with the injectors on the 2004 5.4L engine. They could stick open and wash the cylinder down and cause internal engine damage.

Give me the VIN# ***** the mileage so I can check to see if there are any notifications for the fuel injectors.

To me, sounds like they are guessing and not fully backing up their diagnosis. We call them parts changers. If they through enough parts at the vehicle, it should fix the problem.