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5.4L Ford engine issue

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Old 12-27-2017, 09:23 AM
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Default 5.4L Ford engine issue

Gents, had a major problem on my 2007 Ford F-350 with a 5.4L Triton engine with 90k miles. The problem is my fault as I knew of a design flaw with the spark plugs and failed to address it. The flaw is the spark plugs collapse when being removed, leaving parts in the cylinder, etc.

Last week driving from South Dakota to Pennsylvania, the check engine light came on. I kept driving but had a bad feeling, so I stopped at a AutoZone for a scan in Fargo, ND. Scan came back misfires in cylinders 3 and 4.

Got back on the road, and truck performance seemed to degrade. I stopped at a Ford dealer just across the boarder in Minnesota. They looked at the truck and tried to pull plug number 4. The found most of plug missing. They did a engine scope and stated cylinder walls are scored and top of piston has some damage. The replaced the plugs in cylinder 3 4 and 5. They next performed a relative compression and cylinder 4 is still low. The dealership was closing so they did not have time to replace the other 5 plugs.

The dealership wished me good luck getting home. The truck drove just fine on the 1,000 mile return trip home.

Trying to identify what is the risk associated driving the truck long term with low compression in one cylinder due to a scored cylinder wall and some damage to the top of the piston.

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:15 AM
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Oil consumption, extra compression being dumped in to the crank case that the PCV System now has to handle, uneven firing.

I am no expert, but unless you run the thing out of oil, it seems like it would be rebuild now, or rebuild later with maybe a few more bits than before.

Guess I never realized Ford put that size engine in the 1 ton trucks. I would have thought they would have done like GM, and put something a bit bigger in.

Might be a good time to sell...
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:21 AM
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RJ, thanks. The truck is just a regular cab RWD model, very basic. I have owned it since new and it has never has a issue towing 7,000 lbs trailers. I don't drive like a led foot in the truck though.

Guess I am trying to figure out if the truck can go another 50k highway miles. I have a move to SLC and will likely need 5 trips to move my crap, what does the match say I am going to crap out on the highway?
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:45 AM
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How low is low compression?
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Old 12-28-2017, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rjolly87 View Post
How low is low compression?
I don't know. Looking to send it to a local dealer the 2nd week of January to replace the other 5 plugs, maybe see of they can take a second look at cylinder 4. The service writer yesterday seemed surprised I wanted to service the truck.

Wish I has some idea if this is just a degradation in performance issue, or a ticking time bomb.
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:37 AM
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I'm going to play the devil here and say, you are in a race against a ticking bomb. I've seen enough engines here at the shop that had a piece of something bouncing around that causes more damage than one would think.

If the walls are scored, this is going to allow 2 things to happen, the rings are obviously messed up, which means they will rotate causing more damage to the undamaged walls. Now that we have all these gaps, fuel is going to run past the rings into the oil. And then the oil will come past also.

If you got $20,000. Get yourself one of those GM LS9 engines and put it in. For an extra $5,000 you can go to Bowling Green, KY and GM will LET you put the engine together. I hear those Rustang guys have been taking the POS ford engines out and putting GM LSx'* in now.
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:12 AM
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Thanks Mike, think I will pass on the 25k upgrade on my old work truck.. Appreciate your reply, wish i had a magic ball to get some idea when the bomb will go off. Next week, or 25k miles from now. The truck, although only 90k miles, is not worth so much as it is a regular cab, rwd F350. Everyone want 4wd, and extended/ crew cabs.
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Old 12-28-2017, 04:24 PM
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Wow sorry to hear about this mess/nightmare Guns.
Did Ford re-design after this 2 piece plug fiasco? I would file a serious complaint with Ford.
That is not a lot of miles on your engine. TSB & precise dealer repairs are listed, get a copy from dealer on latest TSB#.
I can't help but feel they should share some responsibility in this situation, and should help to make things right.
Having the compression #* should give you an idea what up.
There are bore scope cameras, that can take digital images as well I assume.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:38 AM
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SF, Ford sent a letter to all 5.4l truck owners stating they would reimburse excess charges for the spark plug situation, for plug replacement performed at a Ford dealer.

I did some research and discovered this is a big issue, and the plugs should only be replaced by the dealer. This is where I failed- I waited to long to get the plugs replaced, I have owned the truck for ten years. I had 50k miles on it on Jan 2017, it has 90k now. I drove lie crazy this year. The failure is my fault for putting the plug replacement off. I had not read of the plug coming apart while driving, but I still knew there was a mahor issue with the plugs and I sat on it.
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:54 AM
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Here is a pic of the invoice from Ford. Note the dealership service department was closing and were unwilling to replace the additional five factory original plugs.
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