Ok, am not getting any answers over on the Ferd group so I thought I
would ask here.
My brother is looking at an 01 with the 5.4L engine. He asked me about
the expected longevity, and I don't know (I am a GM kinda guy).
So my questions are these, what is he expected longevity, what mileage
should he expect (1/2 ton, extended cab, long box, auto trans), and are
there any issues?
I figure a chevy group will have the answers, though may be a bit
critical (though we are all GM guys, and scrupulously honest ;) Right??)
They are not the best engines but plenty of them are on the road and doing
fine. IMHO, the 351W was the best Ford small V8. The 5.4 has a very long
stroke, 4.16 inches and a small bore 3.55 inches. Sounds like a great
combination for a truck engine, but in the real world the engine is not so
In contrast, the 6.0 Chevy seems to be doing fine:)
Actually I think that is exactly the kind of information your brother needs.
The truck he is looking at is most likely one subject to the recall for the
cruise control switch that has caused so many fires. Make sure the recall
has been done.
On the flip side, the 5.4L is not the best motor Ford ever put out but it is
still dependable enough. At the fire department we have quite a few in
Expeditions and pick-ups that we use for command vehicles, etc. I do not
like the E4OD tranny at all and the front end of our Exped's all have
problems with suspension bushings (multiple replacements on mine, which is a
2002). Gas mileage for mine is around 10-12 mpg, but that's for a heavier
Exped and we don't always drive conservitively (to say the least!).
Hope that helps - Jonathan
You are right of course, however I was referring to the fact that my
brother is a died in the wool Ford guy and he probably wouldn't
appreciate a negative comment, which in fact was wrong, he did
appreciate the comment and removed the truck from consideration.
I have been trying all along to get him into a GM diesel. A 6.5 diesel
would do him well as I have gained a ton of experience in keeping mine
going (am in the process of building a stronger version, splayed mains,
new heads, Holset turbo... ), and I know you have some experience in
He wasn't too concerned about the fire potential, what concerned him the
most was the over square aspect of the engine, go figure? He wasn't even
too concerned about the gas mileage, that is to him just a side
consideration. And he wasn't concerned about he E40D either.
What can I say, he is a Ferd guy.
He's also confused. An over square engine is one who's bore is bigger than
stroke, and its the common design. Under square engine designs such as the
5.4 are supposed to have more bottom end torque, but they also have lower
redlines than over square engines. I dont know about Ford engines as far as
longevity of their under square engines is concerned, but most AMC 6 bangers
were under square and as much as I hate AMC, the engines do last.
The chrysler super slant six, the 225 was also an under square engine,
although the 170 was an over square engine. His local tranny shop will
appreciate that he isnt concerned about the E40D tranny.
Ok, so much for my typing when in a hurry (my nettiquette is lacking),
and I should never proof my own text. He said undersquare, I typed
oversquare. He truly is confused though, but only because he thinks a
Ferd is the only way to go.
To the original post...my dad has one of the first '97 models with the
smaller V8. It is a 4x4 with super-cab long bed. It has over 270K and has
received only a coil pack and a radiator.. Factory tranny, water pump,
injectors, alternator, etc. Also, he lives about 50 feet from seawater. It
has no body rust and nearly no underbody rust. Only things showing damage
are the uncoated steel things like brake lines, PS connectors etc.
I"m not sure of which year and which diesels but I've heard that some
of the diesels GM used in the past few years are not at all dependable
and when they go, which they do too often, they are almost
un-rebuildable. This comes third hand from a friend who knows a guy
who works at a Dealership.
I take polite exception with the "un-rebuildable" comment, with the
exception if a broken block, which some did have a problem with.
GM has only made a few diesels, the 5.7L which was not too well
conceived but that was some time ago. The 6.2L which is a good engine
(and not just a "grown up" 6.2L) and will run well into the upper 200
thou miles or so but doesn't provide inspiring performance in stock
form. Then there was/is the 6.5L which can be modified to present some
inspiring performance but had some issues to deal with, weak lower end
when towing or doing extended torque type work and the FSD (fuel
solenoid driver, but that problem is easy to fix) and it needs an
intercooler, and then there is the 6.6L Duramax. The early Duramax had
some issues with injectors but the newer models are well thought out and
fairly trouble free. They can be modified to build power on par with
anything out there, Cummins included. They, the Duramaxes just aren't
yet proven to have the durability of the Cummins 5.9L. Only time will tell.
Compare these issues with what the Powerstrokes have had to deal with,
and the Cummins boys have had their own sort of problems too, lift
pumps, injection pumps... and so on. GM has done fairly well for
themselves I think, ymmv.
My first 6.2L made it almost to 300,000 miles, mostly pulling a trailer
or heavy boat. Lightly modified it and it served me well. My first 6.5L
made it to about 270,000 miles when I messed up and overheated it beyond
belief and paid the price, two heads. I am building a modified, stronger
6.5L now and don't expect any problems. I know the inheirant weaknesses
and am building around them or modifing to eliminate them.
Most Chevy dealerships tried to care for the light duty diesels as
though they were just gas engines that run on a different fuel and smell
funny. Didn't work. It takes a different philosophy and different
methods too, to properly care for a diesel. Yes, I know, mechanics is
just mechanics, and clearances are clearances. But tuning them, setting
timing with a computer and such seemed to mystify most dealership
mechanics. Finding a dealership that is ready (forget "eager") to
service a 6.5L is an interesting project.
I have some really cool pics of an F150 burning up in my apt. complex
parking lot. The fire started in the recalled cruise control module. If
this group was a binary group I would post them. I recall that of all
the vehicle fires I used to get called out on I would say 7 out of 10
would be Fords. Usually trucks or vans. Just the other night here in DFW
I watched a story on the news where a house burned down. A Directv
installer had parked his brand new issued Ford van up close to the
house. The van caught fire just after it was shut off by the installer.
Then van had 55 miles on it. The house and van was a total loss.
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