Klayfish
Klayfish UltraDork
1/20/15 6:28 a.m.

My wife test drove a 2009 Ford Expedition yesterday and really liked it. She actually preferred its' ride quality over the Suburban. She also really likes that the 3rd row (we'd get an Expedition XL) folds flat instead of having to be removed as in the Suburban. With 3 kids and a dog, that's important.

So if we buy one, that means having the 5.4L. We're still contemplating if we want to pay more for a low mileage example or less for a higher mileage one, but either way I have some concerns about the issue of them spitting plugs. In reading the info on the interwebbie, there's a E36 M3 load of varying information. Hard to tell what's bro science and what's more factual.

What has your experience been? Do all 5.4L have this issue? Best way to prevent it? Seems like periodically checking to make sure they're tight?? If it does spit one out, is the repair a major expense?

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
1/20/15 6:58 a.m.

2 valve Fords spit plugs, which are easily repaired with a commonly available Timesert kit. 3 Valve Fords keep plugs in them, and won't let go, which is easily fixed by using a 3/8" impact wrench to remove the plugs, or by using the commonly available Lisle kit to remove the broken shell. Whichever you buy, make sure the oil has been changed every now and then.

The bigger issue with the 5.4 is lousy fuel mileage.

Sonic
Sonic SuperDork
1/20/15 7:04 a.m.

The TSB from Ford ends at the 08 models. Not sure if any actual changes were made or not for 09.

Klayfish
Klayfish UltraDork
1/20/15 7:18 a.m.
Sonic wrote: The TSB from Ford ends at the 08 models. Not sure if any actual changes were made or not for 09.

Maybe Ford just got tired of printing TSBs... Most of the models we're looking at are '08s, as they're more in our price range.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy UltraDork
1/20/15 7:41 a.m.

In reply to Sonic: Is it possible that there was a plug design change in 09 that made them less prone to breaking?

Anyway, don't skimp on the never-seize when you put the new plug back in.

edizzle89
edizzle89 Reader
1/20/15 7:45 a.m.

from personal experience its more of a hit or miss thing if its gonna spit plugs or not, my dads truck had 30k on it when he bought it and has put over 70k on his 5.4 with zero plug issues, i had a 5.4 f250 LD with 175k on the clock and had never spit a plug, but i help a buddy at school drill, thread, and timesert his truck in a parking lot that had just over 100k on it. its just a game of luck

these were all early to mid 2000 trucks, i cant speak for newer stuff but ive heard its gotten better

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/20/15 8:16 a.m.

There was never a plug or head design change. I sell the Lisle kits multiple times daily. I also sell 2V coil packs daily. Make sure it has full service records for regular 5W20 oil changes, otherwise walk away. The wrong oil causes the hydraulic timing chain tensioner to fail, which wears out the guides. A timing set is $650+. I sell one a week.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg MegaDork
1/20/15 8:20 a.m.

I have owned a couple and have had zero problems, I have the 5.4 van here st Daytona for the Rolex and it got 17 mpg on this trip.

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
1/20/15 8:48 a.m.

Actually for 09, Ford, in the truck series, did change the plugs back to a convential plug design, which means a redesign of the heads.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler SuperDork
1/20/15 9:03 a.m.
Ranger50 wrote: Actually for 09, Ford, in the truck series, did change the plugs back to a convential plug design, which means a redesign of the heads.

Yep, that was my understanding. I thought the change happened in 08, actually. The problem was partially that the threads would stick, and partially the plug design. Most folks changed to the Champion one-piece design when they changed them. I did the change on my 07 F-150, wasn't too bad, I only broke one. Follow the TSB to the letter and for God's sake, do NOT use an impact gun! Gentle and slow is the way to get them out intact.

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
1/20/15 9:23 a.m.

If you can on the 3v's, 1/2 cup h2o and 1/2 cup ATF. Make sure it's warmed up and suck the water in first without killing the motor through the intake followed by the ATF.... Steam cleaned and the built up carbon that seizes the plugs should be gone.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
1/20/15 10:02 a.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote:
Ranger50 wrote: Actually for 09, Ford, in the truck series, did change the plugs back to a convential plug design, which means a redesign of the heads.

Yep, that was my understanding. I thought the change happened in 08, actually. The problem was partially that the threads would stick, and partially the plug design. Most folks changed to the Champion one-piece design when they changed them. I did the change on my 07 F-150, wasn't too bad, I only broke one. Follow the TSB to the letter and for God's sake, do NOT use an impact gun! Gentle and slow is the way to get them out intact.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. The 3 day soak trick is useless. A 3/8 impact wrench removes almost all of them without breaking.

BlueInGreen44
BlueInGreen44 Reader
1/20/15 10:50 a.m.

My experience with a 5.4 (Dad's '05 Expedition) has involved recurring fuel/ignition issues. If it was my truck it would have gone to another home a long time ago.

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