vazbmw
vazbmw HalfDork
1/21/17 12:39 p.m.

My brother in law's cam phasers have failed (diagnosed by two shops and dealer). The shops want him to put in a used motor in for $7k, dealer wants $4k for phasers. I am not interested in doing the work, so that's out. I am in the ATL area...just I case you guys know of good repairs shops -- but what should the actual price range be for phasers and timing chain...or just phasers?

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/21/17 1:50 p.m.

YMM of truck and what motor is in it.

RealMiniParker
RealMiniParker UberDork
1/21/17 2:02 p.m.

In reply to dean1484:

Sounds like >'04 Ford 5.4l 3-valve.

I was looking at a truck with that motor, which had that problem, and did some reading on what it took to repair. Kind of involved - pulling the front cover off to get at the timing chains is the smart way to do it, but there is a way to replace the phasers by wedging a tool ("cheese wedge") in the chain, with only getting as deep as pulling the valve covers.

$4 grand sounds a bit high to do the job, though. Doing it proper, with new chains, phasers, guides, etc. is about $300 in parts alone.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
1/21/17 3:27 p.m.

Before you waste any time, consider the engine. The 5.4's with "phaser failure" are, pretty much without exception, worn out. Do a hot oil pressure test, and if it drops below 25psi at hot idle, don't waste your time.

I probably see half a dozen Fords every year roll through my shop, with this statement- "I just bought this truck and it makes a funny rattle." My answer, so far to each and every one of them, has been, "Sorry, we checked it, and your engine is worn out.

Now, just try to find a used 5.4. Ha. It seems nobody, ever, changes the oil in their 5.4 either often enough, or with the required quality.

On the plus side, the trucks are really cheap to buy compared to a Chev. (unless the Chev has the cylinder deactivation. Those you can buy cheap too.)

vazbmw
vazbmw HalfDork
1/21/17 4:40 p.m.

Thanks folks. It's a 2005 Ford F-150 5.4 3 valve. I don't think he did great mainance on it. He is being told Get an engine too, but why not just do phasers, timing set and oil pump? Seems like There is a risk with a used motor, and the new motor route seems unreasonably not expensive.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
1/21/17 4:44 p.m.

And crank bearings. And lift the body to get the engine out.

Really, the biggest problem with those is finding a shop that will accept the risk. Its a big, expensive job, and if its going through my shop, it will get an OE Ford reman. End of story. I'm not willing to take the risk of having to do that job twice.

If you are willing to do it yourself, fine.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/21/17 4:49 p.m.

On my 07, the cam phasers died with about 50k on it. I was able to get Ford to cover the repair under the emissions warranty, so it was done at a dealer. I put another 20k on it and it was fine. So it's not necessarily a death sentence or a sign of a worn-out motor.

drainoil
drainoil HalfDork
1/21/17 4:52 p.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: And lift the body to get the engine out.

So it is true? I've heard this before but never knew for sure. For Ford to design arguably their best selling modern vehicle this way seems wrong.

vazbmw
vazbmw HalfDork
1/21/17 5:06 p.m.

Wait what. Lift the body to get the engine out? LOL. I see what is being said about the risk for the shop. Makes sense. I don't want to do the job...too many other projects. So, what's the wise choice? New engine?

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
1/21/17 7:23 p.m.

I know a lot of techs who won't touch these for these reasons.

vazbmw
vazbmw HalfDork
1/22/17 5:38 a.m.

markwemple wrote:

I know a lot of techs who won't touch these for these reasons.

petegossett
petegossett GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/22/17 6:53 a.m.
vazbmw wrote: So, what's the wise choice? New engine?

I'd say that depends on his budget and goals. If he's the type to keep a vehicle forever, and he really likes this truck, then replacing the engine might be worthwhile - but only if he's going to follow the recommended OCI(or better). Otherwise, sell it as-is for whatever he can get out of it and find something else.

vazbmw
vazbmw HalfDork
1/22/17 7:03 a.m.

I will run these options past him. Thanks everyone. In reply to petegossett:

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/17 7:46 a.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: Before you waste any time, consider the engine. The 5.4's with "phaser failure" are, pretty much without exception, worn out. Do a hot oil pressure test, and if it drops below 25psi at hot idle, don't waste your time.

I thought the low oil pressure was BECAUSE the O-rings for the phasers blew out.

Never had to dig into a 3v any deeper than digging broken spark plugs out, so all I have is anecdotal evidence, hearsay, and reading iATN posts/MotorAge articles while eating lunch. Mostly the Fords rust so hard here that they aren't worth fixing by the time they need drivetrain repairs.

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/17 7:49 a.m.
drainoil wrote:
Streetwiseguy wrote: And lift the body to get the engine out.
So it is true? I've heard this before but never knew for sure. For Ford to design arguably their best selling modern vehicle this way seems wrong.

It is not true, I've done multiple F-150 engines and each time the engine came out through the top with the cab in place.

It is probably EASIER with the cab off, if you live in an area where the cab will actually come off without having to replace the steering shaft, all of the brake lines, and 3-6 extra hours of work heating fasteners that are rusted in place. Probably an easy job for dealer guys working on new trucks under warranty.

Now, riddle me this. The 4.2 six needs to be partially disassembled to get lifted out the top. The V8s just lift out with no drama...

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/17 7:55 a.m.
markwemple wrote: I know a lot of techs who won't touch these for these reasons.

I love people like that. We get their work. When people don't want to work on something, that is saying "Please, you work on this, I don't feel like making money today."

I an vididly reminded of a recent iATN post (iATN is a kind of auto technician repair forum/assist service) about a power steering issue in a Honda minivan. One of the respondents said "Yeah, it's going to need a rack, that requires 6.6 hours of labor because you have to drop the subframe, you're better off turning the job down instead of tying up a lift that long."

Really???

QuasiMofo
QuasiMofo GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/17 8:06 a.m.

Sounds like it's time for an LS swap

vazbmw
vazbmw HalfDork
1/22/17 8:13 a.m.

Thanks Knurled, this makes me feel un-crazy. I do understand a professional shop is like turning tables at a restaurant, but I am surprised that techs want to go straight to new motor, when the ODBII error is a cam timing era (plus phaser rattle). Don't think they even check oil pressure...geez they may not have even looked the oil pressure gauge.

Knurled wrote:
markwemple wrote: I know a lot of techs who won't touch these for these reasons.
I love people like that. We get their work. When people don't want to work on something, that is saying "Please, you work on this, I don't feel like making money today." I an vididly reminded of a recent iATN post (iATN is a kind of auto technician repair forum/assist service) about a power steering issue in a Honda minivan. One of the respondents said "Yeah, it's going to need a rack, that requires 6.6 hours of labor because you have to drop the subframe, you're better off turning the job down instead of tying up a lift that long." Really???
vazbmw
vazbmw HalfDork
1/22/17 8:16 a.m.
QuasiMofo wrote: Sounds like it's time for an LS swap

He is not that kind of a brother in law lol. That would be my route.

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UltraDork
1/22/17 10:40 a.m.
vazbmw wrote: Don't think they even check oil pressure...geez they may not have even looked the oil pressure gauge.

It's a Ford, odds are the oil pressure gauge doesn't actually show anything because it is just a funny looking idiot light.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
1/22/17 10:52 a.m.

It sucks for the owners, but yeah, those things just suck. I'm with streetwise in that if it doesn't make sufficient hot oil pressure at idle, don't try to fix it. The number i was told was 30 psi. At the school i work at, the executive director's truck had phaser noise, and i checked hot oil pressure at 7psi. My boss, in his strong desire for suck-ass (he has a history of bending his underlings over backward to try to help the executive director on very ill-advised money-saving repairs), decided to put phasers on it anyway. That engine STILL had phaser problems, just slightly better. Then the engine well and truly failed. After that money was spent. Then he had us put a used motor in it, even though it failed a leakdown test on one cylinder while sitting on a pallet. His line was "I saw it running fine before they pulled it, install it anyway". Are you berkeleying kidding me. So we installed it.

The moral of the story really is that those trucks are piles of crap UNLESS you KNOW the maintenance history is excellent. A used motor is a total crapshoot given that they suck to begin with, what with major parts falling off at 50k as Tom Spangler mentioned.

I would recommend biting the loss and getting something different, unless he wants to pop for a rebuilt engine.

vazbmw
vazbmw HalfDork
1/22/17 2:20 p.m.

In reply to Vigo: i am not a Ford-guy...this exemplifies why. I need to ask if they checks oil pressure or not. Would a new oil pump rectify, or are there to many other worn part to benefit from a new pump? He does have some super high mileage though (like 300k). So, he has gotten his money's worth. Any way

eebasist
eebasist Reader
1/22/17 4:53 p.m.

So the real question is this. How many miles are on it, how long has he had it, and what overall condition is it in?

Personally, I wouldnt put new Phasers in (if you do go Ford OEM). My reccomendation is to get rid of the VVT by taking the Phasers out thru the valve cover and putting the machined wedges in place to lock the Phaser in. Then get the truck tuned so it doesnt look for changing timing.

The Phaser lock can be done relatively simply and for less than 700 (the wedges are cheap, buying a programmer is what gets you). Basically you take each valve cover off, shove a plastic wedge on a rod down into the block to hold the timing chain in place, remove and repair the Phaser). (check out the instructions in the 1st link)

Do not replace the Phaser with Doorman if you choose to replace them.

http://www.wmsracing.com/wmsweb/billet-cam-phaser-lockouts-w-sct-x4-and-tune-4-6-and-5-4-3v-details.html

https://www.livernoismotorsports.com/product/LPP823113

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