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Ford 5.4L V8 Triton Engine (Specs, Reliability & Issues)

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Last Updated on: 7th September 2023, 12:44 am

The Ford 5.4L Triton V8 is a naturally aspirated eight-cylinder gasoline engine that debuted in 1997 as part of Ford’s Modular V8 engine family in the Ford F150.

This 5.4-liter V8 engine is basically a stroked version of the 4.6-liter type due to its comparable structure.

Ford produced this engine in three versions: a 5.4L SOHC V8 with 2-valve or 3-valve heads, and a more powerful 5.4L DOHC 4-valve V8.

Ford F-Series trucks mostly utilised 2- and 3-valve engines, but most noteworthy Ford sports cars (Ford GT supercar, Ford Shelby GT500, Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R) and luxury vehicles used 5.4L DOHC 4-valve engines (Lincoln models).

In this article, we will discuss the design, specs, and reliability of the Ford 5.4L V8 Triton engine.

Design of the Ford 5.4L V8 Triton Engine

In 1997, the first engine, a 5.4L SOHC 2-valve V8, was launched. Cast iron makes up the cylinder block.

While the bore diameter remained the same as the 4.6L model, the longer stroke required a higher engine block deck height of 10.079 in (256.0 mm) as opposed to 8.937 in (227.0 mm).

Interior components include fracture-split powder metal connecting rods and light-weight aluminium pistons.

Ford 5.4L V8 Triton Engine

This engine will eventually feature a forged steel crankshaft in certain applications. On top of each cylinder bank is a SOHC aluminium head with two valves per cylinder.

There are two timing chains at the front, one for each camshaft. In the valvetrain, roller finger followers and hydraulic lash adjusters are employed.

The valve covers are made of aluminium, while the intake manifold is made of composite material.

All 5.4L V8s came standard with individual coil-on-plug electronic ignition and electronic sequential multi-port fuel injection.

The 5.4 2V engine was developed by the Windsor Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario.

The 5.4 3V engine made its debut in Australia in the Ford Fairmont in 2002, where it was known as the Bara 220. The new 2004 Ford F-150 truck had that engine for the first time in North America.

The Ford 5.4L Triton 3 valve engine’s cylinder heads have been modified to have two intake valves and one massive exhaust valve per cylinder.

Over the 2-valve SOHC version, Ford engineers introduced a variable camshaft timing (VCT) system, which enhanced power and torque while also increasing fuel efficiency.

The 3v engine has a higher 9.8:1 compression ratio and larger oil capacity thanks to a number of minor changes.

From the beginning, the 5.4 3V engine was produced and constructed at Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario.

However, in 2008, the last 5.4 Triton 3-valve engine left Essex Engine Plant, and production was moved to Windsor Engine Plant.

Ford 5.4L V8 Triton Engine Specs

  • Manufacturer: Windsor Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario
  • Production years: 1997-2017
  • Cylinder block material: Aluminium, Cast iron
  • Cylinder head material: Aluminium
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Fuel system: Sequential multi-port fuel injection
  • Configuration: V
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Valves per cylinder: 2/3/4
  • Valvetrain layout: SOHC/DOHC
  • Bore: 90.2 mm (3.55 in)
  • Stroke: 105.8 mm (4.17 in)
  • Displacement: 5,409 cc (330.1 cu in)
  • Type: Four-stroke, naturally aspirated
  • Compression Ratio: 9.0:1 (SOHC 2-valve engine), 9.8:1 (SOHC 3-valve engine)
  • Power: 230-260 hp (172-194 kW) at 4,500 rpm (2-valve SOHC), 295-327 hp (220-244 kW) at 5,000 rpm (3-valve SOHC)
  • Torque: 323-355 ft-lb (438-481 Nm) at 3,250 rpm (2-valve SOHC), 347-369 ft-lb (470-500 Nm) at 3,500 rpm (3-valve SOHC)
  • Firing order: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  • Engine oil weight: SAE 5W-20
  • Engine oil capacity: 1997-2003 – 5.7 litres (6.0qts) with oil filter, 2004+ 6.6 litres (7.0qts) with oil filter
  • Oil change interval: 5,000 miles (10,000 km) or 6 months
  • Applications: Ford F-150, Ford F-Series, Ford Expedition, Ford E-Series, Lincoln Navigator, Lincoln Mark LT, Ford Fairlane G8, Ford LTD, Ford Falcon, Ford Futura, Ford Fairmont /Ghia

Problems & Reliability of the 5.4L Ford Triton Engine

Below are all common problems with the Modular 5.4L Triton engine family (poor design of plastic intakes).

  • Blowing spark plugs and stripped spark plug threads (1997-2003 model years)
  • Stuck spark plugs due to a carbon deposit-filled gap between the plug and the cylinder head (typical for 2004+ model years)
  • Intake manifold cracking and leaking

However, these concerns are not universal, and the majority of owners have lauded the 5.4 Triton V8’s reliability and longevity.

The problems mentioned above are well-known and, at the very least, can be fixed without breaking the bank.

With proper oil changes and regular, scheduled maintenance, any 5.4-liter Triton engine will endure well over 200,000 miles (320,000 km).

Which Years the 5.4L Triton Had Problems

The Ford 5.4L Triton engines produced between 2004 and 2013 seem to have the most issues. Earlier engines manufactured before 2004 didn’t seem to have as many problems, neither do the Triton V8 engines produced after 2013.

Ford 5.4L V8 Triton Vehicle Applications

Below are the vehicles this engine was used in, including associated information.

Ford Expedition (1997 – 2014)Four-speed automatic / Six-speed automaticRear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive230 @ 4,250 rpm (2 valve) / 310 @ 5,000 rpm (3 valve)325 @ 2,500 rpm (2 valve) / 365 @ 3,600 rpm (3 valve)
Ford E-Series (1997 – 2017)​Four-speed automatic / Five-speed automatic / Six-speed automaticRear-wheel drive255 @ 4,500 rpm323 @ 2,500 rpm
Ford Falcon (2002 – 2010)Five-speed manual / Four-speed automatic / Six-speed automaticRear-wheel drive327 @ 5,000 rpm (3 valve) / 422 @ 6,000 rm347 @ 3,500 rpm (3 valve) / 406 @ 3,750 rpm (4 valve)
Ford F-150 (1997 – 2010)Four-speed automatic / Six-speed automaticRear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive235 hp @ 4,250 rpm (2 valve) / 310 hp @ 5,000 rpm (3 valve)330 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm (2 valve) / 365 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm (3 valve)
Ford GT (2004 – 2006)Six-speed manualRear-wheel drive550 @ 6,500 rpm500 lb-ft @ 3,750 rpm
Ford Mustang (2000 – 2012)Six-speed manualRear-wheel drive385 @ 6,500 rpm (Cobra R) / 550 @ 6,500 rpm (Shelby GT500)385 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm (Cobra R) / 510 lb-ft @ 3,750 rpm (Shelby GT500)
Lincoln Blackwood (2002)Four-speed automaticRear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive300 @ 6,000 rpm355 lb-ft @ 3,750 rpm
Lincoln Navigator (1999 – 2014)Four-speed automatic / Six-speed automaticRear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive230 @ 4,250 rpm (2 valve) / 310 @ 5,000 rpm (3 valve)325 @ 2,500 rpm (2 valve) / 365 @ 3,600 rpm (3 valve)
Vehicle applications of the Ford 5.4L Triton engine

Changes & Updates

  • Ford SVT Lightning 5.4L engine with 380 hp (283 kW) and 310 ft-lb (610 Nm) of torque.
  • Ford F-150 Harley Davidson Edition, the 2002-2003 model was equipped with the 5.4L supercharged and inter-cooled V8 engine. It has 340 hp (254 kW) at 4,500 rpm, and 425 ft-lb (576 Nm) of torque at 3,250 rpm.
  • Andy Lewin

    Andy Lewin is a senior mechanic, ASE qualified master technician, and an experienced automotive engineer.He's passionate about serving the automotive community with the highest-quality and trustworthy information on all things automotive. He loves to write about car repairs, maintenance, car modifications and tuning, faults, and much more.

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