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Discussion Starter #1
Long post here but I’m trying to give as much information upfront as I can.

Hey guys, I am the original owner of a 2017 F150 that now has the loud start up rattle as well as the rattle that comes from releasing the accelerator pedal. It’s been doing this for about two or three months right now and progressively getting worse.

Background on the truck:
I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid to change oil every 10,000 miles and I change mine exclusively every 5000 miles with the exception of a couple times I went a little bit past six. Even with this going slightly over 5000, I typically drive 1000 miles a week so I’m usually changing my oil every 5 to 6 weeks.

I use mobile one synthetic extended performance 5W-30 and Motorcraft filters only.

I used a tow tune since the truck was just about new but I would consider myself an easy driver and only use the tuner to reduce the constant shifting when towing and it does seem to help with the fuel economy. And yes I do typically lock out the top 2-3 gears. I’ve been known to do some full throttle passes on the interstate and things but I’m not like I was in when I was in my 30s or 20s I’d like to drive fast every day everywhere.

I’m pretty crazy about maintenance and with only 90,000 miles I have already changed the transmission oil twice and the gear oil twice. I change the spark plugs every 30,000 miles and get them with a feeler gauge to .028. The point I am trying to make is that I am the only one that will lay a hand on this truck as with all of my vehicles because I’ve been burned multiple times by Ford service in the past. Also I take very good care of my vehicles because I have to as I will put a 250k miles on a vehicle before it’s paid for. FWIW, I had a 5.0 several years ago that I traded with 270,000 miles and only change a coil pack and nothing else.

This is my second eco-boost F150. I had a 2014 model but had to sell it because the company decided to provide vehicles for us. It had 117,000 miles and was a good truck with the exception of an exhaust manifold leak that was fixed under warranty. My brother just sold a 2011 last week that had 120,000 miles on it and it was also a very good truck with no problems other than a catalytic converter replaced. But I am getting pretty frustrated with this truck as I feel like the bugs should’ve been worked out of this motor by now.

One major point I want to make is my previous 5.0 and 5.4 motors were very reliable doing the same job I’m doing now which is hauling a bed load of tools and parts daily and 1000 miles a month of pulling enclosed equipment trailers. This so-called premium engine doesn’t seem to take that type of workload in it’s hundred thousand mile life so far.

To be continued....
 

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Discussion Starter #2
As I mentioned before, I have had the loud start up rattle noise for quite some time though I have not made a video of it. It sounds like someone is hitting the valve cover or timing cover with a hammer every time I start the engine. It actually makes people in the parking lots turn around and ask what is wrong.

I did one time drain 1 quart of oil and put a quart of Lucas in and it made a noticeable difference in that noise.

I have tested the function of the VCT solenoids by jumping them with the engine idling and noticed the RPM change.

I have been monitoring a lot of PIDs on the OBD scanner tool as I’m driving and noticed the passenger side exhaust cam is typically out of sequence with the other one.

The only code that I have received is P0014, and that was a couple months ago and it has only happened one time.

So I have done several little things when I have spare time but yesterday I decided it was time to pull the valve covers and inspect further.



I have tried using a scope and finding the chain tensioners but I have not successfully found them yet.

I pulled the solenoids and disassembled them. Everything looks perfect and the resistance measurement is identical on all four. Also the spring tension and length is the same on all four.



The question I have right now is what should be my next step?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The chains feels tight by hand but I cannot tell how much the tensioners have moved.

If I put a wrench on the camshafts where the locking tool goes, I can twist the exhaust cams but I cannot twist the intake cams. Not sure if that’s normal or not.

I’m not real sure if I should put it back together and get rid of the truck or go ahead and pull the timing cover and replace everything. I really don’t want to spend the money on all the cam phasers and chains because everybody on the Internet that has done that still has the problem.

Are there any new updates that I should consider before I make a decision?

Updates like new info with some kind of oil to oil flow?

Has anyone used a custom turner to see if they could increase the oil pressure? My oil pressure is between 21 and 25 unless the engine is over 3000 RPM or over eight psi boost then it goes to 65–70. My father has a 17 truck that is identical to mine but only 20,000 miles and his oil pressure behaves the same way mine does.

Are there any new part numbers just now available or coming that is related to the valve train?

I’m all ears with access to the truck and plenty of tools and a camera to test any ideas and report back.
 

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Tell yourself that you are buying some aftermarket rims and fancy Load E All Terrain tires, but instead actually put the money towards the "timing chain repair"

(the pretend part was just to make the $2500 seem less irritating)

Be sure to do the COMPLETE replacement of all parts even remotely related to that chain. I believe the list is around $1400?

Many change the water pump while they have everything off the truck.

Then go put another 90,000 on it. (hopefully)

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Discussion Starter #5
As far as the low power thing goes, that’s the reason I decided it was time to inspect and finally do something about this. The truck will start pulling timing big-time and I would guess to say I am 50% down on power. It could be related to the noise and timing or it could be something totally different.

I have not been able to monitor a difference in boost pressure, fuel pressure or anything else. No check engine light and no pending codes.

The only way I can overcome the power of loss is by driving for 15 or 20 minutes with the engine at 3000 RPM which raises the oil pressure. I will then see the timing go back into the positive range instead of -8. Or when I am towing the enclosed trailer and there is more boost pressure the power will come back. But when driving easy for 30 minutes or longer you will notice a significant power loss when the accelerator pedal is pushed either to pass, climb a hill or when I come into a town and stop at a red light and then start again.

It seems that it is related to oil pressure. It’s like one of the phasers is failing but if I keep the engine in the higher oil pressure range it will overcome the issue. I could be way off topic.

The engine was significantly clean and looked great inside. The picture above of the solenoids is exactly what they look like when they came out. I would say that’s not very bad for almost 100,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tell yourself that you are buying some aftermarket rims and fancy Load E All Terrain tires, but instead actually put the money towards the "timing chain repair"

(the pretend part was just to make the $2500 seem less irritating)

Be sure to do the COMPLETE replacement of all parts even remotely related to that chain. I believe the list is around $1400?

Many change the water pump while they have everything off the truck.

Then go put another 90,000 on it. (hopefully)

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Thank you for the reply, it is much appreciated.

How many people have actually had this done and successfully fixed it for more than 1000 miles? I read so many stories of people throwing all this money at it or having it done under warranty and nothing changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This motor is addicting to drive because its performance in all areas seems excellent with the exception of reliability. If it can’t make it 100,000 miles with what I consider to be superior maintenance that is very disappointing. My wife still has a 2005 aviator without a single cam phaser issue. I don’t see how things have regressed. I haven’t owned anything except a Ford since 1996 so this does hurt my feelings a little bit. I’ve been closely watching that 7.3 L gas option in the F250. That motor has all of the technology removed and it’s robust this increased. I’m hoping that will be a good one because I could actually justify a heavier duty truck instead of pushing the half ton harder than I really should. However, my previous V8 half ton trucks has been almost perfect.

So back to the addicting part, I sure would love to fix this for 1500 bucks and drive it 200,000 miles due to it being so satisfying but even just to get another 90K doesn’t make you feel good about things. I still owe 23K which right now the truck is worth more than that at least I am in good shape there. I sure would like to pay that down instead of increasing my debt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tell yourself that you are buying some aftermarket rims and fancy Load E All Terrain tires, but instead actually put the money towards the "timing chain repair"

(the pretend part was just to make the $2500 seem less irritating)

Be sure to do the COMPLETE replacement of all parts even remotely related to that chain. I believe the list is around $1400?

Many change the water pump while they have everything off the truck.

Then go put another 90,000 on it. (hopefully)

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Let’s talk about the complete replacement. My thoughts on this are:

Both chains
4 phasers
Guides
Both tensioners
4 solenoids
Lower gears on crank
Possibly water pump

I have heard that some people have replaced camshafts. Why?

What is this “oil tube” that I’ve heard people talk about? I have not found any part number for reference.
 

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Thank you for the reply, it is much appreciated.

How many people have actually had this done and successfully fixed it for more than 1000 miles? I read so many stories of people throwing all this money at it or having it done under warranty and nothing changes.
True. But around here it is common knowledge that the dealerships are notorious for not replacing EVERYTHING. There's a copy of a Ford TSB that has all the parts documented. It's proved to be a longer list than many of the warranty claims have shown to be replaced.

It's also less than rare to find the job botched by the dealership tech as well.

It's a very irritating subject for us 3.5Ecoboost fans. We LOVE how our F150's perform. They are amazing trucks when all is working within design parameters. But that dang vvt hardware can suck the joy right out of it if you let it.

I have so much invested in my truck that $2500 isn't even a question if/when this malady shows up. If I'm out of warranty, I will not likely let a dealership touch it. Rather I'll pony up for either doing it myself (not likely) or taking the truck to a 3.5 guru and have it done by a fella that KNOWS

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Discussion Starter #10
True. But around here it is common knowledge that the dealerships are notorious for not replacing EVERYTHING. There's a copy of a Ford TSB that has all the parts documented. It's proved to be a longer list than many of the warranty claims have shown to be replaced.

It's also less than rare to find the job botched by the dealership tech as well.

It's a very irritating subject for us 3.5Ecoboost fans. We LOVE how our F150's perform. They are amazing trucks when all is working within design parameters. But that dang vvt hardware can suck the joy right out of it if you let it.

I have so much invested in my truck that $2500 isn't even a question if/when this malady shows up. If I'm out of warranty, I will not likely let a dealership touch it. Rather I'll pony up for ether doing it myself (not likely) or taking the truck to a 3.5 guru and have it done by a fella that KNOWS

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Where might I find a copy of this TSB?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The one regret that I have right now is not taking the truck to the dealership to have them hook up IDS and look at every engine parameter we could involved with timing.

Is the power loss issue that I am having common? That’s one thing I do not see many people talk about. Also the fuel economy drops about 3 MPG. I hope the performance issues are related to the start up knocking sound. It would be nice to resolve multiple symptoms with one repair.
 

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Where might I find a copy of this TSB?
It's found right here on this forum.

Hopefully someone comes along shortly and points where.

Also note that we are getting close (rumors) to an aftermarket "package" that aims to address some of the weaknesses of the oem parts and design. I'm not sure your timing (pun, sorry) will let you wait though.

As for oil pressure...... You touched on my hot button. Lol
Mine is a Gen2 3.5 and Ford went to a variable pressure oil pump. I HATE it.

(by the way, I too have my heart strings pulled by that new 7.3. Oh I LOVE everything about it on paper. But I'm so MIFFED that Ford is bragging about putting that stupid variable oil pressure system on it too. They actually brag that it increases Fuel Economy! That's a ridiculous claim. I better stop before I go full rant)

I believe your description of oil pressure playing a role in how your truck performs is dead on! A brilliant point, I might add.

With oil pressure playing such a significant and important role in the the VVT system, I think it IS a potential culprit.



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It's found right here on this forum.

Hopefully someone comes along shortly and points where.

Also note that we are getting close (rumors) to an aftermarket "package" that aims to address some of the weaknesses of the oem parts and design. I'm not sure your timing (pun, sorry) will let you wait though.

As for oil pressure...... You touched on my hot button. Lol
Mine is a Gen2 3.5 and Ford went to a variable pressure oil pump. I HATE it.

(by the way, I too have my heart strings pulled by that new 7.3. Oh I LOVE everything about it on paper. But I'm so MIFFED that Ford is bragging about putting that stupid variable oil pressure system on it too. They actually brag that it increases Fuel Economy! That's a ridiculous claim. I better stop before I go full rant)

I believe your description of oil pressure playing a role in how your truck performs is dead on! A brilliant point, I might add.

With oil pressure playing such a significant and important role in the the VVT system, I think it IS a potential culprit.



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Thanks again for the feedback. I will reach out to 5 star and see if they can do anything with the oil pressure. I don’t currently have one of their products but I would consider purchasing it to see if it helps. I’m fairly certain that oil pressure is related in some way whether small or significant.

And just to mention it again, my cam position comes back in line and so does ignition timing when the oil pressure is high. I just don’t want to have to run 3000 RPM or 8 psi boost to keep the oil pressure up. Maybe they could change it to 3 psi and 2000 RPM. I’ll pitch the question to those guys and see what they say.
 

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I've never heard of the variable oil pressure pump being "tunable".

But there IS a variable oil pressure eliminator (for Gen2) arriving on the scene currently. It's specifically designed to INCREASE the oil pressure significantly for this motor. I WILL have it too.

I can't scroll up while I'm typing, but I thought your truck is Gen1?

If so, you don't have a variable oil pressure pump anyways.

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Discussion Starter #15
I've never heard of the variable oil pressure pump being "tunable".

But there IS a variable oil pressure eliminator (for Gen2) arriving on the scene currently. It's specifically designed to INCREASE the oil pressure significantly for this motor. I WILL have it too.

I can't scroll up while I'm typing, but I thought your truck is Gen1?

If so, you don't have a variable oil pressure pump anyways.

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I’ve got the 2017 GEN 2.

Five star said they are looking into that for me. They think it is something they can do. They wanted to argue the reason why and told me there’s probably no real benefit but I just asked them to give me a tune with increased oil pressure. Hopefully I get a call back in a day or two with some positive information.
 

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Is your engine the 3.5L? It was never mentioned.

Yeah, there is a ton of information over at F150Forum on this. Most of the successful repairs included cams and cam sprockets. I'm sure you've seen those posts / parts sheets.
 

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I’ve got the 2017 GEN 2.

Five star said they are looking into that for me. They think it is something they can do. They wanted to argue the reason why and told me there’s probably no real benefit but I just asked them to give me a tune with increased oil pressure. Hopefully I get a call back in a day or two with some positive information.
That would be awesome.

I've spent hours and hours monitoring oil pressure as I travel. I describe it as having 3 different pressures. (low, medium, high) Since the pressure is displayed in pounds and it has a superfast refresh rate, you can't really assign a specific pressure to any of the 3, but it's very easy to see the "average" AND it's very easy to see when the truck calls for the next higher or lower level.

If tuning could completely ELIMINATE the "low" setting, I'd be thrilled!

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Is your engine the 3.5L? It was never mentioned.

Yeah, there is a ton of information over at F150Forum on this. Most of the successful repairs included cams and cam sprockets. I'm sure you've seen those posts / parts sheets.
I gave a lot of info but you’re right, not the displacement. It is the 3.5.

I don’t understand why change the cam? Hopefully I can find more info on that.
 

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I haven't seen recommendations for changing the cam(s) regarding the timing chain/phasers repair

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That would be awesome.

I've spent hours and hours monitoring oil pressure as I travel. I describe it as having 3 different pressures. (low, medium, high) Since the pressure is displayed in pounds and it has a superfast refresh rate, you can't really assign a specific pressure to any of the 3, but it's very easy to see the "average" AND it's very easy to see when the truck calls for the next higher or lower level.

If tuning could completely ELIMINATE the "low" setting, I'd be thrilled!

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Hopefully I get good news from five star and they will help us out with the oil pressure. If not I will tell them that there are more people interested and potentially a company making a new oil pump And lastly I can tell them that I will seek help elsewhere through tuning if they will not help me.

I’ll let you guys know when I get a reply and what they say.

I can’t really find a negative in removing the lowest pressure setting or making it where it basically has to be idling for it to come on. I can promise you that I will not be able to tell a difference in fuel economy in the way that I use my vehicle.
 
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