what are the downfalls to a 2003 ford f150 4x4?

The_Sheese
685

Asked by The_Sheese May 03, 2013 at 08:22 PM about the 2003 Ford F-150 Lariat Extended Cab 4WD LB

Question type: General

i really want my ford, something my dad had, he had a 2003 f150 ext cab 4x4 beautiful
truck. i know these are plauged. but what exactly are the problems and what causes
them (the one im looking at below)

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37 Answers

kbro
15,365

Overall they are good trucks. Have seen spark pkugs blow out and water leak around the windsheild and get into the GEM module which cause many diff. Issues. Other than that you will have your normal issues aka parts wear out when they get old. Keep the fluids up to date and dont raise hell off road and the trucks give few problems.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
The_Sheese
685

so, is it a good truck overall? and does every 5.4 throw a plug?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
kbro
15,365

No not all but its pretty common

The_Sheese
685

thats what im worried about, then the head needs replaced..that can be expensive

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
judge_roy
Not Active

Well there is the troublesome emergency fuel cutoff button that you should know about, drivers side kick panel red button press to reset your fuel system and it will shut itself off if a bumper is bumped~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
The_Sheese
685

oh boy, better watch out.

judge_roy
Not Active

your link is too many characters.....choke on the ones choke on the zeroes~

kbro
15,365

Its gotta be a hard bump. And if a plug blows out it can be repaired the head doesnt require replacement

Nick Bobb
395

external leaks from head gaskets are common also, coolant leaks from the crossover on the intake, intake manifold gaskets leaking and running lean, i've seen many exhaust manifolds go bad, but being in the midwest we are dealing with salt

judge_roy
Not Active

If you've got to park your car outside, your car will only live five years...if you park in a heated garage where you can diligently blast the salt off with a hose you may get ten years in the rust belt...it sucks...California is all that~

DavidH25
Not Active

What kbro is referring to is that Ford DID have problems with those engines blowing spark plugs right out. They screwed up part of the design (Ford should have known better) and the OE plugs only had a very short thread length, I can't recall exactly but the number of threads ..or number of turns to install a spark plug was only like 4 or 5 full 360's and the plug bottomed out on the head, simply not enough to hold during a compression stroke.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
DavidH25
Not Active

OK I looked at some forums and Consumer Affairs and it it FOUR threads and aluminum at that. No wonder! WTF were they thinking?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
kbro
15,365

David H is back!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
kbro
15,365

We gotta get you back on top the leader board

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
DavidH25
Not Active

Hi kbro! Yep I did some extra sleeping all afternoon (tenspeed was right I needed it)..and do you agree with my post? about the threads? I trust your opinon

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
DavidH25
Not Active

tenspeed passed me fair and square..but I will be on his tail

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
kbro
15,365

Yes I agree. I dont know how many threads are in there but 4 sounds about right. They redesigned the plug but that still doesnt change the amount of threads in the head.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
DavidH25
Not Active

I guess the new generation designers at Ford do not meet the standards they use to in the 60's...70's..80's...I don't even know how many miles are on my old 1978 it has an old wire rope speedometer odometer cable that broke and I never fixed it. What I do know is that truck is VERY well engineered

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
kbro
15,365

Yeah they went from them blowing out to the 3v motor in 2004 which they employed another shitty design to where they break off rather than come out. But I guess its better than the old they only give problems when you try to take them out instead of blowing out at random. Oh yeah they are also 20 bucks each for motorcraft ones.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
The_Sheese
685

im thinking about getting a f150 now! and welcome back david!!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
The_Sheese
685

approx. how many miles on these engines does the plug normally blow?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
DavidH25
Not Active

Thank You Sheese! ...OK, now there is no average or 'usual' number of miles or time interval that the 4.6 or 5.4 Tritons begins to throw out spark plugs. It has been known to happen when they are new, less than 10,000 miles than again some of them went 100,000 before it happened and everywhere in between. I have really looked and gotten conflicting information as to the percentage of the Triton engines that it has happened to, reading everywhere from 50% (I don't believe that) to as low as 2%, depending om who is supplying the numbers, so the truth, like most things, is somewhere in the middle. I see a lot of 1 in 10 that have had Triton engines blow them out, and they can be repaired, lots of guys are using Time~Sert to repair them, but as kbro pointed out it still does not increase the number of threads in the head. Now, if you are considering buying a F150, consider this: The F series was the best selling truck in 2012 for the 35th year in a row. The F150 was the top selling vehicle in 2012, vehicle, not truck, with 434,585 sold. Beat #2 the Camry, 359,241 then skip to the Chevy Silverado with 306,127 sold. Dodge Ram did not make the list. That's gotta mean something, eh?

DavidH25
Not Active

Now, let's talk about repair. At: http://www.denlorstools.com/autoblog/2012/04/time-sert-vs-heli-coil-thread-repair-kits-which-one-is-better/ .......they discuss Time Sert vs. Helicoil to fix a blown out plug. That is just one of many websites that talk about it, and it seems Time~Serts are better, at least for this problem.

DavidH25
Not Active

While I'm at it, anybody ever notice the disproportionate number of questions we get about Chrysler products here on this forum? I don't know the percentage of Chrysler products on the road, from the Ram pickup, the 300, Durango, whatever but it just seems like so many questions about broken~ass cars and trucks are Chrysler products

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
judge_roy
Not Active

yes, and yes~

judge_roy
Not Active

Heli-coils are time tested...Never had any problems with them...not to tricky to install...have never used Time-Certs, but sounds like a breath- mint~

kbro
15,365

thats how we fix them. put a heli-coil in it and send it on its way.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
judge_roy
Not Active

if it is torqued properly there will be no movement and no failure either~ left loose will jiggle loose "complaints of 'it's just a wire' exists because the proper torque upon installation was not assured. Nut-Serts are going to have exactly the same problem if under-torqued...smoke and mirror show~

The_Sheese
685

i like fords chevys and gmc, dodge isnt the best..too much rust and dust undeer the hood in my opinion

The_Sheese
685

how much dos it usually cost to fix it? include all prices for all scenarios regarding blown lugs please

judge_roy
Not Active

a lot of variables here mister...hourly rate for competent service is one concern, amount of damage done must be assessed correctly before the NUT-CERTS ( ya, I know serts..stoopid name) or heli-coil (industry standard for thread repair for forty years) are used...certainly the designers chose the correct alloy, there are so many alloys many much tougher than steel, you could look in the Jorgenson steel catalog (probably online) shows the types available and their physical properties if you wanted to teach yourself about martensitic (magnetic) and austinitic stainless alloys and differnent elloys of aluminum and properties of steel- we could say "aluminum was weak and ripped out" but the designed alloy was not used...probably was too expensive to put onto consumer cars!~

The_Sheese
685

understandable. ive been debating over which brand to get for quite sometime, ill be 18 in a month, and im getting my first truck on my own. now i dont know either to go Chevy 1500, 2500hd or ford f150. such a hard decision on such good trucks.

The_Sheese
685

OH and what the hell causes the spedos in the gmc sierras and silverado 2500hds to not want to work? electrical bug or just pure sh*ttyness?

judge_roy
Not Active

why don't you dig deeper....find out which components are responsible for the failure~

The_Sheese
685

i did, and all i could find was "factory malfunctioning components" no specifics. i said to replace the cluster. thats all i could think of.

judge_roy
Not Active

no electrical engineering?...tsk tsk~

The_Sheese
685

nope. not in my expertise. unless its hooking up aftermarket headlights of off road lights haha

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