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VALVE TIMING ON A 5.4LTR FORD - Expedition Ford Cars & Trucks

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The 5.4L motors are all what are referred to by insiders as Windsor motors. This means they were built at the Windsor engine plant. It also means they come with pressed on cam gears which are not adjustable. So, the first thing you'll have to do is get a set of "Romeo" cams and gears. The cams are the same spec as Windsor cams but they have bolt on cam gears which allow for adjustment in different ways.

Here is the single best write-up, with pics of the general how-to for modular engines. While it focuses on 4.6L motor the procedure for 5.4L engines is identical: Timing the 4.6L SOHC Engine.

Cam timing on the modular family of engines (of which the 5.4L triton in 2-valve and 4-valve variants is a member) is built into the parts, if they're assembled correctly. The 4.6L engine found in many late 90's and newer Ford cars and trucks is also a "modular" engine and it's procedure is identical. It should be noted that the 4.6 is an interference engine (meaning that the pistons and valves occupy the same space at different times). This being the case, following the cam install procedure to the letter is critical to avoiding a completely destroyed engine.

To adjust cam timing you can use one of several methods (this should only be attempted by someone with the skills, so we won't get really detailed):
1. Companies like Fidanza offer cam gears for Ford "modular" engines with adjustability built into them. You simply loosen the adjusting screws on them and twist to the timing spec indicated on the timing marks built into them.
2. You can grind and weld up the keyway on the stock cam gear. This is sadistically difficult and precise. Don't do it.
3. You can really foul the motor by advancing or retarding the whole works on both sides by 1 tooth/link. There is no practical application of this as it usually represents a failure to correctly assemble the timing gear in the first place.

Hope helped.

Posted on May 15, 2010

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