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I'm looking at Ford 150 supercrew trucks. Some have the 4.6, others have the 5.4. I'm not looking for a street racer, more interested in mileage and reliablility I may buy a travel trailer to tow behind a couple times a year.

Do you all have any thoughts on which powertrain is more reliable and are there any other options I should consider? I respect your opinions and experience.

I can't afford anything newer than 2004. So I'm limited to the 2 valve engines.
 

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Maulerman said:
I'm looking at Ford 150 supercrew trucks. Some have the 4.6, others have the 5.4. I'm not looking for a street racer, more interested in mileage and reliablility I may buy a travel trailer to tow behind a couple times a year.

Do you all have any thoughts on which powertrain is more reliable and are there any other options I should consider? I respect your opinions and experience.

I can't afford anything newer than 2004. So I'm limited to the 2 valve engines.
I owned a 2002 F150 supercrew with the 5.4, 2wd, limited slip and loved that truck! (I would always suggest to get the 5.4.)
The 4.6 and 5.4 don't get the best gas mileage anyway! (I drove with a heavy foot and averaged any where from 14-16mpg.) You would be lucky to get much better than 16mpg with a 4.6 and the differance in pulling power is worth it!

Plus the 5.4 will come with the 9.75 axle where the 4.6 has the 8.8.


I also owned a 2004 F150 with the 4.6 and hated the truck so much I traded it in after 3 months! (No joke)
 

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Stay away from the 4.6 if you plan on hauling more than cardboard with it. My dad had a 2000 with a 4.6, 1 summer of poking around with it and the timing chain tensioner let go to the tune of $2800. 2 months later, trans let go. All this with under 90,000 on it. My buddy has a super duty with the 5.4, its no powerstroke, but its a nice engine for that truck.
 

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I used a '99 F-150 with 4.6 and auto trans (2wd) to tow my '89 camaro from Phoenix to Iowa. It was loaded on a 2 wheel dolly. The truck pulled it OK on the level roads, but going uphill was terrible. For over an hour out of Phoenix, heading north to Flagstaff, it was spinning 4500+rpm the whole time and struggling to maintain 50mph. Yes, it was abuse but it didn't overheat and luckily had good Mobil1 synthetic (dunno how hot the oil got, but it couldn't have been pleasant). Go with the 5.4L.
 

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I turned in my last company truck (F150 with 4.6) with over 230,000 miles with no problems. My personal truck is a 2001 super crew with 4.6 that has 177,000 miles. I get 16-18 mpg empty, and 14-15 mpg pulling a loaded car trailer. Far as longevity the engines are similar, the 5.4 will have more torque which is handy if you do a lot of towing.

James
 

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I have a '99 F-150 Lightning. It has 125,000 miles on it. Of course, it is supercharged. It still gets about 15- 17 mpg on the road...I would recommend the 5.4...

Steve
 

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My dad has an 03 F150 with the 5.4. It has performed excellent and has over 230,000 mi on it with no major repairs at all. Its no race truck, but has plenty of power for pulling trailers etc. I personally owned a 97 F150 with the 4.6. It was a total turd and the engine took a dump at under 90,000mi. I wouldn't even consider buying another 4.6 truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks

I knew I could count on you guys to help me out. This is a great site. Chilly you should be proud.
 

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ScottJackson said:
I used a '99 F-150 with 4.6 and auto trans (2wd) to tow my '89 camaro from Phoenix to Iowa. It was loaded on a 2 wheel dolly. The truck pulled it OK on the level roads, but going uphill was terrible. For over an hour out of Phoenix, heading north to Flagstaff, it was spinning 4500+rpm the whole time and struggling to maintain 50mph. Yes, it was abuse but it didn't overheat and luckily had good Mobil1 synthetic (dunno how hot the oil got, but it couldn't have been pleasant). Go with the 5.4L.
Yes, it was abuse lol. In all fairness, that is a tough stretch of road to tow a car on with any gas engine, I drive portions of it 6 days a week in my commute.
Tom
 

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get a 2003 or newer if possible, thats the year they fixed the cylinder heads, prior years were prone to spitting spark plugs. I have owned a 1997 F150 4x4 SCab (4.6L), and currently own a 2000 Expedition 4x4(5.4L), I have towed my 3000+lb boat with both, the 5.4L has much better power, the 4.6L won't do any better on gas in my experience and mine actully didn't run well on regular, it required mid-grade or it rattled. We frequently had the bed loaded and towed the boat for weekend outings, it got the job done, but like mentioned above, you really have to wind em up. Both were good to me and I'd buy another if I needed one.
 
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