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Old 07-15-2009, 02:31 PM   #21
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The engine will pull the trailer untill the spark plugs blow out of the head. Google 5.4L ford engines and see how many of that year have blown out. A very expensive repair and Ford has "never had it happen before". Just ask and service adviser at a Ford dealer about it. I had one and would never buy Ford again!
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:58 PM   #22
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I think the Expedition with the 5.4 will do OK NOT GREAT but OK. I would buy the best Reese Straightline I could find. That's what We use on the back of the 1ton. I have intentionally dropped of the edge of the road(we do alot of ST Routes.) and my Straight line has always kept the trailer under control and goin straight (no Sway) even in crosswinds and meeting semi's upclose and personal sway has never been a problem. I see no need to spend hugh amounts of money on anything more.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:47 PM   #23
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I towed a slightly bigger and heaier 26 Nash (6500gvw) with a 98 Expedition.
Tow rating on the Expedition was 8000 lbs, but that was misleading because the gross combined vehicle weight rating was 13000 and the Expedition with me my wife and dog aboard weighed 5000 pounds. You could tow 8000 pounds but there would be zero capacity for any cargo.
I found the Expedition to be an adequate but not a superior tow vehicle. Maybe I am being picky but here are my gripes. The 5.4 engine is not very torquey so the vehicle would not tow in overdrive. As a result, I considered the fuel economy poor when towing (but good driving without a tow).
Due to the low torque, the engine would shift into a lower gear when passing or driving up even a moderate hill, the rig would hold road speed but at a high r.p.m. I didn't like the roar of the engine, even noisier when the electric fan kicked in.
I had to use a sway controller with the Nash. It was a crummy trailer and didn't tow very well. Perhaps an Airstream would tow without sway control. But the rear suspension of the Expedition is soft and even if the trailer doesn't sway, it will bounce the Expedition around pretty good.
I think your satisfaction will depend on use. If you don't tow a lot of miles, the Expedition is a good choice because it is a good solo vehicle. If you plan lots of long trips, particularly in the mountains and at high altitude, consider a 3/4 ton vehicle and a torqueyer engine.
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:18 AM   #24
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The Expedition was dramatically improved in 2003 when they redesigned it. The biggest change was the addition of independent rear suspension and unlike almost all other SUV's which have been getting softer they actually firmed up the suspension. There is a night and day difference in handling between the 02 & 03. The only downside to the 03 is they did all this wonderful work with the suspension and then shod it with the same P265/70R x 17" big wallowing tires that the 02 had.

The 5.4 engine is quite good but it needs more RPM to get the best results out of it. The problem is they usually mate it with a 3.55:1 axle ratio which was fine with a small block when trucks had 235/75R x 15" tires. Over the years the marketing arm of most companies have been asking for bigger and bigger tires but they have not changed the axle ratios to compensate. So in effect the Expedition has a 3.2:1 Final drive ratio which is a little anemic in a 5600 lb. tow vehicle with lots of air drag and rolling resistance. This has been corrected on the new units as they now have 6 speed transmissions so you just sellect the next gear when you need a little extra power.

On a 4x4 changing the final drive ratio is somewhat expensive but there is an easier way to get the performance you should out of the 5.4. If you change the tire to a lower profile narrower tire that fits the rim properly you will not beleive you are driving the same vehicle. The one we use is a Yokohama Advan 255/60R x 17" Extra Load tire. This tire in effect gives you back the 3.55 Axle ratio and the performance difference is substantial. More stunning is the difference in handling, now you can take advantage of the great suspension Ford spent all that money to put on this vehicle. Even solo driving it is an amazing difference. The only downside is you can't do serious off roading with them.

I hope this helps.

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Old 07-16-2009, 07:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
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The engine will pull the trailer untill the spark plugs blow out of the head. Google 5.4L ford engines and see how many of that year have blown out. A very expensive repair and Ford has "never had it happen before". Just ask and service adviser at a Ford dealer about it. I had one and would never buy Ford again!
Shacksman is Right on. I use an expedition & an explorer, both V8's, tow pkg, and upgaded tires. Some loads over 6k#s. No problem. BUT, anyone with a ford 4.6 or 5.4, 1998 and forward that is'nt aware of the sparkplug/head problem should do the research yesterday! There are ways to reduce the odds of a very expensive problem. Such as not leaving the 100,000 mile plugs in for 100,000 miles. A plug other than the OE two piece autolite plug, a torque wrench, & soak and nudge plug removal over 3 days! I have many frends in dealerships and shops, in that circle its a well know problem, bad enough so some shops won't change plugs on a 5.4! And of course ford does'nt admit the problem. Odds are agianst it in general, but 100% if it happens to you!
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:21 PM   #26
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Shacksman is Right on. I use an expedition & an explorer, both V8's, tow pkg, and upgaded tires. Some loads over 6k#s. No problem. BUT, anyone with a ford 4.6 or 5.4, 1998 and forward that is'nt aware of the sparkplug/head problem should do the research yesterday! There are ways to reduce the odds of a very expensive problem. Such as not leaving the 100,000 mile plugs in for 100,000 miles. A plug other than the OE two piece autolite plug, a torque wrench, & soak and nudge plug removal over 3 days! I have many frends in dealerships and shops, in that circle its a well know problem, bad enough so some shops won't change plugs on a 5.4! And of course ford does'nt admit the problem. Odds are agianst it in general, but 100% if it happens to you!

Hi, yes there has been a problem with spark plugs blowing out, but in reality a very low percentage compaired to production numbers. Ford does know this and while under warranty Ford replaces the head with a brand new one. At the dealer [where I retired from] they now have spark plug inserts to save on parts and labor. Ford would not authorize the spark plug inserts. There are several versions of the 5.4L engine, but basically three. Two valve SOHC [16 valve], Three valve SOHC [24 valve], and Four valve DOHC [32valve]. My Lincoln has the 32 valve Dual Ovehead Cams engine with 60,000 miles on it and I'm not pulling any plugs until they fail, or 100,000 miles, which ever comes first. If people could, and would read, Ford states to only remove the spark plugs on engines with aluminum heads, while cold. Removing the spark plugs on a hot engine also removes the threads. We would have no problem in telling the truth, yes some engines have blown out one of their spark plugs, but not all 5.4 L engines experience it. There is no manufacture out there that has not had a problem of one kind or another on some of their engines.

Repeat: I have worked at new car dealers since 1968 as a mechanic, Service Advisor, and Shop Foreman. I have worked on Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Lincoln, Mercury, and Oldsmobile. They all had their problems.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:44 AM   #27
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The big problem I have with Ford is that they outright lied to me and told me that mine was the only one that blew out a plug. Not the service people, they told the truth. This was from a vice president that called after many inquirys from me.
So if mine was the only one, and I have owned 8 new Ford trucks, why not repair it and keep a good customer? Never a Ford again for me!!!
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Shacksman View Post
The big problem I have with Ford is that they outright lied to me and told me that mine was the only one that blew out a plug. Not the service people, they told the truth. This was from a vice president that called after many inquirys from me.
So if mine was the only one, and I have owned 8 new Ford trucks, why not repair it and keep a good customer? Never a Ford again for me!!!
I feel for your outrage.. but, it's too bad that 1 shmuck at a company would cause you to change brands on such an important part of your life, (8 NEW Ford trucks!) after a problem with one of them. I will admit I was raised a Ford guy and have had a bunch, most of them new. Never a major problem yet. Had one Chrysler, 2 trannys and an engine and a half in 115k.. Had 1 new Volkswagen, bought just so we would have a new car that got good mileage, after it's 4th trip on the flatbed at about 30k, it got traded for the Expedition we have now. Many people on here obviously tow with Ford's modular engines, and I would say that is about as severe a duty as these trucks might see, and only one person says he had a problem..

It's kind of like the Explorer roll over problem, and people saying what crappy trucks they are, when anybody who ACTUALLY looked at the evidence can see the problem was drivers and maintenence, and the odds are, if you sell MILLIONS of anything, even a very small percentage of problems is a lot of problems in raw numbers. Sure, more Explorers have had problems then say Hummers, but look at the numbers on the road. You really want to see crappy percentages based on numbers on the road, look up anything about a Range Rover product, wheeww ee are there some unhappy owners out there, lots of them, for a vehicle with a VERY low total units sold number.

anywya, that got a little "ranty" there.. sorry.

but I have to say, if I quit useing a brand or product everytime I found or heard an untruth about it, I would be hard pressed to live naked in a cave by now, without being upset.
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:50 AM   #29
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Many people on here obviously tow with Ford's modular engines, and I would say that is about as severe a duty as these trucks might see, and only one person says he had a problem..
...............

but I have to say, if I quit useing a brand or product everytime I found or heard an untruth about it, I would be hard pressed to live naked in a cave by now, without being upset.
I am far from the only one with this problem, just google it. There are thousands of them. I did not stop useing the brand because of the problem. I had a new truck on order when they chose to lie about the plug problem. That's when I cancelled the order and bought a Dodge Ram. It's been better then all the Fords put together.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:24 AM   #30
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The Ford V10's will also spit out the spark plugs....happened to a person in our unit, while driving down the road.

Seems it's such a common problem that an independent shop in the next town he got to was equipped to install an insert.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:44 AM   #31
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I am far from the only one with this problem, just google it. There are thousands of them. I did not stop useing the brand because of the problem. I had a new truck on order when they chose to lie about the plug problem. That's when I cancelled the order and bought a Dodge Ram. It's been better then all the Fords put together.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get you upset, I was just posting some observations, in respect to the OP's question, and answers they had recieved here on this board.

I didn't make my self clear enough I guess, Of the people on this forum, who have responded that THEY tow with an expedition, only one of THOSE people has pointed out that they had this problem.

I agree with you that LOTS of people have had this problem, but as I stated there are LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of these modular engines out there that have NOT spit a plug. I am VERY active in the Mustang world, and somehow it's a non issue over there, even in 5.4's running 20+ pounds of boost through stock long blocks. If you build 10 million of something, (and 10 million is probably way less then the number of modular engines fielded by Ford since '94) and get it 99.9% perfect, there are still 10,000 people who have a problem. Most people would agree that 99.9% success rate is at least "OK".
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:32 PM   #32
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How can you verify the Exp has the towing package?

Just curious if anyone knows what build code or where to look, to verify it has the towing package? Or, if you have a 7-pin plug does that mean you have the package?

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:54 PM   #33
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Just curious if anyone knows what build code or where to look, to verify it has the towing package? Or, if you have a 7-pin plug does that mean you have the package?

Damon
As I understand it, if it has the built in 7way/4way plug mount you have the heavy duty tow package. If you only have the 4way, you have the standard tow package. The heavy duty package also includes pre wire for a brake controller, reciever hitch, upgraded transmission cooler, upgraded radiator.
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