Changing Ford 5.4L Triton Phasers and Timing Chain

Last Modified : Mar 25, 2022

5.4 Timing Cover Removal

Basically, you will be tearing the front side of the engine down to get the front cover off to expose the timing components.

  1. Disconnect the battery. Always disconnect the negative terminal first and always connect it last.

  2. Drain the cooling system by the radiator petcock. I do not recommend reusing the drained coolant.

  3. Remove intake plenum tube. Held in by one bolt. The other end sits inside of the fender.

  4. Undo the upper radiator hose from the radiator and from the thermostat housing.

  5. Unscrew the fan clutch assembly. Special tools required. Air Hammer Fan Clutch Kit

  6. Remove the fan shroud and fan simultaneously by removing 2 bolts at the top of the shroud and unclip the lower radiator hose from the bottom, hold fan and pull up on shroud.

  7. NON ESSENTIAL STEP* Remove the radiator. Just gives you more room and prevents damage to the radiator from tools. Experienced technicians would not remove it. You could also slide in a piece of cardboard for extra protection.

  8. Remove the belt by using a 3/8 ratchet inside of the tensioner and turning clockwise. Remember the belt routing. It may be helpful to sketch a diagram. The belt tensioner is a common failure point and should be closely examined.

  9. Remove the tensioner assembly by the 3 bolts.

  10. Remove the idler pulleys. Remove water pump pulley.

  11. Remove the alternator.

  12. Remove the harmonic balancer. Special tools required Older models will need a puller using bolts, newer will require a 3 jaw harmonic balancer remover. Remove the main center bolt, set the washer aside, reinstall bolt, install puller. The balancer will slide past the bolt without the washer. The bolt will be used to rotate the engine during disassemble/reassembly. I don't use it, but Ford does specify a crankshaft holder tool (303-674).

  13. Disconnect all coils and injectors. Remove all coils.

  14. Non Essential Step The intake does not need to be removed to perform timing chain replacement but some readers have noted that it makes removing the valve covers easier. This is somewhat of a time killer, but it will be easier to install the valve covers and new gaskets with it out of the way. But here are the steps: Remove the fuel rail and injectors. Special tools Required. Master Disconnect Kit. Disconnect all other lines and connectors visible from the intake manifold. Unbolt and remove the intake manifold. Becareful! There are two connectors you must unplug from the back after you have tilted it slightly. Then remove the brake booster vacuum hose. Sometimes a long pry bar to push on the end of the hose is necessary. Note the routing of the wires THROUGH the connecting rods of the IRMC (intake manifold runner control).

  15. Remove the PCM and bracket. Lift the tabs to loosen all three connectors. 4 bolts securing PCM, 3 bolts securing bracket.

  16. Remove the 3 bolts attaching the power steering pump to the block, set aside. If vehicle is 2wd, it is easily accessible from underneath. If it is 4wd, a stubby 10mm ratcheting wrench or a 1/4 inch drive 10mm swivel socket from the top will suffice. Ford actually describes using a puller to remove the power steering pump pulley for easier access, but it is not normally required. This is probably the most irritating part of the process. Sometimes the bolts have corroded to the point that they are almost impossible to remove and removing the power steering pulley may be required.

  17. 2004-2006 Only Disconnect and remove seals and VCT Solenoids. Seals must be replaced if doing this. Most agree removing these will ease removal of the valve covers but it is not required. The 2007-up can not be removed without removal of the valve cover first.

  18. Disconnect both camshaft position sensors. Ford recommends removing the sensors but its not necessary.

  19. Remove valve covers. This can be a tedious process. Do not damage other components or wiring. The brake booster line and transmission dipstick may need to be slightly relocated so that you can remove valve cover bolts. The dipstick tube has a 21mm bolt holding it, accessible through the fender well.

  20. Remove all bolts on the front cover. Using a 13mm, 15mm, 18mm, and 22mm. There are 4 oil pan bolts on the front bottom that also need to be removed with a 13mm wrench. Note the location of ALL the bolts. Dont forget the slightly hidden bolt under the water pump

  21. Disconnect the crankshaft position sensor. It is located just below the A/C compressor. Move the harness out of the way. Do not forget to reconnect it! The engine will not start if you forget.

  22. Gently pry on the front cover to separate it. It should not take excessive force. Remove and safely set aside. Do not damage mounting surfaces on the block or timing cover or severe oil leaks will result.

Please continue to the next page for timing chain removal and installation instructions.

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