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Thread: Is the 5.4 underpowered?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Is the 5.4 underpowered?

    I have a chance to pick up a 2001 E250 RB with a Mark III conversion and a 5.4 for what I think is a steal. Seems to be in good shape.

    I would lift and 4x4 it with 4.30s and at least 33's, more likely 35's. I know Corneilius loves his, as do MXKutch and JSweezy but I've read on other forums the 5.4 is a dog with tires that big.

    I currently have a lifted AWD Astro with a 4.3 V6 that's always working hard to push it down the road. Really want to avoid the same situation in a bigger van.

    Anyone have any input?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    TN
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    It certainly wont have extra power... if you start climbing or towing its not going to be awesome

  3. #3
    I was starting to get annoyed coming home from Xmas that the 5.4 in my 2001 E250 wasn't getting the job done. (I'm 4x4 on 33s) Turned out I wasn't factoring the tire size change properly. Looked at my gps and realized traffic was going 88mph.

    I think a tuner would be the solution if you find yourself lacking power. I've been fine thus far. Happy for a quiet motor every day.

  4. #4
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    Give them gear and a tune, good to go as long as you don't expect it to pull trailers like a diesel or V10.
    Chris Steuber
    02 E350 7.3 V4
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    www.ujointoffroad.com
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  5. #5
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    Haha, I guess y'all know how I feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by flightcancled View Post
    I've been fine thus far. Happy for a quiet motor every day.
    ^This


    IMG_2429.jpg
    Last edited by Corneilius; 12-29-2017 at 01:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVflyfish View Post

    I would lift and 4x4 it with 4.30s and at least 33's, more likely 35's. I've read on other forums the 5.4 is a dog with tires that big.


    Anyone have any input?
    The overhead cam Ford motors are stronger at higher rpms(vs their GM pushrod counterparts which have a lower rpm power band) so if you're even considering 35's then I'd go with 4.56's...honestly IIWY even with 33's I'd go with 4.56's...if you had the V10 you'd probably be okay with 4.30s. I'm going to run 34's on my Duramax project and will be going with 4.30's..
    Len Barron
    2000 Chevy Express 3500 Hightop
    LBZ/Allison/SAS Swap in the works

  7. #7
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    Stabbington: Utah
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    Let me start by saying I have zero experience with a 5.4, but I have a Chevy with a 5.3.........co maybe a bit of apples to oranges comparison?

    I have been building my Chevy to be as light as reasonably possible and it has had all the power I have needed. Even when hauling a small Jeep on a trailer.http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...igh-997-2.htmlI was reading this thread and a bunch of 4x4 vans are hovering at the 9000-10000 range which seems borderline obese to me! My rig has 3.73 gears and is rolling on 31" tires. I wish it had even deeper gears in the 4.10-4.56 range. Its a van not a Ferrari, I would gladly trade 75+ for some uphill passing power.

    Keeping light and gearing are the key.
    Lead me to the crossroads, I can find my way home.
    Long Travel Vans
    My wanderings

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVflyfish View Post
    I have a chance to pick up a 2001 E250 RB with a Mark III conversion and a 5.4 for what I think is a steal. Seems to be in good shape.

    I would lift and 4x4 it with 4.30s and at least 33's, more likely 35's. I know Corneilius loves his, as do MXKutch and JSweezy but I've read on other forums the 5.4 is a dog with tires that big.

    I currently have a lifted AWD Astro with a 4.3 V6 that's always working hard to push it down the road. Really want to avoid the same situation in a bigger van.

    Anyone have any input?
    Why start the 10. million thread about that?

    Looks like you´ve already read that better gearing will bring power to the wheels [instead of engine torque by itself. btw that is the only relevant #: Torque @ the wheels! If your engine has 20% less torque but you have installed 20% lower gearing this equals out!].

    What does "underpowered" mean to anyone? This a is totally useless term. Looks like a lot of people in the US image a 400 HP 1000 NM Truck as enough power? For what? to go 60mph?

    I have just recently seen a Youtube video that went viral about a Mercedes 608 Truck/Van with a alcoven cabin on top. Everything build out of wood inside. This thing weights 6.8 tons with 86 HP. This couple says it is enough - though not very much power.

    So who can tell you what is enough?
    Last edited by derjack; 12-29-2017 at 03:26 PM.

  9. #9
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    ny
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    I had a 5.4 with 33’s. It was fine. Even towed a boat occasionally.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Houston
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    I had a 2000 e150 5.4 with 3.73 and 31" tires (265/70/17) and it didn't feel underpower. I like to drive fast. We go to the Rockies two or three times a year and the only problem i have is to pass slower vehicles. I remember doing the Raton Pass in NM and a guy on an Audi Q7 got upset that a vehicle worth as much as his spare tire passed him tried to keep up. He was able to catch on the straight portions but not on the twists. this is a two lane highway with quite some elevation change.

    Now I have a 2010 4x4 e350 5.4 with 4.10 and 33.5" tires. Just came form our Christmas ski trip. First long trip on it. I was very happy with the performance. I could cruise all day at 85 to 90 if I wanted. no drama on the mountain passes. You may have to let the engine downshift and scream (3000 to 3500 rpm, nothing crazy) and it will go.

    I have no experience with towing or heavy loads, but I am very pleased with this engine.
    Current: 2010 Ford E350 5.4 V8 MG 4x4

    Build thread: The-Rig-Runner

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