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Engine & Transmission Tips • Issue 35

The Ford Triton Engine

4.6L - 5.4 L - 6.8 L

Still one of Ford's strongest and Fraser's most sought after remanufactured engines

Ford 5.4L Triton Engine 000In this article we want to pay homage to the Ford Triton V8 engine.

Produced from 1997 to 2017. the Triton engine was offered in three sizes, 4.6 liter, 5.4 liter (Most common), and 6.8 liter, and was available in the following vehicles: Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Ford E-Series Vans, Ford F-Series Trucks, Ford Mustang, Ford Crown Victoria, Ford Fairlane G8, Ford LTD, Ford Falcon, Ford Futura, Ford Fairmont/Ghia, Lincoln Mark LT, Lincoln Town Car, and the Lincoln Navigator

The Ford Triton engine architecture was launched in 1997 as a SOHC (Single overhead cam) V-configuration, 8-cylinder, block, with a 2-valves per cylinder. Later it was expanded to a 3-valve design, and ultimately a DOHC (Dual overhead cam) design, with 4-valves per cylinder, was added.

Originally built to power large trucks, the Triton engine, in it’s 4-valve beef-up, landed in Ford’s sports cars, including the Ford Mustang Cobra R in 2000, and the Ford Shelby GT500 from 2007 to 2012. It also sneaked under the hoods of the Gord GT and the Ford Falcon sedans, dedicated to the Australian market.

One eyebrow raising version of the engine was for the Ford GT, where an Eaton 2300 Lysholm screw-type supercharger, dual fuel injectors per each cylinder, and oil squirters for the piston skirts were added. These features were never found on another Ford module engine at the time.

The original 1997 engine block was cast iron, and internal components included fracture-split powder metal connecting rods, and light-weight aluminum pistons. Featuring aluminum valve covers, the intake manifold was a composite material, and the engines were equipped with individual coil-on-plug electronic ignitions with sequential multi-port fuel injectors.

The Triton 3V (3-valve) added two intake valves and ne huge exhaust valve per cylinder, among other enhancements.

The Ford Triton engine has been ranked on Ward’s Best Engines list in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2002, and continues to be a reliable workhorse of Ford’s engine lineup, and a reason we take so much care in refurbishing them to the highest standards.

One final, and important point about Triton engines is that they do have their own issues. The most common problems with these engines are with the spark plugs & ignition coils, the fuel pump driver module, the timing chain, and the oil pan gasket leaking. They are also very to fix, which is one of the most compelling reasons to choose a Fraser remanufactured engine, as we directly address these common problems, as well as perform other upgrades and improvements, so the engines we deliver to our customers are an outstanding improvement over the original.

Ford 4.6L Triton Engine 001Fraser’s Triton Engine Remanufacturing Highlights:

  • Extensive quality checks performed at every phase of production
  • Utilization of best-in-class leak detection testing
  • Surface finish to OE (original equipment) specifications for performance and durability augmentation
  • Additional testing for performance and oil economy, ensures correct compression, oil pressure, flow, and torque-to-turn Variable Cam Phaser testing (where applicable)
  • Perform industry-leading in-process machining, Testing, and Monitoring
  • Assembly using a manufacturing execution system, for continuous monitoring and recording of all torque and in-process inspection results
  • Perform 100% lifter bore diameter inspection, to help ensure OE level, lifter-to-lifter bore clearance, and to ensure minimal valve train noise
  • Perform 100% inspection of piston clearance, to allow for tighter piston-to-bore tolerances that prevent piston slap and excessive oil consumption
  • Perform 100% pressure tests on all cylinder heads after installation, to identify possible cracks or sealing issues
  • Perform seat replacement on early-style heads to ensure proper retention
  • Install updated high-volume oil pump, with a cast iron backing plate, and higher pressure relief valve spring, for significantly improved oil pressure
  • Install high-integrity components throughout the remanufacturing process
  • Install 100% PTFE-coated pistons to prevent scuffing and wear. (PTFE is a durable and slippery hydrophobic synthetic-polymer resin with a very high melting point, making it idea for protecting engine components.)
  • Perform in-process piston “circlip” validation
  • Install ALL NEW rod and head bolts, to reduce potential fatigue, and ensure long engine life
  • Perform CNC (computer numerical control) cut valve seats, for improved sealing and run-out, allowing for longer valve and seat life


Displacement Sizes:

4.6 liter

5.4 liter

6.8 liter

Block Material

Aluminum (current)

Cast Iron (older)

Production years


Cylinder head material


Fuel type


Fuel system

Sequential multi-port fuel injection



Number of cylinders


Valves per cylinder


Valvetrain layout


Bore, mm

90.2 mm (3.55 in)

Stroke, mm

105.8 mm (4.17 in)

Displacement, cc

5,409 cc (330.1 cu in)

Type of internal combustion engine

Four-stroke, naturally aspirated

Compression Ratio

9.0:1 – SOHC 2-valve engine;

9.8:1 – SOHC 3-valve engine

Power, hp

230-260 hp (172-194 kW)/4,500 – 2-valve SOHC;

295-327 hp (220-244 kW)/5,000 – 3-valve SOHC

Torque, lb ft

323-355 ft-lb (438-481 Nm)/3,250 – 2-valve SOHC;

347-369 ft-lb (470-500 Nm)/3,500 – 3-valve SOHC

Firing order


Engine oil weight

SAE 5W-20

Engine oil capacity, liter

1997-2003 – 5.7 l (6.0qts) with oil filter;

2004+ 6.6 l (7.0qts) with oil filter

Oil change interval, mile

5,000 (10,000 km)/6 months

Original Assembly Site:

Romeo, Michigan, USA

Windsor, Ontario, Canada


All original content, specifications, or images remain the intellectual property of their respective copyright owners, including Ford Motor Company.


Fraser Engine Rebuilders specializes in remanufactured engines. Any diagnostic computers in your car will operate exactly the same with our products. Visit our home page to find the right engine, if yours is ready to retire. They’re less expensive than you might think and come in different options and warranties!

Thinking about building a replica with an american-made engine? Fraser has the right engine ready for you!