Ford trucks have been around the nation since 1903, when Henry Ford transformed the automobile industry with the now-famous Model T. Since then, their line of cars and trucks has been the best selling on the market. A substantial reason for that is the engines the manufacturer has produced throughout the years. But which Ford F150 engine is the most reliable?
The best overall engine that Ford has ever made for the F150 is the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 for the perfect combination between power and economy or the 5.0L V8 for towing, power, and use as a working truck while remaining affordable.
That is not to say that the V6 is the only good engine to ever be slid under the hood of a Ford F150. In fact, many motors are excellent. It mainly depends upon your need. Along with the good come some bad, though. Read on to learn more about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Which Ford F150 Motor Is Reliable?
Ford has numerous motors that have been reliable. Before going into that, you need to know what reliable means. A reliable motor is an engine with great care put into it by the engineers who designed it. (source)
That may not be the explanation that you were expecting, but it coincides with the idea that a reliable motor runs for a long time without having any significant issues.
They both mean the same thing, but one is more technical than the other. It all boils down to how you look at things in life. Now that you understand what is being discussed when reliability is mentioned, it is time to list some of the most reliable motors that Ford has made. The ones that found their way into the F150.
- 3.5L EcoBoost V6 – Out of all the engines to date, this is the most reliable and versatile Ford motor ever placed in an F150. It averages 375 horsepower and can get 470-foot pounds of torque. When it comes to mileage, you can expect 18 to 25 miles per gallon.
- 5.0L Coyote V8 – What more can be said than this is the motor that was dropped into the Mustang GT and the Ford F150. It pumps out 385 horses and has a ground-pounding torque of 387-foot pounds.
- 6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V8 – If you want power over speed, this is the engine you want in your F150. It only pushes out 475 horsepower, but it makes up for it with 1050-foot pounds of torque.
- 4.6L V8 – This is the motor from the past, most commonly known as the 289. It is one of the smallest V8s Ford made but is one of the most reliable. It puts out 300 horses and 320-foot pounds of torque, but it can get the job done without breaking down.
Other Ford F150 engines are reliable, but these are the top-ranked engines of all time. The future has some exciting things to offer, such as the all-electric Ford Lightning, but they can not be classified as good or bad until they have been around for a decade or so.
Which Ford F150 Engine Should Be Avoided?
Every engine produced has had some kinks to work out, even the 3.5L EcoBoost that is now one of the best Ford has ever made. There are a few motors that stand out, though, because they have had numerous years of issues that Ford has yet to fix.
- 5.4L Triton V8 – This is hands down one of Ford’s worst motors ever created. It has power and torque, but it has a list of problems that are pages long. The most prevalent is the design of the spark plugs. The threads are so short that the motor shoots them out of the block.
- 360 V8 – This is the motor that can commonly be found in older F150s. It had very little power, could not tow anything with any weight, and it got the worst gas mileage out of any V8 from the past.
These are two engines found in the F150s across the nation which need to be avoided like the plague. The sad thing is that the 5.4L on this list is a great motor, other than some serious design flaws.
If you have ever worked on one of these motors, you will understand because not much thought was put into its long-term life.
What Ford F150 Is The Best To Build Up?
Throughout the history of Ford F150s, numerous engines are great right off the production lines. Those same engines can be tuned to get more power and higher top-end speeds, which is the main point of any true motorhead.
The 289 was a standard motor beefed out, as was the base 5.0L. Parts are easy to find and easy to install. But which engine is the best to build into a monster?
That answer is simple. The 5.0L Coyote motor was made for speed. If you think about it, you will understand that any engine put into a muscle car and promoted to the top of its class has to be good. If you put that same motor into an F150, you have a great truck with a beast of an engine.
Since the motor is so strong, you may wonder what you can do to improve it. Let’s check it out together.
- Add a cold air intake
- Larger exhaust pipes
- Headers designed for speed
- Racing cam
- Racing heads
- Bored heads
You get the point. If you have ever built a muscle car or truck, you know how little gains can make enormous power. Just let it be said that if you decide to upgrade the already fast 5.0L Coyote, you had best hang on, because it will take you for a ride.
Ford F150s have been around for a long time and will continue to be one of the top-selling choices in the nation. The motors under the hood will continue to come and go as technology finds better, more efficient ways to produce the power needed to propel the trucks down the road.
The best motor comes down to your specific preferences because it depends on what you like using your truck for.
You can bet that someone else will argue with you because they have their own opinions. But one thing holds true as of today, the 3.5L EcoBoost is the most reliable engine that the F150 ever had under its hood. (source)