For over 30 years, the 302/5.0L was the go-to motor for Ford and the F150. It is a great engine that became famous when it was dropped into the Mustang. But when did the lineup of trucks become graced with this motor, and which Ford F150 has the 5.0 engine?
The Ford F150 was produced with the 5.0 engine starting in 1969 as an option. In 2011 the EcoBoost motor was designed, which changed the direction of the Ford truck. Today, the only truck that comes stock with this infamous motor is the F150, including the Raptor.
The engine did have some issues during the huge surge of new technology that was forced out onto the market a few years back. However, it is still one of the most reliable motors on the planet. Read on to learn more about some hardships and triumphs that the 5.0 has gone through over the years.
The F150s That Started It All with The 302
You may already know that the 302 is the 5.0, and the 5.0L is the 302 (source). It is a simple change in the name brought on by the shift of the automobile industry to the metric system, making it easier for all countries.
The label 302 was retired in the late 70s when it became known solely as the 5.0L. Until then, the F150 could be bought with the motor as an option.
Let’s check out how this motor started out in the F150s and how it evolved into the reliable engine it is today.
- 1969 – The 5.0 came off the manufacturing lines with a small two-barrel carburetor, which only put out about 210hp and had a torque rating of 295lb-ft.
- 1970 – The second year of production created a slight bump up for the engine, offering the owner of the F150 310lb-ft of torque and 220hp.
- 1971 to 1981 – Oil embargos caused the 5.0 in the F150 to lose some power and torque, going down as low as 134hp in the 77 models.
- 1982 – The first official year of the renamed 5.0L brought about another decrease in power, dropping it down to 133hp, but a slight increase in torque up to 233 lb-ft.
- 1989 – Fuel injection began to be installed on the F150, which bumped the horsepower up to 185, and the torque up to 270 lb-ft.
- 2001 – The 5.0L was retired until 2011, when the new EcoBoost motors were designed.
The 5.0L engine was one of the best that ever landed in the older F150s. There are so many aftermarket parts available for the engine that you could quickly build one up to get over 500hp.
It may not be suitable for a work truck, but it would be fantastic for a play truck. It all depends upon what you like to use your F150 for.
The F150s That Continued The 5.0 Legacy
For 10 years, the 5.0L would be put onto the shelf, being replaced by the modular engine, better known as the Triton. This engine had nothing but issues because of how it was designed, which is perhaps why Ford brought the engine out of retirement to be placed, once again, under the hood of the Ford F150.
Let’s check out these motors and how well they performed.
- 2011 – The reintroduction of the 5.0L brought about the Coyote motor. This beast came off the factory lines with 360hp and 380 lb-ft torque.
- 2015 – This year saw a slight bump up in power, going to 385hp and 387 lb-ft torque. Not a lot, but even a little bit makes a big difference.
- 2020 – Once again, slight improvements were made to the 5.0L, increasing to 395 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
- 2023 – The newest version of the 5.0L will see another improvement to the motor, offering you 400 hp and 410lb-ft torque.
You can see that the technological improvements have allowed the 5.0L to be reborn as the Coyote, with more power and torque than ever before. The future looks bright for the F150, and you can all hope that by the next decade, the motor will be even more impressive and much better for the environment it plays and works in.
What Problems Are Common with The 5.0L
With everything good comes some bad, and the 5.0L is no exception. Even though it is one of the most popular and reliable engines that Ford has ever produced, it has had its share of problems (source).
Let’s take a look at some of the most common.
- Oil leakage
- Ignition coil issues
- Spark plug issues
- Exhaust gas recirculation valve issues
- Electronic throttle issues
- Missing roll pins
- Transmission issues
- Rough running engine
- Coolant leaks
It may seem like a lot of issues for one motor, but they are not significant problems if you stay on top of them. For instance, if you notice an oil leak, get it tracked down and fixed instead of letting it go until you blow the motor. As with all other trucks and vehicles on the market, you must complete the suggested maintenance at the given intervals.
You can obviously find some other faults in the engine specific to your truck, but they are sporadic and not a problem that would be considered typical. All engines will show wear and tear, and they will all break down on you.
It is the nature of the beast, and you must roll with it. The best path to take is to fix things as they go wrong, replace parts when they are supposed to be replaced, and take some pride in your F150.
Every car manufacturer goes through some ups and downs. Fortunately, the F150 has had more ups throughout the decades. It is one of the top trucks on the market and has been for many years. In fact, it has held the number one spot for 45 years (source), far more than any of the competition.
It has had a few problems over the years that have given some trucks a bad name, such as the ones with the Triton motors. Overall the engine was fine, but the design was terrible. The 5.0L was embarrassed to have been replaced by it in the F150 but has made it right by taking the top spot back over with the Coyote 5.0.