5.4 litre pinging sound

I have a 2004 super crew cab F-150 that has a slight pinging or pecking noise in it. The noise doesnt get worse when i give it the gas @ you cant hear it going down the road just at idle. The dealer said that is normal for the 5.4 litre. Just wondering if that is true or if it is something i need to worry about @ if i should be worried about it what could it possibly be?

You’re going to want someone to go and make sure the sparkplugs are tight on this engine. There’s a history of sparkplugs being blown out of the heads on these engines.


Thank you it sort of sounds like a ticking noise.

A ticking or pecking noise could also be caused by an exhaust manifold leak, faulty valve lash adjuster, or even a spark jumping through a plug boot.

Any Check Engine Light on or hint of an engine miss?

No check engine light & no miss in the motor. Motor runs fine just a ticking or pecking noise at idle. Cant hear it until you are next to a building or car. You cant hardly hear it when it is parked out in the open with nothing around it.

Tester is right on the money with his answer. Definitely check your sparkplugs. In fact, you might want to remove them and reinsert them with a little antiseize grease on the threads. Corrosion and pitting occurs in the threads, the aluminum weakens, and the plugs blow out. I say it’s preventative medicine for the 5.4 and 6.8 Ford mod motors to periodically remove, examine, and retighten the spark plugs. People have tried to bring litigation against for Ford for this, but I have not heard of any success so far.

Keep in mind that the torque for the plugs is given for dry threads. If you coat them you will overtighten them. You should not need to coat the threads if you use the manufacturer-specified nickel-coated plugs.

To the OP, are you sure that you are not just hearing the injectors?

What is the best way to tell if it is the injectors i am hearing?

Sorry, I am guilty of not reading carefully. If it were the injectors ticking normally, you would hear them at idle as well.

Thats the only time i hear the ticking noise.

O.K., now I feel really stupid. Get a stethoscope and listen to different parts of the engine including the injectors You can also take a piece of tubing and stick it on your ear and put it near the injectors and other parts. You could listen to an injector and then unplug it to see if the noise goes away, but that will be accompanied by the sound of a miss. You could also listen to another 5.4 or, for that matter a 4.6L Ford Modular motor. The injector tick is very noticeable.

Seriously, a good mechanic should be able to identify this noise if it is the injectors. I would think that you should get better than The dealer said that is normal for the 5.4 liter? . Someone should be able to say that it sounds like the injectors or it does not.

Thanks for your help.