Ford F-150 11th Gen Buying Tips from the Forums

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11th Gen Ford F-150

Are you in the market for a 2004-2008 Ford F-150? Here’s what you’ll want to look for and potentially avoid!

Without question, one of the hottest trucks on the used market right now are 11th gen (2004-2008) Ford F-150 pickups. And there are many good reasons for that. These trucks are affordable, tough, highly capable, all with styling that still holds up even today, over a decade later. But like any used vehicle purchase, there are some potential landmines to navigate when you’re in the market for one. Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of great tips to share from this recent F-150 Online forum thread started by moparmiami.

“Hello guys, I am in the market for a an F-150 4×4. With my budget, I can afford a 2004 to 2006. I love the 4.6 V8. What can you guys tell me about the reliability of the 5.4? How many miles are they good for? If I buy one with 170k-200k miles, will it still be a good truck? What are the common issues I should look for? I’ve heard they have cam phaser problems.”

11th Gen Ford F-150

Without delay, plenty of members chime in with their thoughts, starting with ManualF150.

“They have finicky VCTs and usually require a rebuild and a Melling high flow oil pump. Otherwise good trucks. I’d recommend getting the 4.6.”

Several members recommend avoiding the 5.4, including glc.

“I would still stay away from the 2004 5.4 3-valve. It had more issues than later years. 2005s had a bad batch of fuel injectors, so be prepared to replace them. 5.4 3 valves built before mid-2008 had 2-piece spark plugs that stick and break when you try to remove them. All years have the VCT system, poor maintenance almost guarantees problems when you get over 100k miles.”

11th Gen Ford F-150

Many members do point out that the 5.4 is a solid motor, however, if maintained properly. That includes changing the spark plugs more frequently than the recommended 100k-mile interval. Even still, we’ve got plenty of happy 5.4 owners in house, including Scott Vrabel.

“I have a 2004 FX4 Supercrew. I’m the only owner and I love my truck. I have 300,000 miles on it – new engine at 200,000. Replaced normal items – struts/shocks, brake components, starter. I use Wix filters only. Beefy truck. Never had to have an alignment. There are only two cons. One, the spark plug issue. If you don’t catch it quick enough, which I did, they are a pain and expensive. But fortunately, I didn’t have that problem when changing them every 30k. So I’m a big yes on the ’04. Also, the VVT solenoids are easily replaced. Its a 15 to 30 minute job depending. Videos on YouTube make it easy.”

So far, we’ve gotten some pretty sound advice on the 11th gen F-150 here. But we want to know what you think. So head over here and let us know what potential buyers, including the OP, should look out for. And if you’re in the market, be sure and check out all the tips our members have already provided!

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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