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Ford 4.6L/5.4L 3 Valve engine cam phasers

July 8th, 2009 · No Comments

Ford’s cam phasers are specially designed, computer-controlled cam gears that have the ability to adjust camshaft position (centerline – advance or retard) while the engine is running. They are used on all 2005 and newer, Ford 3 Valve Modular engines. Since the Modular 3V engine uses two camshafts, one phaser is required for each camshaft – two cam phasers per engine.

How do they work?
Engine oil is pressure fed through a series of passageways in the cylinder heads and camshafts, then out into the cam phasers. The engine computer controls a pair of solenoids that adjusts this oil flow through a series of chambers inside the cam phaser. Located inside these chambers are vanes, attached to a free-floating central hub. The hubs are directly attached to the camshafts, and as oil is allowed into and out of these chambers, the position of the cam can be retarded up to 60 crankshaft degrees.

Why did Ford use cam phasers with this engine?
Ford’s primary reason for using cam phasers was to increase the engine’s efficiency by reducing its pumping losses during part throttle cruise conditions. Basically, when the cams are retarded 20-40 degrees during part throttle engine operation, it takes less power to turn the engine over. This not only helps to increase the engine’s fuel efficiency, but an additional power benefit is also realized. The variable cam phasers allow the camshafts to be adjusted to the proper position for maximum power during wide-open throttle operation regardless of the current engine rpm. This results in an engine that makes more torque and horsepower and extends the high rpm power-band by an additional 800-1000 rpm.

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