Why did Ford stop making the V10 engine?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: Why did Ford stop making the V10 engine? We will review the V10 engine, discuss its faults and the main reason why it was discontinued. 

Why did Ford stop making the V10 engine?

Ford stopped making the V10 modular engine back in 2019 for several good reasons. For one, the engine was not fuel efficient at all, had cam phaser issues and had only  320 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque compared to their now V8 engine (350 horsepower and an estimated 475 lbs-feet of torque). 

The Ford V10’s 6.8L (413 cu in, found in E-Series and F-Series trucks) is part of the company’s “modular” engine family (1991 to present) and represents the greatest evolution design. One way to think of the V10 is a 4.0L V6 with an additional four cylinders or as a 5.4-litre V8 with two more cylinders.

Ford V10 engine: Basic Design Failures

Ford’s V-10 truck is an iron block design, OHC aluminum head that uses center-mounted spark plugs and direct fire ignition. Almost all valve train components and accessories are shared with the 5.4L, making the design quite robust and easy to repair. However many 1997-2008 engines have a fatal defect in the cylinder head.

The aluminum heads over 4.6L two-valve and 5.4L V8 and 6.8L V10 (built at the company’s Windsor, Ontario plant, not to be confused with the 2005 and heads up to 3 valves) have a fatal flaw in the spark plug threads. 

Being a soft metal, aluminum doesn’t have much inherent strength in the first place; it also expands at a different rate than the steel plugs threaded into it. Ford put the V10’s spark plugs in the bottom of a five-inch deep well, leaving only enough room to allow for about four wires worth of spark plug engagement in the cylinder head.

After repeated heat cycling, the spark plug essentially welds itself to the threads, weakening the material and changing the center of load-bearing. The end result of this design flaw is that most of the rear spark plugs in the engine heads tend to either randomly shoot out of the block while driving or get stuck while in the removal process. When hard steel hits soft aluminum, aluminum will inevitably give way first. 

The end result is that the spark plug threads on the strip head come out clean, leaving a smooth hole and there is no way to replace the plug.

Ford V10: Factory repairs and advice

Ford covers this engine problem under warranty (TSB Technical Service Bulletin 07-21-2). However, if the engine fails after the warranty expires, you are responsible for the repairs. Ford issued a repair kit called Lock-and-Stitch that allows the owner to install an aluminum insert where the spark plug threads should be. The kit comes complete with special installation tools, materials, and procedures.

Ford’s kit will get the job done, but installing aluminum filet inserts instead of already-failed aluminum threads is a lesson in history to be repeated. Aftermarket steel insert kits cost about the same, and Ford’s aluminum band-aids will likely survive.

Does the V10 engine still exist on the market?

You may not know it, but Ford has a rich history and a V10 engine. A block called “Triton”, unknown in Europe, but used in the United States and Canada on utilities from the F250. It also served as a refueler at airports for airplanes. But this engine would have needed its own refueler, given the consumption.

In the early 90s, the Ford group renewed some of its engines with the new family of V8 modular units. The concept is simple: a single production line, but the possibilities to easily switch from one displacement to another … or from one number of cylinders to another. Indeed, this modular family, called “Triton” at Ford, was designed in two variants: V8 and… V10.

Unsurprisingly, if you are told V10, you will answer us, your choice: Lamborghini, Porsche Carrera GT, Audi R8… But no one will tell us, Ford. Still, Ford took the modular single overhead camshaft V8 and added two more cylinders to it (from the 5.4 naturally aspirated engine). A block that ended up on “trucks” with utility vocation, from the family of F250.

Concretely, this means that you are not likely to find a V10 on a Ford passenger car, or on an F150. The craziest thing is that Ford has produced “motorhomes” with this engine. Just imagine going on vacation with a “V10 Triton” clad on the fenders. High class.

The problem with such an engine, you can imagine, lies in fuel consumption. The V10 Triton is not necessarily expensive on occasion, but it is necessary to count on a 20 l/100 km, at least, in standard use on the motorhomes, which developed more than 300 hp.

Ford had also produced “heavy-duty” trucks fitted with the V10 Triton for refuelling missions in airports, with a large tank instead of the tipper. The situation was funny: a particularly greedy machine, itself being used to refuel planes which by nature is very greedy in fuel. The mothership would almost have needed its own mothership …

To finish on the anecdotes, know that this engine (which existed in version 2 and 3 valves per cylinder) had been introduced under the hood of the Bluebird, the famous yellow school bus. On the program: more than 360 hp and 620 Nm of torque. But very, very frequent pump runs.

The bottom line

Many believe that discontinuing the V10 was a great move for the company, while others believe the issues regarding the V10 were not as big. Well, the biggest problem and the main reason why Ford stopped making the V10 is that, in one word, it was inefficient. 

High consumption is not good neither for pick-up trucks nor for motorhomes. The high cost of diesel consumption is a point to consider for any driver. Sure, fuel prices have dropped considerably, however, it does not mean that it is not a representative expense. Modern diesel injection systems allow driving at very high and regular speed regimes. But that translates into higher fuel consumption. 

Do you agree with us? Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments on the content. 

FAQ on Why did Ford stop making the V10 engine?

How reliable is the Ford V10?

The Ford V10 is a very reliable engine, despite some design issues. As long as you treat your truck with decency, the Ford V10 can last you about 200,000 miles before any major repairs. The issue with the V10 is not reliability, but fuel consumption!

Did Ford discontinue the V10?

Yes, Ford discontinued the V10 engine as of 2019. The V10 was replaced by a new two-valve 6.2-litre V-8 gasser. All Ford pick-ups built between 2011 and 2019 still have the 10-cylinder and the F53 motorhome chassis. 

Is Ford replacing the V10?

Yes, as of 2019 Ford is replacing the V10 engine with a faster, more economical and more compact V8 engine. 

 

What trucks have V10 engines?

The following trucks have V10 engines: 

  1. 1994 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500
  2. 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab
  3. 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT Laramie
  4. 1996 Dodge Ram 3500. Via Mecum
  5. 2009 Ford F-350 Super Duty
  6. 2006 Ford F-350 XL v10
  7. 2008 Ford F-450 XL
  8. 2008 Ford Super Duty F-250

How many MPG does a Class C RV V10 consume?

A Class C RV V10 can consume, on average, 7 to 8.5 miles per gallon (MPG). Generally, the average Class C gas mileage can vary between 7 to 22 MPG, depending on several factors, such as:

  • How loaded your RV is (including passengers number);
  • Year of manufacture of the RV;
  • The roads you drive and the style of driving.

How much do RVs consume on average?

Most RVs are frequently diesel, and therefore the cost of fuel is lower than that of other fuels such as gasoline with medium-high displacement. On average, an RV consumes 8 to 25 miles per gallon.

References

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