Rev up your lifestyle with the power and torque of Ford’s vaunted V10 engine! Few gasoline engines can match the durability, reliability, and towing capacity of this famous powerhouse.
Debuting in 1997 as part of Ford’s E-Series vans and motorhomes, the engine soon became a mainstay of Ford’s Super Duty line of pickup trucks.
Since then, the V10 has undergone several improvements in the last 30 years. And, the result does not disappoint.
Owners of the Ford V10 tout its low-maintenance performance and better-than-average life expectancy.
Some of the motor’s drawbacks include low fuel efficiency, rusted exhaust manifold studs, and occasional rough idling.
However, no significant concerns emerged as a result of our exhaustive research.
This article provides a general history of Ford’s V10 engine, discusses common complaints, highlights the motor’s strong points, and answers the most frequently asked questions posed by potential buyers.
We hope that, by the end, you will have gained some clarity about whether the Ford V10 represents the best engine to suit your needs. Enjoy!
History of the Ford V10
In 1997, Ford simultaneously introduced two new engines: A 5.6L V8 and a V10. The first iteration of the V10 possessed two valves, and production continued until 2005.
As mentioned, ford initially mounted these motors in their full-size vans and RVs. But, as time progressed, consumers would soon see the V10 engine under the hood of F-Series pickup trucks.
Ford unveiled a 3-valve V10 motor in 2005. It boasted 365 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, which represented a significant increase from the 2-valve engine’s 300+ horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
Due to the enhanced power, the new motor featured in the largest F-Series truck and Blue Bird’s famous line of school buses.
In 2010, Ford discontinued the use of its 6.8L in the Super Duty line of pickups.
However, the motor continued to feature heavily in Ford commercial vehicles until 2019, when the company scrapped it entirely.
Durability of the Ford V10
While most consumers already know the reputation of Ford Motor Company, the V10 engine may stand as one of the company’s most durable offerings.
The vast majority of consumers report satisfaction with the longevity of the V10, noting the minimal amount of maintenance to keep it running well past the 200,000-mile mark.
Maximum Mileage for the Ford V10
The maximum mileage for a Ford V10 depends on countless variables, including the amount of maintenance performed, heavy usage, luck, etc.
Many owners have crossed 200,000 miles with standard maintenance and minor repairs. A few consumers even passed the 400,000-mile mark with no major repairs along the way.
If you find yourself shopping for a V10 and come across one that’s well-maintained, then you should expect the engine to make it to 200,000 miles without much hassle or a major hit to your pocketbook.
As long as you properly care for it, the V10 will treat you right, hauling loads and towing rigs for thousands of miles.
General Considerations about Maximum Mileage
Anecdotal evidence suggests the Ford V10 can go the distance without much additional work on the owner’s part.
However, as with all engines, each V10 unit will vary from others regarding longevity.
Manufacturer defects will skew results, as will heavy use, maintenance routines, unreported accidents, and other factors.
Common Complaints about the Ford V10
No engine is perfect. And, while the Ford V10 has received thousands of rave reviews, you’ll still find plenty of complaints sprinkled in amongst all of the praise.
Some of the most common issues involve the V10’s fuel efficiency, exhaust manifold, and idling. Let’s take a closer look at the Ford V10’s most common problems.
Consumers who purchase a Ford V10 do so for the amount of power it puts forth, not fuel economy. But, even within its class, the Ford V10 guzzles more gasoline than its competitors.
Owners of Ford F-Series pickup trucks and the enormous Ford Excursion complain that their vehicles frequently dip below 10 mpg.
Granted, we have no idea how much those trucks hauled on daily basis, if any.
We also don’t know what kind of weather conditions they worked in or whether the total miles reported were driven over flat land or mountainous terrain.
In the end, most purchasers of the Ford V10 don’t even pay attention to their MPG. They know it’s an energy hog, and that’s okay with them.
Rusted Exhaust Manifold Studs
Ford V10 owners frequently mention the failure of the engine’s exhaust manifold studs. Most of the time, rust plays a factor.
So, the likelihood of this occurring with your V10 varies based on the regional conditions. If you live in a humid climate, look out for this specific problem.
When the exhaust manifold studs give out, it leads to an exhaust leak.
While exhaust leaks don’t create a big concern, they can lead to sensor malfunctions, fuel inefficiencies, and pollution.
If the exhaust seeps into the cabin, then it can cause a health risk, as well. But, financially, busted manifold studs are an easy fix.
Frequent consumer complaints involve rough idling. In most cases, this results from a worn-out positive crankcase ventilation hose.
Over the years, this hose can dry up and split, causing a leak of gasses en route to the intake manifold. Small leaks cause a minor vacuum loss, which can lead to vibration.
Larger leaks can make it impossible for your truck to idle at all.
Fortunately, replacing a defective hose costs very little, and mechanically inclined consumers can perform the repair themselves.
You can find a new positive crankcase ventilation hose online for anywhere between $20 and $50.
Rough idling might cause owners some initial concern because of the vibration, but it’s a quick and easy fix.
Praise for the Ford V10
Most owners of a Ford V10 engine express clear satisfaction with their purchases.
You won’t find many rave reviews that recount surprising hidden benefits of the V10 because, for the most part, consumers just want it to do its job.
And, for the amount of power you get for the price, it does its job very well.
Individuals interested in a Ford V10 would be hard-pressed to find a better bang for their buck.
Compared to other gasoline-powered V10’s, the Ford model represents a relative bargain when it comes to price while delivering a similar amount of horsepower and torque.
For instance, Volkswagen has put more V10s on the road than any company, but their motors are costly.
Consumers buy the Ford V10 for one reason: Power. Maybe they own a boat that needs hauling. Or, perhaps they run a construction company.
Regardless, the Ford V10 was built to move heavy things. To gain a towing capacity higher than that of the V10, one would have to crossover into diesel territory.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Ford V10
Despite all of the coverage the Ford V10 has received over the years, the same questions about it get asked over and over again.
If you have a question about this powerhouse of an engine, check out these FAQs to see if they provide the answer.
Can I Buy a Brand New Ford V10?
Discovering an unused Ford V10 engine would be unlikely, but not impossible. A quick online search would reveal several that have sold within the last few years.
However, most of the replacement parts remain in production; so, one could build a V10 out of new and used parts.
More than likely, a buyer would have to settle for a used V10.
Keep in mind that most of the available stock will come from commercial vehicles rather than the F-Series trucks.
How Much Horsepower Does a Ford V10 Have?
The original Ford V10 from the 1990s delivered 270 horsepower. The 2000 version provided 305.
The big jump in horsepower occurred when Ford switched from two valves per cylinder to three.
Once they made this change in 2005, the Ford V10 offered 362 horsepower.
How Can I Increase My Ford V10’s Fuel Efficiency?
Because the Ford V10 engine is so fuel-inefficient, owners regularly ask for tips on how to improve its gas mileage.
The quickest and easiest solution, which everyone has heard from their mechanics, involves replacing your dirty air filter frequently.
Other fixes include maintaining proper tire pressure and avoiding stop-and-go traffic.
Consumers willing to spend a little money to save a little money can look at custom exhaust systems, cold air intakes that move your air filter outside of the engine compartment, and metal spacers to replace the throttle body gasket.
Beyond that, you’d have to look at some very expensive customizations to gain a little extra gas mileage.
Does the Ford V10 Still Suffer from Spark Plug Issues?
The early Ford V10s suffered from a rash of spark plug blowouts. Some owners would continually need to purchase new spark plugs to keep their engines running.
Ford fixed this problem in 2002; but, you’ll still see owners complain about it online.
In rare cases, you may even read about spark plug blowouts in post-2002 models, but instances are rare.
If you own a 2001 model or earlier and have experienced multiple spark plug issues, replacing the cylinder head represents a sure fix.
Other less expensive solutions include lubing and retorquing the spark plugs and replacing the ignition coils.
Final Thoughts on the Ford V10
One can’t do much better than the Ford V10 when looking for an affordable option. That is, at least when it comes to the upfront costs.
The low gas mileage of the V10 leaves a lot to be desired and will eat into the initial savings over time.
Still, it has proven itself a durable, reliable motor that will work for decades if you treat it right.
Ultimately, each consumer will have to weigh the benefits of less expensive, less powerful gasoline-powered V10 against diesel options on the market.
It all depends on one’s budget, intended use, and brand loyalty, if any. Other than that, it just comes down to personal preference.
We hope you enjoyed reading about this mighty powerhouse and learned enough to make an informed decision about your next purchase.
For all of you gearheads and grease monkeys, I have listed the specifications for the latest iteration of the Ford V10 here at the end:
- Engine: Ford 6.8L Modular V10
- Displacement: 413 CID, 6.8 liters
- Bore: 3.552 in
- Stroke: 4,165 in
- Engine Block: Cast iron
- Cylinder Head: Aluminum
- Compression Ratio: 9.2:1
- Fuel System: Sequential multi-port injection
- Oil Capacity: 7 liters
- Weight: 625 pounds
- Max Speed: 5,200 rpm
- Horsepower: 362
- Torque: 457 lb-ft
- Valvetrain: Single overhead camshaft, 3 valves per cylinder, split-pin crankshaft with 72-degree firing intervals, hydraulic lifters, and roller finger followers