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Ford 4.6L/5.4L 3-Valve WT Oil Pump Update

Above: The standard OE pump, with an aluminum backing plate, leaks oil at 2,500 rpm compared to the JASPER pump with a cast iron backing plate. 

One of the primary issues with Ford’s 4.6L/5.4L 3-valve VVT engine surrounds its Variable Valve Timing system, and the lack of oil pressure which can touch off an engine code. Since the VVT is driven by oil pressure, any decrease in oil pressure, provided by the engine, can result in a failure.

To combat this issue, JASPER installs a new Melling M360 oil pump on its remanufactured unit. “At face value, the pump doesn’t look very different from the OE unit, other than the fact it is a high-volume pump,” says Randy Bauer, Gas Engine Division Manager of the Jasper, Indiana, Facility. “The biggest difference is that on a JASPER 3-valve VVT unit, the oil pump utilizes a cast iron backing plate, replacing the aluminum plate found in the OE pump.”

“With the standard OE pump, engine oil starts pouring over the top of the pump at around 2,500 rpm,” said Bauer. “This is caused by pressure buildup inside the pump, making the aluminum backing plate flex; allowing oil to flow over the top.”

“The Melling M360 pump, with the cast iron backing plate, is more rigid,” added Bauer. “The backing plate does not flex until the engine goes beyond 5,500 rpm, which is past the normal operation the engine is going to see.”

“The addition of the Melling M360 pump to our JASPER remanufactured 4.6L/5.4L 3-valve VVT engine provides many advantages to the longevity and performance of the engine,” he said.

The cast iron backing plate is on the left; the aluminum backing plate is on the right.


Thank you for visiting Rocky Mountain Automotive LLC in Cheyenne, WY. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.

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