Ford 3.5L Duratec ti-VCT Engine Review

Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT Engine Review – As one of the biggest automotive brands globally, Ford seems to never be half-hearted in preparing components for its products. Moreover, it is the main power for its cars’ performance for the engine.

So, What is a 3.5 L Ti VCT V6 engine? One of the engine variants initially developed by Ford is the series of 3.5L Ti-VCT engines. This series is a part of the Ford Cyclone family. The Ford Cyclone Family is a group of Ford engines that naturally aspirated gasoline.

Previously, Ford Cyclone was known as Duratec, developed by this brand in 2006. Duratec was produced to replace the previous engine family, Ford V6.

This engine is used on the Ford Flex Limited, Ford Explorer Sport, Lincoln MKS, and the Ford Police Interceptor Utility Sedan.

Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT Engine Performance

As part of the Duratec or Cyclone family, people may trust the Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT Engine’s performance. And their perception of the engine is not entirely wrong. It is mainly made from aluminum as the primary material, with an opened deck from pf-cylinder aluminum and the cast-in liner.

The material is combined with components of bore and stroke. Those components are similar to those used in another type of engine by Ford, the 3.5L Ecoboost, with some improvements in a few particular parts.

This version is also equipped with a crankshaft to allow steel tightly held by billet steel with six bolts. The body is completed with a light aluminum piston and a connector with low-level friction.

Currently, this engine has been used in almost all products of Ford. Other brands like Lincoln have also used them since 2007. It is reasonable since Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT Engine has always been included in the top 10 best cars’ best machines. Even the recognition of this engine performance was started just after it was produced for the first time. 

Sure, after more than ten years, there are some improvements here and there to make the performance better. It also meets the users’ needs that are getting higher and more varied. One of them is that Ford decided to bring it to the aluminum F-150 platform in 2015.

Some features are added, including Eco-Boost’s feature with twin-turbocharged directly injected into the 3.5L version of GTDI fuel.

Other specifications and features of the latest version of the Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT v6 Engine are as follows. There are four valves added per cylinder head, a double camshaft overhead that is moved by the chain with intake timing, a water pump placed in the rear area of the engine that is moved by the rubber belt, and many more.

Those features are not added at the same time. For example, the camshaft overhead was just started to apply in 2011. It depends on the type of vehicle that Ford wants to develop by Ford also. 

3.5L Ti-VCT Reliability

First of all, with the timing camshaft applied, it enables the engine to have natural aspirations. Second, the firing system used is coil on plug (COP) with a sequential multi-port fuel injection fuel system. It works better with a cooling system of 14.25 liters or 3.76 gallons.

The capacity of the engine lubricant is 6.3 qts with a filter. With the system, the engine entirely provides the peak of the power of 282 horsepower. Meanwhile, the peak of torsion is 253 lb-ft.

Third, if your car uses this engine, you may feel more relaxed about changing the lubricant. Yes, after driving for more than 10,000 km in 12 months, along with the capacity of 5.7 liters and the oil lubricant, you can replace it. The interval tends to be stable like that.

Fourth, the engine is compatible with many featured products from Ford. You can name them: Ford F-150, Ford Flex, Ford Taurus, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, and more. This engine is found in Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln MK Series for Lincoln products.

On a Ford F150 that uses this engine, the 3.5l V6 ti vct towing capacity reaches a maximum of 7,700 pounds.

Lastly, the performance is getting better because it is electronically controlled by the multi-port fuel injection and the coil. The exhaust manifold is made from cast iron, with the manifold intake from plastic. 

Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT Engine Problems

While the Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT Engine is suitable for many reasons, it doesn’t mean that it is entirely perfect. Yes, the engine remains some problems even during the operation.

The main problem is the failure of the water pump to work. Undeniably, it often happens in almost all types of engines produced by Ford. Unfortunately, it seems the brand doesn’t improve this series. The failure is because the water pump used is the internal type.

The internal-type water pump is indeed prone to leakage. In the beginning, you probably even don’t realize that this problem happens until you see the cooling level. Still, the leakage can make water insert the engine lubricant area and cause emulsion in the water pump. Sure, it is not good or even awful for all types of engines.

When you get this problem, the solution is relatively easy. It is by fixing the leakage area. But in the long term, you probably need to replace the engine entirely. Sure, it is pretty expensive.

Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT DURATEC V6 Full Specs

ManufacturerLima Engine Plant, Lima, Ohio, the USA
Production years2006-present
Cylinder block materialAluminum
Cylinder head materialAluminum
Fuel typeGasoline
Fuel systemSequential multi-port fuel injection
Number of cylinders6
Valves per cylinder4
Valvetrain layoutDOHC
Bore (mm)92.5 mm (3.64 in)
Stroke (mm)86.6 mm (3.41 in)
Displacement (cc)3,496 cc (213.3 cu in)
type of Internal Combustion engineFour-stroke, naturally aspirated
Compression ratio10.8:1
Power (Horsepower)262-290 hp (195-216 kW)/ 6,250-6,500
Torque (lb-ft)248-255 lb-ft (336-346 Nm)/ 4,000-4,250
Engine Weight
Firing order1-4-2-5-3-6
engine oil weightSAE 5W-30
engine oil capacity (liter)5.7 l (6.0 qt) – with oil filter
oil change interval (mile)10,000 (15,000 km) / 12 months
ApplicationsFord F-150, Ford Edge, Ford Flex, Ford Taurus, Ford Explorer, Ford Fusion Sport, Ford Taurus X, Lincoln MKX, Lincoln MKZ, Mercury Sable, Mazda CX-9

Pros and Cons

So, it can be concluded that the pros and cons of the Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT Engine are as follows.


  • The engine is powerful with supports from great cooling and firing systems,
  • The users don’t need to change the lubricant too often,
  • The performance is improved with the multi-port fuel injection system,
  • It is compatible with many products from Ford and Lincoln.


  • The internal water pump is problematic as it is prone to leakage.


The Ford 3.5 Ti-VCT Engine is one of the best car engines in its class. It is provided by Ford and available in many Ford products and Lincoln. The engine produces excellent and powerful performance. However, a problem is also found in this engine; it is related to the internal water pump that can be leaked. But sure, the problem still doesn’t lessen the fact that this engine is worth applying in cars to ease your mobility.

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