Ford Engine Firing Order [302, 5.4, 4.6 390, 5.0, 351]

Every mechanic understands the importance of knowing the correct firing order of a truck engine or car. Knowing the proper sequence will aid in reducing, if not completely eliminating, engine vibrations.

Because the Ford engine is one of the most popular engines in the market, in this post, we’ll concentrate on the Ford Engine Firing Order. So, what is the Ford engine firing order?

The following is the firing order for the most common Ford engines:

  1. Non-HO Ford 302 engine: 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
  2. HO Ford 302 engine: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  3. Ford 5.4 engine: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  4. Ford 5L V8 VIN “P” engine: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  5. Ford 5L V8 VIN “N” engine: 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
  6. Ford 390 engine: 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
  7. Ford 4.6 V8 engine: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  8. Ford 351 engine: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  9. Ford 351W engine: 1-3-5-7-2-6-5-4-8

You can have a smooth ride if the sequence of spark plug firing or fuel injection is correct. Why? Because vibrations inside the engine, including the whole system, will be kept to a minimum. That’s how crucial it is to get the engine to fire in the correct order.

Read on to know more about the Ford engine firing order, including each Ford engine’s specifications.

What Is the Ford Engine Firing Order?

ford engine firing order

Gasoline and diesel engines are the two types of engines available. The fuel is ignited by spark plugs in gasoline engines. While in diesel engines, the fuel is injected and burned when the air is compressed to a boiling state.

The engine’s firing order is determined by the order in which the spark plugs fire (gasoline engines) and fuel is injected (diesel engines).

Ford Motor Co. has produced a variety of truck engines with varying sizes, capacities, and power outputs. In fact, seven truck engines have been used as the driving force behind various Ford Truck models over the years.

The firing orders of nine different Ford truck engines will be discussed for the rest of this article.

Ford Engine Name:Firing Order:
HO 3021-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
Non-HO 3021-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
5.0 V8 VIN “N”1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
5.0 V8 VIN “P”1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
4.6 V81-3-7-2-6-5-4-8

Ford 302 Firing Order

what is the firing order of ford engines

A Ford 302 engine’s firing order is determined by the model year. The Ford engine firing order on newer HO engines is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. The firing order on older models is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8.

The firing orders for early 302 engines are the same as for the 260 and 289 engines, with LH = 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8 and RH = 1-8-7-3-6-2-4-5.

The firing order of the later 302 engines (marine) was the same as that of the 351 W engines, with LH = 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 and RH = 1-8-4-5-6-2-7-3. The transition took place between 1972 and 1974.

The firing order for the non-HO Ford 302 engines is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. And cylinders 1, 2, 3, and 4, which are closest to the firewall, are located on the passenger side of the engine.

Cylinders 5, 6, 7, & 8 are located near the firewall on the driver’s side. The same setup applies to HO 302 engines.

order firing ford engine

To see if the engine has the usual non-HO firing order (TDC), pull the valve cover and place cylinder #1 at the top dead center. You can do this by turning the engine over manually.

It’s near to that position when you can feel air coming out of the hole of spark plug #1 with your finger.

Use the timing markers on the damper to get to TDC at this point. Then manually turn the engine again, this time clockwise. Ensure to take note of the order in which the intake valves open in order to verify the firing order listed above. If it confirms the sequence, then you’re sure.

It makes no difference if the sequence is different. But take note of the order in which the intake valves open for each cylinder. You will learn the firing order for the 302 Ford by doing so.

Ford 5.4 Firing Order

Let’s take a look at the firing order for the Ford 5.4 Triton. To establish a starting point, you must first determine which cylinder top or bank is the primary one. Specifically, this is useful if you need to replace a specific component, such as the ignition coil, oxygen sensor, or gasoline injector.

ford firing order

Before doing anything, be sure you know which cylinder head is #1. This is the cylinder brain that is closest to the top or most forward. Cylinder 1 is the closest to the engine’s top.

1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 is the firing order for all Ford 5.4 engines. Cylinders 1, 2, 3, & 4 are located on the passenger side, whereas cylinders 5, 6, 7, and 8 are on the driver’s side.

Ford 5.0 Firing Order 

This engine has a capacity of 5 liters. The Ford 5L V-8 VIN “N” engine and the Ford 5.0L V-8 VIN “P” engine are two variations of this engine. Therefore, these two engines have different firing orders.

Cylinders 1, 2, 3, and 4 are still on the passenger side, whereas cylinders 5, 6, 7, & 8 are on the driver’s side. The distributor rotates in a clockwise direction.

The Ford 5L V-8 VIN “N” engine has a firing sequence of 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8, while the Ford 5.0L V-8 VIN “P” engine has a firing order of 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. It makes no difference where the spark plug wires are positioned. There will be no issues as long as the firing order is followed.

So, if the spark plug cap needs to be rotated for any reason, you won’t have to bother about pulling the wires and turning them.

Ford 4.6 Firing Order

For Ford 4.6 V8 engines, the firing order is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. Cylinder number one is located in the engine’s front and on the driver’s side in these engines. The cylinder numbers are assigned by Ford Motor Company in a sequential manner, beginning at the front and the back of the engine.

The driver’s side has cylinders 1 to 4, while the passenger side has cylinders 5 to 8.

This engine is part of Ford Motor Company’s modular engine series. Although it has a smaller displacement than the Ford Windsor engines, it produces higher power. In addition, the modular series put an end to Ford’s Windsor engines by providing more power in a smaller engine.

The 4.6 engine was used in various Ford cars, vans, and trucks. The Triton is the name given to this modular engine. Ford also sells a DOHC version of this modular engine, which is used in Lincoln vehicles. This engine is no longer manufactured.

This could be owing to the modular engine’s major flaws. The use of Dupont nylon intake manifolds is one of the problems. They’re prone to cracking, resulting in coolant leakage.

Another issue is the difficulty in removing the spark plugs, as well as the lack of threads on the spark plugs.

Ford 390 Firing Order

Since its introduction in 1961, Ford has made nine changes to its 390 V8 engine. Ford kept the engine’s firing order, which is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8, in all nine variations. Ford developed this engine in response to General Motors’ Chevrolet 409.

what is ford firing order

390 Engine

The Ford 390 produced more horsepower than GM’s 409. Its greatest engine output was 401 horsepower. It was put into production in its first year. That was more than 41 hp greater than the Chevy 409’s 360 hp.

The 390 engine was used in the manufacturing of Mercury and Ford vehicles, as well as various trucks. However, because of the Chevy 409’s larger size, car buyers were more enthusiastic about it.

Chevrolet Impalas with 409 engines sell two to three times as much as Ford Galaxies with 390 engines.

The Ford 390, on the other hand, is still quite popular today due to the ease with which parts can be obtained. Some car aficionados may boost the engine’s power over 500+ horsepower, especially if it’s designed for racing.

Ford Car Year Models That Share the Firing Order: 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8

Starting with the first model in 1961, below are the Ford car year models sharing the same firing order of 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8:

  • 1961 – 1965: Engine with 4 barrel carb (lower horsepower model) generating 300 hp with 427 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 1961, 1963, & 1965: With 4-barrel carb (higher hp model) producing 330 hp with 427 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 1961 – 1962: With 4 barrel carb, generating 375 hp with 427 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 1961 – 1962: With 3×2 barrel carbs producing 401 hp with 430 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 1966 – 1969: With 2 barrel carbs producing 265 hp (standard transmission), 275 hp (automatic transmission) generating 401 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 1966 – 1968: With 4 barrel carb producing 315 hp with 427 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 1967 – 1968: With 4 barrel carb generating 320 hp with 427 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 1966 – 1968: With 4-barrel carb “GT Model” producing 335 hp with 427 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 1969: With 4 barrel carb generating 320 hp with 427 lb.-ft. of torque

Ford 351 Firing Order

The Ford 351 engine is available as a 351 (C), 351 (M), or 400 M. Cleveland is represented by the letter C, and Michigan is represented by the letter M. These engines all fire in the same order. It’s 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. They differ from standard SBF (Small Block Ford) engines like the 289, 302, and 351W.

These engines, like the Big Block Chevy engines, have canted valves in the cylinder heads. And the position of the spark plug wires is fine as long as the firing order is kept.

order of ford engine firing

You can pull the wires and then rotate them around if the cap needs to be rotated. Whatever you do, be sure the engine’s firing order is maintained.

Ford 351W Engine Firing Order

Ford 351W engines fire in this order: 1-3-5-7-2-6-5-4-8. This differs from the majority of Ford Motor Company’s V-8 engines. The manufacturer numbers the cylinders beginning at the front left of the engine.

On the left, or passenger side, are cylinders 1 through 4, while on the right, or driver’s side, are cylinders 5 through 8. The distributor rotates counterclockwise.

Importance of the Right Firing Order

The right spark plugs fire the Ford 351W to run smoothly if the firing order is followed correctly. So, if the engine is running smoothly and the plug wires are removed, like when replacing spark plugs, you will know that the engine is firing in the correct order.

firing order of ford

Additionally, label the wires before removing them from the spark plugs to ensure that they stay in the right firing sequence. If you rearrange them incorrectly, you’ll be able to remedy the problem by referring to the wire labels.

351 Cubic Inch Windsor Engine

In 1969, Ford Motor Company introduced the 351 cubic inch Windsor engine in response to public demand for more power from stock engines. The price of fuel per gallon was low at the time. At that time, the engines produced more than 300 horsepower.

For several years, Ford used the 351 Windsor as the standard engine among a variety of vehicles. When emission restrictions were implemented, the company had to reduce the power of its engines, limiting even the most powerful Mustang to 169 horsepower.

Ford stopped utilizing this engine in 2014 due to public demand for better fuel efficiency and economy. However, the 351W is still available as a crate engine from Ford Motor Company’s motorsports division.

Engine Firing Order: What Does It Mean?

The firing order of a gasoline engine is determined by the order in which the spark plugs fire. On diesel engines, it refers to the order in which the fuel is injected into each cylinder. Every engine built by Ford Motor Company has a designated firing order.

Conclusion – What Is the Ford Engine Firing Order?

The firing order of Ford engines are as follows:

  1. Firing order for Non-HO Ford 302 engines: 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
  2. Firing order for all Ford 5.4 engines: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  3. Firing order of the Ford 5L V-8 VIN “N” engine: 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8, while the Ford 5.0 liter V-8 VIN “P” engine is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  4. Firing order of Ford 4.6 V8 engines: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  5. Firing order for Ford 390: 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
  6. Firing order for Ford 351 engines: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8
  7. Firing order for all Ford 351W engines: 1-3-5-7-2-6-5-4-8