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How to: replace valve cover gaskets, fuel rail gaskets and lower intake gaskets

slvr00gt

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Thanks!

Great write up. I knew for a year that I have to change valve cover gasket, but finally got it done this weekend.


I have have a following improvement to suggest to the statement below. EGR valve is being held by two bolts. If you just remove the bolts, the tube gets much easier to move around
13. You can remove the tube (after looking at the rust involved and the aggravation, I decided to go another route)

14. Take your 6” extension and stick it down the egr tube. Take a 3” extension and stick in the 6” extension. Use this assembly to gently pull the egr tube toward you (leaning over the drivers fender) as you wiggle the valve cover out.
 


97RangerXLT

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I wanted to make one clarification to this super excellent :headbang: write-up.

The parts list shows the lower intake gasket as part# F7TZ-9E439-AA. Ford (as well as Google) only shows F7TZ-9439-AA as the one and only original gasket for the lower intake spot. I assume that is the actual part# -- this may already be obvious since one cannot confuse it with any other gaskets, but I wanted to mention it for accuracy and/or check if I am wrong.
I am not sure why the "E" is left out of the part number...I ordered my gasket from Don Hinds Ford here in Fishers. That was the number on the invoice anyways... Looks like that is the only difference in the number. Maybe Adsm08 can clarify? He is one of our Ford Techs here on TRS
Now for my questions:

1. 97rangerxlt specifically chose the OEM gasket over the others. According to Ford, this is the original version. Does it mean that it is prone to the same problem? I would think that the aftermarket ones might be preferable over this one to eliminate the repeat problem.The reason I chose Ford over Felpro was because of the one piece construction and the rubber end pieces. it was made much more durable and the price was only 1 or 2 dollars more than the Felpro equivalent. I figured why wouldn't I use OEM in this case.

2. The Ford OEM gasket does have "filled" rubber ends on one end of the gasket (as pictured in the first post). Other OEM version do not. I assume this does not affect any functionality?yeah the ends are filled on one end (I think it is the back) the reason being that either the lower or the upper intake (forget which one) does not have any matching cutouts for it anyways. makes that part stronger. Not sure if on other years (maybe pre 95) if it has all four ports open on both halves or not, maybe this is the "E" designation? the units without the "E" possibly have all ports cut out?

3. Some (most?) aftermarket versions come in 2 pieces instead of the sort of trough-shaped one. Are there downsides to the multi-piece version? Apologies if this one has been asked before.Dealing with just setting the one piece and hoping it would not leak was trouble enough... I would not even want to mess with a two piece unit and try for no leaks. Just asking for trouble.

4. Lastly, and relating to #1 above, some aftermarket products claim to use HNBR rubber (Victor Reinz for example). It sounds like this might be better for contact with anti-freeze, but I don't see anyone else claiming this. Any thoughts about this?no clue on this one... maybe some others can chime in?

Thanks!

P.S. Related to forum password reset functionality -- I have a 6 year old login that requires a password reset. However, the system cannot validate my email address (which I know I used as I have the original verification email). But then, the "contact the administrator" feature requires a valid login, so I could not do anything excepy create a new account ... any ideas?
Welcome back! maybe have Jim or one of the handy Mods unlock you or even change your username to your old one. I do know that there was a forum change in August of 2007 or so...and all content before that was lost in the change over.

Great write up. I knew for a year that I have to change valve cover gasket, but finally got it done this weekend.
Thanks! Glad that this write up has helped!

I have have a following improvement to suggest to the statement below. EGR valve is being held by two bolts. If you just remove the bolts, the tube gets much easier to move around lol I hear you... see step thirteen below for why I didn't go that route... I was going to do that method, even got a new egr gasket for it. I agree, if you don't have the rust issues that I have (no way those bolts are coming out...at least not without snapping them and the use of a bolt stud extractor), your way is far superior and I would recommend it. but if you do, step 14 is a viable option that doesn't involve more aggravation.
13. You can remove the tube (after looking at the rust involved and the aggravation, I decided to go another route)

14. Take your 6” extension and stick it down the egr tube. Take a 3” extension and stick in the 6” extension. Use this assembly to gently pull the egr tube toward you (leaning over the drivers fender) as you wiggle the valve cover out.

Again, Glad I could be of service for this issue gentlemen.

AJ

 

97RangerXLT

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Wow...awesome write up...now I know what I missed on mine...lol

But it looks like a big job...think I will stick with the 2.3!
Thanks! This was the most involved job that I have done on a car or truck. even the valve covers on my 87 Grand Marquis that I had several years back were not this bad. still not horrible if you take your time and take pictures of how things go.
 

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Yeah, i used to write technical documents for an e-mail support group...it was actually easier to do it all in my head than when I do stuff on my truck...

When I work on my truck and the task is multi-part, I usually have one or two pieces somewhere near complete before I actually start the replacement. If I want to document that (like in my Electric Pump doc) I forget that some people have no idea where to start making a part and I just show a pic of the finished product and say "there" lol...

It is a painstaking process to do it right and you had nice text info right on the images...that helps IMMENSELY when you are trying to figure out what something is or how it is removed...

I'd rep you but I have to wait...:icon_thumby:
 

vedrand

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In the middle of it...

The reason I chose Ford over Felpro was because of the one piece construction and the rubber end pieces. it was made much more durable and the price was only 1 or 2 dollars more than the Felpro equivalent. I figured why wouldn't I use OEM in this case.
I ended up ordering a Victor Reinz gasket package MIS19316. But I also picked up the Ford OEM part to compare. The Victor gasket's rubber sections seem to be significantly thicker, which is why I was motivated to use it despite the fact its 2 piece construction. See question below.


Dealing with just setting the one piece and hoping it would not leak was trouble enough... I would not even want to mess with a two piece unit and try for no leaks. Just asking for trouble.
I tried dry fitting both and the 2 piece does not seem much harder to fit, particularly if its tacked down with some RTV.



Welcome back! maybe have Jim or one of the handy Mods unlock you or even change your username to your old one. I do know that there was a forum change in August of 2007 or so...and all content before that was lost in the change over.
Good point. Now that I have a usable login, I guess I can
My new question is about the 2 piece lower intake gasket for those that have installed it.

My Victor Reinz is thick enough on the sides that it makes the lower intake manifold sit a millimeter or so higher making the valve cover surface uneven! I this this with a dry fit and torqued the lower intake down all the way.

Given all of the slop in the valve cover gasket, I am guessing I could make i work with enough additional RTV, but it's asking for trouble.

How do the 2 piece Felpro gaskets compare to OEM? Based on the pictures, they seem similar to the Victor.

Thanks.
 

vedrand

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Serious lower intake gasket install problems

OK, I am finally reporing about my failed gasket replacement job. Here is what's happening and the events leading up to it.

The whole job seemed to go fine albeit a bit long. After re-assembly, the car started fine. After a few minutes at idle, the drivers' side exhaust manifold (right at or below the fitting that connects the EGR valve pipe) started smoking -- vapor like. I did this a few times in succession just to make sure it was not on the outside of the pipe. Additionally, water puddles in decent amounts below the tail pipe. And finally, when I drain the oil (now I have one of those Fumoto quick release valves which makes this easy) the first thing that comes out is a little antifreeze followed by oil (after the fluids have had a chance to settle). And this is true every time.

So I have a major coolant leak on one side!

Now, this will sound even worse, and I hope it does not reflect too badly on my mechanical competence... but I did the job twice with the same results!

My main question is, could have I messed up the alignment or RTV addition so badly to cause this to happen twice?! Or could another part of the engine block have gotten compromised the first time, and now I am done?:icon_confused: Or should I try it again with more RTV?

Here are some higlights of what I did each time and what may be slightly different from the original directions. Please bare with me:

1. The first time I chose the OEM 1-piece gasket. Placed RTV on the mandatory 4 corners (on both sides of the gasket) plus added a VERY thin bead everywhere around the coolant passage-ways and down across the middle (only on the engine side of the gasket). The first time I bolted it down, I noticed that the lower intake did not sit even, so I loosened the bolts and re-torqued w/out any change. This was probably not a good idea especially if I did not have enough RTV in the first place, but as I should not have needed the RTV, does it matter?

2. The second time, I used the thicker, 2-piece Victor Reinz (as I already had an opened set). This time I used my finger to swag some RTV across both sides of the gasket just around the coolant holes to ensure that if there were any gouges in the metal surface, the RTV would fill it. Nothing bad happened there during torquing as I was super careful at that point. I assume it is not bad to add extra RTV even if not required -- and this was truly a small amount. Since I used teh permatex RTV, it says to partially torque and then wait for an hour before doing the final torquing. Is this significant?

3. Each time I torqued the lower intake bolts to a different amount everyone else seems to list. Not sure if this is significant either, or if it can break anything. For my '97 ranger, my Ford factory says to go up to 25Nm (in 3 steps). The Victor Reinz gasket did not state anything about a lower torque value which Fel-Pro might have based on online info.

4. In order to remove the lower manifold, I had to use a crowbar and placed it very carefully so that it did not scrape any sensitive areas. This was the only way I could break the old seal.... similar to the fuel rail. Both were stuck on really tight.

Everything else seems to be holding. The upper intake is a no brainer, the valve-covers fit with enough RTV (note, per my above post, with the thicker, 2-piece gaskets, the lower intake sits abot a milimeter above the plane of the valve cover mating surface, whereas it was less than a milimeter under with the OEM gasket). This different in height did not seem to affect anything during the short period of time I had the engine idling. Also, I replaced the fuel rail gasket and the injector o-rings w/out problems. This gasket was the worst to clean up by far.

To prep the surface, I ended up using a razor blade or box-cutter knife tips as scapers. When it was mostly free from major chunks, I used gasoline to soften any remaining silicone and finished it off with 400 grit sand paper where necessary. I used brake cleaner for final prep. Both gasoline and brake cleaner were applied via a paint brush or a rag.

I also decidd replaced the EGR valve, so unmounting that compression fitting was a royal pain. I ended up using a hammer over my adjustable wrench to loosen it. I imagine this should not have caused any damage since its far enough away from the block, but???

PLEASE HELP!
 
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97RangerXLT

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well crap... I posted a reply and it disappeared....

Well hopefully it wont' reappear and make this a double post, soo....

That sucks on the coolant issues... I would look at these things:

first, it sounds like you did a pretty good job of gasket removal, so I would look at how the intake sits in the engine. If I recall, there are a few locating dowels/pins that place the intake where it needs to be. make sure that these pins are not obstructed or have any gunk in the holes that is not allowing you to seat the intake. you should have a near perfect transition from the intake to the heads, there should be no noticable gap or one part raised higher than the other.

I would tear it all down again and torque the intake down without the gasket and see how it sits. it should be just a hair lower than the heads. If it is still raised up, I would say that something somewhere is not allowing you to torque it down properly. you may have put a burr or a ding in one of the mating surfaces when you removed the intake with the crowbar and did not notice, I would go over all of that again.

My truck also had a ring of carbon around the intake ports in the heads, and I had to take a screwdriver and gently chisel all of that off. that might be just enough crud to not allow your gasket to seat properly.

If all of this does not work, I would suggest that you take a look at head gaskets... :(

Hope this helps,

AJ
 

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14. Take your 6” extension and stick it down the egr tube. Take a 3” extension and stick in the 6” extension. Use this assembly to gently pull the egr tube toward you (leaning over the drivers fender) as you wiggle the valve cover out.
Be careful when doing this. I bent the tube too much and it cracked on me. It took me three days of searching to find the vacuum leak it caused. I little muffler putty over the hole and it is better than before. (Now that I don't have an oil leak.)
Great write up! I just wish I would have found it BEFORE I did the fix.
 

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Does anyone concur with the spots indicated on pic that it's a good amount and technique to apply Permatex Ultra Grey RTV on a 4.0l v6 OVH? I will be using Felpro 2-piece gaskets and not OEM 1-piece.

This is not an image of my actual engine : )

Thanks!!
 
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97RangerXLT

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My question is, how did you get the bead to be so uniform? looks good man!

AJ
 

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Actually, I didn't lol! I used that image and photoshopped the arrows onto it to illustrate my question better. I hope I didn't break any rules by using a pic I Googled (oops!)

By the way, I'm 1/2 way through the project using your excellent write-up and a few others to guide me. I'm at the stage of cleaning + prepping the block to accept my newly cleaned and gasketed (is that a word?....lol) intake manifold. I really took my time using lacquer thinner and a little wire wheel on a dremel tool to carefully detail the heck out of the fuel rail and ports without gouging them....shiny! Did the injector o-rings and even tested injectors with my trusty multimeter and they all passed with a gas-squirting range of about 14.5 ohms. Sweet.

Anyway, I do have a question if you please sir: Now that my manifold is squeaky clean, I want to clean the (exhaust?) ports on the heads ..that are caked with carbon n' varnish crap but am afraid to knock any fragments of crud down into the heads. Should I just leave them alone and plop the manifold down, torque and call it done or is there a way of safely cleaning those ports that connect the manifold to the heads? (See Image)


Thanx!!
 
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Dutch

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my engine looks different

this is an awsome write up. but my 2002 4.0 dosent look like that. my oil fill cap is on the left but my egr and coil are on the drivers side. I only need to change the drivers side valve cover as it is leaking oil pretty bad on the manifold. why does my engine has a different layout? do i still need to remove the upper intake and or fuel rail to replace the drivers side gasket?
 

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this is an awsome write up. but my 2002 4.0 dosent look like that. my oil fill cap is on the left but my egr and coil are on the drivers side. I only need to change the drivers side valve cover as it is leaking oil pretty bad on the manifold. why does my engine has a different layout? do i still need to remove the upper intake and or fuel rail to replace the drivers side gasket?
I'll bet you have the SOHC 4.0 (newer and more powerful but a completely different engine than my OHV 4.0.) Ford switched over to the SOHC version in 2000 for the Explorer I believe, maybe 2002 for the Ranger. As for your application I would imagine most of what I have here will apply somewhat but the torque specs will be different and plumbing and wiring will be different. You might want to document this as you go and put a write up for the SOHC 4.0


In a nutshell you probably will have to pull the upper intake at a bare minimum. Every modern car that I have done valve covers I have had to pull the upper intake.

Then it is figure it out as you go. You might get lucky and not have to pull the a/c compressor or alternator. But since this is Ford we are talking about I won't hold my breath :D.

Another resource here on TRS is the 4.0 engine forums. The guys with the newer trucks might be able to shed some more light on the subject for you.

Good luck and I hope this helps

AJ

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Just did my valve covers and wanted to say thanks to 97RangerXLT for this write-up. It walked me the whole way through. Great job!
 

97RangerXLT

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you are welcome :)

AJ
 

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