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


97RangerXLT

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Sorry to bring this awesome write up back to life. I am doing my 94 Ranger 4.0 and I am down to the lower intake now. My question is about Post #103 photograph. I have the exact same kit. However, my kit has the second identical fuel rail gasket AND the 12 neoprene seals for the bottom of the upper intake. When I removed my question upper intake it didn’t look like I had any neoprene seals installed on the bottom of the upper intake. My question is do I install the two felt pro fuel rail gaskets (one between the upper intake and the fuel rail and the other between the bottom of the fuel rail and the lower intake) and the neoprene seals for the bottom of the upper intake. Sorry for the long winded explanation (My OCD gets the best of me).
Thank you for the awesome write up!
Brent
I believe that your 4.0 has the aluminum upper intake. I am not sure that the neoprene o ring style gaskets are designed for it. if they are, the upper intake will have a groove that they fit in, and if it does have that, then that is all the gasket that it needs to seal to the fuel rail. the fuel rail to lower intake would use one of the paper/ rtv gaskets. If your upper intake is smooth with no groove in it, then use the second paper/ rtv gasket between the fuel rail and upper intake. The plastic upper intake for the 95+ years has the groove in the surface for the neoprene o -rings, my kit came with 6 of them, but you only need three. Not sure why you would need 12...

See post 12-14 for a bit more clarity.

Good luck!

AJ
 


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Josh B

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Sorry to bring this awesome write up back to life. I am doing my 94 Ranger 4.0 and I am down to the lower intake now. My question is about Post #103 photograph. I have the exact same kit. However, my kit has the second identical fuel rail gasket AND the 12 neoprene seals for the bottom of the upper intake. When I removed my question upper intake it didn’t look like I had any neoprene seals installed on the bottom of the upper intake. My question is do I install the two felt pro fuel rail gaskets (one between the upper intake and the fuel rail and the other between the bottom of the fuel rail and the lower intake) and the neoprene seals for the bottom of the upper intake. Sorry for the long winded explanation (My OCD gets the best of me).
Thank you for the awesome write up!
Brent
Actually on that #103 post those were not the only gaskets in the set. There were also 6 of the figure-8 O-ring type gaskets. I had one of the flat gaskets pictured in the middle there, and three of the figure-8 O-ring type left over (basically enough to do the upper intake and fuel rail twice)

I'm not sure what you you mean by the "12 neoprene seals" but guess those were the fuel injector O-rings (which also came with it)
 

Josh B

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Sorry to bring this awesome write up back to life. I am doing my 94 Ranger 4.0 and I am down to the lower intake now. My question is about Post #103 photograph. I have the exact same kit. However, my kit has the second identical fuel rail gasket AND the 12 neoprene seals for the bottom of the upper intake. When I removed my question upper intake it didn’t look like I had any neoprene seals installed on the bottom of the upper intake. My question is do I install the two felt pro fuel rail gaskets (one between the upper intake and the fuel rail and the other between the bottom of the fuel rail and the lower intake) and the neoprene seals for the bottom of the upper intake. Sorry for the long winded explanation (My OCD gets the best of me).
Thank you for the awesome write up!
Brent
Here's a bit more about things I learned on the intakes and gaskets Gord, https://www.therangerstation.com/forums/index.php?threads/96-4-0-explorer-xlt-4x4-getting-it-back-on-the-road.183898/page-5 , Starting page 5.
 

ranger_gord

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Actually on that #103 post those were not the only gaskets in the set. There were also 6 of the figure-8 O-ring type gaskets. I had one of the flat gaskets pictured in the middle there, and three of the figure-8 O-ring type left over (basically enough to do the upper intake and fuel rail twice)

I'm not sure what you you mean by the "12 neoprene seals" but guess those were the fuel injector O-rings (which also came with it)
Thanks for the response. I meant 12 holes 6 of the two hole figure 8 o-rings. It that was a typo it was 6 and the lower side of the upper intake does not have groves for the neoprene figure eight o-ring. So I will be using the two fuel paper Felpro fuel rail gaskets.
A little history, my 94 XLT 4.0L has 410K with original gaskets. I had a leak and mistakenly I took it to a recommended auto repair place who proceeded to butcher it. I got it back and it hasn’t run right in over a year. It was my daily driver. My codes are 171, 172, 176,177. It has a misfire in accelerating to highway speeds. I was getting 22mpg average (old man driver I guess) and now I don’t see 14 mpg on a highway drive. The tailpipe is coated with black unburned hydrocarbons.
it has a hesitation and I seem to use a little antifreeze. I am at a cross road now and I don’t know if I should do the lower intake. What do you think?
 

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I believe that your 4.0 has the aluminum upper intake. I am not sure that the neoprene o ring style gaskets are designed for it. if they are, the upper intake will have a groove that they fit in, and if it does have that, then that is all the gasket that it needs to seal to the fuel rail. the fuel rail to lower intake would use one of the paper/ rtv gaskets. If your upper intake is smooth with no groove in it, then use the second paper/ rtv gasket between the fuel rail and upper intake. The plastic upper intake for the 95+ years has the groove in the surface for the neoprene o -rings, my kit came with 6 of them, but you only need three. Not sure why you would need 12...

See post 12-14 for a bit more clarity.

Good luck!

AJ
Sorry this response was for you.

Thanks for the response. I meant 12 holes 6 of the two hole figure 8 o-rings. It that was a typo it was 6 and the lower side of the upper intake does not have groves for the neoprene figure eight o-ring. So I will be using the two fuel paper Felpro fuel rail gaskets.
A little history, my 94 XLT 4.0L has 410K with original gaskets. I had a leak and mistakenly I took it to a recommended auto repair place who proceeded to butcher it. I got it back and it hasn’t run right in over a year. It was my daily driver. My codes are 171, 172, 176,177. It has a misfire in accelerating to highway speeds. I was getting 22mpg average (old man driver I guess) and now I don’t see 14 mpg on a highway drive. The tailpipe is coated with black unburned hydrocarbons.
it has a hesitation and I seem to use a little antifreeze. I am at a cross road now and I don’t know if I should do the lower intake. What do you think?
 

97RangerXLT

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Are you losing coolant? If not, the lower gasket is probably ok, but at the same time, since you have the upper intake off already, you are only 8 bolts away from doing the lower while you are at it..

AJ
 

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Are you losing coolant? If not, the lower gasket is probably ok, but at the same time, since you have the upper intake off already, you are only 8 bolts away from doing the lower while you are at it..

AJ
Thanks AJ,
Remarkable write up. It is a little disheartening that I keep going deeper and deeper into this project. All my injectors looked heated and so I have a set of “matched” remanufactured injectors I got online. They have the identical part number on them. I noticed that my “original” fuel rail gaskets had been butchered by the shop. They didn’t clean them and there was an amazing amount of RTV on both sides of the fuel rail.
I appreciate your help and responding to my questions and concerns.
Brent
 

97RangerXLT

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Thanks AJ,
Remarkable write up. It is a little disheartening that I keep going deeper and deeper into this project. All my injectors looked heated and so I have a set of “matched” remanufactured injectors I got online. They have the identical part number on them. I noticed that my “original” fuel rail gaskets had been butchered by the shop. They didn’t clean them and there was an amazing amount of RTV on both sides of the fuel rail.
I appreciate your help and responding to my questions and concerns.
Brent
yeah, that sucks that the shop was so incompetent. for the most part on my 97, I have found that I can pretty much do any of the work by myself, and since it is not a daily driver I can let it sit until I have the time or have figured out what I need to do to fix it. so, most repairs I can do fairly cheaply. Look at it this way on the gaskets, the fuel rail gaskets (both of them for lower and upper intake) *should* fix your 171 and 172 codes for sure, and might take care of the other two as well. Once everything is all buttoned up and done, start it and see if you have any vacuum leaks by misting around the engine and intake with some carb cleaner.. if the engine changes idle in the area where you spray it, you likely have a vacuum leak in that area somewhere, which could cause a misfire if it is severe enough.

Good luck, 410k miles is awesome. I have a little under half of that on my 97.

AJ
 

ranger_gord

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Thank you for your help AJ. I really appreciate it. I have a problem with my right elbow now and have to take a break from working on the ranger.
I must have some coolant loss as it climbed towards the “H” while I was on the highway in Colorado. I pulled over when I noticed the temp climbing and let it cool down. I sat there for half an hour and fired it back up and drive cautiously to the auto store let it cool again and then topped it off. I monitored the level and found it was losing some every 5-600 miles, before I had to top it off. I guess it would be prudent to do the lower intake as it is only the cleanup time on the lower intake and I can do all that with the components outside the truck.
Brent
 

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yeah if you are losing coolant, it makes sense to replace it. Also take a good look at the radiator... this happened to me. I was losing a bit of coolant every 1000 miles or so, no obvious leaks, no white puffs in the tailpipe. just had to top it off every so often. This went on for over a year and then finally i drove it around town and came home, turned the motor off and noticed it dribbling coolant. opened the hood and the side of the radiator had a crack in it that I could now see the coolant come out of it. new radiator and hoses with new cap later and all is good with the world.

AJ
 

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yeah if you are losing coolant, it makes sense to replace it. Also take a good look at the radiator... this happened to me. I was losing a bit of coolant every 1000 miles or so, no obvious leaks, no white puffs in the tailpipe. just had to top it off every so often. This went on for over a year and then finally i drove it around town and came home, turned the motor off and noticed it dribbling coolant. opened the hood and the side of the radiator had a crack in it that I could now see the coolant come out of it. new radiator and hoses with new cap later and all is good with the world.

AJ
My elbow is slow to heal, but I wrapped it and removed the lower intake. I found that there was RTV silicone all over everything. Not just the valleys between where the heads where the lower intake areas, but around all of the intake holes and the lower gasket. I am disgusted at the workmanship. But now it is my opportunity to make it right. I hope everything else is alright.
I had the rad changed approximately 10 years ago. I regularly drain and partially flush it, to keep the crap from building up. I didn’t notice any leaking around the rad. I do however notice discolouration (yellowish) on the rear side of the block, next to where the oil drain plug is located. This may be from the area above (rear of intake).
I’ll look into this to see if it is leaking from the top area. I will follow your write up on the intake replacement. I do have a question, though, how clean do the components have to be? I have used brake cleaner, goof off (acetone based solvent) and all the gasket surfaces are clean. However, the upper part of the lower intake is going to be a nightmare (PITA) cleaning off all of the RTV they used.
 

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if all of the mating surfaces are clean and no rtv is in any coolant port or intake port, I think you should be fine. it would really annoy the hell out of me though on the crapsmanship that the mechanic did too... I guess if it came down to it, you could probably yank a junkyard intake... might be less work than cleaning up the mess. and it sounds like you found the source of your coolant leak. hopefully your new gasket will fix it. I would be concerned enough to take a close look at hte lower intake, make sure that it isnt warped or god forbid if the heads are warped and that is why the mechanic had to load it with rtv... in the case of the intake being out of whack a junkyard intake might be what you need. I would think though that if the heads were warped you would have other issues as well. make sure that it is not a headgasket, I would say that if you have near equal pressure in all 6 cylinders and not oil/ coolant mixing you are probably ok.

good luck,

AJ
 

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Hence my motto there Gord, I'd rather do it twice and know what i've got, than to let them do it once and not have a clue. It seems no matter how much BS they talk at the counter, about 19.5 times out of 20 they immediately turn it over to the shop kid and turn em loose with only a minimal instruction. Anytime anyone I talk to mentions a "new" used vehicle(we alll drive a used car) my first advice(whether they asked for it or not) is to stop on the way home and get a repair manual

Thanks for the response. I meant 12 holes 6 of the two hole figure 8 o-rings. It that was a typo it was 6 and the lower side of the upper intake does not have groves for the neoprene figure eight o-ring. So I will be using the two fuel paper Felpro fuel rail gaskets.
Hell I can't get this thing to "reply" or to "quote"

Those figure-8 o-rings only have the groove on one side, the other surface is flat on the ones I've noted
 
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ranger_gord

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if all of the mating surfaces are clean and no rtv is in any coolant port or intake port, I think you should be fine. it would really annoy the hell out of me though on the crapsmanship that the mechanic did too... I guess if it came down to it, you could probably yank a junkyard intake... might be less work than cleaning up the mess. and it sounds like you found the source of your coolant leak. hopefully your new gasket will fix it. I would be concerned enough to take a close look at hte lower intake, make sure that it isnt warped or god forbid if the heads are warped and that is why the mechanic had to load it with rtv... in the case of the intake being out of whack a junkyard intake might be what you need. I would think though that if the heads were warped you would have other issues as well. make sure that it is not a headgasket, I would say that if you have near equal pressure in all 6 cylinders and not oil/ coolant mixing you are probably ok.

good luck,

AJ
Hi AJ,

I am nursing the elbow (feeling better) but Igot everything out and cleaned up so I am ready to install it all. I put a straight edge on all the lower intake ports and tried to slip the smallest feeler gauge underneath it. I moved the straight edge around and couldn’t find any place where the feeler gauge would fit under the straightedge.
I have the fuel injectors and fuel rail mounted on the lower intake. I did the same thing to see if the aluminum fuel rail had warped but it is aluminum after all and it fit okay. I cleaned the mating surfaces for the valve covers and was going to paint my gray valve covers, but they are in good condition so I left them.
I checked the mating surface for the lower intake to the block for warpage and it looks okay (same method). I don’t see any frothing or yellow mixed oil and antifreeze, so here is hoping they didn’t totally butcher it. BTW, I asked the shop before hand to run a compression test and let me know the results (I had just moved here so no garage or shop) and he said under his breath, “Yeah they were all around 150”. I should have run right then and there.
Can I run a compression test with the intake out? I mean the cylinders, intake and exhaust valves all operate. I haven’t had my battery connected but I could turn the crank.
Oh a question, what do you think of the two piece lower intake gasket. I have both the one and two piece. I predict the two piece and it looks okay. I would probably have to add more RTV at the four corners where head-> block and along that front and back deck.

take care guys,
Brent
 

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Hence my motto there Gord, I'd rather do it twice and know what i've got, than to let them do it once and not have a clue. It seems no matter how much BS they talk at the counter, about 19.5 times out of 20 they immediately turn it over to the shop kid and turn em loose with only a minimal instruction. Anytime anyone I talk to mentions a "new" used vehicle(we alll drive a used car) my first advice(whether they asked for it or not) is to stop on the way home and get a repair manual

Thanks for the response. I meant 12 holes 6 of the two hole figure 8 o-rings. It that was a typo it was 6 and the lower side of the upper intake does not have groves for the neoprene figure eight o-ring. So I will be using the two fuel paper Felpro fuel rail gaskets.
Hell I can't get this thing to "reply" or to "quote"

Those figure-8 o-rings only have the groove on one side, the other surface is flat on the ones I've noted
Yeah they saw me coming. I had no where to work on it, I was renting a basement from an anal retentive scumlord whose 2013 Ram leaked all over the driveway, and she says I don’t want your two drops of oil on my driveway. She blamed my ranger for all the puddles on the driveway. I was waiting for wife to join me from Colorado to buy a place. When she got there, it was already too late. 😟. Now I am just trying to do the right thing. Thanks for the help and support too, Josh.
Brent
 


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