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2002 4.0L V6 valve cover gasket replacement and TIPS!

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by thammel, March 19, 2012.

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    1. thammel

      thammel Member

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      City, State:
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      I got sick and tired of the aroma of burnt oil on the exhaust manifolds....every time at a stop light the fumes would be overwhelming! So I finally bit the bullet and did this job. It's a pain! You need to remove the intake manifold to get access to the valve covers. It's a good idea to replace the manifold seals while at it. Basic tools can get the job done with a couple of exceptions. You'll need 1/4" drive small torx sockets (ok, pretty basic) to get the intake manifold screws out. You'll also need an inspection mirror to see the driver's side rear screw. The worst part was the egr tube. Here's where you'll need a 27 mm open end wrench and probably a 27 mm crowfoot wrench, 1/2" drive. I was able to get the tube nut loose at the top end (egr valve) but had real problems at the header. There appears to be a fitting screwed into the header and then the tube with nut screws into that. I could NOT break the two loose but could only turn the tube with nut attached to the fitting. The problem with this is that it didn't allow the tube to be removed, so I forced and bent the tube enough to get the valve (right side) cover off. This made it really difficult to get the tube back in, come assembly time, but I managed. I think you'll need a 25 mm open end wrench to hold the fitting while you loosen the tube nut with the 27 mm crowfoot wrench.

      The good news is that the job is done and there are no more oil leaks. And it started up immediately.

      I was lazy and didn't remove the negative battery cable. I also did not relieve fuel system pressure. Got just a little leak on disassembly - no biggie. So if you have any specific questions on this job, I think I can answer them now.

      Tom
       
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    3. mikbor1

      mikbor1 New Member

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      I recently did mine also--To break free the large nut for the EGR on the mainfold I actually removed the passenger side inner fenderwell and stuck a large pipe wrench thru there onto the nut--I only got a 1/4 turn at a time, but it worked!!
       
    4. mdboulier

      mdboulier New Member

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      Thanks for the write up. I have to make the same repair to my 02 explorer. Its been fun going around town smelling like burnt oil but enough's enough.
       
      Last edited: April 16, 2012
    5. vrtentis

      vrtentis New Member

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      the bolt on the driverside closest to the firewall has oil pooling up and over flowing onto my headers! any idea why it would do this? just replaced gasket and bolt grommets (felpro) do I need silicone? do the longer guide bolts go on first then the cover? im out of ideas? could my valve cover be warped?
       
    6. mikbor1

      mikbor1 New Member

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      I believe they are plastic so maybe it cracked? Also the pvc valve is there, maybe the oil is leaking from there
       
    7. vrtentis

      vrtentis New Member

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      black hole

      You were more than right about a crack, the was a hole in the back of the cover. Not sure what caused it maybe heat stress or just got old. Either way ordering a new set thanks for your reply.
       
    8. vrtentis

      vrtentis New Member

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      Anyone have a good website to buy a good replacement set of valve covers? Or a part number? Ford wants $108 per cover and I figured maybe for that price i might find a better quality material from a after market company.
       
    9. mrau92me

      mrau92me Active Member

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      I'd be tempted to try drilling a little bit larger hole in that spot and then install some sort of plug made to fit that size hole. If you're set on replacing that cover, try some of the on-line Ford dealerships that typically sell their parts for cheaper. They've been mentioned here in this forum several times, something like silverstate ford, Tasca Ford, genuinefordparts (something like that), etc.

      A hole sounds awfully strange...like someone else mentioned, are you sure you put your pcv valve back in? BTW, if you replaced the pcv valve with a metal Standard brand valve, there's a good chance it's not the right part and will pop out of the valve cover. My local parts store sold me one insisting it would fit, and I had to take it back with my original one. They then agreed it wouldn't work.
       
    10. Jasone352

      Jasone352 New Member

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      Okay so i am in the process of replacing my valve covers today, i am about 3 hours in and spent the majority of that trying to get that god-forsaken right rear intake manifold screw out. After much effort I have all 8 removed, as well as the throttle body, spark plug wires, and numerous other hoses and tubes. However, I am going to make a trip down to the tool shop and pick up those recommended wrenches in order to get the EGR tube off. Hopefully then I can start working on replacing the actual valve cover gaskets.

      Now I have a few questions:

      1. When replacing the intake gaskets/ valve cover gaskets, is there some kind of sealant/lubricant I must apply before reassembling? I believe I have seen mention of something of the sort on other threads but I am not positive.

      2. Neither the replacement gaskets i purchased for the intake or the valve covers came with any kind of grommets that I have seen mentioned. What are these and do I have to replace these as well? I dont believe my Hayne's manual makes any mention of them.

      3. When cleaning the gasket surfaces on the intake and the valve cover, brake fluid will suffice? I know to be careful as to not get any gunk inside of the engine, however I want to be sure I am properly cleaning the surface before reassembling.

      Sorry for the bombardment of questions, hopefully someone replies soon since i will be riding my bike to the store here shortly :(

      Thanks for the help everybody!
       
    11. Hitchhikingmike

      Hitchhikingmike Well-Known Member

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      My 2002 is burning oil on the headers on both sides now. To make the matter worse I already replaced the valve cover gaskets 3 or 4 years ago. Even then it wasn't as bad as it is now. I just degreased the engine to watch it seep from the valve cover to make sure.

      I hope my cover isn't warped or cracked. Coincidently both sides are leaking oil onto the manifolds.

      Fml. The first time I did the job I took the egr pipe off of the manifold and it was tough. Hopefully it won't be any harder this time since I have previously broken it loose.

      :/ GHAD!!!
       
    12. Hitchhikingmike

      Hitchhikingmike Well-Known Member

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      I think I'll apply a bead of silicon on the outside perimeter of the valve cover gasket this time to double seal it. Think this would be a good idea?
       
    13. kscop

      kscop New Member

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      Older thread but I came across this when dealing with my LH Valve cover oil leak.
      My manual says to remove the EGR Tube at the EGR valve and doesn't indicate that I need to remove it at the manifold. (2002 Explorer XLT 4.0)

      That being said, I can't get the nut loose at the EGR valve; no amount of penetrating oil has helped and I'm a little nervous about using a torch in that location. So; what about just unbolting the EGR valve? I'd have to replace the EGR gasket but that isn't too bad.

      Short of all that, I'm considering paying someone for the hassle..

      Thoughts?
       
    14. Tech By Trade

      Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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      You need to loosen it to turn the egr tube out of the way so you can get the cover off. I wouldn't heat it, PB Blaster and a wrench through the wheel well.
       
    15. kscop

      kscop New Member

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      It seems that if it is just taken off the valve, it would pull out and make room. Interesting that the ford service manual doesn't mention loosening the tube at the manifold. Access to the tube at the valve is easy but it is frozen solid.

      I'm still wondering if just removing the valve and leaving the tubes in place would do the job. It would be much easier to remove those two bolts rather than the frozen tube nuts.
       
    16. BigFellor

      BigFellor Member

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      Kscop, what did you end up doing with the EGR valve / tube? I'm going to be tackling this job soon.
       
    17. kscop

      kscop New Member

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      i took it to a local shop and had them replace the gasket. I didn't want to mess with it and make things worse.

      I usually do all my repairs myself but I've learned that some things it just makes sense to pay someone else to do.
       
    18. Magicland

      Magicland Member

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      How much did they bang you out for it? Mine's leaking, and it sounds like it's more of a PITA than I want to deal with to do it myself...
       
    19. Mikecouil

      Mikecouil New Member

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      Just did this job

      I have a 2005 Ford Ranger XLT 4.0. I went and bought the tools mentioned in the original post including the little pick tool (life saver) , pulled the truck in the garage, and went to work. I read no manual and have zero mechanic type experience other than oil changes, etc. Needless to say I ran into issues.

      It took me roughly 2 hours to disassemble everything on the drivers side, tuck it safely away, and get to the last 2 8 MM bolts on the cover itself. I'm in upstate NY so everything is rusted in this truck. Both were old, rusted, brittle, and slightly rounded. I did a very good job of rounding them out further. I then went and bought a new socket extracting kit at harbor freight, which again did nothing but further round the nuts. Having no previous experience, I didn't realize I was supposed to put a 7 MM extractor socket on it, bang it down with a hammer, and pull it out that way. I learned this once I realized I was on the verge of doing something dumb and drilling into the bit and instead called a mobile mechanic to come out. He charged me 100.00, had both bolts out in 5 minutes (I wouldn't have gotten the rear off anyway since my extractor set wasn't deepwell) and had the whole job completed in about 45 minutes.

      All was good and there were no leaks, BUT now I'm having issues with getting fuel. It is idling really rough and will die on it's own if I don't step on the gas. I tried to be as careful as I could as far as contaminating everything and I never saw anything go in a fuel line. Could the fuel injectors have been damaged or something when reassembled?
       
    20. Blackonblack02

      Blackonblack02 New Member

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      I've just completed this job on my 2002 4.0L V6 4WD, and wanted to throw in my findings.

      First, the longest part of this job is removing the upper intake manifold. You might as well replace the intake manifold gaskets while at it. All in all I think it cost me about $70 for all the gaskets, PB Blaster, two large wrenches, and silicone sealant. I did a free rental at Autozone for the torque wrench ($55 with tax), and would suggest that to anyone without one.

      The EGR tube was the toughest part for me, and I'd suggest the PB Blaster on both ends and then both a 1" (25mm) and a 1 1/16" (27mm) wrench. You have to remove the EGR tube to remove the passenger valve cover, I bent mine to get it out and took the fuel rail off, both causing extra work where the right tools and patience would have sufficed. Spray it down and let it sit for a bit before getting your grip ready to bear down on it. The 1" to hold double ended nut that holds the EGR tube to the exhaust manifold, and the 1 1/16" wrench to loosen the nut on the EGR valve. While working on the top nut, I loosened the bottom nut from the manifold rather than the top but from it, as the rust held them together. Make sure to re-tighten the bottom nut on re-install. Once you break the rust it will slip right off. Do not bend the EGR tube, which some recommended, because it will take you hours to get the right bend back on re-install. It is much easier to access through the passenger wheel well than from the top. Here is a pic of the bottom side: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxQ5fv5-U3pgSHY5R0ZTYmRnVi1JeG9KMElmd3pseFJfQVNr

      Second, to access the back torx bolt on the intake, I found the perfect combination of extensions. A 3/8" drive torx bit on a 6" extension, a 3/8" to 1/4" drive adapter, and a 1/4" drive rachet. Basically, 8" will get you over the intake and under the firewall without a universal or swivel bit. Here is a pic of that: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxQ5fv5-U3pgSVdYWDdjVzhHRVF6UDlYcWR1OFNPZWRKNzdB

      Lastly, take photos and/or label your vacuum lines to ensure a quick and correct re-install of the intake manifold. I got mine all back together, cranked it, and had a bad seal on one of the new intake manifold gaskets, causing me to re-do half the job. I've had numerous choice words for the ford engineers in this job, and hope to never see this part of this car again. If I never see the term "EGR tube" again in my life I won't be upset, but it did save over $300 to do it myself.

      It took mine a few minutes to burn the extra PB Blaster on the exhaust manifold off, but watch the connections and listen for hissing and leaks in the vacuum.

      Thanks to all who posted, giving me valuable instructions before jumping headfirst into this!
       
      Last edited: November 14, 2016
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    21. p71

      p71 New Member

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      This is an old thread, but worth revisiting because the info is useful. I could not undo the lower EGR tube connection, and the upper seemed to be seized as well. I was afraid bending the EGR tube far enough to remove the valve cover would risk breakage and compound my problems. My approach to the passenger side cover was to unbolt the EGR from the intake manifold side, leaving it in place on the end of the tube and bending the tube just slightly so the valve cover could lift up about an inch (but not completely off) and I realized there was clearance between the inside of the valve cover and the top of all the moving parts under the cover. I was able to pull the old gasket off and thread it past everything underneath the valve cover just by feeling with my fingertips, and could reverse the process. Of course, this is not the ideal way because you will have to clean and inspect the sealing surfaces by mirror and feel only, but it worked out for me.
       

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