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97 explorer 4.0 oil leak by dipstick? (pics)

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by RandysSOHC, June 22, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^

  1. RandysSOHC

    RandysSOHC New Member

    June 22, 2011
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    97 ford explorer 4.0
    hello all, this is my girl's suv,
    yesterday she noticed some smoke coming from the hood, took it to a shop & they priced her at around 500$ for a fix..lol,
    I am excellent with a honda engine (can rebuild) , but I know nothing about her explorer,
    its a 97 ford explorer 4.0l I'm guessing is what the sticker says under the hood,
    here are some pics she took and sent them to me,
    can anyone identify what this is?
    because I believe I can fix it, just would be great to know what the problem was before I go check it out in person,
    looks to me like its a valve cover gasket leak or somthing, like its dripping on the exhaust manifold. but not sure,
    any input?
    (she also has a small transmission leak up front, which I'm guessing is somthing to do with the transmission cooler or a line).
    any help would be much appreciated! also is it able to drive to my house to get fixed which is 20 miles away? (probably depends on how bad it is though, figured I would start it and see how bad it leaks, but i dont wanna mess anything up with the tranny line leaking up front or somthing)


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  3. ranger7ltr

    ranger7ltr Elite Explorer

    November 17, 2001
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    1999 Sport
    Leak appears to be at the valve cover(s)...

    The first pic shows a very wet with oil area at the valve cover holddown bolt and below the valve cover lip on the head and covering the dipstick tube...

    Now to replace the valve cover gaskets obviously involves some disassembly of components in the way...Notably the upper intake manifold will need to be removed to get to the vavle covers as well as other items in the way...

    When the valve covers are exposed it is a simple r&r clean up and properly torque bolts situation...

    And while doing this you will need to replace the upper intake o-rings which are probably in need of replacement anyway...

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