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03 Explorer Limited fixing fuel leak.


May 16, 2015
Reaction score
City, State
Washington DC
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer Limite
Problem: leaking fuel, fuel smell, fuel puddling on rear of the engine underneath the intake manifold. No fuel leaks detected anywhere else in the fuel system.

Diagnosis: leaking fuel injector of injector seal

  1. Remove intake manifold: this task is a million times easier if you remove the hood. The hood is aluminum and very light; easily handled by one person. The intake manifold is held on by 8 captured Torx bolts; the forward 6 are easy to get to, the rear two not so much. Removing the hood such that you can climb on top of the engine makes getting to that last two almost trivial. Stuff the cylinder intakes with toilet paper to keep junk from going in there.
  2. Disconnect injectors: simple connectors on the wiring harnesses.
  3. Depressurize fuel system: Schrader valve on the forward end of the driver's side fuel rail.
  4. Disconnect fuel rails: two 13MM bolts per rail. Take the bolts out and carefully/deliberately pull the fuel rails off the injectors. Nothing holds the rails on *other* than the two 13MM bolts and the seals on the injectors.
  5. Remove injectors: Grasp each injector firmly with a pair of slipjoint pliers over a rag. Gently twist and tug til it comes out. Chunks of the injector seal adapters may come out with the injectors
  6. Clean injectors and replace O rings: clean with Simple Green, just because. O rings are cheap and easy to install. Not doing it is false economy
  7. Replace injector seal adapters: these are the plastic inserts that sit in the heads and receive the injectors. Pop them out with a flathead screwdriver, taking care not to drop any chunks into the cylinder. If a small chunk does fall in, it's not a big deal - it'll get burned up quickly. If a big chunk goes in tho, you should prolly fish it out.
  8. Install new seal adapters: get these at Ford or Amazon (Part #F77Z9G512AA). Tap them in gently with deepwell socket until they are fully seated.
  9. Reinstall injectors: slightly moisten the new O rings to ease installation.
  10. Reconnect injectors
  11. Reinstall fuel rails: gently and deliberately press each rail back onto its set of injectors. Install the 13MM bolts and gradually tighten the bolts a few turns at a time, alternating back and forth between tightening the bolts and pressing down/wiggling the fuel rail with your hand. Once the rails are bottomed out, tighten the bolts.
  12. Reinstall intake manifold; take care to reinstall all vacuum lines
  13. Run and inspect.