How to: - 1 SOHC V6 Engine Removal Procedure | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to: 1 SOHC V6 Engine Removal Procedure

Prefix for threads which are instructional.


Moderator Emeritus
May 26, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Greenville, SC
Year, Model & Trim Level
00 Sport FI, 03 Ltd V8
This step-by-step procedure for removing a second generation Explorer SOHC V6 engine is to date my most ambitious effort to generate another one of My Helpful Threads . It is based on my experience of removing my 2WD 2000 Sport engine that utilized instructions in the Haynes Repair Manual and the following much appreciated procedures posted on the internet:

Ford Explorer SOHC Timing Chain Replace

How to: Remove 4.0 Engine Explorer 1997-2001

I found that the photos in the above procedures were extremely helpful and I intend to add photos and expand the text of this procedure as time permits.

Due to the age and mileage of the second generation Explorers many are now experiencing rear timing chain guide failure (like mine) which to correct requires either removing the engine or the transmission. Also, engines may need rebuilding due to bearing and ring wear. I anticipate rebuilding my engine in the next two years and intend to validate this procedure in the process.

I encourage members to provide constructive comments to improve the quality of this procedure. There is a good chance that I have omitted something. I also encourage members to identify differences for other years and models. I will incorporate comments as appropriate.

Since some removals will be performed outside, the overall process is to first remove or disconnect the under hood components to reduce engine exposure to the elements. Second, tasks requiring access thru the wheel wells is performed. Third, work is performed under the vehicle. Fourth, the crane is attached to the engine to support its weight. Fifth, the engine is disconnected from the transmission. And finally, the engine is lifted out of the vehicle by the crane and transferred to an engine stand. The procedure assumes that the engine is being removed in an enclosed structure and the hood is removed early to improve access to the engine. If engine removal is to be performed outdoors, hood removal may be delayed until the crane is needed.

I used a 1 ton rated crane shown in the photo below to lift my engine.

The boom has four preset extension positions. I used the longest one for ¼ ton or 500 lbs which was adequate for the engine weight but too short to reach the engine center of gravity lift point. I had to remove the front bumper and feed the boom chain thru the end of the boom to achieve adequate reach. These two tasks can be avoided if you have access to a heavier duty crane with a longer boom.

I used zip lock freezer bags to segregate nuts and bolts by location or function. Purchase the ones that have a designated surface for annotating the contents and make notes. Also, use masking or similar tape with annotations to identify ignition wires and mating electrical, vacuum, coolant and fuel connectors.

Note: Forum rules allow only four photo attachments per post. Since I plan to incorporate many photos numerous posts were required.

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2 Preparations

Spray the engine with a degreaser while preventing overspray from contacting body paint, let soak and then rinse off the degreaser with a water hose and nozzle. A clean engine is more enjoyable to work on and reduces contamination of electrical and fuel connections.

Cover the fenders and cowl with a protective blanket or upside down throw rugs to prevent scratching the paint with belt buckles or metal buttons.

3 Hood removal

If working in an enclosed structure support the hood with a crane (as shown below) or board and remove the hood support cartridges.

Mark the locations where the hood hinges and the hood intersect for future reassembly.
Pad the space between the hood and the cowl.
Remove the hinge bolts and lift hood using (crane or two persons) away from the vehicle.
Store in a safe location on a padded surface to prevent paint damage.

4 Battery removal

Note: Removal of the battery is not mandatory but increases accessibility and the battery tray provides a convenient location to lay tools while working.

Disconnect the battery negative terminal connector.
Disconnect the battery positive terminal connector.
Remove battery hold down.
Remove battery.

5 Air deflector removal & radiator drain

Remove the 4 bolts attaching the air deflector mounted below the radiator.
Separate the 2 plastic retainers from the body frame using a pry tool.
Place a clean catch pan under the bottom right of the radiator.
Open the drain valve (19mm) identified by the red arrow in the photo below.

Pour the collected coolant into a container for future reuse or responsible disposal.

6 Throttle linkage removal

Unscrew the 5 screws attaching the throttle linkage protective cover.
Disengage the cruise control cable housing from the clip at rear of protective cover.
Remove the protective cover.
Rotate the throttle plate until the slot in the lever aligns with the accelerator cable and then slide out the cable end.
Remove the accelerator cable bracket retaining bolt.
Separate the cable from the bracket and secure the cable out of the way.
Disconnect the end of the cruise control cable from the throttle plate lever.
Remove the cruise control cable retaining bolt.
Separate the cable from the bracket and secure the cable out of the way.

7 Induction removal

Disconnect the electrical connector to the integrated IAT/MAF sensor (disconnect the electrical connector to the separate IAT sensor on earlier models).
Loosen the main air tube hose clamp screw at the throttle body inlet as shown below.

Pull off the hose at the middle of the right valve cover that connects to the main air tube.
Unclip the fasteners that secure the top of the air filter enclosure as shown below.

Lift up the upper air filter enclosure where it connects to the MAF sensor housing and then pull the upper section of the air filter enclosure away from the fender to disengage the upper and lower sections.
Pull the main air tube free of the throttle body inlet.
Pull the rigid tube (that connect to the IAC valve) out of the main air tube and set the main air tube aside.

8 PCM disconnection

On export models drill out the tamper preventer attachment rivets on the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
Remove the PCM loom support bracket retaining nut (11mm) identified by the green arrow in the photo below.

Unscrew the PCM connector retaining bolt (10mm) identified by the red arrow in the photo above and disconnect the connector.
Remove the stud/nut identifed by the blue arrow in the photo below that attaches a ground strap to the firewall next to the PCM.

Remove the nut (11mm) that connects a ground strap to the stud in the firewall that mounts the windshield wiper motor.

9 Upper intake manifold removal

It is not mandatory to remove the upper intake manifold in order to remove the engine. However, in my opinion it improves access to the area between the rear of the engine and the firewall for removing the upper engine-to-transmission bolts. I was also concerned about overstressing the plastic manifold with my lifting chains. Normally the upper intake manifold will have to be removed eventually to work on the engine. Even though it is easier to remove with the engine out of the vehicle I think it is best to remove it prior to removing the engine.

Removing the upper intake manifold is optional and involves numerous steps. Therefore a separate procedure will be generated with a link to it here. Until then, you may utilize the 98 SOHC Cold Start Idle problem thread by mikeh supplemented with My Helpful Thread Starting my 00M12 Installation.

10 Radiator removal

Place catch pan under radiator.
Release the radiator upper hose clamp (red arrow in left photo below) and at the radiator (yellow arrow in left photo below) and detach the hose.

Referring to the above right photo disconnect the radiator internal oil cooler upper and lower ATF line fittings (16mm stock, custom shown) identified with the green arrows using a backup wrench on the nuts identified with the blue arrows to prevent stressing the radiator tank seal.
Cover exposed openings to prevent loss of ATF and contamination.
Detach the coolant reservoir hose from the radiator filler neck and secure out of the way.
Release the radiator lower hose clamp and detach the hose.
Detach ATF line from clip on bottom of radiator identified by the green arrow in the photo below.

Remove the two bolts at top of fan shroud (1 on each side) that attach it to the radiator as shown below.

Lift the fan shroud slightly and then push toward the engine and rest it on the fan as shown above.
Disconnect the clip that attaches the EVAP port to the top left of radiator as shown below.

Remove the 2 radiator mounting bolts (1 on each side) near top of radiator (left side shown above).
Lift out radiator.
Move fan shroud forward and lift out.

11 Fan & clutch removal

Use a 1/2 inch drive and the short special tool shown below against the water pump pulley bolts to keep the pulley from rotating.

Use the long special tool shown above and a 1/2 inch drive if needed to loosen (counterclockwise) the nut (36mm) that attaches the viscous clutch to the pulley.
Lift the clutch with fan out of the engine compartment.
Inspect the fan blades for cracks and breaks. Mine shown below needs replacement.

12 Serpentine belt removal

Loosen power steering pump pulley bolts (10mm).
Insert a 3/8 inch drive into the serpentine belt tensioner at the location identified with the red arrow shown below and rotate the tensioner counterclockwise to release the belt tension.

Slip belt off the pulleys.
Relax the belt tensioner.

13 Fuel line disconnection

Remove the dust cap from the fuel pressure test port/relief valve.
Place a small phillips head screw driver inside a plastic bag.
Place the plastic bag around the fuel pressure relief valve (Schrader valve).
Depress the valve stem with the screw driver and catch the discharged fuel in the plastic bag. Dispose responsibly.
Use special tool to disconnect fuel line or
Remove fuel line support bracket bolt (8mm) and 2 bolts (8mm) on each side attaching the fuel line flange to the fuel rail. Separate (wiggle apart) the line flange from the rail being careful not to lose the O ring. Cover the exposed openings to prevent contamination.

14 Front wheels & splash shield removal

Remove front hub caps.
Loosen front wheel lug nuts.
Raise front of vehicle and support securely on jack stands.
Remove front wheels.
Use a pry tool similar to the weed extractor shown below to remove the plastic plugs retaining the wheel well inner flexible splash shields.

15 Power steering pump detachment

Note: Do not disconnect the power steering hoses or pipe.

Disconnect the electrical connector to the A/C compressor identified by the red arrow in the left photo below.

Remove the 3 bolts (10mm) identified by the red arrows in the right photo above that attach the power steering pump pulley to the pump.
Alternately pull the pulley forward on opposite sides until it separates from the pump.
Remove the nut (10mm) attaching the power steering reservoir return line to the stud bolt that attaches the A/C compressor to its mount.
Remove the bolt (8mm) that attaches the reservoir feed hose support bracket to the head.
Remove the 2 bolts (8mm) that attach the reservoir to its mount.

One is identified by the blue arrow in the photo above. The other is identified by the green arrow in the photo below.
Remove the 3 bolts (10mm) that attach the power steering pump to its mount as identified by the red arrows in the photo below.

Lift the reservoir until its guide pin clears the mount.
Hang the pump and reservoir with wire or rope in an upright position out of the way.

16 A/C compressor detachment

Note: Do not disconnect the refrigerant hoses.

Disconnect the rigid vacuum tube from the flexible hose at the connection below the A/C compressor.
Disconnect the A/C compressor overpressure switch electrical connector identified by the red arrow in the photo below.

Remove the A/C line support bracket mounting nut (13mm).
Remove A/C compressor lower attachment stud/bolt (13mm) and bolt (13mm).
Remove the 2 A/C compressor upper attachment nuts (13mm).
Remove the 4 bolts (15mm) attaching the power steering pump/A/C compressor mounting bracket.
Pull the bracket with A/C compressor forward until it clears the water pump pulley.
Slide the bracket away from the A/C compressor and set aside.
Pull the A/C compressor forward and to the side away from the engine and support it with wire or rope.
Disconnect the electrical connector to the oil pressure switch identified by the red arrow in the photo below.

Disconnect the connectors (identified with green arrows in the photo below) on the small semi-rigid vacuum line that goes from the top left of the engine to the evaporative emission canister purge valve.

17 Alternator removal

Note: It is not mandatory to remove the alternator/support to remove the engine. Only the wiring loom must be disconnected from the engine. I chose to remove it at this point to reduce weight.

On the B+ stud pull back the protective boot, remove the nut (10mm) and the terminal as identified with red arrow in photo below.
Disconnect the electrical connector to the voltage regulator as identified with green arrow in photo below.

Separate the wiring loom attachment from it’s support bracket as identified with blue arrow in photo above.
Remove bolt (13mm) identified with the green arrow below that attaches serpentine belt tensioner to alternator mount and set tensioner aside.

Remove 3 bolts (15mm) attaching alternator support to right head identified with read arrows in photo below and set alternator/support aside.

Remove alternator loom support bolt (8mm) from left head.
Position alternator loom out of the way.
Separate the connectors identified by the green arrows in the photo below on the small semi-rigid vacuum line that goes from the top right of the engine to the bulb vacuum reservoir located below the air filter enclosure.

18 Heater hose detachment

Disconnect the heater hoses either at the middle of the right valve cover or at the firewall.
Disconnect the small semi-rigid vacuum line that attaches to the heater water valve identified with the red arrow in the photo below.

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