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2002 XLT 4.6 Coolant Leak

pmmarsh55

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I have an early build 2002 with the 4.6 V8. I got a small leak on the top of the engine that's leaving coolant near the numbers 5 & 6 cylinders (driver's side). I've replace the top radiator hose, thermostat, and o-ring seal but I can't seem to find the source of the leak. It almost appears to be coming from the bottom of the intake manifold underneath the point where the thermostat is positioned.

Is it possible the intake manifold is leaking or is there another part in there? Has anyone with the 4.6 experienced this? I see that the lower housing can be replaced on the 4.0's but I've not found any reference to a similar part on the 4.6 engine. I'm wondering if I'm in for an intake manifold replacement.

A parts diagram would be helpful if anyone has one.

Thanks.
 
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ExPlOrErImPoRtS

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intake manifold

Mine went at 90K

Mine leaked out of the intake manifold crossover where a aluminum is mounted to the plastic manifold.
Mine cracked out. They said the new ones fixed the problem of cracking out.

Mine had coolant leaking into the fare front plug drivers side.

Before you replace.

Jegs or another performance place sells a all aluminum manifolds

I saw it after i replaced mine.

Just a thought.
 
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pmmarsh55

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Coolant Leak

Thanks for the reply. I'll probably put the Dorman replacement (from AutoPartDirectToYou on eBay) on as the truck has 150K miles. As I did more research, I found reference to the class action suit (which I missed).

I was hoping there was an easier fix.
 
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jeffescortlx

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The class action law suite was for the early 4.6's. A 2002 should allready have the all aluminum intake manifold as OEM.?.
 
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Limited02

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The class action law suite was for the early 4.6's. A 2002 should allready have the all aluminum intake manifold as OEM.?.

Nope, I believe all are plastic(02-05) and even the 99-04 mustang GT's are plastic unless you bought the 01' Bullitt which had an aluminum intake.
 
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zerodevil

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replace the intake manifold gaskets before you spend a couple hundred bucks on a manifold, be forwarned, the alum aftermarket manifolds require modification(grinding) before they will fit. The manifold gaskets wont take but about 2 hours to replace. the manifold is a solid peice and would be hard to make leak w/o catostrophic failure (water + engine = bad ya know?). Id bet money you just have a gasket failure, the gasket goes under the thermostat housing. I have done this particulat project (due to manifold swap), and would be more than glad to help you in any way.
 
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pmmarsh55

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Intake Manifold Gaskets?

I'd like to hear more about the intake manifold gaskets Zerodevil. I thought that when the manifold itself failed, it was more of a complete failure where all the coolant dumped out. That's not really what I have, it's more of a slow leak or seepage. It looks like it's happening near the number 5 & 6 cylinders. I put some dye in the cooling system but I can't determine the source.

Did you buy a gasket set? OEM or aftermarket?

Thanks for your help.
 
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zerodevil

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i got an aftermarket fel-pro kit from NAPA, it wasnt overly expensive as i remember, and the quality actualy appeared to be higher than that of the OEM ones i was replacing. the 5 + 6 cyenders are on the front right side of the engine (when looking front to back), id bet almost anything the stock gasket is just compressed and worn out and isnt doing its job anymore. Start simple with the gaskets. and if that doesnt fix things, go from there.
 
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pmmarsh55

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Thanks

Thanks for the information, Zerodevil. I'll probably pickup a gasket set locally and tear into it when the weather gets a little better (no heat in the garage). In a previous post, you said this was a 2 hour job? You must be a pretty fair mechanic. Looking at my Haynes manual, this looks like a 6 - 8 hour job, at least for me. Any tricks to cutting the time down? It's cold in that garage.

Thanks again.
 
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RickM

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I'd like to hear more about the intake manifold gaskets Zerodevil. That's not really what I have, it's more of a slow leak or seepage.


Watching this thread closely. My wife's '02 / 4.6 has had a slow leak for years.....
 
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Mirge

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Thanks for the information, Zerodevil. I'll probably pickup a gasket set locally and tear into it when the weather gets a little better (no heat in the garage). In a previous post, you said this was a 2 hour job? You must be a pretty fair mechanic. Looking at my Haynes manual, this looks like a 6 - 8 hour job, at least for me. Any tricks to cutting the time down? It's cold in that garage.

Thanks again.

2000StreetRod took pictures and wrote a description as he did with his 00M12 replacement/fix... http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=261439&highlight=00M12

I had to pull the intake manifold off before (plenum + lower intake)... having never done it before, it took my father in law + brother in law + me (though it was mostly my brother in law doing it LOL) only about 40-45 mins to actually get it all off... cleaning up old gasket material + putting on new gaskets isn't more than a few minutes. Then putting it all back together is a little more difficult, but not bad at all really... we could have done it completely in 2 hours, but we noticed a bolt in the motor :). That was fun... not.

I definitely don't see it taking 6+ hours. Not much more than 2 honestly.
 
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pmmarsh55

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I think the link posted by Mirge is for the 4.0 six cylinder. The problem I've got is with the 4.6 V8. I suspect the intake manifold removal process is a bit different though I've not worked on the 4.0.

Or did I misunderstand?
 
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Mirge

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Ahh sorry, I didn't even think about that. We did it on a 4.0 SOHC too... though I imagine it isn't that much different... definitely not different enough to cause an extra 4+ hours :)
 
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zerodevil

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If this ends up taking you more than 4 hours you plum done somthing wrong. Removal process is this.

Drain your coolant - open the tank, and the small plastic plug on the radiator. watch and learn.

Drain the fuel system - Haynes will tell you which fuse to pull, i dont rememeber.

1: Remove Air intake pipe from Upper intake plenum (black 3 inch hose)
2: Remove EGR Tube + plumbing from intake plenum(most hoses pull right off)
3: Remove intake plenum W/ throttle body set aside
4: Remove the alternator
5: Remove Ignition coils (One small screw holds each on, and they POP out)
6: Remove the 11 bolts holding the manifold to the cylenderheads.
7:Remove manifold. (fuel tube requires special tool to disconnect, its cheep so dont worry).

Go backwards to get her all back together.

NOW, the EGR pipe will still be sitting above the engine unless you want to crawl down into the passenger side wheel well and take out the well lining to losten up the egr pipe on the manifold (no small task by itself either), but hte manifold can be lifted and slid forward (With out dragging) with out damaging or even touching the egr pipe. I noticed you also have 150k miles? now would also be an opportune time to change your spark plugs. Make sure you clean the metal on the heads and the pastic on the manifold very well. you shouldnt need a scrapper. I used a micro fibre cloth and some WD-40 and was looking at a mirror shine in no time. A Once over with a vacuume and an air compressor to make sure nothing fell down into the engine and to clean out any gunk inside the spark plug tubes before changing them would be wise as well. Take your time and do it right, and this wont take but a couple hours. ALSO, dont use anything but ford motorcraft spark plugs, as aftermarket ones like to shoot out of the engine and damage things :) :).

Good luck, and if you have any other questions lets hear em.

P.s. dont forget to visualy inspect the old manifold for cracks. you already have it off, not to far out to put a NEW one back on ya? Dont forget to torque everything to specs.

p.s.s. Be carefull when re attaching ANYTHING to the plastic manifold, finger tightness with a wrench is all it takes, very easy to strip these 2v plastic manifolds... expensive mistake :p.
 
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pmmarsh55

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Thanks

Thanks for the response Zerodevil. That doesn't sound too bad - easier than the Haynes process for R/R the intake manifold. I'm looking for a break in the weather to tackle this and will post the results when done.
 
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zerodevil

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my pleasure. Keep us in the loop. OH, i left out that you need to remove the thermostat housing + thermostat for this.(also a good time to replace the thermostat, costs like 12 bucks at schucks.)
 
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lukster

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I have been reading this post to see if there is any similarity to intake manifold / coolant leak problem. With my 2002 xlt 4.6 v8 I have coolant from somewhere coming into the #1 plug well and shorted the plug. It gave me a misfire code of #1 cyl and that is how I found a half filled #1 plug well full of fresh green coolant. Obviously it is a new problem since it had been running fine except for the sudden onset of the misfire which I checked code for immediatly. No previous need to add coolant. Is this a intake gasket? How could i be getting fluid in first spark plug well? I have the plastic intake and I don't think there is water nearby except for the front aluminum cross piece with the thermostat housing. ?? If someone knows a possible scenario please help.
 
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zerodevil

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fluid travels inside of the manifold in two places i believe. (the cylenderheads use it to move coolant).


This is one of three things.

The intake manifold has split(unlikey, and there would A LOT more fluid coming out)

The intake manifold gasket is shot.. likely, and luckly its a SINCH to replace. i can get my manifold off and reinstalled in less than an hour.

The thermostat gasket has failed, also easy to replace.

i recommend if you are leaking that you go ahead and pull the manifold. replace both the intake and thermostat gaskets. and inspect the manifold for damage before replacing. make sure you clean the heads with some carb cleaner before installing the new gaskets (should look LIKE NEW before installation)
 
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gdaunis

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Extra Gasket?

I'm in the middle of replacing my '02, 4.6L leaking gaskets, too. The Fel-Pro gasket set (MS96281) includes 5 gaskets:
1-Water Outlet O-ring
1-Throttle body gasket (rectangle shaped, goes between my throttle body and the intake manifold)
1-Throttle body gasket :wtf:(oval shaped with a "notch" at one end)
2-Intake Manifold gaskets

My question is, where does the "extra", oval shaped throttle body gasket go? Is it for a different throttle body than mine?
 
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zerodevil

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should go between the intake manifold and the elbow.
 
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