Going to replace head gasket, tips/parts?? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Going to replace head gasket, tips/parts??


Well-Known Member
September 19, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Geraldton ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 explorer sport 4.0
I'm finally going to be replacing my right (drivers side) head gasket and the lower intake... been leaking lots of coolant and now without the rad cap on shes a pouring.

Looking for any tips or parts needed.

new manifold bolts, head bolts, exhaust donut?? (if any), head gasket, lower intake gasket

Can anyone add to this, maybe a EGR tube ( becasue they never break )

Going to be working on it Sunday and need it for Monday morning, small town with no parts especially explorers

97 4.0L vin X

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I got a tip! Dont purposly hurt yourself! And keep your hands, arms, legs and feet away from hot objects!

Oh yeah, dont forget, hitting sharp objects really hurt! LMAO

After going that far into the engine I would consider changing bouth of them and If its not too expencive a valve job. Oh yeah ya' need it monday morning. Ouch, I have bad luck working on a tight schedule.

Make sure your gasket set is complete and not missing anything.

You will need a new set of head bolts. They are torque to yield and cannot be reused.

Look at your coolant and heater hoses. Now is an excellent time to replace them. Besides, they will probably be stuck tighter than a *****'s dream and you will have to cut them off to remove them. You will need coolant of course. A new thermostat wouldn't hurt either. I don't know how many times I've seen the old ones stick after sitting dry for a while.

Penetrating oil and a propane or MAP gas torch.

Antiseize and RTV sealant. Also, a few cans of CRC Brakekleen for cleaning parts.

A bottoming tap to clean head bolt threads in the block...oil to lube the head bolts

Oil and filter

Assembly lube for the rockers, push rods, valve tips, etc. You can even use a bit of STP for this if you can't find the proper assembly lube. Don't rely on just oil if you can avoid it. You don't want anything galling while you wait for oil to get to the top of the motor.

I'm sure there are a few more things I'm forgetting.

Alright, finally got a chance to replace the head gaskets and everything else today..

Got I crazy misfire, it's running rough..I'll post extra for the ones who feel like saying your two cents.

I know that info isnt enough, proably lean on bank 2 because the the misfire... But hears what happened earlier today, didn't see the lower intake gaskets in the package so in a bind I used this "the best" sealer to seal the coolant passages... didnt work, as I was cleaning up the shop I noticed the boxed seemed a little heavy and found my 2 gaskets, so I ripped it down and installed them... now my misfire.. also noticed I had a miss befor the second rip down when I started it but that went away after 30 seconds

Vacuum is steady around 20
backpressure is about 0.3 at idle
fuel pressure is 40 koeo, 30-35 koer
new spark plugs, old wires but good
02B1S1-657(mv) 02B2S1-143 (mv)
02B1S2-732(lm) 02B2S2-0 (mv)

SFTRM1_ 0 SRTRM2_ +25
LFTRM1_ 0 LFTRM2_ +17

FIXED, haha... stupid Alldata wasn't the best for firing order, used my mitchell's and it got. 123-564 on the coil... what a waste of a afternoon

Firing order for OHV 4.0

It is not in the cylinder order on the coil...

Looking from the front of the truck with the coil pack on the passenger back of the engine...

1 o o 4
2 o o 6
3 o o 5

It's easy to mix this up since my coil is not marked for which cylinder goes to which plug lead...

Good luck on fixing that miss...

UPDATE:... Looks like I was a little late on the draw...Congrats on the fix though...My last miss was an intake valve not opening thanks to a stuck rocker arm and a pushrod falling out of the rocker....

At first I thought it would be like the passanger side, 1-2-3... A buddy snapped a few shots with his phone, no wonder why I had bad gas mileage and pinging with no power





Was it due to the build up? Im trying to replace my heads on a 93 explorer so far i got the top off staring at the heads wtf do i do now do i need a torch to get the head bolts off or can i use a torque bar not 100% sure how to get them off they seem stuck if i spray wd40 will it mess with the engine at all.

Have you removed the rocker arm shaft yet?
If not, you'll have to remove the 3 bolts and
then the rocker shaft. Then 6 pushrods, keeping
them sorted as to position, so you can install them
in the same location. (Loosen the rocker shaft bolts
1 turn at a time while alternating bolts, until the
tension is released on the shaft. This keeps the
valve spring tension from warping the shaft.)

Now you're ready to loosen the 8 headbolts using
a T-55 torx socket. They're torqued down to about
85-95 ft lbs, so a fairly long pull handle will be
required. No need for penetrant oil or heat, just
a good tug on the bar.

After that the heads will lift off.