How hard is it to remove plenum? Vavle cover leaking on Drivers side | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

How hard is it to remove plenum? Vavle cover leaking on Drivers side


Active Member
January 18, 2010
Reaction score
Year, Model & Trim Level
'02 XLT 4X4 4.0L
I will be changing my valve cover gaskets this weekend, the valve covver on the drivers side is completly shot +and I was looking at the plenum and it appears to be hard to get off.

I will also be pulling the injectors and giving them a good cleaning and changing the knock senor while I am at at. I am gong to replace the lower plenum gaskets too.

Got any tips for making the job easier?

02 Explorer XLT 4X4 4.0L auto tranny

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Parts delayed until Tuesday.

Anyone got any tips or info on removing the plentum?????

make sure there s no dirt inside the cap screws you dont want to strip the heads of the screw the ones in the back are hard to get at 5 hour job

I replaced the driver's side valve cover gasket on my '02 4.0L XLT. Not difficult, but you do need to remove the intake manifold and you'll probably find much grease under it that needs degreasing.

Had one cap screw for the intake manifold that was defective from the factory which I actually reused in the front of the manifold. The socket was deformed as if it had been installed with an undersized wrench. I transferred that bolt to the front for reinstallation in case it stripped on installation.

On the valve cover, there are some sort of compression limiting sleeves that I wasn't sure about replacing. I reused them, but after torquing the cover bolts the plastic cover is slightly warpped. I don't recall the manifold being warpped on removal. Could be that the sleeves allowed different compression of the new gasket. They might be cheap to replace. Anyway, no leaks after several months of the install.

The old valve cover gasket only leaked with when the car sat for some time. Even on long trips, there was no leakage if I wiped it dry before the trip.

My valve cover gaskets I ordered comes with new grometts also which I am assuming is the peices you are talking about?

Other than getting to the bolts/screws on the plenum the job looks pretty straight forward, but my consern is getting the plenum off and back on without messing something up.

simple process regarless of engine:

* go to autozone/o'reilly/advance buy Simple Green Automotive degreaser in spray bottle

* drive to you-wash-u-self place and pull into stall..

* LEAVE TRUCK RUNNING!! open hood.... should be good and warm.

* put in $5 worth of quarters... trust me... YES it will take that many if not more...

* hose down engine, WHILE RUNNING... DO NOT PULL hose trigger... just get the soapy water all over the engine, underside of hood, all over

* LISTEN... if the engine stumbles THEN BACK OFF where you are spraying water... DUH!

* once its all wet/soapy... don't go there!.... spray the intake, valve/cam covers with simple green... let it work for 3-5 minutes... If you have never cleaned your engine area... shame on you... spray everything else down as the Simple green works...

* walk over check your time... add quarters... you will need too... swithc to RINSE

* don't pull the trigger.. just gently hose off the engine.. LISTEN... if there is a stubble BACK OFF.... The simple green willl eat the oil, dust, griume, crap... just gotta move it away...

* Now rinse everything off REALLY good... wash the truck if so inclined...(more quarters)

* pull out slowly onto the nearest highway/bi-way/loop where-ever... get some air moving... dry the engine off...and the rest of the truck...

NOW when you go to do the fix... no gunk around the intake...


Hey just a note, I've seen pcv valves leak and make it look like the drivers side valve cover was leaking...

I purchased the valve cover gasket from a Ford dealer, so the grommets must have a separate ford part number. I didn't see the grommets listed when I made the purchase. The grommets don't do any sealing, as the valve cover gasket seals around each valve cover bolt.

Hey just a note, I've seen pcv valves leak and make it look like the drivers side valve cover was leaking...

That's a good point and easy to check with a mirror and fix. The PVC valve clicks/locks into position.

On mine, it appeared that the leak was just along the bottom side toward the rear. However after removing the intake, I could see that the cover gasket was also leaking along the top. Not a big leak, but enough to cake some considerable grease in the area around the injectors.