Oil leak near filter on 4.6L V8 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Oil leak near filter on 4.6L V8


Well-Known Member
June 11, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Kansas City, MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 Limited
I've got an oil leak in the area where the oil filter mounts. I pulled off the filter, thinking maybe the seal had just gone bad, and changed it. No dice, still leaks. Doesn't leak when it is turned off, just when it is running.

Looks like the oil is weeping from the area above the filter if you're looking at it from underneath the radiator and looking backward. Anyone know if there is a simple gasket or o-ring that mounts up in that area? Looks like there are a couple of bolts holding just that piece on (is it an oil pump?) that the filter would mount to.

Found an older thread on this but there was no conclusion reached in that thread:


I would GREATLY appreciate anyone's insight on this problem. Thanks

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There is a gasket behind the oil filter hosing adapter, as well as the oil pressure switch also on the adapter. Both could leak oil. Look at Ford parts . com. It has a good image. Search for oil filter for your year make and model.

Definitely the oil filter housing/cooler gasket to the block.

Sorry I'm late on the update, but you guys were right and it definitely was the filter housing/cooler gasket. Not too bad to change. Thanks for the help!

FORD 4.6L Oil Filter Adapter Gasket Replacement

Gotta thank everyone for this thread! Really helped me with my oil leak on a 1999 Crown Vic (other FORD 4.6L engine vehicles should be similar). To repay you for helping me locate this leak, I am putting down in detail how I replaced this gasket.

Tools needed:
1. 3/8" Dr Universal Joint
2. 6", 3/8" Dr extension
3. 13mm, 3/8" Dr deep and standard socket
4. 14mm standard socket for removing the oil drain plug on a 1999 Crown Vic
5. Oil filter wrench
6. 3/8" Dr ratchet
7. 3/8" or 1/2" Dr Torque wrench capable of 15-22 ft-lb
8. Hose Clamp pliers (I used a pair of channel locks-not the best option but worked)
9. Oil drain pain
10. Gasket scraper
11. Vehicle lift or floor jack with jack stands (CAUTION: If using a floor jack to lift a vehicle, ALWAYS use jack stands to support the vehicle load while working underneath the vehicle).

Supplies Needed:
1. Correct oil filter adapter gasket. There are two options available for a 1999 Crown Vic: One with oil cooler and one without. Mine (Fel-Pro) was without and cost about $6
2. Antifreeze for your application (For a 1999 CV - Dex Cool)
3. Oil Filter and oil for your application (For a 1999 CV, Motorcraft FL820s and 5W-30)
4. Plenty of Oil Dry for the fluids that will potentially end up on the floor
5. Plenty of shop towels and hand cleaner

Directions for replacing Oil Filter Adapter Gasket
(These are general suggestions only. I claim no liability or responsibility for injury or damage that may occur to oneself or ones property while using these suggestions)

1. Safely raise car high enough for access to the oil filter and oil drain plug. If a lift is not available, a floor jack and jack stands will work
2. Drain oil and replace drain pan plug
3. Remove oil filter
4. Unplug connector on power steering pump (if applicable) and connector on oil pressure sensor and place out of the way
5. Remove water coolant hose from top of adapter
6. Remove four bolts from oil filter adapter (suggest removing middle left and top bolt first)
7. Clean both the surface of the oil filter adapter and the surface where it mounts to engine block. A gasket scraper my be necessary.
8. Install new gasket by inserting two bolts (suggest using middle right and bottom bolt) through the mounting holes in the oil filter adapter and the gasket at same time, to hold gasket in place while re-installing the adapter. Finger tighten these two bolts and then insert the remaining two bolts and finger tighten. (Suggest using 13mm socket and extension only to run bolts all the way down until adapter is just snug up against engine block.
9. Next, use torque wrench to torque all oil filter adapter bolts 15-22 ft-lbs (suggest torquing two middle bolts first and then move out to top and bottom bolts).
10. Re-install water coolant hose
11. Remove oil drain plug a second time to drain out all remaining oil and any coolant that may have drained down into oil pan.
12. Replace oil drain plug.
13. Fill with correct amounts of coolant and oil.
14. Start engine and check for leaks.

Hope this helps you with your next oil filter adapter gasket repair.