Rockers and Pushrods, LIM gasket and Injectors -- Step by step | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Rockers and Pushrods, LIM gasket and Injectors -- Step by step

FIND

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City, State
Vermillion, SD
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 XLT V8 AWD
Must Have Tools:

Flat tip screwdriver
5/16" nut driver -- Not required, but nicer to use than a screwdriver for your intake
10mm 3/8" drive socket -- Deep
13mm 3/8" drive socket -- Deep -- 13mm combination wrench is handy too
15mm 3/8" drive socket -- You may want to use a 1/2" drive socket and breaker bar instead with this one.
17mm 3/8" drive socket
Various 3/8" drive extensions
E7 External Torx Socket -- a 5mm 6 point socket will work in a pinch, careful not to strip the top of the studs.
3/8" drive ratchet
3/8" drive breaker bar
3/8" drive Torque wrench with foot lb adjustment
3lb gentle persuasion tool (hammer)
5/8" combination or box end wrench
11/16" combination or open end wrench
3/4" combination or open end wrench
Penetrating oil of your choice -- I recommend a 50/50 mix of acetone and transmission fluid
Pliers
Shop Vac
Assorted profanities -- Optional, but it helps

0217111019.jpg

First drain your radiator and disconnect your battery.

Then remove the intake tube. There are hose clamps with 5/16" head slotted bolts on each end.

The end of the throttle cable is attached to the throttle body. You can see it in the above picture on the left side of the throttle body. The end of one of the cables is red. Use a flat tip screwdriver to gently pry it off the arm, it is press fit and will just pop off.

Next remove the bracket holding the throttle cable to the Upper intake manifold. There are two bolts, use a ratchet and 10mm socket.

On the back of the Upper intake manifold, you have a vacuum line to your transmission and a hose for your AC (if equipped). Remove the bolt holding them down using your 10mm socket. If all is going well, it should look like this now.
0217111033a.jpg


From here, you can unhook the plugs for the TPS, IACV, IAT and AC compressor
0217111033.jpg


Next, unhook all the vacuum hoses from the vacuum tree. There are quite a few, make sure you get them all
0217111035.jpg


You don't have to remember which one goes where, it doesn't matter as long as you put them back on the ones they fit snugly on, and you reattach ALL of them. But, for what it is worth, in case you put it back together and can't find one of your lines.... On the front in the above picture. You have the hose to the cruise control and the fuel pressure regulator. The big one on the side goes to your brake booster. The one on the top goes to the transmission regulator. There are two on the back. One goes to factory air box to supply vacuum to the thermostatic element controlling the heat riser, the other goes to your climate control in your cab.

While you are still in the mood to unhook vacuum hoses, on the front of the UIM, on the bottom side, is one more vacuum hose. Unhook that one as well.

Next, remove all your plug wires.

Unplug the coil pack.

The coil pack comes off next. You can remove that using a 13mm socket to get the two bolts out that go into the UIM, and a 17mm socket to remove the bolt on the bottom that goes into the exhaust manifold. You did soak that the day before with penetrating oil, correct?
0217111100.jpg

I have my socket and breaker bar on the bottom nut in this picture, in case you are having a hard time seeing it.

Now you can use your deep 13mm socket to remove all the nuts holding down the UIM. Be sure that all you are removing is the nuts. If it starts feeling funny, like you are getting too much resistance, use a 13mm wrench and see if you are also turning the studs. If so, tighten them back down using your E7 external torx socket, then while holding the stud with your socket, use your wrench to loosen the nut.

Once you have all 6 nuts removed, your UIM may still be firmly attached..... Use your hammer and give it a little whack to break it free from the gasket. Then just pull it off.

You are here!!
0217111129.jpg


Remove the fuel lines from the fuel pressure regulator and from the back of the fuel rail. You need your 11/16" wrench to remove it from the front, and an 3/4" to remove the back line. Also remove the vacuum line from your fuel pressure regulator.

Unplug injectors, then reach WAY behind the engine and unplug the O2 sensor.

Remove the studs from the fuel rail (if you are not planning on changing injectors, this step is unnecessary. The LIM can be removed with the fuel rail attached.

At this point, you should be able to see just how much is in your way.

Time to remove that pesky alternator.

Relieve tension on the serpentine belt by using the box end of your 5/8" on the belt tensioner and twisting it counter-clockwise. Once you have some slack, pull the belt off and slowly relieve the tension on the tensioner. Don't let go suddenly, it will snap and hurt you or break something. I should have taken a picture of the tensioner so you could see what I am talking about... sorry

There are 3 bolts holding down the alternator. Remove them using a 13mm socket.

Unhook the two plugs on the top of the alternator, rotate it forward slightly and remove the nut on the back that holds the power wire using a 10mm socket or wrench.

Remove the upper radiator hose and you should have almost enough room to see everything.

Unplug your temp sending unit and your ECT. In the picture below, the temp sending unit is the one on the left side with a stud coming out the top, the ECT (engine coolant temp sensor) is the one with a round harness with two plugs on the right side of the thermostat housing. The temp sending unit is what controls the gauge on your dash, the ECT is for your ECU.

Pull all the wiring that is strewn about on top of your engine to the front and out of your way. Also move the vacuum lines out of the way.

0217111234.jpg


That was a lot of work, but now you can see everything

Get your trusty shop vac and start vacuuming all the crud off the top of your engine now that you can reach everything. No matter how clean you keep your engine, there will always be debris that accumulates here. Vacuum it away now, because you don't want any of it falling inside your engine.

go ahead and pull out your injectors (if you are changing them)

There are 8 bolts holding down EACH valve cover. Use a 10 mm socket to remove them. The two on the back have long studs coming out of the bolts, so you will need a deep socket to do this. Underneath each bolt is a funny triangular shaped washer. SAVE THESE! They are necessary. They serve two purposes. 1, they spread out the force the bolt is putting on your valve cover, this helps prevent leakage. 2, they have little grooves cut in them and function as lock washers so your valve cover bolts don't un-torque.

Give each of the valve covers a tap with the hammer to break them free of their gasket. (make sure all the old gasket comes off. They may be brittle after all these years, or someone may have replaced them with cork gaskets. If you have the OEM style gaskets with the rubber edge, be sure none of the edge is left behind.)

Remove the valve covers.

I don't know about you, but I am excited, we can see inside our engine finally.
0217111324.jpg


To remove the lower intake manifold, there are 3 bolts on each side that you remove using a 10mm socket, and 2 nuts on each side you can remove using a 13mm socket. Just so you can see them, I circled the bolts in blue and the nuts are circled in red, or have a red arrow pointing towards their location.
0217111324a.jpg


The LIM can be removed with the fuel rail still attached. Don't let my pic make you think you need to pull the fuel rail. I only pulled it because I was cleaning and servicing the injectors. The Thermostat housing on the front is held on with 3 10mm bolts.... Amazing how much easier it is to reach now than it is when the engine is all put together.

Use a 15mm socket on a breaker bar to remove the bolts from the rocker arms..... These suckers are tight, don't be surprised.

Remove the rocker arms.

Remove the pushrods.

Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure, and honestly, the hardest part of this whole project is seating the injectors, so if you aren't removing them, you are way ahead.

The rocker arms should be torqued to around 50 ft lbs I believe.... I don't have a manual handy to check. Torque them in stages. First torque all three bolts to 15 lbs, then 25 lbs, then 40 lbs then 50 lbs.

Honestly, I never really pay much attention to the rest of the torque specs for the LIM, UIM or valve covers. I get a feel for how much to torque things through experience, and just do so without measuring. I always ALWAYS measure torque for internal components, or components subject to harsh condition, such as wheels. The less experienced mechanic should always follow the recommended torque specifications for all parts to avoid leaks or over-tightening, which can cause, leaks, breakage, or warping.

If you are replacing pushrods and rocker assemblies, I personally recommend getting them from Delta Cam. The rocker assemblies come preassembled, the parts are beefy, and they are heat treated (hardened) so you don't have so much of the common explorer tick.

0217111338.jpg


Look at the size difference there..... I don't think I'll be seeing any more bent pushrods.

Before installing them, I like to leave the pushrods sitting in a tray of oil and covering the rocker assemblies with oil, just so they have some lubrication at your initial start-up. You can use assembly lube too if you want, but I don't care.

If you want to just buy the rockers and install them on your old assemblies. There is a pin on the end you tap out with a hammer, then grab with a pair of pliers or vice grips and pull the rest of the way out. Remove the wavy washer at the end, and start removing the springs, rockers and hold downs. Replace them in the same order and orientation. Remember to replace the dowel pin with a NEW dowel pin. Don't reuse the old one, it will fall out.... then you will have a different tapping sound to worry about.

Edit: adding the Firing order since one takes the coil pack off to do this, and I wouldn't want someone to forget how the plug wires go back on

When viewed from the front

Engine is laid out as

3 6
2 5
1 4

firing order is 1 4 2 5 3 6

coil pack

3 4
2 6
1 5
 
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FIND

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Afterthoughts:

I have noticed on E-bay some sellers selling refurbished injector for the explorer. In some of the cases, they are selling the orange case 19lb injectors aka the "updated design" with the 4 pintles to spray from. Now, while these will work, I should note that these are technically wrong for our application. Our pistons and heads are designed around the spray pattern from stock injectors with the single pintle design. You should only replace your injectors with those ones. The other ones will work, but, rather than seeing any benefit from using them, you would likely lose power (note that any loss would be minuscule in nature, so it will not really make much difference).



SPARK PLUGS

USE ANTI-SEIZE LUBRICANT EVERY TIME YOU INSTALL SPARK PLUGS! I don't care if you don't have any, I don't care if it is annoying to do, I don't care if you don't think it will make a difference, I don't care if you are planning on getting rid of your truck before you ever change plugs again.

0217111601.jpg

0217111610.jpg


Just use it. The nut broke off this plug and it took me quite a while to get the threads out of the plug bore. I almost want to track down the previous owner and beat him with a rubber hose for making me do this. A big thing of anti-seize lubricant only costs a few bucks, and you will be amazed at how useful it is. Lug nuts, steel bolts into aluminum, lots of stuff. The stuff is good to have around, and no self-respecting shadetree or mechanic should be without it. Would you brag to your friends about how you can fix your own vehicle if you don't have any wrenches? No. If you are gonna do the work, you should have the proper tools. Anything else is just half-ass.
 
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92exp4x4

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I agree, use anti-sieze. Its the best stuff.

What would you recommend as far as lifters? Would you get them from the same manufacturer as the pushrods, etc?

I got a 91 thats going to need them and the above. I know pulling the heads is required to change lifters.
 
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69Explorer69

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yea i need to replace my head gasket this summer got the truck 7 months ago i am trying to get everything back to top notch shape..How long does it take to do something like this..I have never done nething like this how ever i have put a trans in my neon then my caliver it just took me weeks to do it..lol..What do i all need to buy as in gaskets and recommend parts?
 
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FIND

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If you have never done this kind of thing before, figure on it being an all day project to swap heads.

Heads aren't much more work than this walkthrough listed for rockers and the LIM. Unbolt the AC compressor so you can move it out of the way (you don't have to remove it). Unbolt the exhaust manifolds..... I believe those nuts are 13mm, but I can't remember. I think the head bolts are torx t-50. If you are going that deep into the engine, I recommend getting a service manual or a chiltons/haynes manual at the very least. They will detail the torque specs and the pattern in which you should torque bolts down.

If you are going to swap head gaskets.... you can just go out and buy a head gasket set that will include all of the gaskets you need. You should also pick up a set of head bolts. Even when you are taking the heads of an engine that doesn't uses TTY bolts, you should replace the head bolts if they have been on the engine for a long time. They do stretch, so it is a good practice to replace them. TTY (torque to yield) bolts need replaced EVERY time.

If you are taking injectors off, you will need an additional upper intake manifold gasket and a set of o-rings. If you are not taking the heads off (obviously doesn't apply to you) you need to buy a LIM gasket set and valve cover gasket set. The LIM gasket set will usually come with a pair of UIM gaskets.

This will be the time to get any machine work done on your head you might want done. Call your local machinist to get an idea of prices and options. Not every machine shop can do a "port and polish", that pretty much requires a flow bench. Sealed power sells .015" oversized intake and exhaust valves

As far as lifters go to answer 92exp4x4's question, I like sealed power. There are other good manufacturers also. I haven't heard anything bad about Rock Auto's house brand products, but I do wonder how they can be 1/2 the cost of the sealed power lifters.
 
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69Explorer69

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so all i do is take the 6 bolts out of the top of the head(the ones in the red circles)and lift it up replace the gasket and put everything back together.IF this sounds nothin what i need to do plz help i am new at all this stuff but i know i can i just need to learn..lol
 
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FIND

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The ones with circles on them are the Lower intake manifold, and there are actually 8. 6 of them have blue circles because they are 10mm, one has a red circle and one a red arrow because you need a 13mm for them.

For the heads.... You need to unbolt the exhaust manifolds (penetrating oil is your best friend) then you take the bolts out of the head. The head is the part under the rockers, the parts on either side of the lower intake manifold in the above picture. There are 8 torx bolts in each head.

But yeah. Take the head off, replace the gasket, put it back together. When you are putting the pushrods back in, make sure you are seating them into the lifters. If you are not replacing lifters and rockers, you have to put the lifters back in EXACTLY the same spots you took them out of. Take a small box or something, put a dozen small holes in it in two columns of 6 to match how they are in the engine. When you take the lifters out, put them in the box in the position they were in the engine, that way you can put them back in the engine exactly how you took them out.

Nothing scary about a head gasket, especially on an explorer where you don't have any type of valve lash to adjust.

I might replace mine later this year too, since I am thinking I might need lifters too, since I still have a little tick.... sounded like it was all coming from the bent pushrod originally, but oh well..... I don't feel like doing a head gasket right now, so I won't. When I get around to doing it, I'll take pics, if you do it before me, take pics.
 
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69Explorer69

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thanks FIND for all the help i am pretty sure i will need more as i get into this i am just trying to find as much info as i can so i can picture doing it in my head then i go do it on my explorer..if that makes any sense at all...lol
 
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FIND

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Honestly, it is all just nuts and bolts. I only put a thread up so people didn't have to think ahead too much about what tools to carry and how much stuff they needed to move out of the way. Once you get through the steps I have listed, it will all be very obvious when you look at it. I always try telling people there is nothing to be afraid of when working on engines, it is all a matter of getting comfortable with using the tools and working in tight spaces.
 
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gt fast

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cool, thanks man for directing me towards this. the whole time i thought i needed to replace my heads and everything.
 
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gt fast

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however i do have a few questions. im not a beginner but i am not a fully certified mechanic either. now, how long does it take on an estimate to replace lifters and rods. and seeing as thats my only problem is the tick i have, what all do i need, how many, and what brand do you suggest. looking at my motor it sounds like its the lifter/rod directly under the coilpack
 
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FIND

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Strangely enough, your coil pack can tick too, just so you know. Best thing to do is get an automotive stethoscope and listen for exactly where the sound is.

If you are just doing rocker/pushrod replacement, get a valve cover gasket set. All you will need to remove to change them is the UIM, alternator and valve covers. The valve cover gasket set usually comes with a UIM gasket. You can get a hardened rocker/pushrod set from delta camshaft for $181.50 plus shipping and a $42 core. With the gaskets, after sending back your core and paying for shipping, you should have spent around $250. You can get stuff slightly cheaper than that, but not much.... and the stuff you get for cheaper aint worth it.

Time to do it.... Give yourself a day if you are an inexperienced mechanic and have all your tools and parts set out ahead of time.
 
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gt fast

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ok, so lets say it turns out it is my lifters and whatnot which im pretty sure it is, ive heard the heads need to be pulled couse the pushrods will not clear bottom of head with them on?, correct if wrong. also, since money is tight can i just replace the one thats bad, or do i need to do both sides, all of them on each side. im really concerned by it couse it ticks alot under load. but not so much at idle, i have a striahgt flow magnaflow exhaust and i can hear the tick over the exhaust at idle.and do you have a linkj for the delta site i keep coming up with random sites that are nowhere near what i need. thanks
 
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FIND

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Lifters are what are partially covered by the head. Pushrods are the long rods that ride on top of them and push the rockers.

Delta cams is just www.deltacam.com

I highlighted which parts are rocker assemblies and which are pushrods. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic with the LIM off, or I would show you what the lifters are as well, If you take your LIM off, the lifters are half covered by the heads.

rockerpushrodhighlight.jpg


The rocker assemblies can each be broken down into smaller components if you want to buy the rockers individually. To disassemble them, remove the dowel pin from one end (this pin will need replaced with a new one, you get them from the parts store for under a buck). Next, you remove the retainers that look like wavy washers. After that, you can pull off all 6 individual rockers, the two springs, and the 3 hold downs. The rockers are the only other part of the assembly that should need replacement most times. Reinstall them in the same direction and order they came off in. If you buy from delta cams, they come as a complete assembly. Just bolt it in and send yours complete assembly back. The kit also comes with all 12 pushrods. You take the old ones out, and drop the new ones in, making sure they seat on top of the lifters. The lifters have cups on the top, so it is not hard to do. Line up the bolt holes in the rocker assemblies, put your bolts in them, then lay them on the head. Line up all the pushrods so they seat in the cup area on the bottom of the rockers, then thread and finger tighten the three bolts holding down the rocker assembly. As long as you have everything lined up, you can proceed to torque it down like I directed above.
 
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SavaX

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THANK YOU for posting this. My '91 has ticked since the day I got it and I'm going to tackle this in the next few weeks after I get new tires this weekend. :thumbsup::salute:
 
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Xeek

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jd took pics of my sealed power rockers vs his delta cams ones(that also broke!)
every oil hole is smaller on the delta cams rockers. even my stock ones had bigger holes

he may come in here and post the pics. but i suggest sealed power for the rockers anyway.


very good write up btw
 
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FIND

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are all twelve lifters identicle

All 12 rockers, pushrods and lifters are identical. The only difference is orientation.

jd took pics of my sealed power rockers vs his delta cams ones(that also broke!)
every oil hole is smaller on the delta cams rockers. even my stock ones had bigger holes

he may come in here and post the pics. but i suggest sealed power for the rockers anyway.

very good write up btw

Seriously? Crap....I was looking at them when I was looking at my stock rockers.... I noticed the oil hole was the same size as on the stock lifters, and I was thinking that that it should be larger since there is no pressure to push oil in.... I had considered drilling them out larger, but I didn't have the time that day since I had a bunch of other stuff that morning. I'd never argue against sealed power, but honestly, after seeing how badly worn down my rockers were, I really am of the opinion they need to be hardened....

IDK.... I think even with the small oiler holes.... I would think it aught to be ok.... Though... I was even thinking this when I installed them... larger oil holes would make me more comfortable anyways. Meh, I guess it should be fine. There wasn't a whole lot of wear in the cups for the pushrods on the old rockers, almost all the wear was on the valve side of the rockers.... aside from my warped/bent pushrods.
 
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Xeek

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pic jd took when he was over. top is mine(sealed power), bottom is delta. stockers looked the same as the SP. in his registry i believe he has a pic of one of the deltas that crumbled(he realllllyyyyy stomped on the gas tho)
2mxe3is.jpg



from whats been said about the wearing out, its mostly due to the oil pump not pumping enough oil and things get worn quicker.

i think theyll be fine tho, jd just has bad luck lol
 
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