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How to spend a weekend... or musings on gaskets and plugs

Discuss anything related to the engine, electronics, transmission, etc.
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Edsel II
Regular Member
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:38 pm

How to spend a weekend... or musings on gaskets and plugs

Post by Edsel II » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:35 pm

Well, my previous post about sticking some RTV sealant outside the oil pan, as can be expected, didn't quite hold, and it started leaking again. Car just rolled 90k miles, and with the oil pan leaking, the front valve cover around the water pump leaking as well, and the spark plugs getting close to retirement, I blocked off the whole weekend to spend under the hood.

The oil pan was easy - four bolts to remove the exhaust pipe that runs under the pan, and 15 oil pan bolts, simple enough. The valve cover was simple enough as well. The leak points were where the oil pan meets the joint with the block and front cover - three separate pieces coming together. This was also the case with the valve cover.

Also changed the fuel filter, trans fluid, steering fluid, and coolant while I was at it.

My challenge was on the spark plugs - watched a few You Tube videos on how to remove the intake manifold to get to the rear plugs, and went at it. Where I made a mistake was not paying enough attention to all of the wiring harness plugs that need to come off to remove the intake. And, taking it off on Saturday evening, going out to dinner and drinks with friends, and then coming back Sunday morning to put it back together... and trying to remember all of the connectors. Turns out I forgot to plug in a harness on the back of the EGR valve - hard to see, since the wire plug fell down out of site. The engine ran, but threw a bunch of trouble codes, until I found the plug and put it back in.

Now she purrs like a new car again, and hopefully the oil leaks have stopped. For spark plugs, I bought a set of Motorcraft plugs that are the same as OEM. I figure if they lasted 90k with no problems, another set should as well.

A few words of advice if you plan to remove the intake to change the plugs...

1- pick up a new PCV valve ahead of time, along with your new set of plugs. You can only get to the PCV valve with the intake manifold out of the way, and as I found, the PCV valve isn't very easy to find. I thought about it after my intake was off, and Sunday morning started calling shops. I found one available locally.

2- you need to remove a very dainty, brittle plastic clip on the connector from the fuel line to the fuel injector rail on the intake manifold. Treat this very gently! I was careful but still managed to break mine. I glued it back together and it works, but calling a dealership today, I found that the clip is not available to purchase by itself. I'll be checking a local junk yard to pick up a few soon.

3 - while you've got the intake off, you have a perfect chance to remove the throttle body and give it a thorough cleaning on both sides.


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