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Old 02-21-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
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Valve cover/spark plug seal replacement

Hi guys! Always find this site informative and fun! I have an issue that may require replacement of these seals. Here is the situation:

I have a 2007 Ford Focus SE 2.0 Duratec with 80'000km on it.
I changed my spark plugs 30'000km ago to 0.55 gap Autolite AR103 (coppper).
At the time the stock plugs came out of my engine dry and looked good.
When I put the new AR103s in, I forgot to connect CYL1 spark plug electronics.
As a result, i drove around for 15 minutes with 3 cylinders working...
Upon realizing my error, I reconnected the plug and the car ran smoothly ever since.

30'000km later, last week I changed my AR103s to new ones.
Upon pulling out the CYL1 spark plug I noticed the head & threads were covered in oil and there was a pool of oil in the chamber below. The ceramic was completely dry.
CYL 2,3,4 were totally dry and looked good.
I let CYL1 sit open for a while and the oil drained...
I put in the new AR103 and the car idled smoother than before.
Drove around for a day & pulled out the spark plug on CYL1.
The tip & ceramic were bone dry but the threads had oil in them.

I am guessing I will need to replace the spark plug tube seal. The dealer is going to charge me 220$ to change all the seals - valve cover & all spark plug tubes. The parts cost 60$. I hear the job is easy to do... Is this something I can do on my own?

My research tells me I need to:
0) Disconnect the battery
1) Disconnect Valve Cover breather tube,
2) Disconnect all electronics
3) Unscrew the 10 bolts holding the Valve Cover on
4) Remove & replace the seals
5) Put everything back on in criss cross pattern

Think I should try this on my own or will I completely mess up my car?
I am curious as to how the engine works and would like to see the interior!! But I am afraid this job is designed for trained technicians... I have replaced my throttle body and the intake and the spark plugs and did a stereo/amp set up so I'm not totally inept when it comes to car maintenance. I also worked in a Wal Mart garage for a year.

I wouldn't mind doing the maintenance myself but it's winter here and still gets pretty cold... can I keep running the car like this until it gets warmer? Like 2-3 more weeks? Or is this an urgent issue that needs to be resolved now.

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