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Old 10-28-2019, 10:18 AM   #1
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2003 Focus Zetec Intake Manifold Gaskets

I'm getting an intermittent P0171 code (Too lean, bank 1) which seems to point to an intake manifold leak so I was looking for some gaskets to get it sealed up good. However, it looks like there are a couple variations to the "cloverleaf" shaped gaskets. They are described as either square or round, with or without tab. I'm assuming the square/round refers to the gasket cross section.

Is there any way to tell which version to get prior to removal? I'm using the car to drive so I would rather just take it apart once if I can order the right set.

Thanks.


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Old 10-31-2019, 08:48 AM   #2
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Well, I was able to figure out which gaskets to get by removing the manifold. It is the type referred to as "square" and this does seem to refer to the cross sectional shape of the recesses in the manifold, not the overall shape of the gasket. I might add that this is not a trivial job as a lot has to come off before you can separate the manifold from the block. I had just about everything off and was still hung up on the passenger side. Turns out, there is a stud and nut tucked behind the alternator and it acts as the lower of two fasteners on the engine lift/grounding bracket. I had to remove the drive belt and remove both of the alternator bolts to be able to shift the alternator back sufficiently to get a socket on that nut (the lower part of the bracket wraps around the nut so you need a socket to get at it). You don't have to remove the alternator wiring or totally remove it from the engine bay but you do have to shift it back a couple inches (just pivoting it on the rear bolt didn't get me enough clearance). Also keep in mind that the alternator has threaded inserts that shift inward when you cinch up the bolts so you have to partially thread in the bolts and hammer or pry the inserts outward to get the alternator to release from its mounting bracket (pry the rear one due to lack of clearance for a hammer).

Fortunately, one of my local Autozones has the gaskets so I won't have to wait for them to be shipped. I want to get this thing put back together before I forget where everything goes.
2003 Focus Zetec Intake Manifold Gaskets-1031190739a-2-.jpg

EDIT: After reassembling everything, I thought of a few additional tips:

1. I ended up with one two-wire electrical plug that I was having trouble remembering where it went. Turns out it was the wire that goes to the block temperature sensor. There is a pigtail coming from the sensor and a mating one from the engine wiring harness near the alternator. The trouble was that the sensor-side pigtail was hidden back behind the alternator so I wasn't seeing where to plug in the harness side. I looked up the connector type on RockAuto and once I knew what it was, I knew what I was looking for and got it hooked back up.

2. When you reassemble the fuel rail, you first bolt it down to the head, then you need to attach the rail of electrical connectors to the injectors. This connector has a wire-type retainer clip at each of the injectors but there isn't room to get your fingers down in there to push them into place. However, I found that these are made such that you can install all of the wire clips into the harness rail before pushing it down on to the injector connections. The wire retainers just snap back into place. Really easy to do if you know that.

3. You can pretty easily get to two of the manifold bolts from the bottom, including one that I accessed through the hole between the runners from the top when removing them. That bolt also holds an electrical connection bracket which is much easier to reattach from below.

With everything back together, the engine is running great and the P0171 code has not returned.

Last edited by IrishBrewer; 11-04-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:20 PM   #3
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The intake gaskets do not commonly leak on that engine, you may not have fixed your problem. Commonly the PCV hose is the issue, it is 2 pieces, the one that goes to back of motor at bottom of intake is the problem, you may have seen it yanking the intake. That hose is the most common vacuum leak on a zetec.
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:09 PM   #4
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The PCV hose and valve is on my list while I was at it. I'm still waiting for those parts to come in. The hose was kind of brittle feeling and a small piece came off when working on the gaskets. There was indications of gasket leakage as there was some black streaking localized to the top lobes of several of them on the block side. These gaskets had also lost a lot of their elasticity when I removed them. So far, the code hasn't come back but I only have about 25 miles on it since I finished the gaskets. Hopefully, between that and the PCV hose, the code won't come back.

Last edited by IrishBrewer; 11-04-2019 at 10:57 AM.
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