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Michael J. Caboose
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6,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How-To Replace Valve Cover Gasket and VCT Solenoid

Well, my SVTf sprung a leak...about a spoonful of oil a week. Now, it's not that bad of a leak, but it needed to be fixed none-the-less. A quick call to Ford told me that it would be over $200 to replace because I just went out of warranty a few months ago... [:(]

After a bit of research, I came to the conclusion that I could do this myself. And so I did...

Materials Needed: Socket Wrench, extender, Drive adapter bit, 8mm/10mm sockets, 5/16 Wrench and 3/8 Wrench.



Time Needed: ...meh...about an hour.

-Start by ordering your parts...if you order directly from Ford, it'll cost you $88.28, however, if you find a few of the folks on this website who work for Ford, you can get them for $48.40... [:D] The Part#'s for the Solenoid and Gasket are 2M5Z6L713 AA and 2M5Z6584 AB, respectively...

Once you get them in, you're ready to begin. Remove the negative terminal off the battery, and make sure you secure it so it won't go flopping back onto the terminal!

-Remove Plug Wire cover and Coil Cover...remove spark plugs from valve cover (you can keep them on the coil pack) I put the ends of my plug wires in a plastic bag to keep debris from sticking to the Boot Protector Gel...

Don't forget about the Cam Breather Hose! [;)]



-Remove the small bracket on the back of your VCT Solnoid Tower, and pop off the wire connector... for Pete's sake, don't loose that freaking wire clip!!!



If you are going to attempt to remove the CamGear Cover, good luck! You actually don't need to take it all the way off, just shove it out of the way to remove the valve cover. To remove CamCover you must first Remove Coolant Reservoir by taking out front screw with 10mm socket, and separate from bracket in back of the tank...



-Now, if you can remove the valve cover w/o taking off the CamGear Cover, I highly advise you to do so...because that SonB is on there! [;)] This was the toughest part of the whole thing...I also encourage you to make a notch in the base of the CamGear Cover to aid in ease of installation...


Sure is dirty under there... [;)]

-Now you're ready to remove the Valve Cover...unscrew all 10 valve screws with 8mm socket. 'Jiggle' the cover around until the seal breaks loose... carefully remove valve cover, taking care not to knock the VCT Solenoid in the process. Remove old gasket and discard...set Valve Cover on clean towel.





You can clean area of new gasket of debris/dirt, taking care not to knock any gunk into oil...

Clean area on Valve Cover for new Gasket...take new Gasket and begin to work into the groove going around the cover. When finished, lube a little with oil. BE SURE EVERYTHING IS FLUSH IN GROOVE!

-Now for the VCT Solenoid. There is one 8mm screw holding it in, remove it. The Solenoid is not screwed in, you just have to work it out of it's housing, yanking is probably required... [;)] Set old VCT aside and grab the new one. Dab oil onto gasket and jam back into housing. Screw back in. Cake walk! [:D]



-Ready to reinstall the Valve Cover? You better be, you can't go anywhere without it! [:)] Place Valve Cover back onto engine, seating the seal. Place all 10 screws back into cover, and give each a few turns just to being threading. Start in center and, working your way around, begin tightening all screws in succession.

DO NOT TIGHTEN ALL THE WAY! You want to balance the compression on the gasket all the way around the cover. So, tighten each screw a little bit at a time, until all screws are tight. Begin tightening the whole way. 5-7 ft.-lbs. is required, but you probably won't find any torque wrench with that low of a setting...so hand-tight is about right!

Check all around for good seal, and pretty much reverse everything to finish...



Be sure to drive around and test the seal before doing any distance driving. You don't want to get all the way to Wal-Mart only to find that you've sprung a leak! [:D]

Ok guys, enjoy...because you just saved yourself a couple hundred bucks! And you had a good time working on the 'ole car!
 

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Man, you are about 3 weeks too late. I just did this when my cam cover was leaking, minus the VCT solenoid. I didn't remove the reservoir or take the cam gear cover off, just worked around them. Also a good way to ensure an even "compression" on the gasket is to tighten them in a kind of criss cross pattern, like one corner to the other type of thing. Also, did you replace the little grommets on the bolts for the cam cover? That is a good right up, and that sucks that your warranty ran out.
 

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Michael J. Caboose
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6,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I guess I went a little overboard on some of the steps, but oh well...better safe than sorry. I thought about replacing those little grommets as well, but all of mine looked brand new when I was checking them out, so I just reused them... [;)]

Thanks for the comments! [:D]
 

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Focused Focus
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6,403 Posts
One note: the wire clip doesnt need to be removed, you can simply squeeze the clip and it will release instead of taking it off of the vct sol. connector.
 

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Michael J. Caboose
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6,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
^^^Ah, thank you kind sir...I figured it needed to be removed since it was there! [;)] Thanks a ton for the parts, Mike!! [:D]
 

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Michael J. Caboose
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6,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Doug! I have been driving it around all day long, and so far (crosses fingers AND knocks on wood) nothing is leaking... [:D]
 

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Michael J. Caboose
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6,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Sticky anyone? [:D] It really is very easy and you save a good chunk of change in the process... of course, if you're still under warranty, I'd go that route... [;)]
 

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Michael J. Caboose
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6,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
[:D] [thumb] Thanks, dude! I knew there were good cops in the world! [;)] ...well almost a cop anyways...
 

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on thin air
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3,668 Posts
i have noticed some oil in that little square area that is sits in, and also down where my plug boots are.....thinking i may be doing your little how to soon.
 

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Michael J. Caboose
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6,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
If you have that little leak in the square part, you can probably acutally see the gasket bulging a little in that area. For some reason, that's the first spot to go on our gaskets...

I guess now is as good a time as any for an UPDATE: I still have a great seal on my gasket and there has been no other leaking from anywhere on the Valve Cover. The first time I tried seating the seal back down, I over-tightened one of the cover bolts and snapped it off at the head!! I was so freaking angry, I had to get my buddy over at Meineke to use some EZ-Outs on it.
 

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Very sweeet write up. I just sprunk a leak myself. Is it neccessory to remove the valve cover ? I removed the selenoid by just removing the spark plug cover. I noticed thats where the leak was, and i put it back on.
 

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"The first time I tried seating the seal back down, I over-tightened one of the cover bolts and snapped it off at the head!!"

Torque wrench.

Well worth the investment. Since I broke down and bought three 15 years ago I haven't twisted off a bolt (small 3/8 calibrated in inch lbs, larger 3/8 in foot-lbs, and a 1/2 in foot lbs for lug nuts etc.) Sears often has the medium 3/8 and 1/2 on sale for $50-60; however, SK is the only source I have found for the smaller inch-lb wrench, although I an sure there are other, similarly pricey sources.

SK makes a nice torque wrench calibrated in inch-pounds which works good in the 5-6 ft-lb range.

http://www.sktools.com/productcatalog.cfm?cfid=4705816&cftoken=94539830

The SK isn't cheap, but (1) you can usually find a cheaper source to order over the net, and (2) since they last virtually forever, you might as well buy it now and use it the rest of your life... it doesn't take too many "twisted bolt/easy-out/helicoil saves" over the years to make it a worthwhile investment.
 

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Michael J. Caboose
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6,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Poney- my leak was on the V/C Gasket itself so I HAD to take the cover off for the replacement gasket.

Penguin- I thought about spending the extra cash for a inch/pound torque wrench but then decided against it...boy, hindsight sure is 20/20, eh? [;)]

Ananottypingtherestofyourname- Good point, I also had to replace some of the broken bolts with new ones, and those also come with new little rubber grommets. Expensive little suckers too...
 

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JohnMichael- Thanks for the write up. very handy, and well put together.

my selenoid was in two peices ! i removed the screw and took the selenoid off and had no idea the rest of it was in the engine. I have no idea how that happaned, but id sure did leak oil lol
 

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Michael J. Caboose
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6,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
It's right at 5-7 INCH-pounds...I would simply hand-tighten as I tried a Torque Wrench and cracked two of my bolts in the block. It was poo-poo trying to get those suckers out. [thumbd]
 

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My brother has the leak at the solenoid and changed his gaskets. He seemed to do eveything correct accordiing to directions above, and it still leaks. any ideas out there? Thanks!
 
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