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Changing head gaskets in a 5.4L 99 Expedition - Anyone have a PDF manual or tips?


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#1 OFFLINE   guitar333

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 03:18 PM

Hi!

Has anyone on here changed the head-gaskets on a 2v 5.4L Triton before? This weekend we are putting new head-gaskets in a 99 Expedition with the 5.4L. (The car has been way down on power lately and although its not leaking oil, it was determined by the dealer as needing new headgaskets as it has been losing power since it overheated one day - but still drives fine and doesnt smoke aside from the power-loss)

Does anyone have a PDF of the service manual or procedure they'd be willing to share? I'd be ever so grateful. I had one but I can't find it.

I know Ford instructs you to pull the motor so you don't increase the chances of messing up the gaskets or mating-surface.....but we are going to do this with the motor in the truck. Anyone done this before? Also, do we need to find any special tools like the cam alignment tool?

Can anyone share any tips or documentation on removing the heads/changing the headgaskets? It would mean so much!

Thanks in advance!







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#2 OFFLINE   JW

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 03:57 PM

I just did a double head gasket replacement on my '98 Expy 5.4. It's a pain in the ass, but totally doable. I did mine with the engine in the truck. If you have decent mechanical abilities, a couple of extra sets of hands, and a lot of time and patience, you'll be fine. I have a Ford shop CD, but didn't refer to it all that much. A Chilton or Haynes manual would be plenty.

Things to keep in mind:

- Pull the hood off. I didn't on mine, and kept wishing I did.
- The power steering pump has to come off to get the front cover off. There are three 10mm bolts that are all hidden from view, but you can feel around for them and get them out from under the truck.
- Pull the inner fender liners to get to the exhaust manifolds.
- Spray the exhaust manifold bolts with PB Blaster. You may find that some of the studs break anyway, they're pretty weak. If they do, get them out while the heads are off.
- The bracket that supports the power steering reservoir is tough to get off. You can do without it after it's gone, though.
- The bolts that hold the coil-on-plug units are 7mm. You'll need a variety of 1/4" drive extensions, as well as a swivel joint. I also added a 7mm swivel-joint socket to my arsenal for the job.
- Don't bother disconnecting the fuel lines from the rails. Just pull the rails off the intake and leave them in the truck, bungee-corded out of the way.
- You can get the upper and lower intake off as an assembly, with the hood off (I had to separate mine).
- There are a couple of bolts on the rear of the passenger side head - one that holds a bracket for a wiring harness, another that holds a bracket for a heater tube that comes off the water pump. They're tough to get a wrench on. You can also do without them when you reassemble.
- You'll need a large puller to get the crank pulley off, as well as a big breaker bar to break the crank bolt loose. I got my puller at Autozone for about $35.
- If you haven't done so already, change your plugs. It's MUCH easier to do with the intake off the truck.
- The passenger side head is harder to get off/put on, mainly because of the heater hoses and the power distribution block. You can use bungee cords to pull the hoses up and to the right.
- Change your passenger side O2 sensor while that head is off. You can get to it from above that way and don't have to fight with anything.
- Be careful with the large vacuum hose that connects to the rear of the upper intake. It will probably be coming apart.
- Camshaft alignment is no doubt easier with the tools, but it can be done without them. Here's how it has to work: Put the crank at #1 TDC (which puts the keyway on the crank at about a 10:30 position. Then, the driver's side head will have a dot on the cam sprocket that will sit at about a 12:30 position. The passenger side's sprocket will need to be at about 11:30. Then, on the chains, you'll see one link that's a different color than the rest, and at the opposite end, two links that are a different color (if you don't see them, flip the chains around as the different links are only on one side). Once you find them, color them with a Sharpie so they'll be easier to see. The single links line up with the dot on the crank sprocket (which is now at a 6:00 position), and then the double links will hit the cam sprocket dots. Here's where it gets tricky - the cam sprockets will not magically stay in the positions you want them to, because of pressure from the valve springs (the cam holding tools take care of that, if you have them). But, you can slightly rotate the cam sprockets into place as needed to get the chains on. You may need to hold pressure on them while installing the tensioner assemblies, otherwise the chains will jump teeth and the timing will be off. You'll understand all that a little better when you get to disassembly and can see what I'm talking about.
- Get two new sets of head bolts (about $35 a set or so, ten on each side). The torque sequence is like so - start on the top center and tighten to 25 ft lbs, then bottom center, then go to the top one in front of center, then the bottom, then the top to the rear of center, and so on, working your way out. Tighten them all to 25 ft lbs. Then, repeat the sequence, turning each of the 1/4 turn. Then, do that again. It ends up being about 75 ft lbs when you're done. You'll hear a "SNAP!" sound as you tighten them. No biggie. It's especially difficult on the passenger side. You'll probably find yourself doing them 1/8 of a turn at a time because of space limitations. Put an index mark on each bolt head for reference and it'll be easier.
- Get a complete gasket set. There will be a few you won't need, but it's cheaper than getting the head gaskets, and valve cover gaskets, and intake gaskets, and front cover gaskets separately.
- You'll need a bit of black RTV for the front cover and valve covers, where they and the oil pan all come together (again, when you get it apart, you'll see what I mean). Just little dabs, nothing more.
- You don't have to pull the water pump to get the front cover off.
- Getting the water pump pulley and the crank pulley loose will require a bit of ingenuity. I used a ratchet strap on both to keep them from turning while I loosened/tightened them.
- All the manuals say you need the special tool to get the fan off. Nope, just a big adjustable wrench. The radiator doesn't HAVE to come out, but I lost a lot of tools between it and the A/C condenser, and if I did the job again, I'd pull it.
- Don't be surprised if your intake gaskets are different on each side. Ideally they should be the same. Mine were different (one head was probably replaced at some point), and I had to buy three sets before I got it right.

I have some pictures at the link below, at various stages.

http://fordtruckworl...amp;album=57011
Try this place for parts - http://www.northernautoparts.com - they got me things fast when Autozone failed miserably.

I'll probably make changes to this post as I think of more stuff. And feel free to ask questions, as it's all still pretty fresh in my mind.

Edited by JW, 07 December 2007 - 04:05 PM.

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#3 OFFLINE   guitar333

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 04:45 PM

Dude, JW YOU ROCK! Thanks for taking the time to type that up, that was exactly what I was hoping for. Feel free to add more info.

Will be doing this tonight through this weekend, have an extra set of hands and plenty of beer.

#4 OFFLINE   JW

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 05:20 PM

No sweat!

One more tip - there are spring-loaded plungers that hold the timing chain tensioners in place. It's a metal plunger with a small ratchet assembly next to it, all in a cast iron body. You need to compress the plunger into the body of the unit with a vise, and then place a pushpin/paperclip/some other small diameter object into a hole on the body to hold the plunger in (again, it'll make sense when you see it). Then you can install the plunger along side the tensioner assembly, and pull the pin when it's all together. There are probably web sites with pictures all over the place. And the episode of Horsepower TV that was on last Saturday even shows how to do it on a 4.6L.

Edited by JW, 10 December 2007 - 06:25 PM.

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#5 OFFLINE   guitar333

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 05:08 PM

nevermnd

Edited by guitar333, 08 December 2007 - 07:00 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   JW

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 06:25 PM

So how's it going? How many times have you cursed Ford's powertrain engineers?
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#7 OFFLINE   wagoneer

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 01:38 PM

JW, thank you so much for your informative post! I have a '98 Expedition that requires a new head gasket, but I have been reluctant to dive into this repair. Your post along with the provided pictures are a tremendous help, and I now hope to begin working on it soon. I joined this forum so I could ask some questions about the repair. My truck has a lot of miles(140K) and a lot of things wrong with it, so I want to do this repair as cheaply as possible to try and get another 10 or 20K out of the engine(it should still have some life in it). Below are my first questions:

1)When I called to buy parts they told me that they sold the head gasket for $15 or the valve gasket set for $200 with the head gasket and that this would be necessary for the repair. Is this true? I remember replacing the head gasket on my brother's oldsmobile years ago and we only needed the head gasket itself. Couldn't I do this repair with only the head gasket?

2)My brother's car required the aluminum head cover to be planed at a metal shop for a good seal. At that time, it cost us only $15 in our hometown. Will the head cover(s) on my Expedition need to be ground flat, will it cost much and how will I know if this is necessary?

3)You mentioned replacing the O2 sensor in your writeup since it's easy to get to, but I was wondering if this is really necessary since I'm trying to do this cheaply? I have an AutoTap diagnostic program on my laptop that I hook into my vehicle, and it shows that all O2 sensors are working great.


I'm sure I'll have more questions for the people here throughout this process, and I'm very glad that I found these forums! :D

#8 OFFLINE   JW

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 05:04 PM

You're welcome! Assuming you don't have major mechanical problems brewing (bad bearings, rings, valves, etc.) another 10-20K should be easy. Right after I finished mine I took it on a 4000+ mile road trip.

1) $15 seems cheap for one head gasket, while $200 for the entire set is really high. Autozone has it for $144. And you will need virtually all of them in the set.
http://www.autozone....oductDetail.htm

2) The valve covers are plastic, so no milling needed. Just be careful to not overtorque (and crack) them.

3) If you have evidence that your O2 sensors are good, by all means leave them (at $60+ each). Mine was shot.

How do you like the AutoTap software? And do they have a module to perform programming to the PCM?
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#9 OFFLINE   micomateh

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 07:43 PM

I apologize in adavance for dredging up an old thread, but am undertaking this project on a '99 Expedition this weekend. JW's post was extremely helpful and I feel much more prepared - definitely pre-ordered a few parts I probably wouldn't have.

I was wondering if anyone else has done this project and if there is any other insight, special tools, other parts to pre-order, etc. Anyone who has pictures would get huge Kudos from me as well!

Thanks in advance and hello Blue Oval members...

#10 OFFLINE   JW

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:02 PM

Welcome to the site! I likely have these pictures around somewhere, and will get them back online in the next day or so.
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#11 OFFLINE   jruiz

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 07:46 PM

Welcome to the site! I likely have these pictures around somewhere, and will get them back online in the next day or so.



Hello JW, thanks for the posting of the info for the expedition. I wanted to ask if by any luck would have the photos that you were attack to the link above. I am now needing to replace my blown head. this is the second one for this vechicle. My truck has 220k miles.


Thanks for any extra help, tips etc...


jruiz

#12 OFFLINE   JW

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 02:36 AM

They're still online at http://www.angieandj...yheadgasket.zip . Feel free to ask questions. I don't have the truck anymore, but some things you just don't forget...

I have some others as well; let me know if you need something specific.

(Link fixed)

Edited by JW, 09 September 2010 - 04:53 PM.

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#13 OFFLINE   jruiz

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 05:31 PM

They're still online at http://www.angieandj...yheadgasket.zip . Feel free to ask questions. I don't have the truck anymore, but some things you just don't forget...

I have some others as well; let me know if you need something specific.

(Link fixed)

Thank you so much. I will be starting this project on Monday wish me luck :) if i need anything else I will ask.

Once again thank you.


jruiz

Edited by jruiz, 10 September 2010 - 05:32 PM.


#14 OFFLINE   ExpyDude

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:44 PM

Ok Guys and Gals, I'm gonna try and resurect this great thread one more time!  If JW is still around, I would love to see the pics!  All the links to them in the thread are dead links. 

 

Anyone have any other good tips on a DIY head gasket job on the '99 Expy 5.4L?  I'm starting it today!

 

I will try and document it and share the details here!  Wish me luck....I'm goin in!!

 

GH



#15 OFFLINE   NickF1011

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:51 PM

My first tip when working on any vehicle is to hide the swear jar. ;)

Edited by NickF1011, 25 February 2014 - 12:52 PM.

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#16 OFFLINE   cybervincey

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:50 AM

I just had my 03 Exped's gaskets replaced - the entire set - now the machinist informed me that i need to replace the intake valve and exhaust valves as well inclusive of the valve guides.

 

I don't know if they're pulling or yanking my chains, i had it fixed - gaskets etc - due to an engine misfire, rough on idle. Even replaced the sparks etc. Seems there's a leak to one of the cylinder and now they are attributing the valve as the main culprit and if don't replace it, my problem may again resurface.

 

I'm not much of a mechanic, engines before were way simple.

 

So in any case do i really have to replace all the valves? i hear some knocking on idle, had white smoke one time when i started the engine - bellowed out - after that the exhaust is quite rich... gas smells and looms...

 

They opened up my engine so far and just waiting for me to give them the go signal to replace the valves... Any thoughts?



#17 OFFLINE   Michael Gaydar

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:58 PM

YES! You can replace the head gaskets without pulling the engine or lifting the body. It takes a little longer and requires a few changes to the manual, but this blog gave me the starting point and I did it  myself. I am fairly mechanical, though not a working mechanic, and have rebuild engines before. I found the 5.4L to be pretty easy, except for cramped conditions with the cab over design. The start of this blog gives a good description of what to do, but I will add some stuff from my own experience.

 

Problem: Started with overheats after overnight cool down. No heat through heater, temperature would rise, warning light would go on, then it would drop back to normal and work until the engine cooled overnight. Cause, there was an intake manifold gasket leak between the head cooling port (where the cooling crossover tube attaches) and No. 1 intake port. When the metal would cool and contract, water would leak from the heater lines and leave an air bubble that blocked flow. When the pressure built, it would push the bubble through and heat would return and flow would bring the engine temperature down. I tried a new water pump, thermostat, heater control valve, fan clutch, and few other things. Nothing helped. Things got worse in about 3000 miles and I start getting misfires on No. 1 cylinder and seeing anti-freeze steam in the exhaust. The water leaking into the cylinder caused the head gasket to corrode and break down.

 

1. Take a lot of pictures of the engine, wire, and vacuum tube routing before and during teardown. Also, I labeled all the parts with little tags and zip lock bags. It makes putting it back together easier.

2. Everything is metric, no SAE stuff left on this engine or frame.

3. Buy the crankshaft positioning tool, camshaft holding tool, and camshaft alignment tool. They are essential to getting the timing correct and prevent having a valve impact a piston.

4. All other tools can be borrowed, for free, from Autozone or Advance Auto.

5. I took the hood off, inner fenders (plastic wheel well), and tires off the front. Put it up on jacks, there is a lot of room.

6. Remove the battery and battery box, do a little mx while you can.

7. I did not remove the radiator. There is enough room between the radiator and engine block with the fan, water pump, and accessories removed to do all your work. I did put a piece of 1/8" plywood on the back of the radiator to protect it. The cross member is a nice place to stand when working in the engine compartment. Also, I put some cardboard tabs on the plastic radiator cover, there are a couple of metal pieces that will bite you when leaning over the front.

8. I did not remove the A/C compressor or need to break the lines. It is nearly impossible to get to the compressor clutch connector to completely remove the harness, but you don't need to. It is the last connection and you can just move the harness out of the way.

9. The power steering pump is a pain, you need to remove the power steering pressure hose to get to the third bolt.  Great design, expect to lose all the fluid and need to bleed the system on startup.

10. The hardest part are two bolts and nuts stacked on the back of the left bank (1 through 4) head that holds the water pump return tube and wire harness brackets. You need to remove two nuts the release the harness bracket and then two bolts that release the water pump return tube. The nuts are on extended threads on the bolts. It just takes time and 1/4 turn wrench action. About 30 to 45 minutes and it is all off. Once you get it off and see what is going on, things go easier. I don't like removing the valve covers until everything else is done, but on assemble with the covers off, it goes back quickly.

11. There is a washer under the nut on the harmonic balancer, remove it before you pull. I didn't realize it was there and started to pull against it. Balancer should pull like any other pulley, reasonable force. I used a breaker bar between the pulley bolts to stop the crankshaft from rotating while pulling.

12. I pulled the exhaust manifolds attached to the heads and remove them after it was all out of the vehicle. One problem the oil stick runs between the exhaust manifold and the head so it is impossible to remove. It is a press fit with O-ring. Loosen the oil stick, have a buddy help through the wheel well while you lift the head & exhaust manifold. It works, just not pretty.

13. When you remove the transmission fill tube bolt on the left head, you will start a leak of transmission fluid down at the bottom of the case. The tube has an O-ring seal and without the bolt it will leak a little. Be prepared to catch the fluid. I replace the ring on the tube to ensure a good seal. However, when you pull the tube, you will lose about a gallon of transmission fluid. No problem, just be ready to catch it and refill after things are put together.

15 Before you remove the timing chains, use the camshaft holding tools to lock down the camshafts and keep them from rotating due to spring pressure. This will keep the valves from hitting the piston.

16. When installing the heads, use the crankshaft alignment tool to move No. 1 Cylinder to TDC. Roughly align the camshafts as stated in the manual and use the camshaft holding tool to keep them from rotating. The camshaft alignment tool, which is just an adaptor that use a breaker bar to turn the camshaft while under spring pressure, is great for aligning the camshaft prior to install and setting the chain. This will have the valve clear as you bolt down the head. Before loosening the camshaft holding tool to connect the chain, have a buddy hold the breaker bar with the alignment tool on the camshaft so it doesn't rotate. The manual is not clear on this and only says you need both tools for install. Once you loosen the holding tool, the camshaft will want to rotate and may drive a valve into a piston. You must hold the camshaft in position while putting on the chain. Hint, put the chain over the cam before loosening the holding tool.

17. With the heads off, I took them to get rebuilt. They had to add some aluminum to the surface to deal with pitting around the failed gasket. One bent valve, No. 1 Cylinder and a bad guide for that valve. I got a price of $400. for both heads.

18. I replaced all seals, O-rings, hoses that looked bad, and about half the Coil On Plugs (COPS) that were original with 180,000 miles. The newest went in the back of the engine, and you understand why.

19. Did not replace injectors. Everything I read said to clean them and they would last for ever. They seem to work fine.

20. Did remove and replace the Oil Filter mount and gasket underneath. Replaced the oil pressure sender also. The sender is not easy to get to and my Ford parts guy said he sells enough of the gaskets for the mount to keep them in stock. That told me that since it was both cheap and easy, now was the time to do it.

 

Result: Started right up. Runs great. I currently got 7000 miles on the rebuild and it was well worth it. Took about 3 weeks in the garage, mostly weekends and a couple hours each day. Spent a lot of time cleaning and fixing engine stuff while the heads were at the machinist. Once I got the heads back, it was up and running in two days. Total cost with all the tools, parts, and heads was $2600. I used original Ford Parts and was a little liberal with replacements. New vacuum hoses, new EGR, new throttle bypass. I didn't want to have little things ruining the great effort on the rebuild.

 

I went in a little concerned and came out liking the modular engine. I just wanted to add some more information for those thinking of rebuilding the 5.4L from the block up without removal. You can do it!


Edited by Michael Gaydar, 07 June 2014 - 01:00 PM.

  • Hipropos likes this

#18 OFFLINE   Hipropos

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 01:23 AM

i will be doing the head gaskets next weekend. it will be a first for me to dig in this far into a engine.

ive got a internal air pocket caused by leak in gasket, causing it to over heat and blow out antiifreeze.

this all started with heater blowing cold at stop light.

ford dealer said it was clogged heator core n thermostat.

so ive replace the intake, it was cracked at cross over. replaced heater core, what a pain.

the funny thing is, it didnt stat over heating till after i replaced the intake.

and after i replaced the heater core, i get gurgling under the dash from the core.



#19 OFFLINE   Hipropos

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:38 PM

welp, not going as smooth as i hoped it would. took two days to get the heads out. there out to the shop to get checked and resurfaced. 

the only problem is i got to get back on the road for the next 5 weeks, (im a truck driver). 



#20 OFFLINE   Michael Gaydar

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:10 PM

Hipropos,

 

It goes together faster than it takes to tear apart. You probably know that if you replaced the intake manifold. Make sure you run the engine with the coolant cap off for about half an hour to get all the air out. Some say to put the front end up on an incline, but I don't think it matters. I've got 10K on my rebuild now and it runs fine. Took it up and down the mountains of PA fully loaded and the engine is like new.


Edited by Michael Gaydar, 02 August 2014 - 07:12 PM.