Cover Gasket Replacement
To replace an XR valve cover gasket:
- the gasket (I have used FelPro now twice, with no problems.
Cost $25. Other IMONers swear by Ford Motorsports. Use a 93 Ranger
valve cover gasket form the Ford Dealer; do not use cork or rubber;
you'll be replacing them sooner)
- you might also need a throttle body gasket; mine came off
intact the second time I did this; the first time, I had to make
a gasket out of sheet gasket material.
- metric sockets and long extension (I think the socket is
an 8mm; a 5/16-inch will also work)
- telescoping magnetic pickup (to retrieve bolts that you'll
drop and to help insert them when you're buttoning up everything)
- Scotchbrite pad to remove any old gasket material
- Unplug IAC (on back side of throttle body).
- Remove throttle body-to-turbo rubber hose (two hose clamps).
- Disconnect throttle linkage (it simply prys off gently with
- Remove throttle body (two studs, two nuts, all four very
- Carefully unplug the remaining electrical connector on back
of throttle body (TPS?).
- Set throttle body aside (now is a good time to clean it using
carb cleaner; you might see carbon/varnish/gunk on backside of
throttle plate and inside the throttle body bore; mine didn't
have much). (if you haven't also cleaned the IAC, now is the
time to do that also; see directions in the Archives).
- Remove small screw on passenger side of valve cover, above
No. 1 spark plug, that attaches coolant tubes.
- Remove oil breather (simply pulls out).
- Remove 1/2-inch (rough dimension) hose that goes across the
top of the back side of valve cover. This is a coolant hose and
attaches via a hose clamp to one of the coolant tubes that runs
parallel to the valve cover on the passenger side. A little coolant
will dribble out; use a rag to catch it. Try to move the top
a/c hose and wiring harness as far above the valve cover as you
can get it. This is critical.
- Remove distributor cap. I simply disconnected the wire from
the coil, unscrewed the cap, and laid the cap with plug wires
still attached out of the way (on the turbo side of engine).
- Unbolt the 8 studs that hold down the valve cover to the
head. Exercise caution when removing them (best to use a magnet
to extract them after loosening them with a socket); I dropped
two of the studs and still haven't found one).
- Pry off valve cover. It won't take much pressure. The only
place you'll encounter interference will be in the rear and the
interference will come from not being able to lift the cover
high enough to clear the cam girdle. The interference will come
either from the a/c hose or wiring harness or both. Just be patient
and work the cover over the cam girdle. Ensure that no old gasket
material has stuck to the valve cover. If so remove using Scotchbrite
pad, screwdriver, wire wheel, etc.
- Clean the valve cover before reinstalling.
- Lift the old gasket out and discard.
- Clean any old gasket material off the head, using Scotchbrite
pad. Be extremely careful when using sharp objects cleaning the
material off the head (it's aluminum and nicks easily). I had
very little material left on the head and the Scotchbrite pad
removed almost all of it utilitzing a little bit of elbow grease.
- Vacuum away any debris, especially inside any that has fallen
onto the head.
- Position new gasket. Mine fit very well and the holes lined
up easily. Be sure that the gasket is firmly seated. You do not
need to use any gasket sealing material (such as RTV).
- Replace the valve cover. Again, as in removal, the interference
will come at the firewall end. Just be patient and work it into
place. A second set of hands makes this step a little easier.
- Replace the eight studs. Tighten in sequence working from
the center equally toward both ends. Do not overtighten. (How
tight? I just snugged them all down equally; not very tight at
- Replace all hoses, wires, distributor cap, throttle body,
linkage, electrical connections, etc.