How to Remove the Upper Intake Manifold on a Ford Explorer

by Cayden Conor
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The intake manifold on a Ford Explorer is a two-piece design. There is a gasket between the upper and lower intake manifolds, which can experience dry rot or cracks over time. A crack can cause a vacuum leak, which means the air fuel mixture is off--the engine is getting more air than fuel--and the computer will try to compensate by pouring more fuel into the engine. You not only waste gas, but the Explorer still runs lean, with too much air and not enough fuel, if it runs at all.

Step 1

Disconnect the battery ground cable and set it aside, ensuring that it does not touch metal. Slide a drain pan under the radiator petcock. Loosen the petcock and allow the antifreeze mixture to drain. If the liquid in the drain pan appears clean and the antifreeze is less than five years old, you can reuse it.

Step 2

Loosen the clamps on the air cleaner outlet tube with a screwdriver or appropriate socket, depending on the type of clamp. Remove the air cleaner outlet tube. Pull the crankcase ventilation hose off the throttle body. Unbolt and remove the throttle body shield with the appropriate sockets or wrenches. Remove the cables from the throttle shaft.

Step 3

Label all electrical wiring and vacuum lines attached to the upper intake manifold with masking tape and a marker. Remove the accelerator cable's brackets but leave the cable in the brackets. Set the brackets aside. Disconnect the EGR spacer or the throttle body coolant hoses, depending on which your vehicle is equipped.

Step 4

Label the spark plug wires so you can reinstall them later onto the proper cylinder. Pull the plug wires off the coil packs. Unplug the ignition coil wiring harness from the ignition coil. Remove the coil packs from the engine with the appropriate socket.

Step 5

Unbolt and remove the intake cover plate with the appropriate socket. Remove the rest of the wires and loom holders from the manifold if there are any still connected.

Step 6

Stand facing the engine so that the driver's side valve cover is on your right and the passenger side valve cover is on your left. Look at the upper intake manifold retaining bolts--there are six of them. Two of them are on the right, two of them are on the left (these are shorter bolts), and two longer bolts are in the middle.

Step 7

Label the bolts as follows: The bolt closest to you on the driver's side is #3. The bolt just behind that is #1. Work your way over to the middle of the intake. The most forward bolt in the middle is #5, and the one behind it (closest to the firewall) is #6. The front-most bolt on the passenger side is #2, and the rear bolt is #4.

Step 8

Loosen the bolts in numerical order. Lift the upper intake manifold off of the lower intake manifold. Clean the gasket mating surfaces with a scraper and a rag, taking care not to gouge the intake manifold.

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