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How to Replace a Ford 5.4 Engine Exhaust Manifold

by Dan Ferrell

The exhaust manifolds on your Ford vehicle routs exhaust gases into the exhaust system. On the 5.4L model, one manifold is mounted to the left and right side of the engine. When cracked or damaged, manifolds have to be replaced to prevent harmful emissions from escaping into the atmosphere. Follow this guide to replace one or both exhaust manifolds on your Ford vehicle. This procedure applies to most 5.4L engine models.

Preparation

Park your Ford vehicle on a level surface.

Set the transmission to "Neutral" (manual) or "Park" (automatic).

Disconnect the ground battery cable using a wrench. This is the black cable connected to the post with a minus sign next to it.

Raise the front of your Ford vehicle using a floor jack and support it on two jack stands.

Chock the rear wheels and apply the parking brake.

Make sure the engine and exhaust manifold is cool enough to the touch before you begin to replace the manifolds.

Removing the Left Exhaust Manifold

Unplug the oxygen sensors' electrical connectors bolted on the exhaust pipe attached to the exhaust manifold.

Unbolt the two oxygen sensors using a ratchet and oxygen sensor socket. On some models, this might be necessary if you need to remove the exhaust pipe between the catalytic converter and the exhaust manifold for better access to the manifold.

Remove the four mounting nuts connecting the exhaust manifold to the catalytic converter assembly. Use a wrench or a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Unscrew the two bolts holding the exhaust support bracket to the crossmember using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Unscrew the eight exhaust manifold mounting nuts using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket. Loosen the nuts in three steps following a crisscross pattern.

Remove the exhaust manifold and gasket from the vehicle.

Installing the Left Exhaust Manifold

Clean the left-hand engine exhaust manifold mounting surface with a plastic scraper to avoid damaging the surface, which may lead to exhaust leaks.

Set the new exhaust manifold in place along with a new gasket.

Start the eight mounting nuts by hand and half-tighten the nuts using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Torque the eight mounting nuts to 18 foot-pounds using a torque wrench. Start with the upper-rear nut and then the nut directly below. Continue with the next upper nut, following this pattern and working your way towards the front of the engine.

Screw the exhaust support bracket to the crossmember using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Bolt the exhaust manifold to the catalytic converter assembly using the wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Install the two oxygen sensors into the exhaust pipe using the oxygen sensor socket, if you had to remove the intermediate exhaust pipe.

Plug the oxygen sensors' electrical connectors.

Removing the Right Exhaust Manifold

Remove the starter motor using a wrench and ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Detach the right-hand inner fender well using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Unbolt the two nuts connecting the exhaust manifold to the catalytic converter pipe using a wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Remove the sway bar mounting bolts and move the bar down for better access to the exhaust manifold. Use a wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Loosen the eight exhaust manifold mounting nuts in three steps following a crisscross patter. Use the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Remove the exhaust manifold and gasket from the vehicle.

Unbolt the four lower exhaust manifold studs from the engine using a wrench or ratchet and deep socket.

Installing the Right Exhaust Manifold

Clean the engine exhaust manifold mounting surface using a plastic scraper to avoid damaging the surface.

Bolt the four lower exhaust manifold studs to the engine and torque the studs to 9 foot-pounds using the torque wrench and deep socket.

Set the new exhaust manifold in place using a new gasket.

Start the eight exhaust manifold mounting nuts by hand and then half-tighten the nuts using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Torque the mounting nuts to 18 foot-pounds using the torque wrench. Start with the upper-rear nut and then the lower nut. Continue with the next upper nut. Follow this pattern working your way towards the front of the engine, finishing with the lower front mounting nut.

Install the sway bar using the wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Connect the exhaust manifold to the catalytic converter pipe using the wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Install the right-hand inner fender well using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Mount the starter motor using the wrench and ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Warning

  • Torque specifications may vary from one model to another. Make sure to consult the vehicle service manual for your specific Ford 5.4L engine.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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