How to Replace the Cylinder Head Gaskets in a 5.4L Ford Engineby James Marshall
The Ford 5.4-liter engine is a V-8 engine with aluminum cylinder heads. It appears in various Ford vehicles made since 1997, such as the F-Series of pickup trucks. The 5.4-liter engine has a pair of cylinder heads, one on each side of the engine. The head gasket lies between the cylinder head and the engine block, and makes a tight seal between the two components. The procedure for replacing the cylinder head gaskets is generally the same for both gaskets.
Evacuate the air-conditioning system with the appropriate evacuating equipment. This step requires a mechanic licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Disconnect the cable from the negative battery terminal with a socket wrench to prevent the engine from starting during the head gasket replacement. Remove the covers for the cylinder head, and disconnect the intake manifold from the engine block. Detach the timing chains from their sprockets, and remove both exhaust manifolds from the engine block.
Remove the retaining bolts from the heater hose on the engine block with a socket wrench. Release the hose clamp by squeezing it together and sliding it down the hose. Detach the hose from the engine block. Detach any additional cables, electrical connectors and hoses that restrict your access to the cylinder head.
Disconnect the mounting bolts from the cylinder head with a socket wrench. Detach the cylinder head from the engine block. Remove the head gasket from the engine block and discard it. Remove any traces of the gasket from the cylinder head and engine block with a gasket scraper.
Turn the crankshaft clockwise by hand so that the key way on the crankshaft is in the 12 o'clock position. Place the new gasket for the cylinder head over the dowel pins on the engine block. Mount the cylinder head over the dowel pins, so that the head is on top of the gasket.
Install new mounting bolts to the cylinder head by hand. Tighten the bolts to 30 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Tighten the mounting bolts for the cylinder head an additional 85 to 95 degrees on the second pass. Tighten the mounting bolts an additional 85 to 95 degrees on the third pass.
Connect the heater hose to the cylinder head, and fasten its retaining bolts with a socket wrench. Slide the hose clamp in place to secure the hose. Attach the exhaust manifolds to the engine block, and mount the timing chains to their sprockets. Connect the intake manifold to the engine block.
Attach the covers for the cylinder head with a socket wrench. Connect all additional electrical connectors, cables and hoses you removed to obtain access to the cylinder head.
Recharge the air-conditioning system with the appropriate equipment. This step requires a mechanic licensed by the EPA.
Fill the engine oil and coolant to their proper levels. Connect the cable for the negative battery terminal with a socket wrench. Start the engine and check for fluid leaks.
Items you will need
- Socket wrench set
- Air conditioner evacuator/recharger
- Gasket scraper
- Torque wrench