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2002 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement - HELP!

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Old 12-02-2012, 11:30 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Austin, TX
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Exclamation 2002 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement - HELP!

I'm in the process of trying to replace the passenger side valve cover gasket on my 2002 F150 w/5.4. My Haynes manual is a bit misleading, and I need some advice for those who have done this before.
I'm to the point where I have removed all the valve cover bolts, but cannot get the valve cover out due to interference by the wiring harnesses between the valve cover and the firewall. I've disconnected the harness from the fuel injectors, coils, A/C compressor and crank position sensor. Have also disconnected the big multi-pin plugs that are mounted to the firewall next to the battery. How do you get these harnesses out of the way so that the valve cover can be lifted directly off? Haynes says to disconnect the heater hose at the back of the engine, which may make a bit of extra room, but I don't see any way I can get back there with a pair of pliers to disconnect this.

I'm hoping to get this truck back on the road by end-of-day tomorrow.

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Vehicle: 2002 Ford F150
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This morning I was able to remove the valve cover after slipping the wiring harness down below the valve cover, along the firewall.

Now that I have the cover off, I think I've identified the problem area, but would love to have some reassurance. When I first noticed the oil leak, the oil seemed to be dripping from the bottom of the thermostat housing, down into the intake valley, then off the back of the motor, around to the starter area and onto my driveway.
Bottom of thermostat housing/intake valley:

Click the image to open in full size.

With the valve cover removed, it appears that the gasket was leaking just behind the dab of RTV by the timing chain cover (assumption is based on the fact that the mating surface on the head is clean in this area)

Click the image to open in full size.

Does it seem likely that oil would be pushed through this are with enough force to cause a significant leak? Is there any oil passage that would possibly be above this point on the motor?
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:27 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Capac MI
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rich nagey the nagey
I ran a thin bead of rtv around mine before i re did them. I also claned the mating surface very well prior to reinstall. Once i got all the bolts torqued i missed a back bolt and had a small leak but once tightened all leaks went away. sounds like your on the right track

Gone but not forgotten :'(
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:18 PM
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Oil gets all kinds of slung around by the timing chain and cams.

Clean it off real well and duplicate the RTV spots and you should be good as new
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