The lifter gallery (pushrod cover gasket) on my 1990 F150 (inline 6 cylinder 4.9L) has been leaking more and more oil. Its time to replace it. (BTW... I'm sure its the lifter gallery cover and not the head gasket.) To make sure... I first steam cleaned the engine. Once clean ... I fired it up for about a minute then shut it off. There was the leak, in plain site... leaking out from bottom front edge of the lifter gallery cover.
I'm debating on doing it myself or taking it to a shop. I usually do all my own maintenance. (Replaced radiator, water pump, starter, alternator, brakes, etc etc... no problem.)
However... the lifter gallery gasket seems trapped behind the coil and distributor... (not to mention a huge wiring harness). It appears the wire harness will lift out of the way once I unbolt the clamp. I guess my main concern is if I can get the cover and the new gasket in place without damage to the gasket. The space between the gallery cover and back side of the distributor and coil is very tight (only about 3/4 inch) I don't want to pull the distributor or the coil.
I was wondering if any of you had any tricks or warnings prior to beginning the project or if I should let a shop do it.
I'm including some pics because my 1980 -1994 Haynes manual does not identify the name of the cover / gasket. It took me some time surfing the web to discover it was the lifter gallery cover. DOH! Very obvious once I figured it out.
You shouldn't need to pull the dizzy but pulling the coil will make things much easier as there should be a bolt right behind the coil & bracket. The coil isn't that hard to pull, just two bolts if I remember right. When you get everything off and cleaned putting the new gasket and cover back on will be much easier and result in much less use of four letter words if you use something to stick the gasket to the cover (Indian Head, Permatex, something sticky.) If I remember right, when I did this on my 74, the gasket was a touch long. That may have just been the gasket brand though.
You can do it.. like stated it takes a little patience but I was able to do it by just removing intake ducting.. loosing the intake mainfold and I left the distributor in... Time consuming but I would recommend while you're in there may want to consider changing the intake and exhaust maniflold gasket??
Wow! I want to thank everyone who replied. I never expected such a response... or so quickly!
Based on all the feedback I ran out and purchased the gasket, some Permatex, and engine degreaser (it needs it due to the leak).
I can live with the job being tedious... and I have no problem busting my knuckles. What I didn't want to do was get upside down in a dismantle.
I've rebuilt my share of engines but I was much younger then. I need my truck to get to work on Monday and since I was looking at doing the job tomorrow (Sunday) I wanted to make sure I wouldn't run into any hidden surprises.
I've made up my mind (based on everyone's feedback) to forge ahead. I'll check back in tomorrow afternoon once the job is behind me. Thanks to the tip from Lone Wolf #2 about pulling the coil. In looking at it this evening I does appear to be straight forward and will certainly give me more room to work.
Originally Posted by KC92F150
Did you try tightening the covers up? Mine were leaking on my 92 4.9L and I re-torqued them and the leak quit. I guess I was just lucky...worth a try though. Good Luck
Yep... tried that already. Believe me I wanted that to work more than anything. Last weekend I discovered two of the bolts near the area of the leak were so loose I could spin them with my finger tips... however... even after tightening all the bolts (in alternating sequence and being careful not to torgue them down to tight and warp the cover)... it still leaked. FYI: Leak might be too generous of a term. Flood would be more accurate. When I shut off the engine, oil literally pours off the bottom of the engine onto my driveway in a steady stream for a good 15 seconds or so. Its leaking about 1 Quart every 15 miles. I can only guess what's going on as I fly down the highway. Cars that were unfortunate to have followed behind are probably wondering what the oily film is that is smearing their windshield.
Sorry for the delayed followup... but thanks to all the tips, advice and encouragement I received from members of this forum I felt it was my obligation to let everyone know I went ahead and replaced it on my own.
As pointed out by several members, the job wasn't that bad. Just time consuming. I "did not" pull the distributor... but I did remove the distributor "cap". Removing the cap gave me the extra room I needed. With the cap off I was able to move all the distributor wires back away from the work area making it easier to get the cover off and back on. I also had to remove the coil becuase it was held in place by one of the galley cover bolts. Anyway, as long as I had the coil off... I went ahead and replaced it (it was less than $10).
As it turns out the original cover gasket had a bad spot in the seal. Since I'm the original owner of the vehicle and I've never replaced this gasket before it had to have some this way from the factory. I'm surprised it held to 170K miles before springing a leak.