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#1150358 - 03/20/07 02:33 AM 4.6L Valve Stem Oil Seal Replacement - by stevo
dRock96Marquis Offline

Posting Addict

Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 24394
Loc: Maryland
This article directly applies to 1991+ Town Car and 1992+ Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis with the 4.6l SOHC 2v engine. Specifically, the pre-1996 models which are prone to premature valve stem seal seepage. If you are burning excessive amounts of oil in your -95, or see blue smoke from the exhaust, this article is for you!
It can also be used a great guideline for swapping valve stem seals on any modular engine.

The following article was authored by member stevo

Valve Stem Oil Seal Replacement
By: stevo
(Published August 19, 2004)

Tools you will need:
  • Ford fan clutch wrench set
  • OTC 7928 tool for compressing valve spring
  • Air-hold adapter tool with extention pipe to get it out of the recessed spark plug hole
  • Magnet, small telescoping
  • Air compressor-small one’s work ok
  • Air hose
  • ¼” drive ratchet
  • 3/8” drive ratchet
  • ½” drive ratchet
  • Extensions (for all)
  • 3/8” swivel
  • 8MM socket
  • 10MM socket
  • 8MM wrench
  • Needle nose pliers, 45-degree angle
  • Screwdriver, small flat-blade
  • Crescent wrench, medium size
  • 3/8" drive Torque wrench, inch-pounds
  • 3-Plastic tubs, for cleaning and oiling (like you get margarine in)
  • Brass brush, small
  • Shop Vac

Gaskets and Seals you will need:
  • Valve Cover gaskets and grommets
  • Valve Stem Oil Seals, 16pcs if SOHC, 32 if DOHC
  • Throttle Body gasket

Chemicals you will need
  • ¼ cup of grease
  • Permatex Ultra Black RTV
  • Lacquer Thinner
  • Carb Cleaner in a spray can
  • Electrical contact cleaner in a spray can
  • Dielectric grease for the spark plug wire set

Misc things you will need
  • Shop rags
  • old T-shirts
  • 5W-30 or 5w-20 oil for lubing valve train

Chiltons manual is junk for this job. Buy a Haynes.


Seeing how this is one of the reasons the valve stem oil seals failed, now is a good time to clean the EGR channels under the Throttle Body and check the function of the EGR itself.
  1. Crescent wrench under the passenger side of the car to remove the EGR exhaust tube from the exhaust pipe.
  2. 8MM wrench to remove the EGR vacuum regulator/DPFE sensor bracket and get it out of the way. There are a couple of electrical connectors you will have to disconnect too.
  3. Two 10MM bolts to remove EGR valve (flying saucer). You can check it’s function by applying some vacuum to the small tube and quickly remove. If you hear a muted thump, you know the membrane is in good shape.
  4. Using your 3/8” ratchet, extension and 10MM socket, remove the four bolts and take off the TB elbow. There’s the EGR channel with three (3) small cutouts. Use throttle body cleaner and blast away. You may have to use a razor to clean out the cutout areas.
  5. Make sure there are no cracks in the EGR exhaust tube. If there are, replace the tube.
  6. Make sure there isn’t any moisture in the DPFE sensor. Mine was full of moisture and even had some pink eraser-like junk up in there. Shake it out.

Button it back up

Now, lets do the valve stem oil seal job!
  1. Remove the fan clutch from the water pump pulley. AutoZone rents this tool, but you may want to buy this tool for your toolbox.
    • Napa has one called a “Universal Pulley Holder/Fan Clutch Tool Kit”, Part # 3472. It worked great for me.
  2. Remove the fan cowling. Two screws at each corner at the top. Lift up off tabs on the bottom and make sure you clear the lower radiator hose bracket.
  3. Pull up and out together both the fan clutch and the fan cowling.
  4. Remove the serpentine belt.
    • This will require a ½” breaker bar or ratchet attached to the ½” square hole in the belt tensioner.
  5. Remove the spark plug wire set from the spark plugs.
  6. Remove the spark plug wire set cross-over channel.
  7. Remove both coil packs and hang them down in front of the engine.
  8. Disconnect all wiring harness wiring that will be in your way as you remove the valve covers.
    • Some connectors will have to be disconnected to give you the added slack you’ll need to pull the valve covers up and out.
    • If you remove the bracket for the DPFE / EGR vacuum pump at the back of the throttle body, it makes it easier to get more slack in the harness.
  9. Remove the valve covers.
    • Be careful not to nick or scar the bottom where the channel for the gasket is located.
  10. Remove the old gasket from the valve cover channel.
    • Using the needle nose pliers, punch all grommets out from the backside of the valve cover.
    • Gentle rocking action while pushing with the nose closed works great.
    • Clean the entire valve cover, removing any oily residue. CLEAN YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY!
    • Now install the new gaskets and grommets.
    • Check to make sure the gasket is flat in the channel.
    • Using clean paper towels, place the valve covers gasket-side down on your trunk lid until you re-install them.
  11. Using your shop rags, plug the three oil drain holes in the head on each side.
    • Also completely cover the cam chain area with shop rags or an old t-shirt. This will come in handy if you happen to lose a keeper or retainer.
  12. Remove ONE cam cap cluster per the directions in the Haynes manual. DON’T REMOVE BOTH OF THEM as you will disturb the cam chain timing. With the cam cap cluster out of the way, this job becomes much easier.
  13. Using your ½” ratchet and an 18MM socket, rotate the crankshaft nose clockwise until both cam lobes of the cylinder you are working are off the roller cam followers and at the lowest part of the cam lobe.
    • Make sure your shop rags are not binding on anything.
  14. Using your OTC 7928 valve spring compressor tool and 3/8” breaker bar, position the lower arm of this tool under the roller cam follower and slightly depress the retainer/spring to remove the cam roller follower from the top of the valve stem.
    • NOTE: Make sure you have the tab on the lower arm of this tool to the outside of the retainer!
  15. Clean the cam roller follower with a brass brush. Place into a clean oil bath (use margarine tub).
  16. Clean the outside of the hydraulic lash adjuster with a brass brush. You can use Carb Cleaner with the small plastic tube and blast the heck out of the side hole to clean out the inside of this adjuster. Pump the piston up and down as you hold it sideways to help remove the debris. Place into a clean oil bath, upright, and pump the piston up and down to remove as much air as you can.
  17. Using your air-hold adapter tool, insert into the spark plug hole for the cylinder you are working and bring the air up to around 60PSI. DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN YOUR AIR-HOLD TOOL IN THE SPARK PLUG HOLE. A snug finger tight is all you need.
  18. Using your OTC valve spring compressor tool again, push the retainer/spring down far enough so you can see the keepers in the valve stem grooves. Using the small telescoping magnet, remove the keepers. Now you can remove the retainer/spring. Clean both and set aside. Using needle nose pliers, firmly grip the middle of the oil seal and twist back and forth while you are pulling toward you. Remove the old oil seal and discard.
  19. Bathe the new oil seal in fresh oil and position over the valve stem. Push down the new oil seal with your thumb to get the end of the new seal over the end of the valve stem. Gently rock the new oil seal as you slowly slide it over the stem grooves. After you get it past the grooves, firmly push it into place and bottom out the wide end of the new seal to the head.
  20. Get the original retainer/spring for this valve and replace them over the valve stem. Use several practice strokes on the OTC tool to push the oil seal into place. There is a tab on the outer edge of the lower part of the OTC tool that, if not engaged properly, will cause you to launch the retainer/spring when new oil seal is installed. This is not good. If you do lose a retainer, be aware that the retainer that FORD now sells can only be used with a new, different spring as well.
  21. Place the ¼ cup of grease close-by on a shop rag for easy access.

  22. Put a large dab of grease on the outside of one keeper, then stick your middle finger to that dab of grease while you hold the other side of the keeper with your thumb, pressing hard. Depress the retainer/spring until you can again see the grooves in the valve stem. As you get close to the valve stem, release your thumb and position the keeper into the valve stem groove with your middle finger. Repeat for the second keeper. Slowly release tension on the OTC tool and make sure that the keepers stay in the groove as the spring pulls the retainer up against them. Slightly depress the OTC tool again and check that the keepers are installed properly. Don’t worry about the grease—leave it on the valve stem and keepers.
  23. Re-install your lash adjuster. Slightly depress the retainer/spring with your OTC tool and re-install your roller cam follower. After you have re-installed it, move it around with your fingers to check that is actually is located on top of the valve stem and in the groove of the roller cam follower. This is very important.
    • NOTE: At cylinders #1 and #5 you will have to bring the roller cam follower in from the bottom side of the cam!
    • Rotate the crank around slowly with your ½” drive and 18MM socket and check for binding.
  24. Repeat for each cylinder. Replace each cam cap cluster as you move along using the pattern and torque specifications as called out in the Haynes manual.
  25. Thoroughly clean entire gasket mating surface of heads with lacquer thinner. Do not leave any oily residue anywhere. Let lacquer thinner dry. Apply four dabs of Permatex Ultra Black RTV over old RTV (two each side) where the head and the cam chain cover come together.
    • Give the entire valve train a good bath of oil before you button it up.
    • Check gasket mating surface again for contamination. Clean again if in doubt!
  26. Thoroughly clean your hands. The last thing you need to do is goober up your nice job.
  27. Re-install the valve covers. Check (with your clean hands) and make sure that the back end of the valve cover gasket, the end closest to the firewall, is still in place. If not, push the gasket back into the channel. Check to make sure that the gasket is evenly distributed in the channel. Then torque per the Haynes manual. Actually this is going to be a guess unless you have a very deep 8MM socket for the bolts with the spark plug wire clip studs.
  28. Reconnect your coil packs. Re-install your spark plugs. Reapply dielectric to your wire set at the spark plug ends and attach to spark plugs.
  29. Re-install your fan clutch and fan shroud.
  30. Spray electrical cleaner into each end of the connectors you removed earlier and reconnect them. (optionally, also use dielectric grease as well, to prevent moisture intrusion)
    • Reconnect any vacuum lines.
  31. Disconnect the crank position sensor. Small gray connector with two wires. It’s located under the AC compressor. You’ll see it underneath the car.
  32. Re-connect the battery.
  33. Crank the engine for approx. 20 seconds to pump the oil back into all the bearings and valve train area BEFORE you apply a load to the engine.
  34. Re-connect the crank position sensor. Don’t forget to clean the connector ends with electrical contact cleaner!


Start the engine. Doesn’t she sound sweet!

Have a well-deserved beverage of your choice.
You’ve earned it!!!!
---Article submission courtesy stevo

Edited by dRock96Marquis
Edit Reason: Cleaned up, and converted to UBB
-Panther info & FAQs-

Former owner of a Grand Marquis with a few mods, Grand Marquis "LSE S/C"

#1759033 - 05/03/09 11:58 PM Re: 4.6L Valve Stem Oil Seal Replacement - by stevo [Re: dRock96Marquis]
2vmodular Offline


Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 6289
Loc: New England
Visit my website for info on adding good stuff to your crownvic:

#1759038 - 05/04/09 12:04 AM Re: 4.6L Valve Stem Oil Seal Replacement - by stevo [Re: 2vmodular]
2vmodular Offline


Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 6289
Loc: New England
here are a few more pictures:

intake/exhaust valves

valve springs & retainers

note: keepers not present

bottom of cylinder head.

(note cylinder head has been sitting unused for a few years in humid enviroment and valves are somewhat corroded.)

valve springs, retainers, and keepers

note: roller finger followers (rocker arms) removed

Visit my website for info on adding good stuff to your crownvic:

#1759041 - 05/04/09 12:06 AM Re: 4.6L Valve Stem Oil Seal Replacement - by stevo [Re: 2vmodular]
2vmodular Offline


Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 6289
Loc: New England
and here are the valve stem seals themselves.

make sure that you get quality viton valve stem seals. there are some cheap seals made of inferior materials avaliable aftermarket that won't last long when actually installed in an engine.
Visit my website for info on adding good stuff to your crownvic:

#1759056 - 05/04/09 12:20 AM Re: 4.6L Valve Stem Oil Seal Replacement - by stevo [Re: 2vmodular]
2vmodular Offline


Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 6289
Loc: New England
and here are a couple pictures of the valve spring compressor tool


these cars have hydraulic lash adjusters which keep the roller of the follower continuously rolling on the camshaft lobes (zero lash)

the end of the roller finger followers (rocker arms) with the hollow dimple in it goes on the lash adjuster. the other end on the valve. and the roller constantly rides on the camshaft lobes.

and an excerpt from the ford racing and performance parts (FRPP) catalog about the 4.6L engine:

4.6L SOHC, 4.6L DOHC, 5.4L SOHC
In 1991, Ford unleashed a new era of muscle, one that is propelling us into the future. The Modular engine focuses on low friction, excellent sealing, and increased block stiffness. The design results in an extremely smooth running engine using aluminum heads and having all accessories rigidly mounted to the engine. Both the engine block and head are machined to close tolerances to produce a very precise assembly. The head bolts of modular engines actually extend past the cylinder bores into the bearing webs, eliminating bore distortion and providing a better head gasket seal. The sophisticated overhead cam design uses roller finger followers to lower friction and increase the RPM potential of the engine. On the bottom end, the deep skirt engine block and cross-bolted main caps contribute to a highly rigid assembly. Two engine plants manufacture Modular engines;
Romeo produces all passenger car versions and Windsor produces the Modular Truck engines.

The 4.6L SOHC (2V) was first introduced in 1991. This engine is the basis for all modular engines and is used in passenger cars as well as the trucks. The block is cast iron with a nodular crankshaft, while the heads are aluminum using an in-line valve design with 1 intake and 1 exhaust valve per cylinder. All passenger cars have press fit piston pins, while all truck engines have full floating piston pins to improve durability.
The 4.6L DOHC (4V) was first introduced in the Mark VIII; however, in 1996 a similar version of this engine found its calling: the Mustang Cobra. The aluminum block and four-valve head make for a powerful combination producing 305 HP @ 7000 RPM. Internally, the 4-bolt, cross-bolted main bearing caps provide the support necessary to easily handle the high RPM potential of the forged steel crankshaft. This engine uses hypereutectic pistons with full floating piston pins and upgraded connecting rod assemblies to improve durability.
The 5.4L SOHC (2V) “Triton” engine released in trucks for 1997 is producing favorable reactions. This engine has a cast iron block, forged steel crankshaft, full floating piston pins and special 6000 RPM connecting rods. It is the 5.8L pushrod engine replacement."
Visit my website for info on adding good stuff to your crownvic:

#2398141 - 10/30/11 04:28 PM Modular Valve Stem Oil Seal Replacement -by enslow [Re: dRock96Marquis]
dRock96Marquis Offline

Posting Addict

Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 24394
Loc: Maryland
The following pictures and information provide some visual details of the valve stem seal replacement procedure outlined above

The following article was authored by enslow
**Clicking any of the pictures below will bring up the fullsize / hi-res image**

Note, images come from a 1994 Grand Marquis, non-ABS. The vehicle had only just began to burn oil and would require about 1-2L of oil in between oil changes. I was unable to see the blue smoke myself, although the owner reported seeing a puff of blue smoke at least on one occasion. An independent shop confirmed seeing blue smoke. The point is, oil burning was not considered excessive by some standards, but we decided to change the seals anyway.

General shots before disassembly. In the 92-94, it is not necessary to remove any of the HVAC or brake booster assemblies, although a fancy combination of sockets were needed for the valve cover bolts by the HVAC. Later years for HVAC, and ABS equipped cars may be different.

According to Ford, and other sources, one of the causes of failed valve stem seals is clogged EGR passages. This image shows some restriction. Given the age of the vehicle, the previous owners must have cleaned these passages at least once before because they're not completely blocked. However, not knowing the history, we have no idea how long the vehicle had been driven in the past with blocked or partly blocked EGR passages.

Two rockers and Tapets removed. I left the cam caps in place because I don't like removing anything I don't have to. It wasn't hard working around the caps.

One roller and tapet. Cleaning and freeing the motion of the tapets as prescribed is highly recommended. All tapets had reduced motion, and some were completely seized. After cleaning, they were primed with oil. I used a cardboard egg carton to keep them sorted.

Trick Flow spring compressor tool installed. The cheap tools works find for one job. If you're doing many jobs, the more expensive one might be better. You can also see the retainers on top of the springs (donut shaped ring) and the keepers that make a tiny ring around the valve stem, just inside the retainer.

Trick Flow spring compressor tool installed. You can see the claws under the camshaft. Make sure the claws are seated under the camshaft properly. The tool does have a tendency to slip if it's not seated properly.

Retainer, keepers, and spring removed. Old valve stem seal visible.

Another view of old valve stem seal.

This picture shows the general set up including air compressor hose attached to cylinder, paper towels in the oil drain holes. Note how the cam lobe is pointed straight up. This is the best position for removing the rollers, tapets, springs/retainers/keepers.

New valve stem seal installed. Remember to coat with oil first before installing.

another old valve stem seal. This one doesn't seem as bad as the other. I think the first one was an exhaust seal which gets hotter and can burn the oil to it. Heat is known to destroy valve stem seals.

Valve cover reinstalled. I took the time to clean it up nicely. It was easier to install the covers with the injectors removed.

------Courtesy enslow

Edited by dRock96Marquis (01/05/12 02:18 AM)
-Panther info & FAQs-

Former owner of a Grand Marquis with a few mods, Grand Marquis "LSE S/C"


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