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How to Replace the Head Gasket on a 1984 Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger is a compact pickup truck that has been in production since 1983, with the first generation of this series including the 1983 through 1988 models. The most common engines on the 1984 Ford Ranger are four-cylinder engines with a displacement of either 2.0 liters and 2.3 liters. These engines have a single cylinder head for all four cylinders, which sits on top of the engine block. The cylinder head gasket in the 1984 Ranger typically requires replacement when you remove the cylinder head.

Tools Used: Socket wrench set, Container for coolant, Gasket scraper

Replace Head Gasket

Remove the cable from the negative battery terminal with a socket wrench to prevent the engine from starting while replacing the cylinder head gasket. Place a container under the drain cock on the bottom of the radiator, and remove the drain cock with a socket wrench. Drain the coolant from the radiator into the container, and replace the drain cock.

Disconnect the air cleaner from the intake manifold with a socket wrench, and remove the valve cover. Detach the drive belt for the air compressor if your vehicle is so equipped. Remove the mounting bolts for the air compressor, and remove the air compressor mounting bracket from the cylinder head. Push the air compressor out of the way to access the cylinder head.

Remove the intake manifold and exhaust manifold from the cylinder head with a socket wrench. Record the position of the attaching screws on the cover for the cam shaft drive belt, so you can install the screws in the correct position later. Remove the cover for the cam shaft drive belt.

Turn the tensioner for the drive belt counterclockwise with a socket wrench to relieve the tension on the drive belt. Detach the drive belt from its pulleys. Disconnect the water outlet and its hose from the cylinder head.

Remove the water outlet elbow from the cylinder head with the hose still attached. Remove the mounting bolts from the cylinder head with a socket wrench, and lift the cylinder head from the cylinder block.

Remove the gasket from the cylinder block. Clean the remaining gasket material and other debris from the cylinder head and cylinder block with a gasket scraper.

Place the new gasket onto the cylinder block, and mount the cylinder head to the cylinder block. Tighten the mounting bolts for the cylinder head to between 50 and 52 foot-pounds with a torque wrench on the first pass. Tighten the mounting bolts to between 80 and 90 foot-pounds on the second pass.

Mount the camshaft drive belt to its pulleys. Replace the cover for the camshaft drive and install the attaching bolts for the cover, using your notes from step three as a guide. Tighten the mounting bolts to between 6 and 13 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Install a new gasket for the water outlet and connect the outlet to the engine. Tighten the mounting bolts to between 12 and 15 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Install the exhaust manifold and intake manifold with a socket wrench. Fasten the mounting bracket for the air compressor to the cylinder head, if your vehicle is so equipped.

Fill the vehicle with coolant, and connect the cable to the negative battery terminal with a socket wrench.

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