How to Change Valve Cover Gasket on 1989 Ford F-150

Valve covers on the 1989 Ford F-150 sit over the top of the valve train on an engine. The gaskets that seal the covers can leak oil over time as they begin to break down. Once the gaskets fail, oil seeps outward and often creates an oil mist under the hood when the engine is at operating temperature. This mist coats everything under the hood, preventing items like the alternator from cooling properly, which ultimately leads to other part failures. If you have basic auto skills and leaking valve cover gaskets, you should undertake this job as soon as possible.

Tools Used: Screwdriver, Socket set, Rags, Gasket scraper, Brake cleaner, Spray adhesive, Torque wrench

Change Valve Cover Gasket

Raise the hood on the F150 and loosen the hose clamps on the air intake tubes that lead from the air filter box to the intake. Slide the clamps toward the middle of the hoses and remove the hoses by hand.

Remove the bolts holding the valve covers to the engine with the socket set. Place the valve cover bolts in one spot that's easily accessible when the time comes to reinstall them.

Pull the valve covers off the engine and take them out of the engine well. Cover the valve train with rags and then scrape any leftover gasket material off the cylinder head's sealing surface with the gasket scraper.

Scrape any remaining gasket material away from the valve covers with the gasket scraper. Clean the valve covers with brake cleaner and rags, making sure to remove any oil that remains on the covers.

Clean the sealing surface on the cylinder heads by spraying brake cleaner on a rag and wiping the sealing surface thoroughly with that rag. Make sure there's no oil left on the sealing surface, but avoid getting brake cleaner or other foreign material on the valve train.

Spray a light coat of adhesive on the valve cover gaskets and place them on the sealing surface on the cylinder. Do this one gasket at a time. Depending on the brand of spray adhesive you have, you may need to allow for a curing time period for the adhesive, so consult the specific directions on the spray adhesive canister before use.

Remove the rags from the valve train and then move the valve covers back in place, being careful not to bump or otherwise jostle the valve cover gaskets. Once you have centered the valve covers over the head properly, push them down into place and thread the valve cover bolts in by hand.

Tighten the valve cover bolts in a crossing pattern with the socket set. Tighten the bolts to between 71 and 106 in-lbs. with the torque wrench. Reinstall the air intake tubes in reverse of how you removed them.

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