How to Change the Valve Covers on a 1988 Ford Bronco

The valve cover gaskets on the 1988 Ford Bronco should be replaced as needed. You can see the edges of some types of gaskets--if you notice dry rot, you should change the gaskets, which prevents oil from dripping onto the engine. If you can't see whether the gaskets are dry rotted, because the entire gaskets are contained under the valve cover, then they should be changed as soon as you see oil dripping from the gasket area, under the valve cover.

Tools Used: Set of wrenches, Set of sockets, Tape and marker, Rubber mallet, Screwdriver, Rags

Change Valve Covers

Loosen the clamps on the air duct, pull the air duct off the air cleaner, then unbolt and remove the air cleaner.

Remove the wiring from the ignition coil, then unbolt and remove the coil.

Remove the Thermactor tube and the lifting eye from the right valve cover, using the appropriate sockets. Remove the oil filler pipe's attaching bolt from the left valve cover, using the appropriate socket.

Mark the spark plug wires by numbering them and denoting whether they belong on the left or right bank. Pull the wires off the spark plugs and set them out of the way.

Remove anything that is attached and set it aside. Depending on the engine size, several different vacuum lines, wires or pipes may be attached to the valve covers. Label hoses and wires so you can remember where they belong when you reinstall the valve covers.

Remove the valve cover retaining bolts, using the appropriate socket, then lift the valve covers off the heads. If the valve covers are difficult to lift off, tap them with a rubber mallet to break the gasket seal.

Clean the mating surfaces of the valve cover and the heads, using the screwdriver and rags.

Fit the new valve cover gaskets onto the valve covers, making sure the tabs are pressed into the slots. Fit each valve cover onto the head, and make sure the gasket is evenly seated, and that no wires or hoses get hung up under the valve covers.

Insert the retaining bolts and tighten them by hand as far as you can, then tighten them firmly. Do not over tighten them, as you will squeeze the gasket and cause another leak.

Reinstall any vacuum lines, wires and pipes that may have been removed. Press the spark plug wires onto the their corresponding plugs.

Reinstall the lifting eye and Thermactor tube on the left valve cover, then reinstall the oil filler attaching bolt on the right valve cover.

Reinstall the coil and attach the coil wires. Reinstall the air cleaner, push the duct onto the cleaner and tighten the clamps.

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