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How to Change A Head Gasket On A Ford Explorer? Step By Step Guide

How to Change A Head Gasket On A Ford Explorer

Bad things can happen to good engines from time to time, and one such case is a head gasket failure. So, how to change a head gasket on a ford explorer?

Head gasket replacement is one of the most complicated engine repairs. They necessitate extensive part removal, meticulous cleaning and surface preparation, and methodical replacement and reassembly of engine components.

If you are a Ford Explorer user, this is a problem you will face at least once in a lifetime. The process of Ford Explorer head gasket replacement can be a bit complicated. So make sure to read this thoroughly because today we will teach you the whole process in detail.

How To Change A Head Gasket On A Ford Explorer

The basic configuration of 2003, 2006, and 2007 explorers are mostly the same. All of them run with the same V6 4.0L engine. So, for the 2007 ford explorer head gasket replacement, read below.

If you are looking for how to replace head gasket on 2003 ford explorer, this step-by-step guide is also applicable for you.

Do keep in mind even though the process for changing a head gasket on all models of Ford Explorers is nearly the same, the type of head gasket can vary from year to year. So, check the manual that comes with the car to find the exact parts.

Step 1: Disconnect the battery

Because it is easy to engage the starting assembly on some cars accidentally, it is critical to disconnect the battery before doing any substantial repairs. Remove the battery’s negative or black wire to disconnect the battery.

Step 2: Draining Coolant

Drain the coolant before you begin removing components from your engine. Allow your engine to cool sufficiently before opening the radiator drain and placing a bucket or any large container below to capture the coolant. Allow it to drain totally.

 Step 3: Removing components from the engine

The screws and bolts can be in different positions when compared between 2003 and 2006 Ford explorer. So, please read the manual properly before removing them.

The distributor is usually on the intake manifold of your Ford’s engine. The screw that secures it in position will be below it. To replace the distributor, unscrew this and lift it up.

Unscrew the nuts on the intake manifold using your tool. To remove the manifold from the engine, you’ll need to use the pry bar. Remove the manifold from the engine with a pry bar. The exhaust manifold is held in place by several bolts on the side of the cylinder head. By now, all of these bolts should have been removed, and the manifold should be accessible.

Step 4: Removing the Cylinder Head

Remove the valve cover first. Lift it off with your wrench. The rocker arms will now be visible. Remove the nut from each rocker’s arms and lift out the rocker arms and pushrods one at a time.

You’ll be able to remove the cylinder head once you’ve removed them. Begin by loosening the bolts on the exterior and working your way within. Return to the beginning and thoroughly loosen the screws. After the screws are loose, start to remove all of the bolts.

You’re all set to remove the cylinder head. It should simply peel off, but if it doesn’t, you’ll have to pry it free.

Step 5: Removing the Head Gasket

With the cylinder head removed, now take out the head gasket. In most cases, the head gasket lifts off. Some protrusions hold it in place; the gasket’s holes fit over them.

Some gasket material will most likely remain on the block and head. Scrape it off with a scraper and thoroughly clean it before installing a new head gasket.

Step 6: Placing New Head Gasket

Spray on the cylinder head gasket on both sides with sealant before setting it on the clean engine block. But, do keep in mind not to put adhesives unless the manufacturer specifies. Pre-install the head gasket in the proper position. The sealant locations and specifications are all written in the service handbook.

Use the correct bolt tightening sequence and torque to ensure good head gasket sealing. If necessary, replace the bolts. Before fitting the head bolts, apply some engine oil to the threads. To the last detail, always follow the tightening sequence and torque specifications.

And you are done replacing your old head gasket with a new head gasket. Now, if you have been wondering that the process we discuss only applies to the 2003 and 2007 ford explorer, then you are wrong. You can use the same steps for 2006 ford explorer head gasket replacement.

This Video Will Help You Too!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Till now, you have read how to remove a head gasket in a ford explorer on different models. But this won’t finish the discussion without discussing a few other questions.

How Much To Replace Head Gaskets On Ford Explorer?

The exact cost of replacing the head gasket on a Ford Explorer is hard to predict as the amount and age of Ford Explorers on the road determine how much it will cost you to replace head gaskets on Ford Explorer. The estimated cost will combine the Service costs and parts costs. In total, you can expect the price to be in a range from $1260-$1500.

How Long Does It Take To Swap A Head Gasket?

Depending on the degree of the failure, replacing the head gasket can take anything from six hours to a few days if the damage is more. A blown head gasket is one of the most severe problems you can have with your car, and you can expect at least 5-10 days to repair it properly.

Is it Easy To Replace A Head Gasket?

Head gasket replacement is one of the most complicated engine repairs. To replace the head gasket, you must not only be mechanically skilled but also have enough practical experience and theoretical understanding to determine the job’s difficulty. Even if you’ve never pulled a single head before, you’ll need to have a good picture in your head of what’s ahead with the job. Remember, what caused the head gasket to break and then correct it.

Is It Worth Fixing A Head Gasket?

A car’s head gasket is worth repairing if the vehicle had been in good shape and worked perfectly before the head gasket’s breakdown. Replacing the head gasket will eventually cost less than replacing the whole car.


Replacing the head gasket on a Ford Explorer can be a bit difficult and complicated to execute correctly. But the method is straightforward if you know how to change a head gasket on a ford explorer.

Hence, today we wrote our guide to help you change the head gasket on your Ford Explorer in no time.

No Matter if you need 2003 ford explorer head gasket replacement or a 2007 model or any other model, we got you covered.

This easy and quick guide can help you if you wish to change it yourself. But we suggest you not do it yourself if you do not know the primary mechanism of the engine and have proper knowledge regarding different parts of your Ford Explorer.

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James Noah

Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.

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