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1995 mercury cougar xr7 4.6 v8
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disclaimer: this is a big job. Do this at your own risk. This is for educational purposes only you are responsible for your actions. I am not responsible for anything.

VALVE STEM SEAL REPLACEMENT 2v 4.6 V8 on my 95 Cougar. Always wear eye protection when working on anything mechanical. If you guys haven't gotten around to doing valve stem seals, here's a write up i created. It's a two man job. I suggest you do a compression test before doing this job to make sure it isn't a piston ring issue, if any cylinder is low on psi, a air compressor will not likely hold valves closed, you can drop a valve or over run your compressor. (just rebuild the engine at this point) You need valve stem seal kit, valve cover gaskets and grommets,, rtv spark plugs and wires, oil and filter (i didn't replace wires as mine were in good shape, but its a good thing to do if yours are shot).
Tools: spark plug socket 10 mm, 8 mm (long and short) , 7 mm, 13 and 14 mm, 18mm, a long durable smooth metal dowel that wont break (12") that fits down into plug hole(we used a long 1/4" extension 12") a couple different swivel rachets and swivel adapters. leak down tester hose and adapter. Various ratchet extensions A roll of blue shop towels,, brake cleaner, wd40, a capable air compressor, a retractable magnet pen, OEM tools 24434 valve spring compressor tool, fuel line disconnect tools, shop vac. Long metal Pick. It is important to stay organized. I do not have torque specs sorry (usually available online)

Supergordo and i knocked it out on my 95 cougar in about 4 hours.

Step one: on a cold engine, disconnect battery, let car sit for 15-20 min for electrical components to discharge.

Step 1.5: remove the violin case and air filter box as an assembly from the engine. Be sure to disconnect the vacuum hose to drivers side valve cover. Remember to disconnect the MAF sensor and temp sensor from airbox. Set it all aside off from the car.

Step two: disconnect main harness block near firewall on passenger side using the 10mm socket, there is also another connector on that same harness that you need to un plug, fish them both under the a/c lines and tie them out of the way.

Step 3:
Disconnect all connections from passenger side coil pack Remove passenger coil pack using the 7mm socket, remove coil pack bracket from the head using 13 mm socket. Put it all together in a bag so you don't lose any of it and set it aside.

Step 4:
Away from any sources of sparks or ignition, grab a towel and put it around the fuel rail shrader valve (to absorb fuel that comes out) push down on shrader valve using a pick or small screw driver to release fuel line pressure. Remove fuel line holder c clamps and using fuel line tool, remove the lines from fuel rail. Fish them over the a/c lines on passenger side and tie them down so they don't move. CAUTION: fuel may spray, be careful! Stuff small pieces of shop towels into the fuel rail so junk doesn't get in there.

Step 5: remove all plug wires from spark plugs & from valve cover hold downs tie them out of the way.

Step 5.5
CLEAN THE AREA, ESPECIALLY VALVE COVERS, USE A SHOP VAC, GET ALL THE JUNK OFF.

Step 6: disconnect all vacuum hoses from PVC valve on passenger side, remove pcv valve from valve cover and set them all aside. (Hoses may break, if they do, a auto parts run may be required).

Step7: remove the cruise control cable from the throttle body. It pops up from the little nub that holds it in place. As i said, the cable pops up from the throttle body connection. DO NOT PRY IT SIDEWAYS, YOU WILL BREAK IT! Remove 8mm bolt from hold down bracket, and move the cable to the drivers side. Tie it out of the way. You need this out of the way to get drivers side valve cover off.

Step 8: now that everything is out of the way, its time to get the valve covers off. Using the 8mm long and short sockets/swivels, remove ALL THE BOLTS. use the magnet pen to get the bolts out , store them all in a bag. The drivers side has one stud holding down the oil dipstick tube via 10mm nut. Once the nut is off, gently move dipstick tube to the side. DO NOT REMOVE DIPSTICK TUBE. Then the stud for the oil dipstick tube is a 13 mm. Make sure you put that stud back exactly where it goes. Do not lose it! Each car is sligtly different (motor mounts more worn than others etc, use the best socket/swivel to get down in between the strut tower walls and the valve cover. There is like 2" clearance on each side) you may need to un do motor mounts and jack up engine to get space.

Step 9: at this point, valve covers are loose. Drivers side valve cover: lift up from the back end (firewall) first, and then the front of the cover (front of engine) you will have to fish the coil harness out of the way as you lift the cover off, have your friend help you Hold the harness out of the way. As soon as the cover is off, place rags on each oil drain back hole in the head so debris does not fall down there. Cleanliness is absolute. PASSENGER COVER: this one requires some grunt force. Be careful. The valve cover has to be moved forward from its spot, up and over the timing chain sprocket and the camshaft girdle bolts at the same time. This one takes patience and balance. It comes out towards the front of the motor. Be careful. If you reached this point, you will see how it comes out and goes in, it becomes second nature to remove and re install once you get a feel for it.
Again, make sure you're absolute certain that all oil drain backs in the heads are blocked off with shop towels AS SOON AS THE COVER IS OFF You don't want crap falling in there. RE INSTALL IS REVERSE THIS PROCEDURE WITH NEW VALVE COVER GASKETS AND CLEANING THE MATING SURFACE WITH SCOTCHBRITE.

Now we have reached the point of seeing those little bastards that make your car smoke 🖕🤦🏽‍♂️

We opted to remove the camshaft bearing girdles for each pair of cylinders, we started on the toughest ones first (ack of engine near firewall and moved our way forward to get all the swearing out of the way 😂🤦🏽‍♂️ you don't have to remove the cam bearing cap girdles, but it creates more space. If you do remove the Camshaft bearing girdles, REMOVE ONLY ONE AT A TIME, PERFORM SEAL INSTALL AS NEXT STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOW OR THE ENGINE MAY JUMP OUT OF TIME.

Step 10: remove spark plug for only the cylinder you're working on , insert dowel into plug hole, with 18mm and wrench, rotate engine to Tdc on the cylinder you're working on, pay attention to the dowel as it moves up to verify top dead center. Piston needs to be all the way up. If you see the dowel go back down, you have gone too far. Once top dead center is verified, remove the dowel from the plug hole.

Step11: fire up the compressor and install the leak down tester hose and adapter as one unit into spark plug hole. TAPE THE ADAPTER TO THE HOSE SO IT WONT UN SCREW WHEN UN SCREWING IT OUT! Fill cylinder with air (i had my compressor line pressure at 65psi) Engine may rotate, if it does, remove the hose from plug hole, and re orient the engine to top dead center using instructions on step #10 you may have to wedge the crank bolt against the frame rail to prevent the engine from rotating using a long ratchet and 18 mm socket. You want the engine at tdc for each cylinder just in case you make a mistake and valve falls in. Piston will not allow it to fall all the way in.

Step 12: there are tricks to getting the rocker arms out using a screw driver, but the proper way is to use the OEM tools 24434 compressor. Basically the compressor hugs the camshaft via a fork on each side of the cam lobe and has a little "U" shaped frame that hangs out from under it that presses down on the spring and a flange that comes up for a 3/8 ratchet. The back end of the rocker arm has a Y shaped lip that rides the tip of the valve, and the front of the rocker arm has a cup shaped spot with a hole in it that rides the "lifter/lash adjuster". As you compress the valve spring down slightly, the rocker arm will come off of the lifter/lash adjuster first and falls off to the side. Use the magnet to get it out. Make sure you put each rocker arm back to where it goes since they basically are worn into each cam lobe. Re install consists of putting the rocker arm back end onto the valve tip, while compressing down the spring slightly and slipping it back over the lash adjuster.

Step 13: make sure your air compressor is filled all the way up, and is capable of maintaining 65+ psi to hold the valves closed. At this point, you should of removed both rocker arms for that cylinder, . rags stuffed into oil holes, the camshaft bearing girdle should be removed (removal of camshaft girdle bearings are optional). the piston should be at top dead center. This is where the two man job comes in. Your buddy will compress the spring down about half an inch while you use the magnet to get the valve spring keepers out. USE A MAGNETIC TRAY TO KEEP TRACK OF VALVE SPRING ASSEMBLY, KEEPERS . DO NOT LOSE THEM.

Step 14:
USING A PICK, PRY UP ON valve STEM SEAL. It should pop right off. Properly lube up new valve seal where the valve stem rides it(we used assembly grease) slip in new seal, be careful not to scratch the valve stem. put the spring back on. The spring pushes the seal down flat against the head. Using the spring compressor re install spring assembly and keepers. Do this 16 times. Upon finishing the seal install for each cylinder, install a new spark plug. Re installation of rocker arms is on step 12.

Step 15: Using a shop vac, suck up all the junk that may of fallen into the head area, then remove rags from oil drain backs in the heads. pour a fresh quart of oil down each head. Re install valve covers (see step 9) and all vacuum lines.

Step 16: Change oil to get any small debris that ended up it into the crank case. Upon initial start up, pay attention to valve cover gaskets for leakage. You will notice your car running better, and if it burned oil, because of stem seals, the exhaust will begin to burn off the oil in the catalytic converters and go away.


Quick shout out to Supergordon. No I'm not selling my car any time soon 😂

I admit, I was intimidated as this is the 1st time i tear into a mn12 this far. Thanks again supergordo
 

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disclaimer: this is a big job. Do this at your own risk. This is for educational purposes only you are responsible for your actions. I am not responsible for anything.

VALVE STEM SEAL REPLACEMENT 2v 4.6 V8 on my 95 Cougar. Always wear eye protection when working on anything mechanical. If you guys haven't gotten around to doing valve stem seals, here's a write up i created. It's a two man job. I suggest you do a compression test before doing this job to make sure it isn't a piston ring issue, if any cylinder is low on psi, a air compressor will not likely hold valves closed, you can drop a valve or over run your compressor. (just rebuild the engine at this point) You need valve stem seal kit, valve cover gaskets and grommets,, rtv spark plugs and wires, oil and filter (i didn't replace wires as mine were in good shape, but its a good thing to do if yours are shot).
Tools: spark plug socket 10 mm, 8 mm (long and short) , 7 mm, 13 and 14 mm, 18mm, a long durable smooth metal dowel that wont break (12") that fits down into plug hole(we used a long 1/4" extension 12") a couple different swivel rachets and swivel adapters. leak down tester hose and adapter. Various ratchet extensions A roll of blue shop towels,, brake cleaner, wd40, a capable air compressor, a retractable magnet pen, OEM tools 24434 valve spring compressor tool, fuel line disconnect tools, shop vac. Long metal Pick. It is important to stay organized. I do not have torque specs sorry (usually available online)

Supergordo and i knocked it out on my 95 cougar in about 4 hours.

Step one: on a cold engine, disconnect battery, let car sit for 15-20 min for electrical components to discharge.

Step 1.5: remove the violin case and air filter box as an assembly from the engine. Be sure to disconnect the vacuum hose to drivers side valve cover. Remember to disconnect the MAF sensor and temp sensor from airbox. Set it all aside off from the car.

Step two: disconnect main harness block near firewall on passenger side using the 10mm socket, there is also another connector on that same harness that you need to un plug, fish them both under the a/c lines and tie them out of the way.

Step 3:
Disconnect all connections from passenger side coil pack Remove passenger coil pack using the 7mm socket, remove coil pack bracket from the head using 13 mm socket. Put it all together in a bag so you don't lose any of it and set it aside.

Step 4:
Away from any sources of sparks or ignition, grab a towel and put it around the fuel rail shrader valve (to absorb fuel that comes out) push down on shrader valve using a pick or small screw driver to release fuel line pressure. Remove fuel line holder c clamps and using fuel line tool, remove the lines from fuel rail. Fish them over the a/c lines on passenger side and tie them down so they don't move. CAUTION: fuel may spray, be careful! Stuff small pieces of shop towels into the fuel rail so junk doesn't get in there.

Step 5: remove all plug wires from spark plugs & from valve cover hold downs tie them out of the way.

Step 5.5
CLEAN THE AREA, ESPECIALLY VALVE COVERS, USE A SHOP VAC, GET ALL THE JUNK OFF.

Step 6: disconnect all vacuum hoses from PVC valve on passenger side, remove pcv valve from valve cover and set them all aside. (Hoses may break, if they do, a auto parts run may be required).

Step7: remove the cruise control cable from the throttle body. It pops up from the little nub that holds it in place. As i said, the cable pops up from the throttle body connection. DO NOT PRY IT SIDEWAYS, YOU WILL BREAK IT! Remove 8mm bolt from hold down bracket, and move the cable to the drivers side. Tie it out of the way. You need this out of the way to get drivers side valve cover off.

Step 8: now that everything is out of the way, its time to get the valve covers off. Using the 8mm long and short sockets/swivels, remove ALL THE BOLTS. use the magnet pen to get the bolts out , store them all in a bag. The drivers side has one stud holding down the oil dipstick tube via 10mm nut. Once the nut is off, gently move dipstick tube to the side. DO NOT REMOVE DIPSTICK TUBE. Then the stud for the oil dipstick tube is a 13 mm. Make sure you put that stud back exactly where it goes. Do not lose it! Each car is sligtly different (motor mounts more worn than others etc, use the best socket/swivel to get down in between the strut tower walls and the valve cover. There is like 2" clearance on each side) you may need to un do motor mounts and jack up engine to get space.

Step 9: at this point, valve covers are loose. Drivers side valve cover: lift up from the back end (firewall) first, and then the front of the cover (front of engine) you will have to fish the coil harness out of the way as you lift the cover off, have your friend help you Hold the harness out of the way. As soon as the cover is off, place rags on each oil drain back hole in the head so debris does not fall down there. Cleanliness is absolute. PASSENGER COVER: this one requires some grunt force. Be careful. The valve cover has to be moved forward from its spot, up and over the timing chain sprocket and the camshaft girdle bolts at the same time. This one takes patience and balance. It comes out towards the front of the motor. Be careful. If you reached this point, you will see how it comes out and goes in, it becomes second nature to remove and re install once you get a feel for it.
Again, make sure you're absolute certain that all oil drain backs in the heads are blocked off with shop towels AS SOON AS THE COVER IS OFF You don't want crap falling in there. RE INSTALL IS REVERSE THIS PROCEDURE WITH NEW VALVE COVER GASKETS AND CLEANING THE MATING SURFACE WITH SCOTCHBRITE.

Now we have reached the point of seeing those little bastards that make your car smoke 🖕🤦🏽‍♂️

We opted to remove the camshaft bearing girdles for each pair of cylinders, we started on the toughest ones first (ack of engine near firewall and moved our way forward to get all the swearing out of the way 😂🤦🏽‍♂️ you don't have to remove the cam bearing cap girdles, but it creates more space. If you do remove the Camshaft bearing girdles, REMOVE ONLY ONE AT A TIME, PERFORM SEAL INSTALL AS NEXT STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOW OR THE ENGINE MAY JUMP OUT OF TIME.

Step 10: remove spark plug for only the cylinder you're working on , insert dowel into plug hole, with 18mm and wrench, rotate engine to Tdc on the cylinder you're working on, pay attention to the dowel as it moves up to verify top dead center. Piston needs to be all the way up. If you see the dowel go back down, you have gone too far. Once top dead center is verified, remove the dowel from the plug hole.

Step11: fire up the compressor and install the leak down tester hose and adapter as one unit into spark plug hole. TAPE THE ADAPTER TO THE HOSE SO IT WONT UN SCREW WHEN UN SCREWING IT OUT! Fill cylinder with air (i had my compressor line pressure at 65psi) Engine may rotate, if it does, remove the hose from plug hole, and re orient the engine to top dead center using instructions on step #10 you may have to wedge the crank bolt against the frame rail to prevent the engine from rotating using a long ratchet and 18 mm socket. You want the engine at tdc for each cylinder just in case you make a mistake and valve falls in. Piston will not allow it to fall all the way in.

Step 12: there are tricks to getting the rocker arms out using a screw driver, but the proper way is to use the OEM tools 24434 compressor. Basically the compressor hugs the camshaft via a fork on each side of the cam lobe and has a little "U" shaped frame that hangs out from under it that presses down on the spring and a flange that comes up for a 3/8 ratchet. The back end of the rocker arm has a Y shaped lip that rides the tip of the valve, and the front of the rocker arm has a cup shaped spot with a hole in it that rides the "lifter/lash adjuster". As you compress the valve spring down slightly, the rocker arm will come off of the lifter/lash adjuster first and falls off to the side. Use the magnet to get it out. Make sure you put each rocker arm back to where it goes since they basically are worn into each cam lobe. Re install consists of putting the rocker arm back end onto the valve tip, while compressing down the spring slightly and slipping it back over the lash adjuster.

Step 13: make sure your air compressor is filled all the way up, and is capable of maintaining 65+ psi to hold the valves closed. At this point, you should of removed both rocker arms for that cylinder, . rags stuffed into oil holes, the camshaft bearing girdle should be removed (removal of camshaft girdle bearings are optional). the piston should be at top dead center. This is where the two man job comes in. Your buddy will compress the spring down about half an inch while you use the magnet to get the valve spring keepers out. USE A MAGNETIC TRAY TO KEEP TRACK OF VALVE SPRING ASSEMBLY, KEEPERS . DO NOT LOSE THEM.

Step 14:
USING A PICK, PRY UP ON valve STEM SEAL. It should pop right off. Properly lube up new valve seal where the valve stem rides it(we used assembly grease) slip in new seal, be careful not to scratch the valve stem. put the spring back on. The spring pushes the seal down flat against the head. Using the spring compressor re install spring assembly and keepers. Do this 16 times. Upon finishing the seal install for each cylinder, install a new spark plug. Re installation of rocker arms is on step 12.

Step 15: Using a shop vac, suck up all the junk that may of fallen into the head area, then remove rags from oil drain backs in the heads. pour a fresh quart of oil down each head. Re install valve covers (see step 9) and all vacuum lines.

Step 16: Change oil to get any small debris that ended up it into the crank case. Upon initial start up, pay attention to valve cover gaskets for leakage. You will notice your car running better, and if it burned oil, because of stem seals, the exhaust will begin to burn off the oil in the catalytic converters and go away.


Quick shout out to Supergordon. No I'm not selling my car any time soon 😂

I admit, I was intimidated as this is the 1st time i tear into a mn12 this far. Thanks again supergordo
Supergordo,
I used Bardahls gone smoke.
You are one tenacious dude to have done that And the write up.
I tip my hat to you Sir.
 

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1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6 red
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Supergordo,
I used Bardahls gone smoke.
You are one tenacious dude to have done that And the write up.
I tip my hat to you Sir.
Well 94lxbird did the write up! I just helped the project along. The 94/95 cars had valve seal issues years ago. Now days we are way past the Bardahl. But I got ya man! It's not an impossible job. Just takes time. Not a quick process. And you need a friend. And a 12 pack....
 
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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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I don’t know about the 2V but I suspect the same is true, on 4Vs as long as the cylinder you’re working on is at TDC the valves won’t unrecoverably drop. I didn’t use an air compressor at all, without it sometimes the keepers stick to the spring retainer causing the valve to go down with the spring as you compress the spring but if you give the keeper a firm tap with a brass punch beforehand it will free them up and the friction of the old seals is enough to keep the valve in its closed position. When you swap the seals just have the new one ready and grab the stem from underneath as you slide it to the end and swap old to new
 

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Good write up! I need to get this done on my 97 as well.
 

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1995 mercury cougar xr7 4.6 v8
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
CORRECTION
94LX,
I am in awe...

RD
Thanks man. I wish i took pictures of the job.

Well 94lxbird did the write up! I just helped the project along. The 94/95 cars had valve seal issues years ago. Now days we are way past the Bardahl. But I got ya man! It's not an impossible job. Just takes time. Not a quick process. And you need a friend. And a 12 pack....
We still gotta kick back and drink a case. Maybe a mn12 vegas meet one of these days.

Good write up! I need to get this done on my 97 as well.
Git er done. My car runs great after this. All of the tbirds with the 4.6 have had stem seal issues, this is the first one i actually decided to get it fixed. Well worth it.

I don’t know about the 2V but I suspect the same is true, on 4Vs as long as the cylinder you’re working on is at TDC the valves won’t unrecoverably drop. I didn’t use an air compressor at all, without it sometimes the keepers stick to the spring retainer causing the valve to go down with the spring as you compress the spring but if you give the keeper a firm tap with a brass punch beforehand it will free them up and the friction of the old seals is enough to keep the valve in its closed position. When you swap the seals just have the new one ready and grab the stem from underneath as you slide it to the end and swap old to new
My old seals were wide open lol not much holding the oil back
 

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Good write up! I need to get this done on my 97 as well.
On a 97? Does your car have really high miles?

I thought it mainly affected the 94-95's? They were fine on our 96 and 97 cars (crosses fingers), but it definitely affected my old 95. I think it affects ALL 94-95's.

Al
 

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On a 97? Does your car have really high miles?
Yeah, I see purple smoke coming out the tailpipe for a little bit after turning on the car and also when I hit the gas. She's got 180k miles, IIRC.
 

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1995 mercury cougar xr7 4.6 v8
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, I see purple smoke coming out the tailpipe for a little bit after turning on the car and also when I hit the gas. She's got 180k miles, IIRC.
Do a compression test, if that checks out. Valve stem seals 💯
 
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I'll do that first then. Hopefully it's just the valve stem seals. If it's the rings, I think I'd just rather get a PI engine swap, lol. We'll see when I get there.
 

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Well 94lxbird did the write up! I just helped the project along. The 94/95 cars had valve seal issues years ago. Now days we are way past the Bardahl. But I got ya man! It's not an impossible job. Just takes time. Not a quick process. And you need a friend. And a 12 pack....
It's been a long day for me, sorry for that.

My 95 is getting a DOHC transplant this Spring. Thank heavens for that.

My back hurt reading the first paragraph.

RD
Thanks man. I wish i took pictures of the job.


We still gotta kick back and drink a case. Maybe a mn12 vegas meet one of these days.


Git er done. My car runs great after this. All of the tbirds with the 4.6 have had stem seal issues, this is the first one i actually decided to get it fixed. Well worth it.


My old seals were wide open lol not much holding the oil back
Wow! No wonder my catch can fills up so fast, my SOHC has something near 170k (door post sticker says new do at 90k) on it and never have I taken a valve cover off. I Might do that next winter while it is on an engine stand and I have a chair.
Great job on the project and the write up, very professional.
 
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