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Questions and Answers

Ford Ranger Head Gasket Replacement

Q. 1990 Ford Ranger 2.9 liter V-6. Blown head gasket. Need any info for repair (head bolt torque) OR ANY INFO you may have to help me out.


Ford Ranger Head Gasket Replacement

A. This is the procedure in a nutshell. I would recommend getting a Chiltons Manual before starting the job however.


  1. Disconnect battery ground cable and drain cooling system.
  2. Remove intake tube from throttle body, then disconnect throttle linkage and cover.
  3. Remove distributor cap and wires as an assembly and disconnect distributor wiring harness.
  4. Mark relationship of distributor rotor to housing for installation reference, and remove distributor from vehicle.
  5. Remove radiator and bypass hoses from thermostat housing and intake manifold.
  6. Remove rocker arm cover and rocker arm shaft.
  7. Remove fuel line from fuel rail.
  8. Remove intake manifold.
  9. Remove pushrods in order so they can be installed in their original positions.
  10. Remove exhaust manifolds.
  11. Remove cylinder head attaching bolts. Remove cylinder heads and discard head gaskets and cylinder head bolts.


  1. Clean cylinder heads, intake manifold, valve rocker arm cover and cylinder block gasket surfaces.
  2. Place cylinder head gaskets in position on cylinder block.

NOTE: Gaskets are marked with the words "front" and "top" for correct positioning. Left and right cylinder head gaskets are not interchangeable.

Ford Ranger Head Gasket Replacement
Cylinder Head Bolt Tightening Sequence.
  1. Install fabricated alignment dowels in cylinder block. Install cylinder head assemblies on cylinder block, one at a time.

NOTE: Use new cylinder head attaching bolts and torque to specification, as shown above.

  1. Install intake and exhaust manifold.
  2. Apply heavy SF engine oil to both ends of the push rods and install push rods.
  3. Install oil baffles and rocker arms.
  4. Install distributor so that rotor and housing are in the same position marked during removal.
  5. Install distributor harness and vacuum hose. Install distributor hold-down clamp and bolt. Tighten to specification.
  6. Adjust valves and install rocker arm covers.
  7. Connect fuel line to fuel rail.
  8. Install distributor cap with spark plug wires attached. Coat the inside of each spark plug boot with silicone lubricant and install them on the spark plugs.
  9. Install throttle linkage and air cleaner intake tube.
  10. Fill the cooling system according to instructions on the underhood decal and bleed the cooling system.
  11. Connect battery ground cable.

NOTE: On vehicles equipped with EEC, when the battery has been disconnected and reconnected, some abnormal drive symptoms may occur while the EEC processor relearns its adaptive strategy. The vehicle may need to be driven 10 miles or more to relearn the strategy.

  1. Operate engine at fast idle and check for oil, fuel and coolant leaks.
  2. Check and adjust ignition timing and idle speed, if necessary.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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© 2005 Vincent T. Ciulla

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