Can I get an Amen to what WJC stated above regarding the Gen III & IV Duratec!
Note: If you don't regularly pray or have neck and abdominal muscles like the Incredible Hulk now, you will by the time your done with this $#&% repair!
Tools this project ('97 Taurus) required:
* = New tools I simply HAD to buy :-]
1) Channel locks pliers (Coolant tube retaining clips) 2) 7/8" box wrench (O2 sensor removal) * 3) 13mm socket (oil pan removal) 4) 6" extension (oil pan removal) 5) 15mm deep well socket (OEM exhaust flange nuts) 6) 18mm deep well socket (replacement exhaust flange nuts) * 7) 10" extension (exhaust flange nut removal) * 8) Universal Joint socket adapter (right side exhaust flange nut access) * 9) Torque wrench (oil pan bolts - 25ft/lbs, exhaust flanges - 35ft/lbs) 10) Long screw drivers (used disconnect/reconnect O2 sensor connections that human hands, with even the thinnest layer of skin, are not capable of reaching) 11) A fifth of your favorite hard liquor (to help your neck muscles relax at 1AM while simultaneously thanking whatever God you worship that you don't do this for a living!) *
Having just completed this project today, I would HIGHLY recommend (as in, "you're nuts (no pun intended) to attempt this without a torch!") that the first thing a person taking on this project does is to bring the car to a local repair shop and have THEM remove the right-side (rear most) manifold nuts. I spent about 4 hours effin' with those damned things before admitting defeat and paying to have them removed.
It was the easiest $50 I've EVER spent on that car!
Once those 2 bastards are loose the rest of the project should be relatively straight forward with just a few notes for the newbies:
1) When it comes to the flex pipe-to-y-pipe union, just assume that what God has joined together let man not separate! In other words, just leave it alone.
2) Removing the front three O2 sensors is basically necessary in order to safely lower the y-pipe to gain unobstructed access to the oil pan.
3) The exhaust header flange studs are a 12mm coarse thread. When I replaced the 4, nearly destroyed, manifold nuts with all new ones from the local hardware store they wound up being an 18mm grade 8 flanged nut, as opposed to the 15mm OEM's.
Also, while this project started out as a "simple oil pan gasket replacement" - $24, it wound up including:
1) A new Crank Position Sensor - $22 (a contributing source of leaking oil and a royal biatch to replace thanks to the lower alternater mount),
2) A new lower coolant line - $17 (I used the 22" flexable radiator hose work-around to avoid the $200+ OEM replacement),
3) A new serpentine belt - $37 (I think a fat rubber band would have been safer than the mutilated POS I replaced!),
Well, it looks like what I feared is possible. I looked under the car last week and the firewall side bank exhaust manifold bolts look like a total bitch. I was coming hear now to ask about those and it seems like that is where the whole job is. If I can get those off, I think I will be ok. So, I will likely start with those.