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Well, yesterday, I finally got around to pulling the intake manifold so I could replace my spark plugs, wires, PCV, change the trans fluid, etc. I also bled the brakes Saturday. Everything went well. Relatively well, I should say.

Saturday's adventure bleeding the brakes went really well. My total time was about an hour and a half, and it would have only been an hour, but I had to go out and buy more brake fluid. I used a one man bleeder system and Valvoline Synthetic "Synpower" brake fluid. Feels good to me. The old fluid, which I'm sure hasn't been changed in 81K, since the car was originally bought, was brown. Glad that's out of my car. Now all I have is nice, amber colored brake fluid. I'd say ease of this is about a 4/10, with 10 being the hardest.

Sunday, we started out with the intake manifold removal. That was the easy part. Disconnect a bunch of vaccum hoses and fittings, remove a few bolts, etc, take off intake manifold. What sucks is the fact that you need to remove the EGR. I had no clue that I needed to do this, so when I went to pull the manifold off and it wouldn't come, I realized that the EGR was connected to another pipe. Pulled that off, and realize that I'd need gaskets for that. The Autozone near me only had one, and I needed two, so I went to Strauss, another Autozone, and two Pep Boys. Finally, I went to a third Autozone like 20 miles from my house and got one. Only a $2 part, but important. Gapped the plugs, installed the new wires, put in the manifold gaskets (by the way, the PCV valve didn't need to be replaced...it was perfect), and "Installation is reverse of removal." I used Autolite platinum plugs and Bosch 8mm plug wires. Put everything back together and she runs perfectly now. The butt dyno is feeling faster... :lol2:

After that, needed to do the transmission fluid. The trans also hadn't been done in the 81K the car has been alive, I'm sure of that. The fluid was dark, but still the reddish-purple that Mercon V is. I bought a new trans filter kit, including gasket from www.rockauto.com. The gasket was a little different from the stock gasket, as the stock gasket is plastic and the new one is just a regular flexible gasket (not sure of material). Anyway, it fit perfectly, and the fill went fine. Needed 7.5 qts of Castrol Mercon V in the car. On a side note, I went to a small place and bought Castrol Mercon V, and they charged me $4.95 a quart. Got wise to that and went to Autozone a little while later, and got the same exact stuff for only $2.79 a qt. Much better price for the same damn stuff. Whenever I buy stuff, I always try to go to this small place in my town, because they're nice, hardworking guys in there. From now on, though, I refuse to buy fluids there. I'll buy my oil at Costco (Mobil 1 is like $22/6 qts there) and my other stuff at Autozone.

I also cut my tailpipes down to size and put a 45 degree angle on them. I'll try to get some new pictures of them today or tomorrow. They look much better than those long ass pipes I had on there.

Next time I get a free weekend, I'm dropping the y-pipe on the car to replace the oxygen sensors. We took a look at the bank 2 upstream O2 sensor from under the car and decided that there was no way in hell we were going to be able to get a wrench in there to remove it. Off will come the y-pipe and maybe some new high-flow cats will go on. Also, my intake ports were DIRTY! I couldn't believe how much crap and gunk was in there. Again, when I have a free weekend, I'm going to pull off the intake manifold again and pull out the lower intake manifold, then get them all cleaned up. My girlfriend's dad (major gearhead) told me to stop using **** gas. I have always used 87 octane Mobil in this car, so I didn't know what he meant. He told me that the 87 octane is really ****** gas and that I should be putting 89 octane in. He told me to run two or three tanks of premium through to clean some of that up, and then run 89 from now on. I'll take his advice. Maybe it's time for me to get an AMS chip with that better fuel!

JR
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I will post pictures of the condition of the intake ports. The spark plugs looked great. Nice, even burn across all six cylinders.

JR
 

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one of the things i've been told from the mechanic at the police station where my mom used to work is that you shouldn't change gasoline types often. he says that if you consistently run 89, going back to 87 could degrade engine performance. and i don't think he was talking about the learning of the computer to the newer gasoline (not even sure if the computer can tell the diff). he said something about it gunking up things or something
 

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Yeah, until the coputer can figure out how to burn the higher octane fuel, you will be looking at some crappy gas milege, probably for a couple of tank fulls. I had to run three tanks of premium gas before it started to pick up. At 87 oc I was getting around 30mpg, but with the first three tanks of 93 I was getting around 20mpg. Also that second bank O2 sensor you can get with a cresent wrench, pipe (for handle of cresent wrench), and a small torch to heat the pipe up with. Had two secondary O2 sensorys go up in two weeks worth of time. The factory one went, replaced with bosch, replaced that one with another bosch (courtesy of Advanced Auto), then it was good.

Nate Dogg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm putting in three tanks of high grade, with a bottle of Techron thrown in, then I'll go down to 89 octane and stay there. I won't go back to 87 octane, after seeing the condition of my poor intake manifold.

As for the gunking, the lower grade gasolines gunk up more because they don't burn as cleany and they have less detergent than higher grade gas.

JR
 

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JR,

Could you make a list of the different parts (gaskets included) that you replaced? I'm going to skip work one day in the near future and do all this as well. I don't need any nasty surprises :D

Thanks!
 

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mikehawk is correct,

the octane rating will not affect the dirty intake ports... nor will changing to a higher grade fuel clean the intakes.

The Gen 3 Duratec use a primary and secondary intake system. The fuel injectors ONLY spray into the priamary intake. The secondaries open at 3500-4000 RPM and allow more air into the cylinders, they do not carry fuel at all. Unfortunately, this means they get dirty from the EGR and PCV systems. You'll need to remove them again and hose them down with Carb cleaner. Completely remove the intakes to clean them, you don't want any of that sludge to find its way into the heads.

Search the maintanence forum. There are a few good threads with cleaning tips.


-luke
 

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Godspunk32 -

I changed out my pre-cat rear bank O2 sensor w/o dropping the y-pipe. I had an old set of open end box wrenches laying around. I cut the 7/8th wrench approximately in half with a hack saw. This gave me enough room to allow the wrench to turn, and made the job a whole lot easier than dropping the y-pipe.

-Chris
 
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