Armed with my knowledge gained of threads I've already read and a PI intake on the way, I finally had the chance to start pulling apart my T-Bird over the weekend.
I suspected that the issue for my cylinder 4 misfire was due to coolant in the spark plug chamber, and although I haven't yet pulled the spark plugs to verify, I still believe that the plug has coolant on
the firing pin. The other plugs on the passenger side weren't too far behind since those were also full of coolant in the spark plug chamber.
Cyl# 1 actually had coolant and oil going all the way up to the metal contact point at the top of the spark plug.
One thing in all my readings of PI swap threads and YouTube PI DIY videos I saw that I never understood was how to remove the fuel lines from the fuel rail. A post on the TCCoA FB page led me to an initial
response of "You need a special tool" to which I said, "eff that!", which led me to another YouTube video stating to sacrifice a sharpie! So I did. Actually I had to sacrifice two of them since I didn't
realize that the fuel disconnect lines were different sizes, lol.
After pulling out the NPI, I saw how bad I had been leaking and how dirty overall the top side of the engine was. These pictures just don't give how disgusting the top end was.
And here are the gaskets that came off. The passenger side (bottom) is in far worse shape than the driver side (top). In the close-up shot, you can see where the coolant passage part of the gasket had even
sparated a little bit from the rest of the gasket.
In my readings of the PI Intake swap, it was said to replace the O-Rings of the fuel injectors, so I pulled them out of the NPI now instead of later, and checked out the O-rings. They still seemed somewhat
plyable, but they didn't have that perfect "donut" shape to them anymore. They seemed to be a little more flattened along the outside edge. I have a box of various sized O-Rings that I can try. Hopefully
one of those will be the right ones. And don't mind the dirt. That happened from the dirt that was covering up the NPI when I pulled it. I've cleaned the injectors with a soft brush since taking the
Oh, and one injector had this cracked problem. What do you guys say about it? Keep it or replace it?
The last thing that I was trying to get to but wasn't able to was the water pump. That thing is on there so tight, that me banging it with a rubber mallet didn't even help! I started to use a hammer to it
and I bent it in some areas and broke chips off of it in other areas!
One of the things I want to do aside from the PI Intake are to change all the top end gaskets as well such as valve cover gaskets. I just need to figure out how to remove the plastic tabby things located on some of the valve cover nuts that hold in the spark plug wires. Looking at them, they're just clipped in from the top, but I can't find a release mechanism on removing them so that I can get the valve covers off. After a proper cleaning, I plan to paint the valve covers as well, but I haven't decided on a color yet. I'm thinking silver, but I'm not sure how well that will match with pearl white
In terms of other little things I need are are battery terminals. The terminals I have on there now are some soft lead based ones I purchased about a year ago when the old ones corroded through the copper wire. The current ones are doing something similar particularly the negative terminal. I even have those red / green felt padding and also coated the terminals with di-electric grease to prevent corrosion, but it's still happening. I have to clean off the terminals about once a month minmum. My Honda has a different set of terminals, I think they're Zinc plated or something, and I've never had to worry about corrosion. I'd rather get a new set of terminals right now as well but I have no idea what to get. I guess that since I'll be replacing batery terminals, this might also be a great opportunity to do the "big 3" upgrade just because, but we'll see how that works out. Something else that NEEDS to be taken care of are my brake lines. I made a post about two weeks ago that I noticed that some O-Rings had popped out from a coupler thing just where the driver side door is at. So I'll need to take care of that while I'm doing all this. Probably towards the end of it all. I'm also thinking of just taking care of the blend door actuator while I'm at it all. I'm going to be replacing the coolant hoses to / from the heater core on the engine compartment side while I have this all apart, why not just do the blend door actuator while I'm at it all, right? Besides, that'll make sure I have heat for the winter! lol.
The other big thing I want is to do a cam upgrade while the top end is taken apart. Reading through some of the threads, I've come to realize that I need a special tool from Ford if I want to be "lazy" about it and not remove the front end, but it's recommened to remove the front end as it'll ensure that the timing doesn't come undone. One other thing I've read up on is the type of cams being put on, Romero or Windsor, and that I need to get Romero cams put on. I've gotta read up more on what all is required to remove the front end. All the pulleys need to come off of course. Not sure if there are any other gaskets and such that I need to be aware of. I haven't really read too much of the details of how to the process goes for either method, but I know that the tool requires an extra set of hands and in order to get the job done right. I still need to read up on the DIY process of that and decide which way I'm going to do it. Just eyeballing it, I know that removing the front will require that I remove all the other pulleys first. I'm guessing I'll need an impact wrench to remove the crank pulley? I need to search some more on that in order to make sure that I'll be doing it right. Removing the cover, I *should* change the sproket from a dual to a single gear is another recommendation I saw on some of the threads.