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Old 07-29-2020, 01:51 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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7.3 injector maintenance, now valve cover isn't flush

My 2003 Ford 7.3 powerstroke was having trouble idling and previously had injectors identified as an issue so when I bought it I planned to replace the o-rings. The same day my order with the o-ring sets and some other things came in it wouldn't turn over, so I took that as a sign that it was time to pull the injectors.
It only has 80k miles and when I pulled them some o-rings were shredded. Now putting everything back together the cover isn't sitting totally flush on all sides which makes me worried. The injectors seem to be fit in, clipped and screwed back in. The oil spouts look flush with the collars and I don't want to keep hitting them trying to get them in further and risk breaking something. I am working in en econoline body so that makes it more difficult, but as mentioned earlier they are seated in, connected and won't go in any further.

So..... what should I do? Screw the cover back in and hope it makes a seal? Take the solenoids off to hit the top of the injectors directly in hopes they get lower? I'm very new to engine work and have been cautious since I'm getting all my info from forums and youtube (I do have a powerstroke repair book on it's way to me).

help!
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:33 PM   #2
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Your cover not flushing right sure does not sound great, at all !

I’ve went twice in each valve cover in the past week diagnosing glow plugs and changing all 8, also on the great ecoline body. No fun, but they fit perfectly back in place, flush as it can get for semi plastic covers.

Im working on 2002 7.3 e450. Now im having IDM issues and just ohmed my UVCH and both ohm out great, so im not opening the covers again, for now.

Some one should know what’s probably not fitting properly with your injectors.

Would definitely not force the cover in.

I was reading about the harness wires getting stuck between the cover, the gasket and the head though.

Good luck
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:44 PM   #3
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did you use any lube on the ORINGS before reassembly.
usuall good practice to use some oil or engine assembly lube or something like that on them.
most dont like a dry fit and with lube you should feel them bottom out by hand before you ever put the hold down screw in.
were your connectors turn a certain way?
like towards a taller spot in your valve cover?
havent worked on your motor so its just ideas.
good luck
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M@tt View Post

I was reading about the harness wires getting stuck between the cover, the gasket and the head though.
I did fool around with the wires because that was an issue, but there's still a little gap. I'll take another look at it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
did you use any lube on the ORINGS before reassembly.
usuall good practice to use some oil or engine assembly lube or something like that on them.
most dont like a dry fit and with lube you should feel them bottom out by hand before you ever put the hold down screw in.
were your connectors turn a certain way?
like towards a taller spot in your valve cover?
havent worked on your motor so its just ideas.
good luck
I did wipe them down with engine oil and used some to lube up the new o-rings, but not a lot by any means. I think after work I'll pop them back out, wipe out the cups again, then relube the cups and injectors and try again. I think/hope that may be the issue since everything is fitting together aside from a small gap with the cover down, maybe just be 1 or 2 need more grease to go down a smidge further.
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:06 PM   #5
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engine assembly lube,90 weight oil, dialectric grease, vaseline.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:18 AM   #6
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So I thought I had achieved success after repulling the driver's side injectors, regreasing and putting them back in. Except there is still a leak on part of it, when I tested it by adding oil some started dripping out in the middle bottom. This side's wires have been annoying and I think that may be the issue. I will again try to get the injectors a little lower but am also going to use gasket maker to create an additional seal. Going to do the same on the passenger side just in case, even though that one looks flush so did this one after working on it more.

I left the front-most injector on the passenger side alone because I really wasn't sure I'd be able to get it back in properly. All the other injectors ohm-ed at 2.7 to 2.9 and I'm about to order a OBDII reader. If there's an injector issue I can't figure out I'll have to pull that last one. Interestingly the o-rings on the passenger side were in better shape than the driver's side ones.... is that a thing? Maybe those o-rings were replaced before the bus went out of service?
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:03 PM   #7
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When you did the orings, did you also replace the copper crush washer at the tip of the injectors? Its possible that one of them did not come out with the injector and now has 2 stacked up inside.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:18 PM   #8
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All of the copper washers came out and got replaced with new ones, so it isn't that. I read something about how that can happen and it made me paranoid so I was kind of OCD about the copper bits. On the driver side I think it's the wiring at this point, I didn't want to be hitting the solenoids and collars over and over, but I also think some of the collars weren't as flush as they could be even though the spouts looked like they were, if that makes sense.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:22 PM   #9
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I understand. It does take a good smack to get them to seat properly. It is very hard to get them seated in the van body... I think on one of them we used a pry bar to ease it down int the bore.
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I understand.[...] It is very hard to get them seated in the van body... I think on one of them we used a pry bar to ease it down int the bore.


Those van chassis with the 7.3 ...

They really bring your contortions and creative skills out of your pockets.

Best of luck there !!
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:14 PM   #11
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new development: fuel leak!
welp I think I've got the valve covers sorted, but now I have developed a fuel leak. During the injector work (which due to lack of space and difficulty maneuvering, my general lack of knowledge and many pauses to consult this forum, youtube, and trips to hardware and auto stores took me ages) I also replaced the fuel filter which was pretty gross.

After I put things back together (except the doghouse which I left off), sealed the valve covers and waited for the gasket maker to cure and then tightened everything I put the key to on a few times to let the fuel recirculate and fill the bowl. I heard this dripping. I got on the floor and saw liquid in the valley and some drips. I stuck a strip of cardboard in there and yep it's diesel. Not sure if it's the new fuel filter not sealing or if I knocked something loose while working on the injectors.

Argh!
Doing some research before I do anything, I'll definitely get a new filter and guessing there may be some additional things that will be good to replace or reseal regardless of the origin of the leak.

Any recommendations for a good fuel filter for this model? The replacement I got was one of the ones with it's own lid that you just screw on, in part because a couple of the wing/ridges on top of the old lid were broken.
edit: looking at riffraff diesel, I ordered some things from them before and they got here super fast (which is rare for rural Alaska). Thinking about OEM filter, cap, and the bowl sealing kit.
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:32 AM   #12
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Fuel bowl orings are a huge source of leaks... its not hard to do, well except for removing the bowl from the engine bay.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:35 AM   #13
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I never used gasket sealer on the valve covers.. is that a ford thing? ive always just used good quality gaskets and tightened them evenly..



fuel bowl and its also easy to knock one of the lines going to the heads too.. can you do a bowl delete on a van chassis? I see a lot of the Superduty guys doing it.. or is there not room to mount the new filter?
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I never used gasket sealer on the valve covers.. is that a ford thing? ive always just used good quality gaskets and tightened them evenly..



fuel bowl and its also easy to knock one of the lines going to the heads too.. can you do a bowl delete on a van chassis? I see a lot of the Superduty guys doing it.. or is there not room to mount the new filter?
Gasket sealer is not recommended ever for the valve cover gaskets.

A fuel bowl delete is in my plans when mine starts to leak. It isnt cheap but highly worth it.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I never used gasket sealer on the valve covers.. is that a ford thing? ive always just used good quality gaskets and tightened them evenly..



fuel bowl and its also easy to knock one of the lines going to the heads too.. can you do a bowl delete on a van chassis? I see a lot of the Superduty guys doing it.. or is there not room to mount the new filter?
It looked fine but there was still a part of the driver's side that dripped so I used the permatex ultra black gasket maker, saw that recommended on some forums as being able to keep a seal on valve covers.

I don't know about a fuel bowl delete, but will file that away in my future to-do list. I still have so much to do, on everything. It didn't have a leak before which is why I think I either knocked something loose or didn't get the new fuel filter and cap sealed properly. Or both!
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Old 08-11-2020, 02:59 PM   #16
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The upper triangular "O-ring" on the fuel bowl can be installed upside down and cause a fuel leak. The taper should be toward the cap, not the bowl. Another likely spot for a fuel leak is the fuel line connecting to the back of the passenger side head, particularly since you've been working in that area and the seal may have been jostled and broken. The fuel line has a small rubber sleeve inside the brass connector nut and those sleeves get brittle when they're old.

Both leaks should show up at the back of the engine where you'd expect to see a rear main seal leak.

My condolences on working in that tight-ass engine compartment!
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:56 PM   #17
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Thank you guys! My riffraff order should be here Saturday, if all goes well it'll be taken care of by the end of the weekend. I would love to be able to start and move the bus so I can plug in my angle grinder and finish up prepping the floor.
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Old 08-22-2020, 03:37 PM   #18
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Hi Jocelyn !



How’d it all work out ? Done with leaks ??

Guessing you got your new filter by now.

I had a similar issue with my filter, when i changed it for the first time.
First, as roach said, had my top lid o-ring upside down that was keeping it from flushing properly.
Then i put it properly and thought it was tight enough. Turned key on, no problem, until i cranked the engine. Had the dog house open, fuel smoked the whole bus, stinky.
Tightened that lid as much as reason allowed me to. No more fuel leak.

Wishing you much luck !
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Hi Jocelyn !



How’d it all work out ? Done with leaks ??

Guessing you got your new filter by now.

Wishing you much luck !
hello and yes I got a new fuel filter in place! I was really annoyed at myself for not noticing the initial replacement filter I bought didn't have the right shaped (triangular/pyramid) gasket for the top. I turned it over and over and realized it was plain with no bevel.... not the right shape at all. I bought new OEM filter and plastic cap and it no longer leaks, but I discovered a new leak and knocked at least part of the EBPV off, so that's my next project. Current list is:

-fitting a piece of ABS pipe w/cap in place of the resonator box which is cracked
-taking apart the EBPV and making sure it's clean and intact, rebuilding it if necessary, replacing sensor if necessary, replacing the pipe if it's broken or so clogged I can't clear it out
-putting new gaskets on the turbo while the EBPV is disassembled
-inspecting passenger fuel line and replacing the rubber sleeve under the nut, or the line itself if it's damaged
-ohm'ing the plug pin to try to figure out where the issue is with the injectors (I tested the injectors one by one when they were out and all seemed fine). I may need to reopen the valve(s) and replace the wiring, hopefully not though
-adding insulation to the doghouse cover eventually
-buying a new camshaft sensor (the blue/grey one) to replace what's there since that could be contributing to the idling issues it had
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:33 PM   #20
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May be a bit longer than just an afternoon job but doable

The Under Valve Cover Harness is relatively easy & interesting to test and fix (in my opinion) and/or change, once you diagnose THE location(s) of your electric issue. Just have to be gentle with your plugs and pull/push-back strait.

Not sure thats your issue, just saying i got rid of the p1316 intermittent code with a couple drips of super glue around the UVCH plug that was really problematic.

I wish you much luck !
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