Head Gasket replacement help - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech General discussion of 2.9L and 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 01-08-2016
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Head Gasket replacement help

94 ranger 3.0 Vulcan...I confirmed today with a block test that I have a blown head gasket..not sure which side cause it really doesn't matter since I would never do just one. I've done some pretty decent size jobs such as lower intake gaskets and related stuff but I'm a little intimidated by this job...only because this truck is my livelihood and can't afford to have it idle too long. I'm pretty confident I can remove them and plan on getting a gasket set, new bolts and having the intake, throttle body, and heads to get cleaned and machined if necessary. The thing that im a little Leary of is messing with the valves. I've never done any work on valves and im not afraid to learn but im looking for advise from others that have been there. Any detailed advise on the valve end of this would be greatly appreciated and with the whole job in general. Thanks!!!
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Old 01-08-2016
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Glove test is free and it can tell you which cylinder or cylinders are leaking, if you want to know
Search: Glove test

I have posted it many times


The heads will need to go to machine shop for sure, they will need to be cleaned, surfaced and pressure tested.
When you get the head gasket set it will come with a set of valve guide seals, take them with the heads to machine shop, they will often install them for free or slight charge.
That is all you need to do about the valves.
Pressure test will tell if valves are leaking too much or head is cracked, machine shop will let you know what they find.
'94 3.0l is not known to have valve issues.

Make sure you get Ranger 3.0l head gaskets, the car 3.0l gaskets are different

Exhaust manifold bolts can be hard to get off, header pipe nuts as well.
You can spend 2 to 5 hours on one stuck bolt, counting trips to parts stores to get extractors or ???
So check the bolts first
If truck is driveable, short distances, and there is a muffler shop within that distance, it can be worth it to pay $30-$50 to have them remove and reinstall(snug not tight) all the exhaust bolts.
Takes them about 15 minutes, and they have replacement bolts/nuts on hand.


Wrench work wise it is only a few more bolts than the lower intake work you did.

You will do fine

Timing wise it can be tough, machine shops usually take 1 or 2 days, and that is down time for you, if you can get the heads off Wednesday night and down to the machine shop Thursday morning, they could get them done by Friday afternoon, some shops are open Saturday as well.
And call a few shops to ask about pricing and approx. turn around time, you want two 3.0l heads cleaned, surfaced and pressure tested, once they give you a price THEN ask about installing the valve guide seals, to get your business they will often say no charge, so leave it for last.

Last edited by RonD; 01-08-2016 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 02-07-2016
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Update

Thanks for all your advise thus far, it's greatly appreciated and very helpful! So since I had a terrible oil pan leak along with the blown head gasket, I decided to pull the motor since i have access to do that at my school. I sent the heads and intake out and am waiting to hear back. Since I'm waiting I am replacing the timing chain, timing gears, all gaskets and seals, injector o rings etc. I just recently replaced the water pump and fuel pump. My question is what is a good option for an oil pump??? I won't do all this work without replacing it...I've heard a lot about high flow pumps etc but am on a low budget and don't know what brands are reliable or not. If you could give me a couple of relatively affordable yet reliable oil pumps it would be very helpful
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Old 02-26-2016
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Hey Mikey, you get your truck running yet? If not I would go with a Melling oil pump.. the best made and usually places like Autozone are $90 ... good luck
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Old 02-26-2016
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back on the road

Yes the truck is back on the road. I did use a melling oil pump. All in all i had a valve job done on the heads, replaced the timing belt & gears, water pump, all new gaskets & seals, transmissio . filter & vacuum modulator. The plugs, wires, alternator, and fuel pump have also been replaced recently. It started right up and after 700 miles since back on the road i havent had to add a drop of fluid for the first time since I've owned it. It runs great but still a little bit of a rough idle one it goes into closed loop. Once im able to get it on the scanner at school i should be able to track it down.

Next i will be replacing the brakes including rebuilding . The calipers & master cylinder, drums, shoes, hardware, adjuster componants, wheel cylinders, front pads, slide pins, and cut the rotors (still have plenty of meat on them ). Since. I discovered one of my axle seals leaking i will also be replacing both sides with new national repair bearings.

Thank you everyone for all the advice!!! Im getting a education and rebuilding the truck at the same time.
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Old 02-27-2016
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Good work

Thanks for the update
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Old 02-27-2016
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wow..you have rebuilt the whole truck.. good job.. I am working on my brother in laws 2004 Ranger 3.0 and it had exhaust valves sucked into the valve seats and they all leaked when I put air pressure on them.I pulled the heads and had a machine shop put hardened seats in the exhaust and it runs awesome now.. but I have an ABS and brake light on now and it wont go away..glad you got yours going
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Old 03-23-2016
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I have put 2,500 miles on the truck and have only ran into a couple minor issues...had to replace a corroded fuel pump connector and have a 337 code for high dpef signal. I've tested the whole egr system and after the sensor testing bad, replaced it....Howe reverse I still have a high signal code and after testing it with a dmm and applying vacuum to the egr valve register a steady 4.88V at signal wire, 5.05 reference voltage, and ground checks out .. egr valve is checks out...applying vacuum causes engine to stumble and holds vacuum. After more extensive testing discovered the egr solenoid is not activating the egr valve...no 1hg at egr at idle or with vacuum gage connected to egr vacuum supply with the engine warmed up and accelerating. There is 21hg vacuum at one of the solenoid vacuum supplies and nothing at the other and it's receiving voltage which all checks out except for it not applying any vacuum to egr valve. I suspect perhaps an open somewhere in the egr signal circuit and want to start checking it starting from the pcm connector and dpfe sensor but cannot find a pin diagram or egr circuit diagram...can someone help me with that? 94 3.0 ranger
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Old 03-23-2016
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EGR Modulator(solenoid) gets 12volts when key is on, ground is controlled by the computer.

There is no connection, wiring-wise, to DPFE sensor, just a straight shot from EGR Modulator to the computer(PCM).

Should be pin33 on PCM
Have a look at this page: Ford EEC-IV

So with EGR Modulator connector plugged in and key on, you should have 12volts at pin 33.
The voltage just passes thru the coil of wire in the solenoid part and comes out at pin 33.
When computer Grounds that pin internally the solenoid pulls open the valve letting vacuum pass thru to EGR valve.
Computer actually Pulses the Ground to let a little or alot of vacuum thru, opening a the EGR valve a little or alot.

I would pull out the EGR solenoid first, and then apply 12v and ground to the connectors, while blowing thru either one of the hose connections to see if it is opening.
If it isn't opening replace EGR modulator.
It has no polarity, just a coil of wire inside.
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Old 03-23-2016
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Ok thank you, I will do that tomorrow and see
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