Now, the sensor is out. Here are some installation tips:
(An afterthought) Loosen crankshaft pulley bolt. See step 8-9.
Remove battery and battery tray.
Remove front engine strut brace and bracket. (These two steps aren't necessary,
but they make the job SO much easier. By taking these off you wouldn't
believe how much more room it makes in your engine compartment.)
Unplug the two connections to the DIS module and then remove the intake
manifold resonance chamber connector. Just loosen the 4 screws on
the hose clamps and take the two bolts on the top side of the connector
out and you should be able to 'wiggle' the connector out of the rubber
Remove the two serpentine belts. To do this you will need to loosen
the tension on each belt. To relieve the tension you need to loosen
the tensioner pulley bolt (there are two, one for each belt) and then you
will need to use the allen head screw that is at the top of each tensioner
assembly to loosen the belt. This may sound confusing without looking
at the car, but, the belt for the air conditioning and air pump will tighten
by the pulley moving down. The belt for the P.S. pump will tighten
with the pulley moving up. However, in Ford's wisdom (and I do applaud
them for this, once I figured it out) they set up the threads on the allen
screws such that your normal loosening of a screw will loosen each belt,
and tightening each screw will tighten each belt.
You may want to remove the pulley for the P.S. pump belt and the whole
tensioner assembly for the A.C. belt just to make more room for yourself
to get at the timing cover bolts.
Remove the upper timing cover. At this point, you should see a wire
(actually 4 wires inside of the black plastic sheath) running down the
block behind where the timing cover was. This is the crankshaft position
sensor wiring harness. Follow these up and unplug the two connectors
at the top of the engine. One is a single wire connector that is
a ground for noise insulation and the other is the signal connector.
After unplugging these, snake the wire down behind the timing belt.
Remove passenger's side front wheel and wheel well cover. The wheel
well cover can be a pain but with the proper tugging and bending you should
be able to pop it out. This will give all you doorjamb waxers a whole
new place to clean, especially considering how much SAND poured onto the
ground when I removed mine. Removing these gives you a ton of room
to get to the things at the lower part of the engine.
Remove crankshaft pulley. This is probably the tougher part of the
job. You will need a harmonic balancer puller or steering wheel puller
to get this off once you get the crankshaft pulley bolt off. To get
the crankshaft pulley bolt off you will more likely than not want to use
the starter. I have a 1/2" air impact wrench that couldn't budge
the bolt even with my 6 HP compressor (11 CFM at 90 PSI). If you
have a big 3/4" impact wrench you might be able to get it off but it is
awfully easy to use the starter. Just place the socket wrench (I
used a 1/2" 19 mm deep socket) and rest the handle of the wrench on the
frame rail to the front of the car (in front of the pulley, that
is). Then just bump the starter and I mean just BUMP. It really
takes no more than a tap... you will hear a loud clunk as the slack in
the wrench is taken up by the slamming of the wrench into the frame rail
and then Viola! the nut will be nice and loose. NOTE: You may
want to do this first, before removing the battery. After this bolt
is off, just use the puller with 2.5" long M8 hex head screws and take
the pulley off.
Remove the lower timing cover off. When doing this, note the location
of the different length screws.
Now you should clearly see the sensor. You can remove these two screws
(They seemed pretty tight to me) and then remove the sensor and wiring.
One of the most difficult parts was removing the wire from the 'snap fit'
in the middle timing cover assembly. The Chilton's manual suggested
to remove the middle cover, but you can't do this without remove one bolt
on the P.S. belt tensioner assembly that was a real PITA to get to so I
just dealt with it in place. To get the wire out just pull at it
and wiggle it until it pops out. IT is tough, though.
If you can't remove the sensor (the screws are out but the sensor won't
come out) then the sensor is 'stuck' in one of the vanes on the vane 'ring'
that is on the crankshaft. The Chiltons manual says to turn the crank
by hand - HA! Yeah, right, and I can bench press 800 pounds too.
What I found was real easy for turning the motor was to place the lug wrench
in between two lugs on the passenger's side hub and then put the car in
fifth gear and turn the driver's side wheel (assuming the whole front
end is off the ground). Of course this won't work if you have an
automatic so you may have to put the crank pulley back on and use leverage
in between the two removal bolts to turn the crank. Just make sure
you turn it the right direction and have extra removal bolts as spares
since you will probably bend them.
After doing this once, I suspect I could probably do the whole job in less
than 3 hours if I had everything in front of me and didn't dilly-dally
(as I normally do when I'm not rushing to finish). Also, I think
I only cursed once - that must be a new record for me when working on my
After installing the new sensor, you need to adjust the gap between one
vane and the sensor. To do this, you will have to rotate the crank
after the new sensor is in so that there is a vane in place, so to speak
and then measure this gap. The gap should be 0.8mm / 0.03 inch.
To install the crank pulley, I used a small piece of a 2"x4" and a hammer
to tap the pulley in far enough that I could just use the crank pulley
bolt to pull it in the rest of the way. I had bought an M14 bolt
to use for this task but the threads are NOT M14. I'm not quite sure
why they use a standard thread or worse, a rare M13 bolt, but I didn't
bother to measure it. It is not preferred to tap the pulley on due
to the thrust loads on the crank bearings, but people have been doing it
for decades with seemingly no ill effects.
Installing the wire of the sensor back into the 'snap fit' that I referred
to earlier was a BIG PITA. What I found worked the best is to apply
a little grease to the rubber housing (you'll see what I mean if you ever
take one out) and then snap it in with the male end of a 1/4" socket extension.
Other than this everything is the reverse of the removal steps. Make
sure you tighten the serpentine belts properly upon reinstallation.
Now would also be a good time to change them if they look old or worn.
The above steps are identical to what you need if you are changing the
timing belts or the water pump (except for a few extra steps at the end).