Question about 2003 Ford Expedition

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Installation for a oil filter adapter gasket - 2003 Ford Expedition

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  • Mick Wager
    Mick Wager Jan 06, 2013

    Thank you, Mike! I followed your very clear instructions and finally stopped this nagging oil leak on my 2003 Expedition. As I expected, it took me about twice as long as you to complete it, but that's okay as I can't imagine what the shop would have charged. Plus, I got an oil change and radiator flush out of the deal. The only tips I would offer are to get a strap type oil wrench because that filter is hard to get to, and be careful tightening the radiator plug; it's plastic and breaks easily (as mine did). Thanks again! I can finally park in my friend's driveways again.



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OK, I just did this on a 2003 Expedition. Really not that hard at all - took me about 1.5 hours.
You'll need a new gasket ($12.00 at AutoZone), a jug of Antifreeze, a drain pan (large enough to hold all of the coolant - roughly 3-4 gallons, another pan for the oil). A ratchet with a 4 inch extension and a U-joint(knuckle or swivel socket). A 1/2 in. socket for the adapter, and a 3/4" wrench for the radiator drain plug.
First, I pulled the car up on a pair of ramps - remember, you'll have to drain the oil and coolant before you remove the adapter. The incline of the ramps does not hinder any draining of the fluids. Also, remover the oil filter - might as well change your oil while you're doing this just in case the coolant and oil have mixed due to the leaking gasket. Wipe everything down real good, I'm sure you'll have alot of resudual oil splattered everywhere. You want it clean so that when you're done, you'll know the problem is solved vs. not being able to tell because of all the (old) oil.
OK, so the oil is drained, plug replaced, and the oil filter is removed. Now, drain the coolant. The plu is very easy to find, on the fron, left of the (bottom) radiator. Use the 3/4" wrench or adjustable to open the valve. There is a place to attach a 3/8" hose but I just let mine gravity feed into a pan - Open the coolant resevoir lid on top of the engine to vent and allow it to drain faster. This should take about 20 mins to drain.
Tighten the coolant valve (don't overtorque)
Now, slide back to the filter adapter - Unplug the electrical connector (push IN with a screwdriver and pull out), next, you'll need to take the bottom hose off the adapter. Use a pair of channel locks or pliera to squeeze the clamp in to allow slack in the hose to slide off - it's tight, so take your time! You don't have to take the top hose off.
TIP: stuff a small rag in the hose you just took off, it'll keep antifreeze from dripping on you while you're under it - remember to take it out!!!
I started with the hardest bolt first - the one closet to the front, you'll know it when you see it. To get this loose, you'll need the U-joint on 1/2" socket and an extension. There are 4 bolts total, not that hard, just takes a little time.
Once the bolts are out , it's easy to pry down on the FA to remove the gasket. Simply slide in the new one (it'll only go one way, don't worry about putting in backwards or upside down). Put one bolt in the fron and back and handtighten the bolts, this will start lining up the holes. Next install the other 2 bolts, handtighten each a little at a time so the gasket will center itself. Once it's seated, tighten the 4 bolts - not too tight, it's aluminum remember! Plug the elec connector back in.
The gasket I removed didn't really show any signs of deterioration or anything.
Now you need to reinstall a new oil filter and top the oil off. Also, refill the coolant - the directions are on the back of the jug.
My biggest tips for this job are: Have a few towels/rags around - you'll spill oil and coolant, Capture and dispose of the coolant/oil properly - remember, pets love antifreeze, but it'll kill 'em. Again, clean all of the residual off the frame, oil pan, hoses - that way you can tell if the job worked, or if the leak is in another area.
Good Luck - you can do it!

Posted on Jan 23, 2011


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It's not easy to get at. There is a gasket in there. I've done a few of these. It's called an oil filter adapter gasket.

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there is a gasket between the filter and where it meets the motor. often when the oil filter is overtightened when it is installed it will leak.

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SOURCE: Replaced Oil Filter Adapter Gasket 1995 Mercury

We performed exactly the same repair on December 28, 2010 withexactly the same outcome. Finding no other references to this oil pressureproblem anywhere on the internet and the fact that they both happened the samemonth, I can only wonder if there are some incorrectly made gaskets hitting theshelves.

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