PERA'S Core Corner: Ford 4.6L Front Cover Inquiries Top Year-End Wish List - Engine Builder Magazine

PERA’S Core Corner: Ford 4.6L Front Cover Inquiries Top Year-End Wish List

Well, here it is the end of the year and, as I write this, the Midwest has just experienced its first major snowfall. Many of us are still digging out, with dire consequences for some, and school closings for thousands of children who are jumping up and down with joy.

Remember when things were that simple and all you had to worry about was whether you had to go to school or you would be able to stay home and go outside and play on the snow hill? (Those of you in the South will just have to play along.) As I sit here with Christmas music playing on Sirius satellite, logs crackling in the wood burning stove in the background, I digress and think back on those days of simplicity and can’t help but get a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Then you grow up/wake up and become an engine builder and life is no longer that simple. I know that it seems like we keep beating a dead horse but the 4.6L SOHC Ford just keeps rearing its ugly head. It’s causing more inquiries than most and it is time to update and clarify some of the front covers used on the newer versions of this engine.

The first cover we’ll discuss is used on the 2001-2004 Van, 2002 Expedition and 2002-2004 Ford F-150. It is Ford p/n 2L3Z-6019-AA. Before I mention the cover, I must remind you that 2004 was a transitional year for Ford, and the 2004 F-150 is the Heritage body style. You need to pay attention to that or you will end up with a piece of coal in your stocking.


The cover used is casting numbers 1L2E and 2L3E-AB – and you need to make certain that you pay attention to the AB for there is a 5.4L cover with the same prefix numbers (see Figure 1). This cover appears identical to its predecessor, the F65E, however the mounting bosses for the pulley and tensioner assemblies are .750″ tall rather than .900″. These applications use the six-rib accessory drive serpentine belt and the taller bosses were for a nine-rib belt. It’s easy just to remember that .900″ is for the nine-rib belt and the shorter is for the smaller number – at least for my simple mind it works that way!

The next cover is casting number 3L3E. Ford p/n 3L3Z-6019-AA is used on the 2004-2005 F-150 new body style truck and the 2003-2004 Expedition, but only with the cast iron block casting. The biggest change here is that these applications are using the high power steering mount on the left side of the engine. The power steering pump was changed because it was nearly impossible to get the oil filter out from under the pump and between the chassis frame. While I’m certain there was an elaborate engineering explanation at Ford for the change, we simple minded folk know the real reason: the right hand and left hand were not communicating! This cover also has some additional idler mounting boss changes, but the high-mount pump mount is your giveaway (see Figure 2).

Last, there is cover casting numbers 2L1E-DE and 2L2E-AD. Ford p/n 2L2Z-6019-AA has both casting numbers on the upper right side of the cover. Why it carries both numbers I was not able to determine, but does it really matter? This cover is virtually identical to

the 3L3E except that the first bolt off the bottom of the “V” of the cover on the right side moved .250″ and is used for the aluminum block in the 2003-2004 Expedition and 2002-2004 Explorer applications (Figure 3).

That gives you the updated cover info and I hope to have a sponsored laminated wall chart for the Spring PERA Technical program at Grooms Engines in Nashville, TN, March 22-24, 2007. In addition, this information has been added to Enginedatasource.com and can be viewed on the “newly added” tab fresh to the opening page. It has been mapped to all of the appropriate vehicles so there should be no way to make a mistake. I cannot sign off for the year without thanking Doug Anderson for his assistance with this information during this season of giving, and wishing all of you a Merry Christmas. See you next year!

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