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How to Install Ford Racing Laser Etched Valve Covers on Your 2005-2010 Mustang GT and GT500

Installation Time

2 hours

Tools Required
  • 1/4" ratchet
  • 3/8" ratchet
  • 8mm socket
  • 10mm socket
  • 7mm socket
  • 1/4" & 3/8" extensions
  • Plastic gasket scraper
  • Ford Factory Service Manual (FSM) specifies:Motorcraft Metal Surface Prep (ZC-31)
  • Motorcraft Silicone Gasket Remover (ZC-30)
  • Motorcraft Silicone Gasket and Sealant (TA-30)
  • Motorcraft Silicone Brake Caliper Grease and Dielectric Compound (XG-3-A)Rags and shop towels
  • The FSM is useful, but is not required.
  • An extra set of hands helps!
American Muscle
Shop Parts in this Guide


Figure 1- Before Picture

Preliminary steps

  • Disconnect the battery
  • Remover the strut tower brace (if installed)

Driver’s Side (LH)

*NOTE* Many of the pictures show the right hand side because they came out better. The Parts are identical Right to Left

  • Remove the factory air intake or Cold Air Intake (CAI) - C&L Racer Intake pictured
    • Disconnect the MAF sensor. (Figure 2)
    • Disconnect the passenger side PCV hose.
    • Disconnect air intake from throttle body.
    • Disconnect air filter box (or CAI heat shield).
    • Remove air intake.

Figure 2 - Removing the Cold Air Intake (or stock air intake) and MAF
  • Remove the driver’s side PCV hose
  • Remove the coil plugs – twist and pull
    • Remove the screws attaching the coil plugs to the valve cover using the 7mm socket (Figure 3, and Figure 4)
    • We completely disconnected them, labeled them, and set them aside (in order )

Figure 3 - Coil on Plug Bolts (Red), Electrical Connector (Yellow) and Fuel Injector Electrical Connector (Green)

Figure 4 - Remove the coil-on-plugs (RH side shown)

Figure 5 – Fuel Injector Electrical Connection
  • Disconnect the Fuel Injector Electrical Connectors (Figure 3 and Figure 5)
  • Remove the evaporative emissions (EVAP) line from the intake manifold
  • Disconnect the LH variable camshaft timing (VCT) sensor (Figure 6)

Figure 6 - Remove the VCT Solenoid electrical connection
  • Remove wiring harness retaining pins (2) from the covers (Figure 7)
  • Remove the wiring harness retainers (2) from the studs (Figure 8)

Figure 7 - Retaining Clips, Pin Type

Figure 8 - Retaining Clip, Stud Style
  • Remove the valve covers.
    • It helped to loosen the oil dipstick tube, but it’s not necessary.
    • Be careful to lift straight off until you clear the VCT solenoid.
    • The bots (8mm socket) are captive in the grommets so you will not need to remove them from the valve covers.
    • We used a few different length extensions and a u-joint to get to all of the bolts.
  • Clean the gasket sealing surface.
    • The Ford Factory Service Manual (FSM) specifies:
      • Motorcraft Metal Surface Prep (ZC-31)
      • Motorcreft Silicone Gasket Remover (ZC-30)
    • We used a plastic scraper and some parts cleaner to remover the old RTV sealant and clean the sealing surface.
    • Be careful not to scratch or gouge the surface.
    • Be careful not to get the RTV material in the cylinder head. We used a rag and were careful to prevent material from falling into the cylinder head.
  • Apply a bead silicone gasket and sealant (Motorcraft TA-30) in the two locations (Figure 9 and Figure 10) where the front cover and cylinder head meet.
    • We did a trial fitment check before putting the silicone down.

Figure 9 - Silicone Gasket and Sealant Location, Lower. (image from removal step before scraping old gasket clean)

Figure 10 - Silicone Gasket and Sealant Location, Upper
  • Position the valve cover (shown in Figure 11) making sure that the wiring harness is clear and out of the way.
    • Having an extra pair of hands helps here; after positioning the valve cover one person can lift while the other person applies the silicone. Otherwise apply the silicone and then carefully move the valve cover into position.
    • Make sure you have the right extensions handy.
  • Install the valve cover and tighten the bolts to 10 Nm (89 lb-in).
    • With the wiring bundles pulled out of the way slide the valve cover into position.
    • You will not be able to get a torque wrench on many of the bolts. Make sure you get a good feel for what 10Nm feels like one of the easily accessible bolts. (It’s not much).
    • Tighten in the sequence show in Figure 12.
      • There are only 9 and 8 bolts on the left and right, respectively.
      • Use the same sequence specified by the FSM by skipping the missing bolts.

Figure 11 - Installing the valve cover

Figure 12 - Tightening Sequence
  • Attach the wiring harness retaining pins.
  • Connect the VCT solenoid connector.
  • Install the PCV tube.
  • Install the EVAP tube.
  • Install the coil-on-plugs.
  • Apply Silicone Brake Caliper Grease and Dielectric Compound (Motorcraft XG-3-A).
  • Install the coil-on-plug and tighten the bolt to 5 Nm.

RH Side Valve Cover Installation:

  • The RH side is very similar to the LH Side.
  • You will need to remove the oil fill tube and install it on the new cover. We did this before installing the cover, but I think you can do it after the install.

Finish the install:

  • Reinstall Air intake box or CAI.
  • Reinstall the strut tower brace (if applicable).
  • Reconnect the battery.
  • Take pictures and enjoy!

Figure 13 - The Final Result

Installation instructions provided by American Muscle customer Michael Iacchei 5.10.12

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