1 - EGR Block-off plate
1 - 12mm socket (preferably 6-sided)
1 - 3/8ths-to-1/2 inch socket adapter
1 - 3/8ths inch socket extension (about 10 inches long)
1 - 1/2 inch racket
1 - 12mm wrench (may not be necessary)
1 - Permatex RTV silicone sealant (preferably the Ultra Black Hi-Temp RTV)
1 - Torque wrench
1 - Breaker bar (not absolutely necessary)
1 - Regular Anti-Seize lubricant (not absolutely necessary)
1 - hour tops (even if you don't know what you're doing
This write-up is to coax you along through this relatively simple install. When I initially looked through the VFAQ write-up regarding the exhaust gas recirculation valve, I thought I had to remove the intake manifold to get at this thing. Uh…no. The only thing that you must remove is the battery and the battery support/tray.
The battery "support" is simply a plastic thing that the battery sits on. There is also another metal support that is directly under this plastic tray that also needs to be removed. Here is a picture of the plastic tray:
Let me just say this - if you don't know how to safely
disconnect and remove the battery from the car, then please do yourself a favor and thrust your hands in your pockets and walk away from the vehicle!!
Ok, now that the battery is out (I'm assuming you know how to do this), remove the plastic support I mentioned earlier (in the above photo). It should not be bolted or tied down. Simply grab it and lift. Set it aside near the battery so you don't forget it.
Next you will need the 12mm socket, the socket extension, and the 1/2 inch racket. I needed the socket adapter here. If you can find a smaller ratchet that fits directly onto the socket extension, then you’re good to go (remember the cheesy Taco Bell commercial?). There will be four bolts that you will need to unscrew to remove the metal plate. You may have a little trouble fitting the socket onto the two bolts to the left. If that's the case, you may want to use a 12mm wrench instead. Here is a picture (indicated by the four purple circles):
Now that you have that removed, this is what you should be looking at:
Now here comes the tricky part - finding exactly where the EGR valve is located. I thought it would be located in a nice, easy-to-reach place on the intake manifold. Not exactly. There are several hoses and such that are between you and the EGR valve. Don’t worry. You don’t have to disconnect any hoses for this install.
FYI for those of you who have the entire engine out on an engine stand, you're in luck because this makes it extremely easy. For those of us who aren't so lucky, don't fret. You're in good hands.
Here is where you will find the EGR valve (obviously, look at the red circle):
There are only two bolts holding this valve in place. Here they are:
This photo is showing where the top EGR bolt can be found:
This photo is showing where the bottom EGR bolt can be found:
By not removing the two battery supports, you would have one hell of a time trying to remove these two bolts. Anyways, take the ratchet, extension, and 12mm socket (they should still be attached from when you removed the metal plate) and try to take off the two bolts. I found that these two bolts were fairly difficult to loosen, but that may be because I have no upper-body strength.
If you have trouble taking these bolts off, bring out the breaker bar. Just remember this:
LOOSEN = COUNTER-CLOCKWISE
TIGHTEN = CLOCKWISE
Notice that on one of the bolts (I believe the bottom bolt) there is a support harness (it looks like a grounding ring terminal) that is connected, and should be reconnected when bolting everything back up. Keep this in mind.
Now that both bolts are loosened and are ready to come out, get your hand in there and pull one of them out.
I bought my block-off plate from FFWD Connection for $14 (shipping not included). They supplied me with the plate and with two short bolts and two washers. However, look at the bolt you just pulled out. It should be at least twice the length of the bolts that FFWD sends! (Please refer to the first photo in post #4 to see how long the OEM bolts are in comparison with the bolts in the photo below.) I suspect that these two short bolts are for those people who are completely uninstalling the EGR valve. However, this install guide is not doing this. Therefore, these two bolts are useless.
Here is a picture that can be found on their website of the copper plate:
Okay, now pull the other bolt off. Just push the ring terminal aside and out of the way. Do the same with the EGR valve. The EGR valve will be dangling in the air holding on to two hoses. Simply push it back towards the firewall. Here is a wide shot of what you should be looking at (the red circle is where you will find the EGR valve, and the two blue circles show where you will find the two bolts that attach the EGR valve to the intake manifold):
And here is a close up of what the EGR valve flange looks like when it's uninstalled:
Just as a note, you don't have
to take the bolts completely off. You can leave them dangling on the EGR valve, and use the bolts as alignment tools for the block-off plate. It's pretty simple, really.
Also notice that I disconnected the ISC sensor (aka the IAC sensor) so you could get a better view of the EGR valve flange. If you also did this, don't forget to plug it back in when you're finished (indicated by the green circle above). It was a bit easier for me to get at the valve by disconnecting this, so perhaps you wish to do the same.
So now you see two black holes that are filled with soot and all sorts of black crap. If you wish to stick your finger or part of an old rag in there to try and clean that stuff out, that's your business. I didn't feel the need to, because we're installing a block-off plate here.
And what does a block-off plate do? Er…well, it is going to block off these two passageways that we saw in the two pictures above! Thus, I see no reason to take the time to clean this area out.
Just for your own reference, here is the OEM EGR valve gasket that you should also remove and discard:
On to the actual installation of the plate. The plate will obviously be placed between the EGR valve and the flange on the intake manifold. Now that we're done with the malarkey, let's get on with it, shall we?
Take the EGR block-off plate and apply a thin
layer of RTV silicone sealant to the edges of it. Here is a picture for reference (the RTV is illustrated in the black line):
Remember to apply the RTV to both sides, not just one side. You want to have a nice seal, not air leaks. If you wish to apply the RTV to the mounting flange and to the EGR valve instead, then go ahead and do that. Both methods should work equally well.
I feel that I also need to say something about applying a thin layer of RTV silicone. When you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you normally use a moderate amount of peanut butter and jelly. When you squish the sandwich down, nothing usually comes out on the sides. However, if you use a lot of peanut butter, and a lot of jelly, when you squish the sandwich down you will notice that the peanut butter and the jelly will ooze out the sides. The same goes with s'mores. As soon as you squeeze the graham crackers together, the roasted marshmallow oozes out all over the sides. This is not what you want to have happen with the RTV.
I call this the "squish factor." When talking about automotive stuff that entails RTV silicone sealant, you should always remember this. For instance, if you are installing an intake manifold and you used excessive RTV on the gasket, some RTV will find its way into the intake tracts, and thus it will impede on the performance and airflow of incoming air. This is why you apply a thin layer of RTV, and why you apply the RTV to the outer edge of the block-off plate or the intake gasket or whatever. This is another reason why you don't over-tighten bolts (although, there are other more important reasons).
Back to the install.
Here is another shot of the EGR valve with the block-off plate attached (uh, I think "someone" forgot to take the OEM EGR gasket off =P):
Reinstall everything, and give the RTV silicone at least
a few hours to fully cure (although 24 hours would be ideal).
After you applied the RTV to both sides of the block-off plate, lay it down on a relatively clean surface. Take one of the bolts that you took out and put it through the EGR valve. Now take the block-off plate and put it on the EGR valve. This is basically what you should be looking at:
All you need to do now is to push the bolt through the top flange hole.
Notice that if you decided to keep both bolts on the EGR valve instead of pulling them off, then your plate is aligned quite nicely. If you took both bolts off, then just align the block-off plate accordingly.
The reason why I took the long bolts completely out was because I decided to dab the bolt threads with some Anti-Seize lubricant. If I ever decide to remove the EGR valve or to remove the block-off plate, the bolts won't give me much trouble at all. This step isn't a must, and most people will probably find it completely unnecessary, but that's what I did. Again, you can skip this step if you like; your car won't fall apart because you didn't use lubricant on the threads.
Push the bolts into their holes and hand-tighten them. When you can no longer tighten them, bring out the torque wrench. Set the torque wrench anywhere between 11 and 16 pounds-per-foot of torque. DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN THE BOLTS! Do you really want to unnecessarily damage something? No, of course you don't. I set my torque wrench to a moderate 14 lbs/ft and the EGR valve isn't going anywhere.
To make this install seem even easier, I will give you another abstract example. Think of a 1G recirculation valve. Now imagine that you have just installed the 1G RV onto a 1G flange, but you forgot to also install a 1G gasket. So you need to unscrew the RV off of the flange and put the gasket between the two. This is all you are doing with the EGR block-off plate. It really is as simple as that.