The intake manifold on the modular 4.6 is known for failing and leaking coolant (sometimes spectacularly). About a year and a half ago, my Crown Vic started leaking a little down the back of the block. In December, it started getting worse until recently when I noticed coolant just about everywhere it could be on top of the engine, and had to refill it almost daily.
So most of yesterday was spent replacing that manifold. It’s possible my leak was just the gaskets, but considering the reputation of this manifold to fail, I wasn’t about to find out otherwise. Being a (relatively) modern car, there is a lot of stuff in need of removal, as can be seen above, to get the intake off.
Once I finally got everything apart (mainly challenged by the fact that every bolt was rusty and stuck to some degree - including one of the wiper/cowl bolts that I ended up having to drill out) I found that the head surface near the water port that was the first to leak had been eroded away some. Nothing that a little RTV shouldn’t handle, though.
My alternator had been on the fritz as well, so I took advantage of the opportunity to replace it while everything else was apart. I also replaced a ground strap on the back of the engine that has been broken as long as I’ve had the car, since it was actually accessible at this point.
After much reassembly and letting it set overnight, it seems to be good to go. Filled the coolant back up and went for a drive, no obvious leaks (yet...) and seems to be running pretty well. As a thank-you, the car left me a business-card-sized present when I closed the door.