Valve Cover Gasket Replacement Service & Cost | YourMechanic Repair
If your rings or valve seals are leaking, you may notice your oil is oil pan gasket or valve cover gasket or didn't distribute the tightness to get the exhaust back on without breaking the new dipstick tube. . on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others. For example, you have probably had a rubber rocker-cover gasket squirt out of the cost, inconvenience and time of re-torquing the cylinder head after break-in. . providing the proper relationship with the moving part it will seal--in this case, . Impurities in the metal that makes up the valve causes it to break or deform under stress overall car maintenance and the relationship to other parts of the engine, like the timing "Valve Cover Gasket Replacement: Putting a cap on oil leaks.
Cork valve cover gaskets are also available with a steel core laminated in between cork layers. A steel core prevents valve cover gaskets from being sucked in by high vacuum or pushed out due to excessive blow by. Although this occurrence is uncommon on stock engines, the metal layer also helps cork gaskets retain their dimensions. Old cork gaskets can dry out and shrink. These multilayered gaskets retain the ability of cork gaskets to seal against rough surfaces and are a popular choice today.
Rubber valve cover gaskets have been an option for many years. For race applications, they have the added advantage of standing up to repeated removal and installation of the valve cover. The rubber material is relatively hard compared to cork and therefore sometimes does not conform as well to rough surfaces, especially with the few focused pressure points of perimeter bolt stamped-steel valve covers. However, if valve covers are not likely to be removed, rubber gaskets can be coated on both sides with RTV or other sealants for a long-lasting, leak-free seal.
These gaskets additionally feature steel compression limiters enabling the bolts to be tightened without overly compressing the silicone. One more consideration when choosing valve cover gaskets brings us back to the early small-blocks with the staggered-bolt valve covers.
This staggered designed is still an issue today because some valve cover gaskets have both staggered and straight boltholes six holes total to accommodate both designs.
These six-hole gaskets have to be trimmed to fit some valve covers. And the extra holes create a thinner sealing area near two of the cover bolts. There are a number of sealant choices, too.
For this application, Permatex No. Then remove any excess sealant to prevent it from being an eyesore on the outside or going into the engine from the inside.
Leak Checking Before replacing the valve cover gaskets, check to make sure that they are the cause of oil drops on your floor. Feel for oil on the head around the lower rear corner of the cover. The gaskets can also leak at the top of the valve cover causing oil to puddle at the edge of the intake manifold. Identifying the source of the leak in this area gets tricky because, although much less likely, the intake manifold gasket can also seep oil.
The seals at the front and rear of the intake manifold are another potential source of oil leaks. While inspecting the rear of the engine, also examine the oil pressure line or sender and the distributor gasket. Back to the top of the engine; inspect any rubber grommets on the valve cover. They frequently harden and seep oil when they dry and shrink. Moving below, inspect the underneath of the engine for oil leaks at the rear main seal, front main seal, fuel pump gaskets and dipstick tube.
In any case, you can follow along for tips on replacing the valve cover gaskets. Inspect the bottom of the valve cover at the rear. However, if it feels like your valve cover bolts are bottoming out, you might just need to add a flat washer or two to stop the leaking.
Oil can also seep past the intake manifold gasket near its center but that is much less common. Traditional cork gaskets are still a popular choice and can seal well against the rough narrow sealing surface of cast-iron heads.
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However, cork tends to compress over time, requiring valve cover bolts to be retightened. Eventually the cork gasket compresses too far in its center allowing oil to get by. Remove the valve covers and remove any sealant or gasket from the heads. Avoid the drain hole to keep these bits from falling into the engine. Soak up the oil by the lower rear and front head bolts to spot any debris that is hiding under the oil.
Over the years gasket material or sealant can build up in the bottom of the hole, preventing the bolts from tightening on the valve cover.
Screw a bolt all the way into each hole and then unscrew it counting how many full turns before it comes out. Also note if the threads bind during the last few turns; that will make it difficult to tell how much pressure is being placed on the gasket.
After the boltholes were cleaned, these heads allowed just over nine turns. Block off the baffles when scraping the old gasket and cleaning the valve cover. The baffles help prevent oil droplets from being sucked into the PCV valve, vent tube and hoses.
Also note the projections on the inside of this factory valve cover. These drippers aid in oiling the rocker arm pivot. It is essential to place some type of straightedge against the gasket surfaces of stamped-steel valve covers to see if they are bent. Support the upper surface of the flange on a block and tap on the lower surface near the bolthole until it is straight again. There are many choices in valve cover gaskets. There are even choices in cork gaskets.
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In addition to cork gaskets being available in a number of different thicknesses, cork gaskets can also have a steel layer laminated in the center as seen here. Gasket offers a 0. This extra thickness can provide increased clearance for aftermarket valvetrain components or it can help prevent the valve cover from hitting the intake manifold.
This silicone Fel-Pro gasket from Summit Racing is a good example of high-end sealing. In addition to its laminated metal core, it has metal sleeves around the boltholes to prevent the gasket from being crushed too far.
This also allows the bolts to be tightened to the point that they are less likely to loosen up. The extra bolthole enables it to be used on the early small-blocks that had valve covers with staggered bolts. Paragon also offers original style valve cover bolts, screws and retainers. The factory retainers are often missing but they are essential to distribute the force of the bolts on the thin stamped-steel valve covers. The choices in aftermarket valve covers are extensive.
Holley-scripted models are also available with or without PCV and oil fill holes and these come with pre-installed internal oil baffles. Three critical structural considerations in selecting a valve cover are the internal height for clearance with aftermarket valvetrain, external height for clearance with nearby components and any holes needed for a breather tube, PCV valve or oil fill.
The AC Delco, being about a third of the price, is my new go-to plug for this car. AC Delco is a GM stock plug, supposedly made by NGK you can do your own research on that question if you're interested, and please leave your findings in the comments.
No, I do not work there, but their prices are cheap and most of their standard hand tools work just as well as others for the DIY'er and hobbyist.
Just a few inches should be good. These things make your grip as tight as a vise!! If you can find a long at least inch 5 mm hex key, it will make your life a hundred times easier when it comes to unscrewing and screwing in the two hex bolts hidden under the intake manifold. I personally place a thin bead down when changing a gasket.
No, but in my mind it's extra insurance against leaks. Some use it, some don't. Some apply it to the whole gasket, some just the corners. It is your choice. Also optional, but in the picture above: They are essential if you are changing the spark plugs without using a spark plug boot remover tool, and a life saver for holding the hex bolts in place under the manifold when screwing them back in.
For four dollars, why not grab a pair? Whatever color your wife prefers. If you chose to fully remove the manifold, you will either need to disconnect the coolant lines hooked to the throttle body messy or remove the throttle body from the upper manifold, which involves four 5 mm bolts, along with the vac lines connected under the manifold.
Please bear with me on the pictures. All bolts that need to be removed are circled in green, hose clamps are circled in blue, and other circles and colors are for help and reference if needed. First grab a beer and rip the top off with your vise grips, yeah!! Now that you already have your grips out, pinch the large clamp holding the intake hose to the throttle body TB and wiggle it over so that you can pull the hose off the TB.
Do the same for the hose connected to the PCV what your oil cap is sitting on all circled in blue. Might as well check this hose for any deterioration, clogs or tears. If there is built-up gunk in there, you might as well fully remove it and give it a cleaning along with the rest of the parts. Passenger-side vac hoses On the opposite side of the manifold there are three more vacuum lines that need to be removed circled in blue above. The hose connecting the manifold to the fuel pressure regulator FPR can be removed from either the manifold side or the FPR whichever slides off easier.
Remove the vacuum hose directly an inch or so behind the FPR hose. Behind the manifold, in that same general area, you will see one more hose that will need to be disconnected. All of these hoses should use pinch-type clamps that you can wiggle down the hose out of the way, so that you can twist and pull the hoses off.
Two hidden 6 mm hex bolts on the back of the intake manifold circled in green below need to be removed. So go ahead and get that taken care of. Hidden 6 mm hex bolts In the picture above, the hose circled in blue is for the brake booster. I had replaced the broken hard line with heater hose long ago and did not need to remove it for this DIY, although it may need to be pulled off if you are still using the original hard line you will have to see for yourself.
Five 5 mm hex bolts There are a total of five 5 mm hex bolts, circled in green above, that need to be removed from the front of the manifold. The first three have easy access, like a front-clipping bra.
The other two are located between the runners of the manifold.
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Looking straight down, you can see the notches in the runner, just wide enough for you to slide your hex key in. Placing a socket or the open end of your extension on the end of the hex hey will give you enough leverage to break the bolt free. This is when you are going to be thankful you bought the long T-handled hex tool to fully unscrew the bolt.
If not, have fun unscrewing it a millimeter, adjusting your hex key, doing another millimeter, adjust, millimeter, you get the idea. Maybe all my Allen head keys are just too short. You can try to break the bolt free by just using the T-handled tool, but there is a good possibility the tool will break or bend, especially if you bought it at Harbor Freight.
Getting at the 5-mm hex bolts Lifting up the upper manifold At this point you can lift up your upper manifold and remove the gasket between the top and bottom. Before going forward, place a strip of duct tape over the lower intake manifold runners circled in violet so you don't accidentally drop anything down there.
With a little maneuvering you can move the manifold circled in aqua blue back by the firewall, or tie a string or bungee cord around a runner and hook it to the hood to hold it up. If your car is driven by cable, you will more than likely need to pop the cable out of its little clips on the front of the manifold. Pop open the two metal tabs circled in red that hold your timing belt cover on and just move it back a smidge.
There are now eight 10 mm bolts holding that valve cover on circled in green. Socket, small extension if needed, socket wrench: The little plastic piece next to the timing belt, and on the other side, the metal bracket holding up a bundle of wires can come off for cleaning.
The two rails running along the valve cover can come off unclip your spark plug wires from the front rail. Pull off your valve cover and peel off the old gasket. I would recommend cleaning all the old oil off this stuff.