View Full Version : Valve cover gasket

01-03-2003, 01:48 PM
I have a small leak, leaking onto my exhaust manifold on the drivers side. In the Haynes manual there are only a 4.0 and the v-8 engine valve cover gasket descriptions that I can find.
After searching the Forums, I came to understand that I do have a valve cover gasket, and that it is probubly my problum. I also realize I need to remove the intercooler hoses, and probublt the SC top since I don't have a spanner wrench. I am not sure what exactly I will encounter above the exhaust manifold in the area of the valve cover gasket once I get in there. I would imagine that just tightening the bolts may resolve the issue, but if it is not much more work, I would like to replace the gasket while I have everything removed.
Do I need a torque wrench for those bolts? If so whats the poundage? Any help is greatly appreciated ...

01-03-2003, 02:02 PM
i took the easy way out... i set it in to get fixed. 260$ later i got my car back better than ever, they even cleaned my engine :O) how thoughtful huh!? haha

01-03-2003, 02:17 PM
You probably won't need a new gasket. The bolts-n-studs work their way loose and usually just tightening them will fix the problem. I had the same problem.

They are a soft metal screwed into a soft metal with soft rubber.
You want them hand tight; 3 lbs MAX!
3 lbs would be about as tight as you could it it holding the ratchet by the head instead of the handle. Just like if you took a screwdriver to it and used mild torque. Shoot, even that might be too much. I hate to even say tight, a better term would be slightly more than snug. This will be sufficient to stop the oil leak.

01-03-2003, 04:30 PM
Thanks for the input. Honestly I figured that just "tightening" them should do the trick. I appreciate your input about the poundage, or lack there of! Any Idea for a time estimate to do this job? What all needs to come off for that project besides the IC tubes? Thanks again, Tom

01-03-2003, 04:41 PM
yea i had mine tightened first too.. but that lasted only a couple months.. then they couldnt be tightned any more... so your gonna have to do it soon anyway.

01-03-2003, 05:08 PM
Unfortunately, while the actual task of tightening the bolts is simple, gaining access to them is a pain. On the driver side, you have to remove the lower IC tube which means you have to pull the pwr steering pump bracket forward some. This means you have to remove the upper IC tube, the IC, the pump pulley, the bracket, numerous bolts, loosen the washer fluid reservoir.
I'll post more details later if you want.
If you've done it before, you can probably get it done in about 3-4 hours (1-1/2 to pull stuff off, 10 minutes to tighten, and about 1-1/2 to reassemble).

The pass side is much easier, you remove the intake tube (5 minutes), move the coolant reservoir out of the way, unbolt the compressor and move it aside; tighten things up and reassemble. Probably about an hour for that side.

I can't over stress this: Don't overtighten things.. the brackets are soft metal, the heads are soft metal, EVERTHING's soft metal. Nothing is made of steel anymore it seems. :rolleyes: If it "feels" firm and good, leave it. I've already stripped out a few bracket holes even with low torque.

FWIW, I tightened my valve covers about 1-1/2 years ago, and no leaks yet. Well, at least not to where my driveway is messy from leaking oil like it was. I'd suggest you remove the bolts, clean and use blue locktite on the threads. It should help.

01-03-2003, 07:27 PM
That soounds good. Thanks for the breakdown. I am not familiar with the pump pulley or the bracket you mentioned, and If you could let me know a little bit about the removal of the IC tubes(upper and lower) I would greatly appreciate it.
I have only had the car a month, and I had to replace the radiator right off and other than that, I have simply been reading and looking around from underneath and up top to find out the ins and outs of whats under there (hood).
Upon looking at the IC tubes, it seems pretty straight forward. I did read about the SC top getting pulled off enabling access without taking that huge "nut" off that normally requires a spanner wrench. Any thoughts on that? Thanks again, any help is a blessing!!:)

01-03-2003, 08:44 PM
If you have a quarter inch drive set with a couple of universal joints and a couple of extensions with one of them being a 6 inch extension and use your imagination you can tighten all the valve cover gasket bolts without removing anything.


01-04-2003, 02:47 AM
Actually, if you have a deep 8mm socket and a flexilble link, I think its doable without removing anything either. With the time+effort, its worth looking for the flex link.

01-04-2003, 05:05 AM
If the gaskets are old and have shrunk then tighening wont help much. The gaskets have metal inserts to prevent overtightening. It will help slow it down though. Eventually you get tired of smelling the burnt oil on the exhaust manifolds.

01-04-2003, 10:09 AM
Can you tell me what is involved in the replacemet of the gasket once I get the neccessary components( IC tubes etc.) removed? Is there a sealant to be used on the gasket before installation?

01-05-2003, 04:34 AM
Here is what I did:

Mark a line across the lower IC tube connection and where it connects to the bypass vavle section. This way when you are ready to rebolt the connection back together you can get it in the factory position and have the IC tubes line up properly the first time. To remove the EGR you will probably have to remove the

Unbolt the SC to intake bolts, remove 2 bolts that connect EGR from the SC inlet, remocve SC top (leave the big coupling nut alone) ,upper and lower IC tubes, and intake connction with three bolts. This way you can pull the SC, TB and bypass assembly off as one unit. Now you can do valve covers like any n/a V6.

Seal all IC tube connections with Copper RTV. Clean the factory IC tape off and put a thin even coat of RTV on each side to be connected. Install the bottom IC tubes first and the the SC top and upper IC tube. Use RTV for the SC top as well. I have used both Black and Copper, RTV, but Copper is more heat tolerant and therefore recommended. I reused the oval intake gasket and just applied copper rtv to both sides.


01-05-2003, 12:05 PM
Thanks Jerry. I have black RTV silicone type 270 sealant. Is it what you referred to as black? I couldn't find the copper at the parts store, so bought this, as it was only a few dollars. How long did it take you to do this project?... your advice is greatly appreciated. Tom:)

01-06-2003, 01:17 AM
I did the following at 100,000 miles:

New motor mounts
valve cover gaskets
cleaned the egr
new silicone hose for egr sensor
timing chain
water pump
all new hoses

The car was down about a week. I would estimate about 24 hours labor to do all the work. I removed all of the front mounted accessories to get at the motor mounts.