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VIEW SOLUTIONS TO COMMON PROBLEMS
Valve Cover Gasket
Semi Circular Plugs
Spark Plug Tube Seals
Valve Cover Bolts
Select a part to view solution for common problems associated with the item.
Operation: The valve cover gasket forms the oil tight seal between the cylinder head and valve cover. Valve cover gaskets are made of cork or rubber and are designed to resist heat and oil. Advice: Valve cover gaskets become hardened and brittle over time. Use a suitable scraper or wire brush to completely remove the old gasket material. Aerosol gasket remover will help with this. Thoroughly clean all debris and sludge from the inside of the valve cover and the gasket surface of the cylinder head. Do not allow any sludge or debris to fall into the engine. If this happens, the oil pump screen can become restricted causing severe engine damage. Do not overtighten the valve cover bolts. It is also a good idea to change the oil and filter afterwards and inspect the PVC valve and breather filter as well. Recommendation: Scraper Wire brush Aerosol gasket remover Oil and filter PCV valve Breather filter
Operation: Gasket sealant is used to fill in the small imperfections in the gasket material and the sealing surfaces to be joined. Advice: Before deciding on which type gasket sealant that you need, take a good look at the gaskets that you are replacing. Many gaskets now come with a bead of sealant already applied. If the engine you are working on is computer controlled, make sure that any sealant you buy is safe for oxygen sensors. For paper and fibrous gaskets, a thin coat of sealant on both sides of the gasket is sufficient. Unless otherwise noted, there is no need to use gasket sealant on rubber gaskets. Recommendations: Gasket sealant
Operation: As the name implies, the valve cover bolts in place on top of the cylinder head and covers the valve train. Advice: Some valve covers are made of sheet metal and may bend due to over tightening. Before reinstalling the valve cover, place the gasket side down on a smooth flat surface. The edges of the valve cover should contact the flat surface all the way around. Any areas that are not touching should be carefully bent back into shape before reinstalling the valve cover. Do not over torque the valve cover bolts. Check the repair guides for the correct torque specifications for the vehicle that you are working on.
Operation: Some cylinder heads are designed with semi-circular cutouts to facilitate line boring of the camshaft retaining saddles. The valve cover gasket, for this design of cylinder head, utilizes semi-circular rubber end seals to cover the holes. Advice: Some gasket manufacturers offer a value-priced valve cover gasket that does not include the rubber end plugs. A concern is the reuse of the rubber end plugs causing a significant oil leak. The recommendation is to purchase a complete valve cover set which includes new rubber end plugs. Recommendations: Complete valve cover gasket set
Operation: On some engines the spark plugs are installed through holes in the top of the valve cover. The valve cover gasket for this design of engine utilizes large o-rings to seal the valve cover to the top of the spark plug tubes. Advice: Some gasket manufacturers offer a value-priced valve cover gasket that does not include the rubber o-rings for the spark plug tubes. A concern is the reuse of the rubber o-rings causing a significant oil leak. The recommendation is to purchase a complete valve cover set which includes new rubber o-rings. Recommendations: Complete valve cover gasket set
Operation: The valve cover bolts hold the valve covers in place. Advice: When removing the valve cover bolts, take careful note to any differences in length and in the design of the top of the bolts. Some valve cover bolts have specially designed heads that facilitate the attachment of plastic clips for retaining pieces of wiring harness or for routing spark plug wires. Make sure that these special bolts end up in their original locations.
Operation: Many PCV valves are housed in the valve cover. Advice: On many engines the valve cover contains baffles and passages for the PCV system. While you have the valve cover off, inspect these passages for crud or sludge buildup. If the PCV system is clogged or not functioning properly, pressure can build up in the crankcase causing oil leaks.
Advice: Small particles of dirt and old gasket sealant can fall into the engine while the valve covers are off. Changing the engine oil and filter after completing the job will help to remove these contaminants.