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Old 8th May 2008, 02:49   #1
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Default Replacing a Valve Cover Gasket

I alway knew that my valve cover gasket was busted but one day driving to my office I smelt smoke in the cabin. The smoke smelt more of burnt oil than burnt insulation on wires. Pulled over, opened the hood to find oil dripping on the exhaust. Drove to a nearby mechanic who quoted an insane bill to replace the gasket .

I drive a 94 Ford Probe GT. The car is old. Friends and Parents say "Get rid of it!"..I cant! ..love her far too much, at the same time It makes no sense to spend so much on an old car which already has a fair list of things to be fixed. Only option? DIY!

I'm jolly glad spring is here and the skies were blue on the weekend. Did a little research on the net pulled out my tool box and I was all ready.

I was careful while loosening the screws. Got them all aligned in a logical pattern that would help later putting them back. Yes, they are different sizes based on their location. Got a chance to admire the DOHCs once the cover was out. Pulled out the Timing belt cover inspected the belt and found it to be in decent shape. This was turning out to be great fun.

When the excitement subsided, I found messy oil everywhere. The gasket was so worn out that oil had entered the holes the screw go into and not to mention the spark plugs as well. It was already late on a Friday evening, the Sun started to set and I wanted some beer too. I closed shop for the day, soaked the screws and the cover in gasoline, covered the engine with plastic and took more than an hour to wash the oil on my hands.

Day2: Was going to be hard work and indeed it was. Washed all the oil scum from the cover and set i to dry. Washed the spark plugs and the screws. It took 3 hours and I was already to get the torn gasket out.
If anyone else wants to try this I used a "70 clock" blade that I found in my room to get the old gasket out. It was a total B****! Took me more than an hour! Washed the corner and edges well set it out to dry while I cleaned the edges of the engine. Used gasket adhesive and the new gasket was in place. used some thing called a RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanizer) on the complex edges and I was all set. Placed the cover carefully and started placing the bolts. Started from the center and tightened the bolts in a star configuration so that I don't end up having one part of the cover more secure than other areas. Fixed the spar plugs and cranked the engine, she started up in the first attempt. Let the engine idle as I tided up the spark plug wires.
No more leaks, saved some $$$ that I can spend on her CV joint. Here are a few pics.
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Old 8th May 2008, 13:12   #2
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hpw about a paryt on your $$$ saved.... !!!
well you did a nice job.. and one really feel like working on his car when its loved .

looks like you lost your other teeth , i can only see two of them . lol..
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Old 8th May 2008, 13:27   #3
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Hey! Great job! And you must be a seasoned hand at this- working with a white t shirt on!
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Old 8th May 2008, 14:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestraveller View Post
I closed shop for the day, soaked the screws and the cover in gasoline, covered the engine with plastic...

...It took 3 hours and I was already to get the torn gasket out.
If anyone else wants to try this I used a "70 clock" blade that I found in my room to get the old gasket out. It was a total B****! Took me more than an hour!
I would have used a wood chisel or better still putty blade, to gently pry away whatever was left of the gasket, out. A little engine degreaser would have helped too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestraveller View Post
...she started up in the first attempt. Let the engine idle as I tided up the spark plug wires.
Oh man! I have had some painful high-tension shocks from touching the spark plus wires while the engine was idling. Guess, you lucked out.

Great post! Thanks.

Ram
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Old 8th May 2008, 14:42   #5
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Good post Bluestraveller, good to see that you saved some money so now go spend it on some quality beer!!
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