So, I started this project after hearing that the Firestone was going to charge $500 for a valve cover gasket and a spark plug and wire change. So I thought to myself, if I do this my self I will save a lot of money.
The first, and probably most important, step to this project is; making sure you have all the materials for the job. The first thing you need is, obviously, a valve cover gasket specific to your car. Now there an immense array of gaskets so choose wisely. The second, and equally as important, is your cleaning supplies. These supplies consist of brake cleaner, or some form of chemical solvent, a wire brush, some paper towels, and some razor blades. The objective to all this, is to clean the valve cover EXTREMELY well, but we will get to that in a minute. You will also need either a t40 bit or a socket. and some RTV. The RTV is just room temperature curing rubber. After all that, all you will need are the spark plugs and wires, if you choose to do a spark plug change.
Now, let’s get started with the dirty work. Your first step is to remove the valve cover. To do that you will need to dis connect all the hoses from the cover, aswell as the EGR vacuum solenoid. After that is done then you will just need to loosen then remove the bolts holding it down. In order to prevent the loss of these bolts, my suggestion is to take the cardboard box the gasket came in and make a templet out of it. The best way to do this is to punch holes in it, make sure you take the gasket out of the box first, and place the bolts in them in roughly the same way they were in the valve cover. After the bolts are out and in your template, you can remove the gaskets from the bolt holes, you will be replacing those too. Then try to pull it off, careful though, the valve cover may stick. If it does stick, you will have to very carefully slide a putty knife or a razor blade under the edge and pop it lose.
After all that, you have to clean it very well. You first goal is to get all of the old gasket off of the valve cover. Your wire brush is very valuable tool during this task. The biggest thing to avoid, is scaring the cover, so be very careful not to get a wire brush that is too stiff. If you scar the cover you will have a very hard time getting a good seal.
After the cover is clean, you need to do the same thing to the head; get it sparkly clean, but don’t scar it. After it is clean you will need to put some RTV on the head next to the timing chain.Then put you can put the gasket on the head, make sure the tabs go down and the taller side goes up. Then you will re place the bolt hole gaskets with the new ones and very carefully place the cover on the head. The next task is very important, you will have to put in the bolts and tighten tel down with you fingers. The most important part is that you tighten tem from the inside out. After you get the bolts finger tight, you will then torque them down. For this step you can either go buy a toque wrench and put 7 ft/lbs on it, or you can just tighten them till they hit the bottom and turn them 1/8th of a turn.
Now that your cover is on, replace the hoses and the EGR and you are good to go. One last thing though, you probably want to start your car and check for leaks, but you want to wait probably 12 hours before you drive it just to let the RTV cure.
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