valve cover gasket replacement -

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post #1 of 6 Old 01-18-2005, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Alleghany Springs & Warm Springs, VA
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valve cover gasket replacement

I just had a few questions about changing my valve cover gasket. I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to engine work. Is this something I can do myself? how long should it take? Once the valve cover is off, is it difficult to remove old gasket? is there anything i need to do to prevent crap from falling into engine? Is there any thing else I need to know before I start? i don't have a torque wrench. does autozone offer them as loaners?
I've read about some people changing there own, but couldn't find any detailed instructions. i have a Haynes manuel, but can't find anything in it about changing the valve cover gasket


89 XJ Laredo
4-Speed Automatic AW4 Transmission
Dana M30 Front Axle Dana M35 Rear Axle
3.55 Axle Ratio
BDS 3" lift w/ 31x10.50 Pro Comp MT's
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-18-2005, 11:40 AM
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im sure somewhere in there theres a place that tells you how to change it.. but basically you need to remove any hoses comming out of it those are thebreather and ccv hoses if so equiped and then remove the bolts holding it down.. be carefull not to strip or break any bolts.. and trick can be to get the engine running temp so all the metal expands then loosen the bolts and remove them more easyer.. then pull the cover off. it may be a little stuck but tapping it with a rubber mallet will cure that... pop it off and cover the inner workings of the engine with a rag to make sure that -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= doesnt get on there then scrape the old gasket off and put a new one on. reverse the steps. you may have some gasket on the engine too that needs to be scraped off, just be carefull not to get any into the inner workings.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-18-2005, 12:30 PM
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just use blue stuff, no gasket required..... Valve covers are not usually torque specific because their only functionality is to keep oil in and dirt out. Just don't over tighten or you will strip the threads in the head.


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post #4 of 6 Old 01-18-2005, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the advice

went to advance today. bought fuel filter, valve cover gasket and a small tube of RTV. now I just have to wait for it to warm up. seems simple enough. i'll just take my time.

figures last week, when I was out of town, it was in the 60's. now that I'm back, it's in the teens!

89 XJ Laredo
4-Speed Automatic AW4 Transmission
Dana M30 Front Axle Dana M35 Rear Axle
3.55 Axle Ratio
BDS 3" lift w/ 31x10.50 Pro Comp MT's
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-18-2005, 04:53 PM
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make sure you seal it good, or it'll leak like my 2.5 did...
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-18-2005, 05:04 PM
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Just a note: if your valve cover is warped, it will leak no matter how hard you try to seal it. Once you get it off, lay it on a flat surface & see whether it is warped.

A gasket scraper is very handy for getting the old RTV seal off. Scrapers are available at but I think they should be available at places like Autozone . . . maybe.

I replaced the RTV seal on mine TWICE & it still leaked (b/c I was impatient, didn't let it set up long enough, & then didn't let it dry long enough). So I finally had the mechanic do it. He used both a gasket of some kind as well as the RTV sealant. Now no leaks (well, I also had to have the oil filter housing re-sealed w/new O-rings, & had to have my rear main oil seal replaced, then I had no more leaks).

2WD '96 XJ Country 4.0 auto -- 134,000 miles
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