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Unread 02-17-2005, 11:53 AM   #1
erickpl
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2.5L Valve head cover leak

What is the best way to get rid of the persistent valve cover leak?

My plan was to remove the head cover, clean both surfaces, reseal, and rebolt to torque spec. Would I need to replace the head cover?


Anybody know the best ways to get to the rear bolts easily and be able to torque them properly?

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Unread 02-18-2005, 01:27 AM   #2
1986Comanche
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I would say replace the valve cover gasket and torque it down. Only use sealant if the gasket calls for it. I know the valve cover gasket on my 2.5L is rubber and doesn't have any sealant on it. Be sure not to over tighten the bolts. Thats what causes them to leak again. It squeezes the gasket out. Also check the grommets on the valve cover where the PCV valve and the other breather on the back of the valve cover goes. They tend to leak around those when they get old and dryed out. Might have to replace the Grommets.
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Unread 02-18-2005, 07:10 AM   #3
erickpl
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My 97 calls for a RTV gasket - I WISH it was a rubber gasket. The grommets are looking good - I replaced them when I first tried to fix the leak.

My suspicion is that I either over or under-torqued the head cover bolts. I'll verify the torque specs with my manual before I get going. I've got deep sockets and some elbow joints now to make reaching all of them a bit easier.
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Unread 02-18-2005, 09:06 AM   #4
BamaJeeper
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Go to autozone and get a felpro gasket. It's a cork gasket with a thin rubber coating. As long as you clean the mating surfaces and install it WITHOUT rtv it won't leak. Just torque the bolts and studs until snug.
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Unread 02-18-2005, 09:29 AM   #5
erickpl
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Have you used that gasket? Do you have a 4cyl? I'm just concerned that if I'm using a cork/rubber gasket when I should be using RTV, I'll have problems. Do they even make one for a 2.5L 4cyl TJ?

I just talked with AutoZone and they said you COULD use RTV with it. I'm a bit skeptical of using both. Do you use this gasket in your TJ?

If I could get around having to use RTV in that area, I'd be VERY happy.
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Unread 02-18-2005, 10:44 AM   #6
das_beater
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You might also run into another issue, if it is an old 4-banger (early YJ version) and it has the original valve cover, the valve cover may need to be replaced. The originals had a tendency to warp over time and made it impossible to get a good seal. As far as I know there are no aftermarket replacement valve covers, so your only real option would be to go to a dealer or try to find a used one if possible. There is a revision number stamped on the inside of the valve cover, I think the most recent revision was "N." The replacement valve cover was enough to stop my leaks, when a replacement gasket did nothing.
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Unread 02-18-2005, 11:29 AM   #7
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I have a 97 TJ. Hopefully that isn't a problem. I am going there today to pick up a throttle spring for my hand throttle and I'll ask about it then.
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Unread 02-18-2005, 02:47 PM   #8
1986Comanche
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I doubt the valve cover is warped on your 1997. I would bet it just needs a new gasket and I would say if it calls for RTV sealant on the 1997 then use it.
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Unread 02-18-2005, 03:10 PM   #9
erickpl
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I guess I could try RTV one more time... but the idea of using a gasket and not getting RTV everywhere really appeals to me...

Why would RTV work better than a gasket on that engine?

If somebody is using a gasket on a 2.5L 4cyl, can you give feedback to how well it works/doesn't work?
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Unread 02-19-2005, 03:27 AM   #10
BamaJeeper
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I don't give advice unless I have learned from personal experience.
Yes I am using the felpro gasket and have been for two years with no leaks.
Using RTV will just make a PITA mess if you ever have to remove the valve cover again.
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Unread 02-20-2005, 09:02 PM   #11
erickpl
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Well, I picked up the Felpro gasket... some people have told me a very fine layer (not a full bead) of RTV will help ensure a good seal. Think it is worthwhile or should I just run it straight? Guess I COULD try it w/o and if it leaks, take it off and add some...

Strategy sound reasonable?
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Unread 02-20-2005, 11:54 PM   #12
BamaJeeper
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RTV is NOT needed. It will seal just fine without it since the cork gasket has something similar to rtv on it.
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Unread 02-21-2005, 02:08 AM   #13
1986Comanche
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After looking in my factory shop manual it says to use RTV sealant on the valve cover gasket. I assumed it didn't have any sealant because it is rubber. I can see the gasket, but I've never messed with it. Mines going to need a gasket soon too. Its leaking and I need to change the grommets in the valve cover too. Truck has almost 166,000 miles on it and I don't know when the gasket was changed last. Will be a job for when the weather gets warmer. If it was me I would put a light coating of RTV on both sides of the gasket just to be sure it seals. There is no need for a big bead of sealant though.
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Unread 02-21-2005, 07:23 PM   #14
erickpl
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Just wanted to give y'all a followup. I got the Felpro gasket yesterday and installed it this morning. The Felpro is basically a cured rubber gasket with a bit of metal in it to help it maintain rigidity and shape.

I put a very fine layer of RTV on it to help keep it in place and seal up any grooves or rough surfaces my engine may have. Installed just fine.

So far no leaks, but I still need to degrease the engine from the previous leaks to see if I got it all.

I'll keep ya posted. Thanks for all the tips!
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Unread 02-21-2005, 10:33 PM   #15
1986Comanche
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Sounds good. Glad to hear you got the gasket on. I don't think you'll have any trouble with it leaking.
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