96 SE Leaking Valve Covers - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 10-24-2008, 05:20 PM   #1
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Default 96 SE Leaking Valve Covers

I have a 96 SE with a 3.8...I have identifed oil leaking from the valve covers. Rear seem to leak worse than front. I am wondering if anyone has any great advice/procedures on replacing the valve cover seals. I got a price of $12 for the seals (without grommets) this is a Felpro gasket set. good choice? Do I need the grommets? leaking doesn't seem to be from the grommets but along the edges of the covers.

Any ideas on the best way to go about replacing them would be appreciated. '

would switching to 5w30 from 10w30 have any effect on it leaking more or faster? I see that the oil filler cap say 10w but I think a quick change place put 5w in ,

There is a lot of oil arond the oil pan.. I was thinking about replacing that gasket too...got a qoute of $39 for a Felpro gasket... good choice? Thought I might wait until I did the valve covers and see if some of the oil I'm seeing isn't migrating down from the rear valve cover to the outside of the pan

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Old 10-25-2008, 05:12 AM   #2
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You are on the right track for doing the job. It is very common. Front should be straight forward with the rear you will find to torque the bolts properly, you will need to remove the bracket that holds down the back of the engine cover, fuel lines and O2 connector.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:37 AM   #3
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DO NOT over torque the valve covers or you will have another leak. 7 foot pounds, but get a inch pound torque wrench, that'* 84 inch pounds.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:22 PM   #4
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Update..I did the front valve cover and it went real smooth...didn't have time to do the rear, I will try to do that this week or weekend. I could see how flattened out the old gasket (102,000 miles) was .
Like I said befor it seemed like the rear was leaking worse than the front...so I'm excited to see how it works when I get the back one done...

I am planning to pull the alternator, since I also need to pull the belt tensioner in order to change the coolant elbow into the LIM which seems to be the cause of a slight coolant leak.

One really stupid thing I did while doing the front was...not getting my magnetic parts dish out to put the cover bolts in...and one of them rolled and dropped in behind the driver'* side headlight..also a grommet popped out and fell down below the engine onto the shield... So I had a little extra disassembly and reassembly to get by hardware back...all because I didn't take the time to
"do it right/smart the first time" it all turned out okay...but it'* a lesson well learned...
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:31 PM   #5
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I always say, get everything you need out and organized. Saves a lot of time, frustration, and profanity.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:57 PM   #6
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Got the rear done last night...lots of stuff to move out of the way..but seems like a success, didn't drop any parts this time.

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