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Old 02-16-2011, 09:41 AM   #1
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Default Valve Covers Leaking

Yesterday I took a look around the Bonnie to check the damage winter'* caused so far. I noticed things looked pretty wet in the engine bay. I've been smelling oil burning for a while... Looked a little closer and it'* definitely time to get those valve cover gaskets changed.

I've never done this before, and I understand it should be pretty easy. Just need the gaskets and grommets, some time and some patience. I figure while they're off I'll paint them too. That being said, I have a couple of questions before I start...

1. While I'm painting the covers, do I need to cover the open area to keep dirt out or will it be fine just sitting for a couple hours?

2. What should I use to clean up the gasket surfaces, and will it hurt anything if a little of said cleaner runs down into the heads?

In other words, how careful do I have to be?

Thanks guys.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:03 AM   #2
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First..wipe under the edge of the valve cover before you remove them. This will help remove some of the built up grime that could get in when you pull them off.

When you have them off.. unless you ahve a sand storm, nothing should get in. It'* ok to leave the engine open.

Cleaning the covers, I've found purple power/simple green works well. Go ahead and soak them in a bucket etc to get that off them.

The head surface where the gasket sits, I prefer to clean this by spraying a rag with brake cleaner and using my finger to wipe the head surface. You don't want cleaners to get into your engine as they aren't good for the oiling system which is where they'd end up.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:18 PM   #3
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Sounds good. That'* pretty much what I was planning to do. Spray a rag and wipe it off.

Thanks again. I will let everyone know how it goes.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:10 PM   #4
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Changed the gaskets this morning. Took about two hours, working slow. Everything underneath the covers looks to be in good shape, no build-up or gunk to speak of.

I didn't end up painting them, it was too darn cold. Maybe I'll pull them again in the spring...
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