replace valve cover gaskets.... how to? (Page 1/1)
branger DEC 14, 03:48 PM
Hey gang, I had a coolant leak, turned out to be simple... rad cap. However, mechanic tells me oil leak and valve cover gaskets should be replaced. I've never attempted that, Its a 1986, 2m6m, V6... Is this a tough job?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
David Hambleton DEC 14, 09:04 PM
I don't wish to diminish the excellent advice proffered on this forum, but your obvious Fiero Specific Malady merits obtaining a FSM antidote (Factory Service Manual) available on CD or paper:

As a pretend mechanic, I find the official FSM info very helpful. There are other, sometimes better ways, but the FSMs are excellent reference material and (for an addict) fun casual browsing.
cmechmann DEC 14, 11:33 PM
You are going to find that anytime you work on a older car you can open a can of worms when doing the simplest task. Especially when they have been sitting for a while. Wire looms crumble when you move harnesses. Vacuum lines break when you touch them. Bolts that just don't want to come off. Ect. Remember this anytime that you have to move anything plastic.
Valve covers are fairly straight forward, but there are some hidden stuff. It can be done without pulling the upper intake. However I would suggest when you are a virgin to this engine, I would pull it for 2 reasons.
First to make it so you can see what you have to work around especially the front cover. Sometimes there are brackets to hold stuff that are also bolted down with the valve cover. Those little annoying ones that hold, wires, vacuum lines even sometimes dipstick tubes. If you can't see them they can drop down in places you don't want them at. Along with the other stuff that is there anyway. When you have the upper plenum/intake off, you can address some issues that you are going to most likely run into anyway. There are a series of nylon/plastic vacuum lines that run around under it and should be replaced. Can;t count the number of times someone thought they had a bad map sensor or fuel regulator problem when there was a broken vacuum line they couldn't see. Also there is an flexible metal EGR tube that are very common of cracking and causing leaks.
Second. You can get a 3/8" extension in between the intake and the valve cover but you have to "slide" it along the valve cover passed vacuum lines and wiring. Just a pain. Highly suggest 1/4" tools with at least a 6" extension and a swivel socket for the valve cover bolts is worth buying just for that.
After you clean the cover off and do what you want(paint, polish) glue the gasket to the covers with yellow weather stripping adhesive. I wouldn't use the solid rubber or solid cork gaskets. Try to find the gaskets that are a mix of both. Make sure it is dry and the gasket won't move around before putting them back on. Make sure you don't have anything pinched under it (vacuum lines, wiring) when putting them back down.
Patrick DEC 15, 02:25 AM

Originally posted by branger:

...mechanic tells me oil leak and valve cover gaskets should be replaced.

Before pulling the valve covers because of an "oil leak", make sure the oil isn't actually coming from the base of the distributor (due to a petrified rubber O-ring). This is a common issue.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 12-15-2018).]

sledcaddie DEC 15, 10:39 AM
Yes, working on anything as old as these cars brings to mind the statement, "while I'm in here doing this (valve covers) I might as well do.............." and the list goes on. Change valve cover gaskets, change oil pan gaskets, replace valve seals, replace broken exhaust bolt, replace plastic vacuum lines with stainless steel, drop cradle/engine, replace cradle bushings, replace motor mounts,................. I heard a statement on the Velocity Channel that says it all, including Fiero's. "The work is never done on an old hot rod".
fierofool DEC 15, 11:25 AM
It's very likely that you will need to pull the intake manifolds in order to remove the front valve cover with the engine in the car and as said above, that brings many other things into the picture that might need to be addressed. Some things that you discover and some things that you've created.

Inspect all your plastic vacuum lines while the intake is off. If you find a crack, be sure to have some heat shrink tubing on hand unless you plan to replace them with the stainless lines.
branger DEC 16, 01:31 AM
I've decided to have a shop do the valve cover gaskets and put a tracer in the oil to see if any other leaks pop up later. While they are at it, having them change out plugs and plug wires while it's apart. But I Will attempt to do a brake booster upgrade and maybe some brake work in the spring. Start with the easy stuff.

[This message has been edited by branger (edited 12-16-2018).]