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Valve cover gasket: Can I do this? by waynrayn
Started on: 06-04-2015 01:15 PM
Replies: 21 (1457 views)
Last post by: jaskispyder on 06-11-2015 07:13 AM
waynrayn
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Report this Post06-04-2015 01:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for waynraynClick Here to Email waynraynSend a Private Message to waynraynEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hi All:

I took my 87 SE in for an oil change to the local Pontiac dealer. I had also noticed that I was getting drips on either side of the engine. One appeared to be oil, the other transmission fluid.

I was told that the first recommendation was to replace the valve cover gasket with a "Perma Dry Plus" gasket. This is in Canada, prices are higher, and at $52 CAD this gasket is touted to be far superior to cork or rubber. Quote is about $300 for parts and labour, including "approx. 4 cans brake kleens," apparently to clean off the valve cover and vicinity in this case.

I am wondering if this is a job that I can do. It would be the most advanced for me so far. I've replaced my heating coil, changed headlight gears, and recently disassembled my steering column to fix its tilt wobbling (successfully). Engine, not so much.

Is there a pictorial guide to this? Or would experienced members say this is best left to a certified mechanic? I have seen this online, but I wish there were pictures:

http://floridafieros.org/osg/valve-covers.html

The second diagnosis is that the transmission side cover gasket is dripping, and "it appears trans may have to be removed to replace this gasket." Quote for this is $380 CAD. I'm leery about this. It seems ridiculously expensive for a gasket, yet I think it's best left to a pro. But I would like to try the valve cover gasket if this is feasible.

Any suggestions as to whether I can reasonably attempt this would be appreciated. If I can save costs on the v/c gasket, I can apply them to the trans side cover gasket.

Regards,

waynrayn

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jaskispyder
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Report this Post06-04-2015 01:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The Fiero uses molded gaskets and I would recommend Fel-Pro.

Yes, you can do this work, but you will need to take the Intake plenum off also.
 
quote
Originally posted by waynrayn:

Hi All:

I took my 87 SE in for an oil change to the local Pontiac dealer. I had also noticed that I was getting drips on either side of the engine. One appeared to be oil, the other transmission fluid.

I was told that the first recommendation was to replace the valve cover gasket with a "Perma Dry Plus" gasket. This is in Canada, prices are higher, and at $52 CAD this gasket is touted to be far superior to cork or rubber. Quote is about $300 for parts and labour, including "approx. 4 cans brake kleens," apparently to clean off the valve cover and vicinity in this case.

I am wondering if this is a job that I can do. It would be the most advanced for me so far. I've replaced my heating coil, changed headlight gears, and recently disassembled my steering column to fix its tilt wobbling (successfully). Engine, not so much.

Is there a pictorial guide to this? Or would experienced members say this is best left to a certified mechanic? I have seen this online, but I wish there were pictures:

http://floridafieros.org/osg/valve-covers.html

The second diagnosis is that the transmission side cover gasket is dripping, and "it appears trans may have to be removed to replace this gasket." Quote for this is $380 CAD. I'm leery about this. It seems ridiculously expensive for a gasket, yet I think it's best left to a pro. But I would like to try the valve cover gasket if this is feasible.

Any suggestions as to whether I can reasonably attempt this would be appreciated. If I can save costs on the v/c gasket, I can apply them to the trans side cover gasket.

Regards,

waynrayn


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Report this Post06-04-2015 01:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for css9450Click Here to Email css9450Send a Private Message to css9450Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Even easier if its a 4-cyl.

That side cover on the trans is doable but a little on the tight side. People replace them all the time to replace the TCC solenoid, for example. You can do it be like I said its tight.
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Report this Post06-04-2015 01:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
trans side cover... and if I was taking it off, I would replace the TCC.

http://www.kichline.com/chuck/fiero/TCC.htm

Intake removal instructions: http://www.autozone.com/rep..._/P-0900c152801da8cb

Once you get this off, the valve covers are right there. I recommend changing spark plugs at this time, as there is more room on the front side.

[This message has been edited by jaskispyder (edited 06-04-2015).]

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Patrick
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Report this Post06-04-2015 02:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by waynrayn:

... my 87 SE


This is a prime example of why it should be mandatory for people to at least state what engine they're inquiring about. A lot of us don't know whether an '87 SE comes with a duke or a V6. The advice offered will vary greatly depending on which engine is being discussed.

Replacing the valve cover gasket on a 2.5 is relatively simple. The 2.8 requires a lot more work, but is still certainly doable for a backyard mechanic.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 06-04-2015).]

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theogre
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Report this Post06-04-2015 02:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:
trans side cover... and if I was taking it off, I would replace the TCC.

http://www.kichline.com/chuck/fiero/TCC.htm

Correct solenoid w/o cutting/splicing wires... ACDELCO Part # 8689901 at RA under Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid

L4 valve cover is best w/ a new cover, oil cap, (Dorman sells as a kit. TFS carries them.) and FEL-PRO Part # VS50179T PermaDry PlusĀ®
New cover have new rubbers for PCV parts and screw cap.
That gasket have new bolts, load spreaders, etc. Watch bolt Torque value... Value are for clean and dry holes and bolts.

------------------
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave (It's also at the top and bottom of every forum page...)

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 06-04-2015).]

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jaskispyder
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Report this Post06-04-2015 02:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Which engine? 2.5 or 2.8? 2.5 is easy to change, hard to keep from leaking
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Report this Post06-04-2015 02:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:
This is a prime example of why it should be mandatory for people to at least state what engine they're inquiring about. A lot of us don't know whether an '87 SE comes with a duke or a V6. The advice offered will vary greatly depending on which engine is being discussed.

Yes but V6 doesn't get PermaDryPlus gasket kit. Does get PermaDry set (VS50077R) cost $11-15 at RA and others.

 
quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:
2.5 is easy to change, hard to keep from leaking

easy yes, hard is wrong.
Most want cheap options and don't fix it right too. Leaking is a bad part or you did something wrong.
I used rubber gaskets w/ OE cover never had problems on any motor.
Currently 87 l4 have above setup and PCV rubber and cap seals better then OE.

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 06-04-2015).]

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waynrayn
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Report this Post06-04-2015 03:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for waynraynClick Here to Email waynraynSend a Private Message to waynraynEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Apologies for not conveying enough information. I thought the SE always designated a 4-cylinder. The VIN is engine code "R," it is a 2.5 liter L4 engine.

I appreciate the responses very much. Am working, so may not be able to go over all detailed info here immediately, but will tonight if not earlier.

Regards,

~W~
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jaskispyder
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Report this Post06-04-2015 03:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by waynrayn:

Apologies for not conveying enough information. I thought the SE always designated a 4-cylinder. The VIN is engine code "R," it is a 2.5 liter L4 engine.

I appreciate the responses very much. Am working, so may not be able to go over all detailed info here immediately, but will tonight if not earlier.

Regards,

~W~


A person could order a 2.8L in the 86-87SE and many went with the 2.8l. The 2.5l is not as popular. As for fixing this yourself. Yes, the 2.5 is much easier than the 2.8l. They are charging you a lot of money to replace it. It would be about 1 hr labor or less, for any good mechanic. As mentioned, get a new valve cover (and oil filler cap if it doesn't come with one) and replace it as a unit. The old cover will be bent and instead of trying to fix it, just replace it.

[This message has been edited by jaskispyder (edited 06-04-2015).]

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Report this Post06-04-2015 03:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

Yes but V6 doesn't get PermaDryPlus gasket kit.


So because a "PermaDryPlus gasket kit" was mentioned by the OP, I'm supposed to know that this rules out the V6?

Sorry Ogre, I'm not that much of a gearhead.

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Report this Post06-04-2015 03:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Patrick

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Member since Apr 99
 
quote
Originally posted by waynrayn:

Apologies for not conveying enough information. I thought the SE always designated a 4-cylinder.


Dammit, just post what engine you have from now on.

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waynrayn
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Report this Post06-04-2015 03:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for waynraynClick Here to Email waynraynSend a Private Message to waynraynEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A question then about new valve covers. I read the following:

"No matter what I do, my valve cover leaks oil. I've tried replacing the gasket, using RTV, etc, and they all leak... I had the same problem on an 87 4-cyl., and no matter what I did, nothing helped (incl. RTV) until I got a cast aluminum valve cover from The Fiero Store. The flange on the flimsy stamped steel cover just gets bent too easily, so you can't apply enough pressure on the gasket, which would be especially important if the sealing surface on the head is poorly machined, like it is on mine."

Is a cast aluminum valve cover the way to go?
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Report this Post06-04-2015 03:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I don't believe they are available anymore, other than used (or NOS)..... they were made by Holley.

 
quote
Originally posted by waynrayn:

A question then about new valve covers. I read the following:

"No matter what I do, my valve cover leaks oil. I've tried replacing the gasket, using RTV, etc, and they all leak... I had the same problem on an 87 4-cyl., and no matter what I did, nothing helped (incl. RTV) until I got a cast aluminum valve cover from The Fiero Store. The flange on the flimsy stamped steel cover just gets bent too easily, so you can't apply enough pressure on the gasket, which would be especially important if the sealing surface on the head is poorly machined, like it is on mine."

Is a cast aluminum valve cover the way to go?


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Report this Post06-05-2015 01:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by waynrayn:
A question then about new valve covers. I read the following:

"No matter what I do, my valve cover leaks oil. I've tried replacing the gasket, using RTV, etc, and they all leak... I had the same problem on an 87 4-cyl., and no matter what I did, nothing helped (incl. RTV) until I got a cast aluminum valve cover from The Fiero Store. The flange on the flimsy stamped steel cover just gets bent too easily, so you can't apply enough pressure on the gasket, which would be especially important if the sealing surface on the head is poorly machined, like it is on mine."

Is a cast aluminum valve cover the way to go?

W/o a link to whatever I don't know what was wrong or cover was too damage by repeatedly replacing the gasket/seal. Metal hates bending then trying to fix the bends. each time the metal hates it even more and weaken the area bent.

I've been doing this for many years. Every time I hear "the cover is leaking again" then whoever did the work cause the problem 99.x% of time. Just 4 examples:
Gasket crush and/or cover bent for over torquing the bolts.
Seal areas are not clean of all oil/grease etc. Some Cleaners leave crap behind and cause seal fails too.
Bolts and holes are not clean and dry but still torque the bolts to OE specs. Oily Hardware torque to OE spec means way too tight for most things. (Some bolts require sealer/oil but that is an exception.)
Bolts and holes etc are not clean and dry yet wonder why the bolt get loose then seal fails.

Replacing w/ another type like Al aftermarket covers have problem too. Mainly for same reasons I just said.

Get parts above.
Above gasket kit trying to limit the crush effort but you still can over torque the bolts. Perma Dry Plus Gasket have new directions for use.
If you can't get 1/4" torque wrench that reads In/lb and clean then holes... then treat the wrench gently. Use ratchet handle at or near the head and tighten w/ just fingers.
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Report this Post06-05-2015 06:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for newfiejeffClick Here to Email newfiejeffSend a Private Message to newfiejeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes I agree overtigthening is the biggest problem.
I am after replacing mine a few times and the best one so far is the rubber one, but it's still leaking just a little in one corner(not worth talking about).
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Report this Post06-05-2015 05:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NotorioSend a Private Message to NotorioEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Making 'note to self' ... perhaps one should check the cover flanges for flatness b/4 putting on the new gasket, just in case the covers have been severely over-tightened by a PO ...
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Report this Post06-08-2015 01:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for waynraynClick Here to Email waynraynSend a Private Message to waynraynEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks very much for the replies thus far. I've been too busy to get to the Fiero, and will be away for three days this week, but very much appreciate the responses. Will reference all of them as time permits.
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Report this Post06-08-2015 02:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've never done a side cover. The most annoying thing about doing the valvecover is removing and reinstalling the egr for me. A little wrench that can only move about 1/8 turn at a time on the one side if I remember right.
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Report this Post06-08-2015 02:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:
I've never done a side cover. The most annoying thing about doing the valvecover is removing and reinstalling the egr for me. A little wrench that can only move about 1/8 turn at a time on the one side if I remember right.

EGR: Use "Crow feet" socket(s) makes that allot easier.

IF OE EGR bolt heads are rotted then replace w/ normal 13mm head bolts and washers.
Use anti-seize and forget torque # in whatever books. Anti-seize is oil when you install bolts... Torque is for dry threads.

Side cover only if they leak. Leaking on side then first check/replace oil sender. Maybe Top of oil pump shaft, oil filter(Both for 84-87).
If they leak then likely some-one reinstall that poorly. Clean and make sure is good then reinstall w/ new gasket and high tack sealer/"glue."

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 06-08-2015).]

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Report this Post06-11-2015 03:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KillerFroggClick Here to Email KillerFroggSend a Private Message to KillerFroggEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
As far as the cork gaskets being prone to leaking, I can only speak from my own experience, but neither the one that was originally on my 2.5 or the new cork one that I put on when I did my overhaul has leaked at all.

Flatness and over tightening are a major issue. And going too light will also leak, but that is a given.

When I put my top end together, I used a gasket sealer/adhesive to stick the cork gasket to the valve cover. I believe it was a prematex brand goop. It worked like contact adhesive. Apply to gasket and valve cover separately, let it get tacky, then squish them together. Let it cure, and when you bolt the valve cover on it prevents the cork gasket from walking around.

I know not everyone has the time to, but I slowly tightened the valve cover down over about 2 days to let the cork mold to the head. Over kill sure but I had the time.
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Report this Post06-11-2015 07:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just a comment on cork... I couldn't get one to seal, unless the stars were aligned.

I finally found a cork/rubber/metal gasket from Victor Reinz and that stopped the leaks (even a single drip was too much as this was my convertible Fiero and you could smell the oil burning off). At least there are other options out there now.
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