Replacing Valve Cover Gaskets

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by WolfWalksSoftly, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. WolfWalksSoftly

    WolfWalksSoftly Level II -Inappropriate

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    Need to replace the Valve Cover gaskets on a 89 Dodge truck. Havent done any for about 20 years. Whats the best route to go now days, cork? rubber?
    Used to have a Chevy that would always leak eventually no matter what was used...even tried silicone without the gaskets..which seemed to last longer.
    Scott
     
  2. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Go with the silicone ask the parts guy which one. Put it on and let sit for 20 minutes or so before installing. All metel needs to be fairly clean.

    mikell
     

  3. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, had a Olds 350 V8 at one time. Tried cork, rubber/cork, and neoprene valve cover gaskets. No go on any of them. They all leaked, assume valve cover flanges were warped. Cleaned surfaces bright and shiney (no oily film) with wire brush in angle grinder. Put nice thick bead of copper silicone (most oil resistant) on both valve cover flanges and on head where they seat. Gently put covers on engine without squeezing any silicone out, loosely put bolts into place. Left it sit overnight. Next day tightened bolts just until tiniest bit of hardened silicone showed. No leaks and never did leak while I owned it. Course silicone used this way can be a pain if you want to remove the valve covers.
     
  4. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    My experience on an old Mopar was the dodge factory gaskets were better than any after markets i used.Just an aside for you Mopar guys.
    BooBoo
     
  5. WolfWalksSoftly

    WolfWalksSoftly Level II -Inappropriate

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    Thanks for the replies. This has been the first Mopar I have owned,always been a Chevy truck owner. Couldnt pass up the deal on this 89 4x4. Its been a great truck so far.
     
  6. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Be sure the oil return ports are open and clear, if not the oil can become pressurized and force its way out at any weak point. This also helps prevent smokeing from the tail pipe.
     
  7. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    the #1 cause of leaky gaskets aint the gasket its the tourqe sequence and not having al the bolts of equal tightness, and having them too tight.

    i have generally found a good quality cork/rubber composit gasketwith copper gasket goo RUBBED INTO the surface then let dry to the touch with a very well degreased metal surface and the proper tighness always works.

    but on the other hand I hvent found an automatic tranny pan I could keep from dripping, so go figure.
     
  8. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I'm late in responding to this one. I'm not sure which engine you have but here's my advice. Dodge has had valve cover sealing problems on some models. Fel-Pro has come out with better gaskets for some of these applications. they will still list the cork or rubber type but they also list the new improved design. The improved design will cost more but will fix the problem. The other original design gaskets will leak again requiring the job be done over. I do everything possible not to use the silicon for a gasket. To make it seal you usually end up putting too much which then squeezes out inside the cover. It will then break off and flow into the oil pan and possibly partially block the oil oickup screen. Besides that if you ever have to take the cover off,possibly because it didn't seal, you will end up distorting the cover when you pry it off so nothing will seal it then.
     
  9. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Thought id add, make sure you lay them on a flat surface and check for any sign of them being warped.Also check the bolt holes in the covers to make sure they are not dimpled in,from over tightening the bolts(they usually are!).If there dimpled just lay something flat and hard under them and tape the top with a hammer to flatten them back out.Sorry no help for warped ones. :waa:

    As said i also do not like to use sealer,for the above mentioned reasons.Had to replace a lifter/push rod in an old engine one time.The lifter had a little piece of permatex stuck in it,blocking the oil flow threw it. ;) It even worse in side a auto tranny.Lots of very small passages in there.A very thin coat is enough if you must use it.If it squeezes out when you tighten the bolts you have used to much. :eek:

    I usually use copper coat in a spray can to hold gaskets in place while i put things back together.Just spray on a thin coat and let it tack for a min or so.Very sticky stuff.But its easily removed when the time comes. ;)