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Old 07-24-2009, 05:08 PM   #1
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Default DIY: Replace Valve Cover Gaskets

...guess what I did?

Warning – This is a long post!

Parts
1 right-side (driver) rocker gasket (Nissan part # 13270-8J112)
1 left-side (passenger) rocker gasket (Nissan part # 13270-8J102)

Tools
1 – 3/8” ratchet
1 – 1/4” ratchet
1 - 9/16” short and deep-well sockets
1 – 10mm short and deep-well sockets
1 – 1/4” ratchet extension
1 – 3/8” ratchet extension
1 – 1/4” universal joint
1- Needle Nose pliers
1 – Channel Lock pliers
1 – Common (flat head) Screwdriver
4 – Clean shop rags
1 – Can of canned air

Extras
I have the Haynes manual, but it is MAINLY FOR THE G35 and there are a host of other more technical tools that can help you, but the ones I listed above were perfect for me. I HIGHLY recommend you allocate a lot of time, patience, mechanical aptitude, patience, physical dexterity, and patience.

Getting Started
1. Make sure that the engine is cold (let the car sit for at least 8 hours prior to performing the work).
2. If you are performing the work outside, make sure that area above the engine bay is well-lit.
Because a LOT of reaching and leaning on the front fenders is required, unless you have a fender cover, make sure that your pockets are empty of keys, loose change, or cell phones. This will help protect your paint.
3. Look closely at the connectors and ties before pulling on anything.
4. Make sure that you keep all parts, hoses, and bolts together.
5. DO NOT remove any bolts from the fuel line (been there and done that (not good)).
6. Because there is a small angle to lift the LEFT SIDE valve cover, you will need to remove the spark plug covers from the valve cover before removing the valve cover.
7. When possible, use the long ratchet extensions, as they will prevent any unnecessary reaching and bending.
8. For the LEFT SIDE valve cover, you may need to use the universal joint to gain access to the second to the last bolt on the bottom (toward the rear of the cover).
9. Use common sense, but make sure that if you take something off or move it, that you remember where it belongs.
10. Remain patient and take your time.

Removing the Engine Brace
1. With the car off, in gear, and the emergency brake deployed, pop the hood.
2. Use the Needle Nose pliers and GENTLY squeeze the small clamps and push out the ties that are connected to the engine brace bracket on the RIGHT SIDE (driver) of the engine bay.
3. Use the 3/8” ratchet and 9/16” socket and completely remove the three bolts and one nut on the engine brace bracket located on the RIGHT SIDE (driver) of the engine bay.
4. Once the bracket is off loosen the nut CLOSEST to the brace and turn the brace CLOCKWISE (to the right) until it is free.

NOTE: You do not have to loosen or remove the engine brace bracket on the LEFT SIDE (passenger) of the engine bay. Also, be sure to place the brace, bolts, and nut together away from the car.

Removing the Air Intake

While these instructions are for removing the nismo cold air intake, some of the steps may apply to removing the stock intake as well. The best practice is to LOOK before your begin disassembling.

1. Use the common screwdriver to loosen the clamps that connect the hose (long pipe) to the manifold inlet and the center intake section.
2. BEFORE taking the pipe out of the engine bay, remove the hose that connects the pipe to the gasket cover and detach the cold air sensor from the bottom of the pipe’s middle section.
3. BEFORE taking the center house out of the engine bay, GENTLY un-clamp the sensor from the section. Once removed, place the section and clamps together with the intake pipe.
NOTE: There will be a series of hoses and connectors that require removal. THIS IS WHERE THE PATIENCE COMES IN, SO GET PREPARED!

Now that the air intake is off, you can get a good look at the gasket cover and the other parts that stand in between you and the easiest task of this entire project. BE MINDFUL OF THE HARNESS OF WIRES AND CONNECTORS (IN A BLACK SLEEVE) THAT IS WRAPPED AROUND THE ENGINE, AND MAKE A CAREFUL NOTE OF THEIR PLACEMENT AND CONNECTIONS.

Removing the Plenum

Looking at the top of the engine, there are six bolts on the top of the plenum and a series of bolts and nuts surrounding it.

1. Using the 10mm socket, remove all bolts and nuts on top of and around the plenum.
NOTE: Make careful note of which bolts belong to where, as not doing so may prolong reassembly.
2. After removing all bolts and nuts, get the needle nose pliers and prepare to remove two pipe hoses (one below the air intake (first) one behind the plenum (second)).
NOTE: For the pipe hose that runs underneath the air intake, I recommend that a towel be placed around the base of the hose so that little to no coolant gushes onto the engine (and believe me, it will gush).
3. Secure the needle nose pliers around the clamp prongs, gently squeeze, and simultaneously slide the clamp up the hose.
4. GENTLY twist the hose left and right until it loosens and SLOWLY raise it off the coolant pipe outlet (beware of the gush). If needed, use the channel lock pliers to twist the hose off the pipe outlet (but be gentle).
5. Repeat this step for the hose at the back of the plenum that runs to the engine block (I recommend you release the end of the hose at the block, as it is more accessible). This end will not gush as the gushing of coolant is complete.
6. Once the coolant hoses are free, slowly fish the first hose UNDER the harness that sits in front of the valve cover.
7. After all bolts, nuts, and hoses are removed, slowly lift the plenum off the manifold.
NOTE: Be sure to keep all plenum bolts, nuts, and hoses together.

Removing the Manifold

Looking at the top of the engine, there are six bolts in the center that secure the manifold gasket and two screws (one in the front and one in the rear of the manifold).

1. Using the 10mm socket, remove all bolts that secure the manifold gasket. Place the gasket and the screws together away from the car.
Loosen and remove the two manifold nuts.
NOTE: Be EXTRA careful when removing the nuts!!! Unless your sockets are magnetized, I recommend you loosen them just enough with the socket so that you can remove them by hand, as they are small and would be an absolute pain to find if you were to drop one anywhere near the engine block (been there, done that).
2. Once all bolts and nuts are removed, gently lift the manifold off the engine block. Place it near the manifold gasket along with the bolts and nuts.
TIP: To prevent debris from falling into the engine block, cover the center of the block (cylinder openings) with one of the clean shop rags.

Removing the Valve Covers: (Right Side – Driver)
1. Using the needle nose pliers, GENTLY squeeze the end of the tie and remove it from the valve cover (there are two of these).
2. Disconnect all wiring connectors around the valve covers (squeeze the BACK END of the connector until you hear a *click* and then slide the two ends apart).
NOTE: In the center of the valve cover, you will notice three caps. These are the spark plug covers. For the RIGHT SIDE (driver) valve cover, you DO NOT have to remove these, but you will need to remove them on the LEFT SIDE (passenger).
3. Using the 10mm socket, remove the sensor and bracket from in front of the valve cover.
4. Using the 10mm socket with an extender, remove the valve cover bolts.
5. Using the needle nose pliers, squeeze and slide the hose clamp away from the outlet on each valve cover air pipe.
6. GENTLY turn the hose back and forth to loosen it before totally removing it from the outlet.
7. GENTLY grab the hose outlet and pull. The valve cover will come off. Take your time to make sure that the spark plug cover and completely clear from the rocker area.

Replacing the Gaskets (Both Sides)
This is the moment that you have been waiting for!

1. If the gasket isn’t hanging from the valve cover, flip the cover upside down and remove the existing gasket from the groove.
2. Use a clean shop rag and remove any excess oil and debris.
3. Use the canned air and spray away any dirt and debris from the gasket grooves.
NOTE: I recommend you take this opportunity to wipe the valve covers down with a clean and damp shop rag to remove old dirt, sand, or other stuff that might be on the cover (somehow a mud dauber built a nest in my engine, so I had to clean that out too).
4. Use the clean and damp shop rag to remove any excess oil and debris from the rocker area where the valve cover will be re-assembled.
5. After a little sprucing up, the valve cover is ready for the new gasket.
Follow the grooves to correctly insert the new gasket.
NOTE: Make sure that the gasket is snug, so that it does not fall free out of the groove. If the gasket falls free and you manage to reassemble the engine, when you start your car, you may think you were Jed from the Beverly Hillbillies.

Reinstalling the Valve Covers(Applicable to both sides)
1. With the new gasket in the valve cover groove, carefully replace the valve cover onto the rocker area of the block. MAKE SURE THAT THE GASKET DOES NOT FALL OUT OF THE GROOVE.
2. Once the valve cover is in place, re-insert the valve cover bolts and connectors, and any other disconnected parts.
NOTE: Do not apply too much torque to the valve cover bolts and hold off on replacing any hoses until the LEFT SIDE gasket is replaced and its valve cover is re-assembled.

I hope you find this valuable. If you discover any discrepancies, please let me know.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Engine Cover Removed.JPG (102.6 KB, 815 views)
File Type: jpg harness.JPG (111.9 KB, 957 views)
File Type: jpg VC Removal RIGHT.JPG (137.9 KB, 1201 views)
File Type: jpg VC Removal LEFT.JPG (127.4 KB, 1007 views)
File Type: jpg Manifold Removal Part 2.JPG (125.8 KB, 1266 views)
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Last edited by filmmakerZ; 07-27-2009 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Uploading Pics...
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:13 PM   #2
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Very thorough for people in the future, good work.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:50 PM   #3
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in4pics
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. Here are some more pics:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Manifold Removal Part 1.JPG (118.3 KB, 606 views)
File Type: jpg Rebuild Manifold.JPG (120.8 KB, 559 views)
File Type: jpg VC Cover.JPG (85.7 KB, 656 views)
File Type: jpg VC Gaskets.JPG (98.3 KB, 460 views)
File Type: jpg Air Intake Removed.JPG (107.9 KB, 538 views)
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Last edited by filmmakerZ; 07-27-2009 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:03 PM   #5
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How long did this take you to do?
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:37 PM   #6
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From first to final bolt, 7 hours and 25 minutes.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:55 PM   #7
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great write-up! are there any torque settings to the plenum or valve cover?
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:54 PM   #8
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I got a G35 and might be doing this in the future.

Here is my question... did you replace the gaskets because you had an oil leak in the spark plug valves? If that's the case, has replacing the gaskets solved this? I was under the impression that if there is an oil leak then the entire valve cover assembly needs to be replaced since the rubber seals that go around the spark plug valves are built into the plastic cover and that's where the leak occurs.

Looking forward to hearing back.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:02 AM   #9
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IM interested in this also as when I changed my spark plugs I had heavy oil in spark plug #6 being on the drivers side so I was wondering which gasket needs to be replaced?
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:16 PM   #10
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great write-up! are there any torque settings to the plenum or valve cover?
---------------------------------------
Hey Dj,

Sorry it took so long to reply. The short answer is 'yes'; however, I am not sure what they are. If you want to tighten the bolts to spec, then it's worth the research; otherwise, I would use your best judgement. The longest bolts are on the plenum, but they are rather thin. I tightened mine until I felt they were snug. If you are straining to tighten them, my guess would be that they are too tight.

I hope that helps.

MAR
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Last edited by filmmakerZ; 10-19-2009 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:20 PM   #11
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I got a G35 and might be doing this in the future.

Here is my question... did you replace the gaskets because you had an oil leak in the spark plug valves? If that's the case, has replacing the gaskets solved this? I was under the impression that if there is an oil leak then the entire valve cover assembly needs to be replaced since the rubber seals that go around the spark plug valves are built into the plastic cover and that's where the leak occurs.

Looking forward to hearing back.
--------------------------------
G35fromTO,

The oil leak that I experienced was due to a bad gasket; however, if you are experiencing a leak in the spark plug valves then a complete VC assembly replacement may definitely be in order.

Hope that helps,

MAR
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:24 PM   #12
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IM interested in this also as when I changed my spark plugs I had heavy oil in spark plug #6 being on the drivers side so I was wondering which gasket needs to be replaced?
-----------------------
johndoesdamage,

If you are only experiencing a leak on one side, then replacing one side would be the right thing to do (it should definitely stop the leak on that side). Personally, I recommend replacing both. While doing so would be time consuming, the up-side is that you will have the satisfaction of knowing that the "life" of both gaskets is the same, as opposed to one being more worn than the other.

Hope that helps,

MAR
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:07 PM   #13
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so what your saying is replace the whole valve cover and not just the gaskets like you did?
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:59 AM   #14
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Thanks MAR!

This might be a project I undertake next spring.
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:06 AM   #15
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johndoesdamage,

I would replace BOTH gaskets.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:54 PM   #16
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Wish I had seen this sooner before I forked over $250 to get someone to do it for me. :/
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SalmanZ View Post
Wish I had seen this sooner before I forked over $250 to get someone to do it for me. :/
Thats not bad i did mine and had a leak (gasket fell out of the groove) So I had to do it again and buy a new gasket, at that point $250 would seem cheap.


I suggest putting a few small dabs (very small amounts) of silicone inside the grooves to hold the gasket in place. Mine fell out of the groove and got pinched I didn't realize it until everything was back together and the oil was dripping down on the manifolds it is an easy process just time consuming.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:42 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmmakerZ View Post
I got a G35 and might be doing this in the future.

Here is my question... did you replace the gaskets because you had an oil leak in the spark plug valves? If that's the case, has replacing the gaskets solved this? I was under the impression that if there is an oil leak then the entire valve cover assembly needs to be replaced since the rubber seals that go around the spark plug valves are built into the plastic cover and that's where the leak occurs.

Looking forward to hearing back.
--------------------------------
G35fromTO,

The oil leak that I experienced was due to a bad gasket; however, if you are experiencing a leak in the spark plug valves then a complete VC assembly replacement may definitely be in order.

Hope that helps,

MAR
I haven't checked my spark plugs yet, but you're saying that if anyone has oil on their spark plugs upon removable, they should replace the Valve Cover and gasket completely?
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:46 AM   #19
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yep
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:10 PM   #20
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Do you need remove throttle body? the reason I ask it is one of throttle body bolt got round, i will have problem to remove it.
Thanks

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From first to final bolt, 7 hours and 25 minutes.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:10 PM
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