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DIY: Replace Valve Cover Gaskets

Old 06-23-2013, 04:19 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by F2CMaDMaXX View Post
You will get the hot oil smell once enough oil is outside the engine and it has gotten hot enough to give off fumes.
Well, the smell isn't by any means powerful; it's subtle. I took off the lower splash guard a while ago and hadn't put it back on. I'm thinking that created a different air flow around the engine which brought this subtle smell to my attention.

I suppose it's possible that the oil pooling around the plug itself could smell, but the coil pack is well sealed to the valve cover, and I would have thought that would have bottled up any smell. I cleaned up the limited amount of oily grime that has gotten on the engine block, so we'll see if that has solved the issue.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:40 AM
  #42  
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does one need to do the Throttle body relearn procedure, since we are disconnecting the throttle body connector and maf?

Thanks
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:09 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by go7roo7 View Post
does one need to do the Throttle body relearn procedure, since we are disconnecting the throttle body connector and maf?

Thanks
In most cases you will be fine if you disconnect the battery before removing the TB.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:43 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Heritage View Post
Thanks for your DIY, OP. I have a couple of refinements to offer:

Instead of loosening the coolant tube under the throttle body first, you can initially unclamp that hose above the driver's side manifold and empty the manifold/throttle body passages first at the side of the engine. You can catch the coolant more easily there, and not a drop of coolant will be released when you then free the manifold from that hose at the manifold.
About to replace valve covers and coilpacks tomorrow, do you have pics of which order you disconnected these hoses from, my only concern is really making a mess of coolant everywhere.

Did you ever find out what was making that oil smell by the way? My car makes an oily fumy smell inside the car, and I have seen visible smoke from the hood the day after I changed the spark plugs. I had a spark plug tube full of oil on #'s 5, 4 and 6. I suspect the oil is burning on the metal spark plug tube seal, and vaporizing/smoking from there, as there are no visible leaks on the actual valve cover gaskets.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:06 PM
  #45  
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post to find later for rtv reference
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:19 PM
  #46  
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An update prompted by McArther's PM to me asking about the coolant hoses:

I found the AC leak; it was a hole in the condenser. I ordered a new condenser; ordered the Motordyne Iso Copper plenum spacer kit and a JWT Pop charger.

I drained the coolant system (not looking forward to chasing down air pockets), and put the new condenser in. I put the spacer on and I'm bolting down the intake now. After that, the POP charger. Once that's done, I'll probably have to do the throttle body relearn procedure because I unplugged the throttle body before I disconnected the battery (and I also thoroughly cleaned it, which required moving the butterfly valve).

I glass-beaded and SharkHyde'd the intake manifold, and dusted the throttle body with aluminum paint and a clear coat.

I'll have to recharge the cooling system and see if that works, but I can't do that until the engine is up and running.

It all looks damned good now, so I hope it runs as good as it looks!
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:54 PM
  #47  
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nice write-up..going to be doing this tomorrow. If the weather holds out.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:28 PM
  #48  
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Almost done, taking my time with this. New valve covers are on. Hopefully no leaks. Here's my advice:

1. Make sure you have a torque wrench that can read 74 inch pounds... that's the correct torque for the valve covers (mine only reads 120 inch pounds, so I had to borrow one in the middle).
2. The only hoses I had to disconnect were the ones attached to the upper plenum, no coolant leaked out (until I squeezed a lower hose while thinking about disconnecting more hoses, and it shot some fluid out the top... lol)
3. Place a VERY THIN line of RTV between the gasket and the cover, then scoop out the excess with a cutip; do this about 25 minutes before you plan on installing it so it has time to set (Haynes: "position the gasket inside the cover and allow the sealant to set up so the gasket adheres to the cover. If the sealant isn't allowed to set, the gasket may fall out of the cover as it's installed on the engine"
4. Haynes: "Apply a thin coat of RTV sealant to the cover groove and to the corners on the front camshaft journal cap" (That's the corners where the valve cover goes up around the metal "hill" at the front of each valve cover) I made a sort of "L" shape with grey RTV, but used very little... I would use more if I did it again though, the factory RTV at those locations was gobbed on... so hopefully I used enough.

Last edited by mcarther101; 07-16-2013 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:20 AM
  #49  
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Total success: the form-a-gasket trick is doing its job. I would recommend this over the trouble of replacing spark plug tube seals (as long as your valve covers aren't leaking).

The plenum spacer and POP charger seem to have given me slightly more power, and a throatier growl at higher RPMs. Everything is running great, and the oil smell is gone - and my AC is working again (which is great, because it's been hot as Hades here this week).
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:23 AM
  #50  
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I can't believe the gasket maker fix actually worked! could you take a picture of what you did heritage? cylinder number 5 coilpack can be taken out very easily.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:24 AM
  #51  
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and how does carb cleaner get the oil out?
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:28 AM
  #52  
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do you guys think permatex ultra black will work? how hot does the spark plug tubes get?
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:33 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Touge Z View Post
do you guys think permatex ultra black will work? how hot does the spark plug tubes get?
I used non-hardening form-a-gasket (hi-temp). That area cannot possibly get that hot, as the valve cover is plastic.

First, I had to soak up the oil pooling in the recess between the seal/valve cover and the metal plug tube. I used paper towel (but I bet you could use a vacuum, and speed up the process). Once it was no longer saturated, I ran paper towel folded in a point to start to dry it out, and at last pass used paper towel with some carb cleaner (which acted as a degreaser).

Then, I used my finger with the gasket maker and forced it into the recess, and once it would no longer take any more, lightly ran my finger around the seam to seal off the tube to the cover. Viola! No more oil leak!

I said this before, but let me reiterate: the design of this engine's valve covers (this is a French engine, from Renault IIRC - this according to Tony from Motordyne - something I did not know) is stupid. It would have been EASY for the spark plug tubes to be made just a bit LONGER so that the COIL PACK would seal to the tube DIRECTLY, negating the need for the valve cover seals to keep oil out of the spark plug well.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:28 PM
  #54  
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Doing this next weekend thanks Op for perfect instructions!!! I had a question is there a separate gasket for the spark plug tubes? The gasket that's on now is pinched there SO IT LEAKS! I will post pics of the mess I found tomorrow..... Thanks nissan
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:34 PM
  #55  
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the valve covers have built in gaskets for the spark plug tubes.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:13 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Touge Z View Post
the valve covers have built in gaskets for the spark plug tubes.
Wait, so now I have to get new valve covers because some *** hat tech at Nissan did not install them correctly?! Fml unless this works.... Those seals must be removable..


Beck Arnley 036-1944 Valve Cover Gasket Set : Amazon.com : Automotive Beck Arnley 036-1944 Valve Cover Gasket Set : Amazon.com : Automotive

Last edited by Z33Garage; 08-04-2013 at 09:20 PM. Reason: rage
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:28 PM
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if you're not leaking into the spark plug tubes but leaking from the edges of the valve covers then you can replace the gaskets.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Touge Z View Post
if you're not leaking into the spark plug tubes but leaking from the edges of the valve covers then you can replace the gaskets.
I posted that I was leaking into the sparkplug tube, its only happening on cyl #6.

I saw this gasket set with what looks like the O-rings for the head cover.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Here is also the pics I took yesterday

Here is a diagram of the gaping of each plug in mm.
Stock is 1.1 and these were anywhere from 1.5mm - 2mm.

I re-gaped emto aprx 1.1-1.2 and the car runs so much better. ( ordering new plugs today since these are stupid worn. The weird part is this engine was changed by nissan (by previous owner) at 50k, now I have 70k, how dafuq are these sparkplugs this gaped out?









Last edited by Z33Garage; 08-05-2013 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:25 AM
  #59  
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if you wanna fix the leak in the spark plug tube, you either have to replace the valve cover or use permatex gasket maker like heritage did.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Touge Z View Post
if you wanna fix the leak in the spark plug tube, you either have to replace the valve cover or use permatex gasket maker like heritage did.
And not use the valve cover kit I posted that comes with the grommets for the z ?
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