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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Any idea of the cost/hours to replace1991 valve cover gasket? Anything else to be replaced while doing that job? Can any qualified mechanic do this job?
Thanks for the support!
Rande
 

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It's a very easy job. You aren't really "in there", so there aren't any "while you are in there" repairs to do. I suppose you may want to replace the half moon seals too. Any competent mechanic, or really anybody with a socket set and 1/2 a brain could do it. Only way you could mess it up is if you massively over torqued the bolts or didn't get the gasket aligned on the valve cover before cranking it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Guys, although my condo complex doesn't allow me to do anymore repairs in the parking lot. A couple of hours?
Rande
 

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The only 'while you're there' job I'd add would be checking the valve clearances. This involves using a feeler gauge to check the clearance between the camshaft & the valve. Nothing further needs to be removed for this check. Adjusting the clearances is more involved (remove camshaft, swap shims, re-install camshaft and make sure it is timed properly). Any competent mechanic can do it but I would prefer someone who has worked on Alfas before. No need to be paying someone to learn on your car...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok Guys, you have convinced me to try it myself. Are there any step by step instructions?
I will post my results.
Rande
 

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Ok Guys, you have convinced me to try it myself. Are there any step by step instructions?
I will post my results.
Rande
Yes - I need t see the step by step instructions also.

Did you order the gasket yet?

If so, from where?

Thanks
 

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Are there any step by step instructions?
We vote that you post a photo series with step by step instructions!

I like the "reusable" cam cover gasket. I clean off the gasket surface of the cam cover then apply a thin smear of RTV. Put the gasket onto the cover and place it onto a smooth surface (I use the cast iron top of my table saw) and allow the RTV to set. Then put some oil or grease onto the mating surface of the engine. Next time you want to remove the cam cover the gasket will (should) come off with the cover.

There should be two metal washers under the two rear cover bolts and fiber washers under the other four. Snug the bolts but don't over tighten them.

At the rear of the head - in line with the camshafts - are two rubber 'half moons'. Be sure they do not get knocked out when the cover is removed. That could easily go unnoticed but it leaves a big hole for oil to gush out! Now ones are sometimes too big - they should be even with the top of the cylinder head or very slightly proud so that they get clamped down when the cover is reinstalled.

Remember to take pictures before you start and as you go along - it helps you to remember where everything goes back on. Plus we like to see pictures...
 

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I do it a little different.

I get the reusable valve cover gasket that has a narrow line of red gasket sealer ( really like an oil ring type of sealer) from Centerline and I don't put rtv between the gasket and the valve cover and I don't put oil or grease on the head sealing surface.

I make sure the sealing surfaces on the valve cover and head are clean of all oil and grease by cleaning it multiple times with Brake Keen, then I put the gasket on the head then put the valve cover on and make sure the gasket is in line with both surface as I tighten the valve cover down. I don't tighting it down full torque, I do it in two steps. Three steps if you count the as tight as you can with your fingers.

There is a tighting sequence of the valve cover bolts, I line the gasket up as I tighting the valve cover nuts down. Look up the torque valve, on my S4 it's 10 lbs to 11 lbs on the 6 top bolts and 6-8 lbs on the front two bolts. I get the front bolts started first before tighting the top bolts.

The rear half moons will protrud about an 1/8" but will squash down as the valve cover is tighten down.
 

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I glue mine to the cover with Ultra Grey and leave the other surface clean. The cover can come on and off many times (tuning cam lobe centers, swapping cams, etc) and it is easy and does not leak. You just have to wipe down the mating surfaces before fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok Guys, you have convinced me to try it myself. Are there any step by step instructions?
I will post my results.
Rande
Yes - I need t see the step by step instructions also.

Did you order the gasket yet?

If so, from where?

Thanks
Hi,
I received the premium made in Italy gasket from Centerline, I just ordered the half-moons and fiber washers.
Rande
 

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If you are just getting individual gaskets, then get the oval one for the breather on the right side of the cam cover. Or make one out of thick gasket paper. Some would recommend that you get a new rubber seal for the oil cap but I find that weeps a bit more from the metal surface of the cam cover being all scratched. Surfacing that while the cam cover is off usually solves that.
 

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Hello,

Any idea of the cost/hours to replace1991 valve cover gasket? Anything else to be replaced while doing that job? Can any qualified mechanic do this job?
Thanks for the support!
Rande
Rande, why do you feel it necessary to change the valve cover gasket on your car? Usually this is necessary if the valve cover is leaking because the gasket is torn or broken and there are a lot of good tips above if that is the case. The first thing I would do is check to see if the valve cover bolts are 'snugged' down -the torque specification is 12 foot pounds (only 12 pounds of force on a 12" lever arm -a shorter wrench, a little more force; longer wrench requires less force). The small studs that the valve cover bolts screw onto are mounted on the cam journal caps and you don't want to over tighten the cam cover bolts!

If you still need to change the valve cover gasket and half moon seals (on the rear of the head where the machine tools passed through to line bore the journal bearings); it might help to have a friend to oversee things for the first time. There is a fairly active club in the Tampa area. Perhaps my friend Delmas Greene would help or find someone to look over your shoulder. Its an easy job, unless something goes wrong... If you'd like me to contact Delmas for you, send me a PM with your name and phone number and I'll ask him to call you.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Mark,

Rande, why do you feel it necessary to change the valve cover gasket on your car? Usually this is necessary if the valve cover is leaking because the gasket is torn or broken and there are a lot of good tips above if that is the case. The first thing I would do is check to see if the valve cover bolts are 'snugged' down -the torque specification is 12 foot pounds (only 12 pounds of force on a 12" lever arm -a shorter wrench, a little more force; longer wrench requires less force). The small studs that the valve cover bolts screw onto are mounted on the cam journal caps and you don't want to over tighten the cam cover bolts!

If you still need to change the valve cover gasket and half moon seals (on the rear of the head where the machine tools passed through to line bore the journal bearings); it might help to have a friend to oversee things for the first time. There is a fairly active club in the Tampa area. Perhaps my friend Delmas Greene would help or find someone to look over your shoulder. Its an easy job, unless something goes wrong... If you'd like me to contact Delmas for you, send me a PM with your name and phone number and I'll ask him to call you.

Mark,

Thank you for your answer. The gasket is leaking into the spark plug wells. I will check with a torque wrench first, although I have all the gaskets and seals.

I am a member of the Florida Alfa Club where Delmas and Polly are wonderful.
A good friend is an experienced car guy, so I will take your advice and ask him to supervise.

The best Alfa mechanic in Tampa Bay, Franco (Franco's Imported Cars) passed away and they closed his shop. Very sad.

Rande
 

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Ok Guys, you have convinced me to try it myself. Are there any step by step instructions?
no
....but I just put some together now:)

its an easy enough job, just go slow and be methodical.
Early cars are real easy, out injected cars have lots of stuff you need to get out of the way.
Anyway hope it helps someone
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow, thank you so much, what detail! And I really appreciate the warnings about how to properly remove the cover so as not to lose the important pieces.
What a clean car you have!
Rande
 
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