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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to do the passenger side valve cover gasket. I would like to do both but working on a budget at the moment.

Anything I should look out for? I read somewhere that some people use permatex gasket maker on their gaskets. I have some of that and I have some high tack gasket sealent. Suggestions?

I know this is a pretty basic job but I don't have much engine building experience.

Thanks,
Jordan
 

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I like to attach the gasket to the cam cover using a thin smear of RTV gasket maker. (Avoid gobs of RTV - they can - will - break off, get into the oil and plug up oil passages.)

I then apply a smear of engine oil to the gasket surface on the head so the gasket will not stick to the head. Then, when the cam cover is removed, the gasket should stay attached to the cam cover and can be re-used many times.

There are also rubber seals around the spark plug tubes.
 

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gaskets

Agree with ghnl.
Just don't over tighten the bolts. Watch the gasket as you tension the bolts, you will see it squash down just a little. There would be a recommended torque setting and I'm sure it wouldn't be that high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I finished it and all seems to have gone well. I smeared some oil on the head like you suggested. Just drove it around the block and the oil pressure seems to be better.
I didn't tighten the bolts too tight. Tightened just using my hand on the socket and then gave each like a quarter turn with the ratchet.
 

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Hey Ardo.. by "oil pressure" you really meant "oil leak" right?

Because a valve cover gasket wouldn't affect oil pressure. If you have oil pressure issues.. you'll have to look elsewhere in your motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well yes I mean oil leak, but an oil leak wouldn't contribute to reduced oil pressure? Maybe it was just a mental thing then. :p
 

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Gents - is there a torque spec for tightening the cover bolts or is it merely "1/4-turn past snug?" Meaning my snug is going to be different that yours... I have discovered 2 bolts that are stripped and wonder if I should a) tap to the bottom of the existing hole and obtain longer bolts, or b) Heli-coil or other thread repair... THX
 

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The Alfa shop manual gives these figures for 'screws securing head top cover'.
8.9-11 Nm, 0.91-1.1 Kgm, 6.6-7.9 ft/lb

I'd say use a short wrench and hold it near the bolt head (no need for much leverage).

The right fix for stripped threads would be a heli coil type or thread insert repair. Either will be stronger then the original threads in the aluminum. But don't over tighten them!
 

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Hey Eric - Thanks for this!! What doc# and page did you find this? Ive been ALL OVER the GTV6/Milano shop manual #4208...

Also any experience / thoughts on these inserts (they appeal to my engineering streak...?

Thread Repair Inserts

Ciao
 

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Thread repair inserts are considered stronger than helicoil type repairs (HeliCoil is a brand name but there are other brands of the same type). The insert is likely overkill for the head cover bolts. The main downside to the thread insert repairs is the need to drill out the hole to a larger diameter vs a helicoil. If that leaves a very thin wall next to the insert it is possible the insert can loosen or crack the side wall - especially in situations where there could be a lot of lateral loading.

The info about torque came on the Cd I got from Car Disc. It is titled 'Engine Main Mechanical Unit', # PA384300000000, March 1986
 

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I should have checked alfabb before as always.........., one of the cam cover nut in my GTV6 was left untorqued by the mechannic after a valve job, so i decided to check them all for torque, they were between 15 and 16nm so i checked the GTV6 manual for torque especification with no success, then i went to the Alfetta manual and there it said 18Nm, I moved the untorqued one to 15NM and ......I stripped the thread or maybe it was like that before.......

Definitively is 9 to 11 NM the torque to be applied as ghnl (thanks for the continuos good help you always provide).

I have moved them all to 10NM now, well all but the stripped one.....:(

What helicoil kit shall I buy to fix it? M7 1.0?

forza Alfa. Arturo
 

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2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
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"but an oil leak wouldn't contribute to reduced oil pressure?"

An oil leak, such as from a leaky cam cover, has no effect on the engine oil pressure, as that oil is unpressurized, being on the downside of the bearings and sliding surfaces, etc.

It is amazing just how many owners I have met through the years who don't have a torque wrench, and tend to strip threads from overtightening bolts and nuts by "feel".
 

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Leaking valve cover gasket may cause oil loss (over time) and burning oil smell, and even misfires if oil is in spark plug well. But would not cause pressure loss.

These are really pretty engines when clean, just that they seem to leak just about everywhere and get covered in gunk below the waistline!

The valve cover gaskets come with a teeny little bead of silicon on them so I would like to go clean on the head side, but I put the thinnest application of silicon on the head with my finger and a bit more on the cover so that it would behave more or less as GHNL described. I had a issue with oil in the spark plug wells (which happens to all modern 4-valve engines as well), and discovered that I had a couple of stripped valve cover threads. I went with Time-Sert inserts over the Heli-coil. Here's a link to the Thread: http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/eng...85623-nice-burning-oil-smell.html#post1051441
 

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I've tended to use Heli-Coil because I think that they require a smaller increase in the repair diameter, thus retaining more of the base material if the space is tight, as in a threaded lug. This to avoid potential lug tear out.

As with Time-Sert, they are stronger than the base material, as usually we are dealing with stripped threads in aluminum, and the Heli-Coil is hardened steel, also because the threaded hole is slightly larger in dia than the original threaded hole, thus being stronger in tension for that reason, although remember the warning about lateral lug tear out.

Otherwise, Time-Sert is fine.

I've used the Heli-Coil for the sparkplug holes in four bangers (without head removable, there being fewer material trimming easily captured by grease on the tap), and also for the 164 serp belt idler pulley arm bolt holes, all without problems for years.
 

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Sounds about right as you would expect to be around the same torque as the spark plugs (7-15ft lbs for 14mm plugs). Here's a page from the 75 Manual. It actually doesn't specify.

Because of the softness of the alloy on these engines, I generally will hand tighten as much as possible and then throw a 1/4" ratchet and hold close the the head. At first resistance give 1/4 - 1/2 turn. Remember, the covers are just that. Not holding back any pressure so really no need to get "monkey garage" on it! (Note that the manual does prescribe some sealant).

Back to topic, I think Heli-coil is fine and I would use those for a spark-plug thread repair, but I think the Time-Sert was a nicer repair for the valve cover threads, though more expensive.
 

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Any recommendations on installing the spark plug well gaskets (#1 in the center drawing)? I was thinking maybe a film of silicone between the gasket and the cover, but maybe the pressure of the cover against it is enough?
 

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Aren't sparkplugs usually torqued to about 18-22 ft-lb? That's what NGK recommends for 14 mm plugs in aluminum. Have seen plugs blow out because they backed out from too low torque.

My feeling/experience is that 12 ft-lb might be a trifle high for the cam cover bolts, maybe better at 7-8 ft-lb?
 

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Yes. Concur with that. I have the Milano Manual and also the 75 downloads from Craigs site (pertinant sections - where that page came from), and the torque specs aught to be in there somewhere, but elusive for now. Definitely would go with the Centerline data (Centerline has always provided specs on their site & is an awesome reference). Also I just checked NGK and they say 18-21ft/lbs for the plugs. A quick bolt torque reference on the M7x1 suggests 12ft/lbs - but I'm not so sure that I'd go there on these engines. As I said, I use "German torque" goot-n-teit! + I use anti-seize on the (Lodge) plugs and have never had one work it's way out, or stripped any threads (knock on wood)!
 
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