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My high school shop teacher would have said to run a bead of oil on the mating surfaces before install, but isn't that just a hangover from an oil filter install? I've heard I should run a thin bead of Permatex on both surfaces, but wouldn't that make it difficult to remove and install, and since the valve cover comes off rather frequently for valve adjustments and timing, etc., I'd hate to have to buy a new gasket each time. Should I just install it clean without any oil, Permatex or anything besides the gasket itself?
 

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I clean both mating surfaces real well, then install the gasket and valve cover. No sealant. Don't forget to replace the rubber half-moon seals at the back of the head. And don't overtighten the cover.

If you don't have a new gasket yet, www.alfapartscatalog.com has a reuseable valve cover gasket that seals exceptionally well and really is reuseable. Other Alfa parts suppliers may have something similar, but that's the one I now use and it works great.
 

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some put a little gasket sealer on the cover, not the head to hold the gasket in place when removing or installing the cover. My cover was warped a little, fixed when head gasket replaced last summer.
cliff
 

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I use the reusable gasket from Centerline, finger tighten all the screws, including the two screws/nuts in front. Then, I torque to only 10-15 ft-lb, starting from the inside working out. No sealant. The engine leaks (oil film all over) about everywhere else except at the valve cover gasket. You should have two soft aluminum washers, keep them, they provide conductivity between grounded components on the valve cover. Because the valve cover is most likely warped, I sometimes will tighten the two bolts/nuts at the front of the engine a little tighter.
 

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Okay, I may as well fess up that I over tightened one of the middle bolts trying to stop the leak and wound up cracking the valve cover. I JB-Welded a patch to the underside and that seems to be working very well; hopefully it will not break apart and wind up clogging an oil journal somewhere. So now I've got a new gasket from International Auto. It is the German replacement variety, not the OEM. I don't know whether this would be considered as "reusable," but regardless I'll probably at least try to reuse it before I break down and buy a new one. Seems like the consensus of opinion is to use no Permatex, and carefully torque the bolts to very light specs. Thanks much for all the good opinions.
 

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I have several valve covers lying around. Let me know if you need one if your fix does not hold up. I "glue" my gasket to the cover with Permatex so that it easy to replace after checking valve clearances.
Ed Prytherch
74 GTV
79 Spider
88 Verde
 

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I do what what Ed does; glue the concave side of the gasket to the cover using a very thin film of silicone. It'll be reusable (almost) indefinately.
 

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I bought the 'reusable' cam cover gasket sold by Centerline. I cleaned off the gasket surface of the cam cover and applied a thin smear of RTV gasket maker. Then I placed the gasket onto the cam cover (while it was upside down) to get it into place. Then I placed it onto the head and installed the nuts/bolts hand tight only. After about an hour (to let the RTV begin to set), I snugged the nuts & bolts.

I've had the cam cover off (& back on) perhaps a half-dozen times since then. The RTV has begun to loosen on one corner but the gasket is doing fine.
 

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If you want to use a stock gasket and don't like any kind of gasket goo, you can stipple the machine face of the cam cover with a sharp punch or corner of a chisel tapping them with a hammer.

That'll give traction to the gasket so it can't walk/squeeze out, keeping the gasket nice and still.

If the cover isn't too awful warped, it'll seal well on that also without machining.
 

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I'm in process of changing mine right now. The last time I did it I used Permatex and glued the gasket to the head.........Man what a job that was to clean it off but I got it done and I'm ready to put the new "Reinz" gasket on.

I stuffed a rag in the timming chain gally and was very careful not to get the old gasket in the cam oil but I mighty vac the oil out anyway and added new. I did find that the VVT's didn't have any O rings installed on the plungers might be a reason for the leaks?

This time I'm going to put it on the valve cover but haven't decided what if I'm going to use Permatex or not?
 

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I did find that the VVT's didn't have any O rings installed on the plungers might be a reason for the leaks?
Oh yes, it'll leak for sure if there's no o-rings there.

This time I'm going to put it on the valve cover but haven't decided what if I'm going to use Permatex or not?
If you do and it doesn't leak, fine.

If you don't and it doesn't leak, fine, but you'll be taking it off again to seal it if it does ;)

Realistically, it can't hurt you to try it with no sealer. Drive it for a few days to see if it dribbles, and if not, you're golden.

For myself, most of the time I use a very thin bead of Yamambond on both sides of the gasket. We're talking a tiny bead, then spread it by finger, wiping off excess on the edges. Barely enough to make the gasket stick in place, let alone squish out during tightening.

The stuff will tack up pretty good and stay flexible for, well, years. (it's a good inhalent too, if you're into that sort of thing)

Sometimes it allows the gasket to come right off, (just enough applied) other times it'll tear it to shreds (too much applied).

I'd not reccomend it for cork gaskets though, as it'll definitely destroy those during removal.
 

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Oh yes, it'll leak for sure if there's no o-rings there.
.
Sorry Sledgehammer for hijacking your thread. These darn S-4's throw another twist to valve cover leaks.

The aftermarket exhaust VVT had a recess for the gasket to set on the outside but the stock intake VVT does not? What do I do there?

Pic's in order:

Exhaust VVT (with O ring pressed into the recess)

Intake VVT (with the O ring setting flush...........no recess for the O ring to set into)
How do you set the O ring or does it use a different typ of seal????

Valve cover (Is this clean or what?)
 

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You used a metal scraper to clean off the permatex, didn't you. :)

On the intake, if you remove the solinoid mount, you'll see that there's a metal plate on the face of the cam cover retained with a rollpin and a screw or bolt.

Take the plunger out, remove the screw or bolt and rotate the plate on the rollpin to gain access to where the o-ring goes. If the plate pops off the rollpin once the fastener is out, don't panic as it's only there to align the holes.

Install the o-ring.

Slip the plate back over it and replace the screw, plunger and soliniod mount.

Don't forget to check the solinoid to plunger adjustment after you've got the cam cover back on.
 
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