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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi again all. I know this should have been a simple process, but I have got an unfamiliar situation. I removed the valve cover to find that the pieces that were falling apart were actually 2, YES TWO, gaskets. one sealed to the cover, and the other sealed (sort of) to the other. I can think of no reason for this other than to make sure the car leaks oil out of the valve cover...obviously they separated, they were very brittle and they were not the rubber gasket that I thought was there. It was flexed like rubber strangely. Further, ALL of the washers are fiber washers...It's a miracle the car even ran! So, should I be able to find aluminum washers at a hardware store, or do I need to make yet another order from IAP?

So, couple of questions...as I have never done this before. Exhaust cam has a full resevoir of oil, the intake does not. Is this normal, and how do I remove the oil? Is this the appropriate time to drain the oil out of the car?? Seems to me that it will be a lot easier to clean my surfaces with the oil at least out of the cam reservoires.

Also, before I took everything apart, it was running fine (except for the oil leak), and I took the Marvel mystery oil advice. I cranked the pistons over with no spark plugs, of course, to blow out all of the "stuff" and reassembled. It fired up very roughly as expected, it actually rocked the motor so much that I thought I was going to lose a fan and shroud. I let it warm up and spit out the smoke and everything (expected), but it never smoothed out unless it got above 3000 RPM. I had to shut the car down when things started smoking. I checked under the car to see the Orangest Catalytic converter I've ever seen. When I removed the plugs again, #1 was soaked. kind of a funny smell. I checked for spark and it sparks. Where to go from here, I don't know, but I will replace the gasket first. It doesn't feel like the valve burned up, and it actually revs well, but the severe rocking of the the engine has me concerned.

As always, thanks for the help, and I know some of this is probably really simple to many of you, but I'm just learning, so if I need a talkin' too...feel free. So's ya know, it's an 84 veloce.

Aren
 

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2rump8r said:
I removed the valve cover to find that the pieces that were falling apart were actually 2, YES TWO, gaskets. one sealed to the cover, and the other sealed (sort of) to the other.

...they were not the rubber gasket that I thought was there.
I've not seen every type gasket available but I haven't heard of a rubber cam cover gasket. Either the DPO (D*mn Previous Owner) installed two gaskets or the one gasket merely delaminated.

should I be able to find aluminum washers at a hardware store, or do I need to make yet another order from IAP?
I doubt the hardware store will have aluminum washers but it's worth a try. If IAP doesn't stock them I think I have some spares. somewhere...

I checked under the car to see the Orangest Catalytic converter I've ever seen.
Plugged up catalytic converter. Either from running way too rich or misfiring and dumping unburned fuel into the exhaust. The converter will need to be replaced. Fix the problems first though or you'll ruin the new converter.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update: small hose from bottom of air/oil separator is NOT plugged. Free blowing to connection at dipstick. However, the actual separator is gunked up at the top hose, pretty sludgy. Suggestions...on how to proceed with this item?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Eric, Thanks...I just got the Cat replaced 2 months ago. I'm pretty sure this has something to do with the 1st cylinder not firing properly. It didn't do this at all before the Marvel, just after I put all the plugs back in and fired her up.
Aren
 

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Remove the air/oil seperator from the car, spray Gunk, or your favorite engine cleaner into it. Let it sit 5 minutes or so, wash it out with water, spray into every opening with air from your compressor until dry. Replace on car. Wear eye protection and old clothes, stay away from wife's laundry, car, anywhere you don't want oil/Gunk.
 

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2rump8r said:
I'm pretty sure this has something to do with the 1st cylinder not firing properly.
Try this: re-arrange the order the spark plug wires are routed through the separator block at the front of the cam cover. I had a problem with one cylinder not firing and it was due to ignition cross fire. Wires running parallel can induce current in an adjacent wire and lose current in the intended wire.

It may not be the problem but it won't cost anything to try...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can do that...but first I need to get everything put back together. I just finished cleaning the cover, it seems the last mechanic left the cover pretty marked up...I'm sure this needs attention. There are no gouges and you can still see the machining marks. Sealant was used on the front of the cover and both inside and outside of the cam channels, but not all the way around. I don't really understand the process the last guy used on this. I may need to actually talk to someone, as the further I get the uglier this seems.
 

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there is a rubber like gasket available, it is supposed to be reusable. my cam cover was warped .012" and I had it flattened when the shop did my valve job last month. if you use any sealer, like permatex ultra grey, make sure every surface is clean. any oil, even a fingerprint will cause it to leak. also, if you use solvents on spark plugs, they can wash out the parafin, ( not kerosene called parafin like in brittan) and the insulator will leak to ground causing it to not fire the sylinder.
cliff
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, I did not know that. I am such a rookie, I DID use solvent on the plugs, I guess I'll go get new ones, and more solvent for the air/oil separator. I really would rather not use sealant unless I have to. However, if I get this all back together and it leaks, will I need yet another gasket, to apply sealer? or can I just reclean. I understand the fingerprint issue, and was advised to use a brake cleaner with no chlorine as to not leave a residue. What do you think?
 

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my son and I have both had leaking gasket problems lately, the rubber gasket is from centerline and isnt supposed to need sealant. I put one on, but since my cover was warped, it would not stay under the cover. I would use a new gasket if one is available. cleaning the seperator should slow the leak down. Iuse a can of paint thinner on the seperator to clean it. just put the seperator in a coffee can over night and blow it out in the morning.
cliff
 

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Alfacliff said:
...if you use solvents on spark plugs, they can wash out the parafin, ( not kerosene called parafin like in brittan) and the insulator will leak to ground causing it to not fire the sylinder.
hmm, I've never heard of that. Where is this parafin (wax?) located? Every spark plug I've seen has a ceramic insulator in the steel case.


For the cam cover gasket I like to attach it to the cover with a thin film of adhesive (I use a very thin spread of RTV). Then, apply a little bit of oil to the top of the head (where the gasket sits). This way the gasket stays with the cover, doesn't get stuck to the head, and can be re-used a few times.
 

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the porceline insulator is porus, and soaked in parafin to seal the pores. at least that is the way it was done, there may be different stuff used on plugs now.
cliff
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Alright guys, I'm just about ready to put the Oil/air separator back in. So...what are the chances of this thing blowing up? Seriously?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
okay, she fired up and didn't explode, but there is quite obviously something flawed with the Marvel mystery oil routine. any thoughts? As I'm cranking the motor, it give a pretty nasty sounding hiss, like a big cat sneeze! Then it'll fire and shake. I have double checked the air intake and hose connections. I have switched wires around. I even put in new plugs. I got a Spider that runs on 3 cylinders and shakes pretty wickedly. Oh I wish I hadn't done the Mystery Oil. It really did just fire up and seive out oil above 3000 rpm's. Dear God, what have I done???

Aren
 

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Hard to tell without actually hearing it.

Sounds like it could be the timing is too far advanced and it's firing back through the intake junk.

That or something is blowing by something it shouldn't like a loose spark plug or a really bad valve seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Tifosi, I concur. I have a friend who just rebuilt a triumph (bike) and used to work on British cars. I'll see if he can put some ears to it. Spark plugs are torqued to 21 ft/lbs. They are Bosch +2's, it's the same result on my old +4's that I cleaned up, There's just something about that 1st cylinder. I spent weeks reading everything I could find to do this job accurately and efficiently. I wish I would've just stuck to cleaning the Separator and replacing the gasket...AND I should have done my own compression checks before and after. I need to go learn more about timing and distributor function, and comprehend how this could've happened. Seriously I touched nothing. I get spark when I ground the plug to the cover, so maybe it is a timing issue. Could I have possibly moved something inadvertantly? I mean, I took off the AFM, and flexible air intake tube, pulled the wires and hung from the hood, removed plug, put a small amount of Marvel in each cylinder, covered with CLEAN and LINT FREE shop rags, let it sit for a day, cranked the motor over to clean out excess (very little, if any), and then put it all back together and fired it up. The Orange Cat freaked me out a little bit, but I just replaced it beginning of June, do you think I toasted it? Maybe I fried the spark plug wires cranking the Marvel out??
 

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Did you reconnect the AFM electrical socket? I've forgotten to do that in the past, with bad results until corrected. How about the fit of the AFM hose? Good? Bad? Maybe cracked the hose at one of the bellows valleys? I'd recommend not blaming the Mystery Oil, tempting as it might be. It really couldn't have done anything bad all by itself, as far as I can tell. I did lots worse than that to our '86 during a compression check, and nothing bad happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Mr. T. Yeah, it's connected, I've also made that mistake in the past. I was so prepared for this job. I made templates for everything I took apart, every screw, bolt, nut, part, plug, and wire was labeled so I wouldn't screw it up. except for shorting spark plug wires against the car screwed something up, I can think of nothing else that didn't go according to plan. Maybe I screwed up the distributor. The goofy thing is, it ran perfectly before the attempt to free the ring, I just don't understand what could have casued this. You can't adjust the advance on the distributer so the book says, but maybe it moved when I was shuffling the wires out of the way. Don't know...
 

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It sounds like you're back to square 1 for at least a bit. How is the compression in the engine? It must have been OK before. If you somehow got something mis-fit in the cam/tappet area (don't ask me just what) then the compression might be bad now. But this will at least answer one question.

Then an inductive timing light will show you whether each plug is firing reliably. That's most of the battle, right there. The rest is fuel and timing. The timing is governed by the ECU and the crank pickup. If any cylinder is firing correctly, then the rest probably should be on time. If you have poor firing on all cylinders, then maybe the crank pickup is giving bogus info to the ECU. But they usually work all the time or none of the time.

Then there is the fuel issue. If you spritz some more fuel into the intake and the engine smooths out, then you have a marvelous hint about the problem. Not a full answer, but a really marvelous hint.

I hope these musings help you get to the bottom of your woe.

Michael
 
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