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Replacing Cam Cover Gaskets

Replacing Cam Cover Gaskets

Greg Price

A Jag-lover wrote:

Recently i have noticed some oil deposits on the surface of the engine and was told that it is because of a leaky cam cover.

Here's a post on replacing the cam cover gaskets that I sent out almost a year ago. Cleanliness is key and eliminates the need for messy gasket sealants.

Cam covers can be tricky. I have always had good results by:

  1. Use a turkey baster to suck all of the standing oil out of the tappet areas, and squirting it down the drain holes in the head. This keeps the oil out of your way.
  2. Using a razor blade scraper, GENTLY scrape away all traces of old sealant, gasket and minor surface imperfections.
  3. Using a rag damp with a fast-evaporating solvent, such as brake cleaner, wipe all traces of residue from the gasket surface of the head.
  4. Repeat steps 1 & 2 for the cam cover.
  5. Remove and clean/replace the rubber moon, using a small dab of silicone to seal it to the head.
  6. Place a top-quality gasket in place on the head, and replace the cam cover. Don't use sealant on the gasket.
  7. Tighten down the nuts, starting in the center and working your way to the edges. The cam cover is bowed slightly in the center, and the ends will push out very slightly as you torque it down.
  8. Don't overtighten, since cam covers are relatively fragile (and expensive) and crack when overtightened (7-9 ft-lbs is the torque spec).
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