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Old 07-24-2007, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

Hi all,

I've been burning oil in my VR4 and it's getting embarrising. I notice oil escaping the valve cover so my 1st question is taking the valve cover straight forward? If that doesn't cure the problem, I guess the infamous valve stem seals need work. I read that labor/parts will cost $300-$500?

Thanks for helping,

Jesse
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

Valve cover gasket replacement is easy... as long as it's the front ones! It's as easy as removing all of the surrounding bolts, and then giving the valve cover a few steady whacks with the old rubber mallet to loosen it/remove it. CLEAN the entire outer channel of the valve cover (remove old gasket, clean groove with paper towels or rags until there's no oil in there), stick the new gasket into the valve cover groove, and replace. Don't forget to change out the 3 spark plug gaskets too... they should come with the valve cover gasket kit. Otherwise, you're likely to eventually develop oil in the spark plug holes once THOSE gaskets wear out.

Good luck. Hope that helped.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

A bad valve cover gasket could cause oil to drip onto the pipe and make smoke, but if your smoking out of the exhaust, it's definatly not the valve cover gasket.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

Thanks for elaborating smash - I had a feeling there were spark plug gaskets to change out while I was in there.

Mike, the oil is escaping the valve cover onto the exhaust header (front side). With much neglect, the oil probably heated up, put a hole in the exhaust gasket, and gets into the exhaust that way.

I hate neglecting the car this way but my baby girl and 240SX grab all my attention

Jesse

PS - Offer to use Hanscom AFB auto shop is still/always open folks.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxType 240 View Post
Thanks for elaborating smash - I had a feeling there were spark plug gaskets to change out while I was in there.

Mike, the oil is escaping the valve cover onto the exhaust header (front side). With much neglect, the oil probably heated up, put a hole in the exhaust gasket, and gets into the exhaust that way.

I hate neglecting the car this way but my baby girl and 240SX grab all my attention

Jesse

PS - Offer to use Hanscom AFB auto shop is still/always open folks.
Oil will not "leak" into your exhaust through a bad exhaust gasket because the exhaust gas pressure is much greater than atmosphere. If you are blowing smoke out your tail pipe then it is an internal leak; usually either the valve seals or piston rings. Have some one follow you. From a stop start to accelerate normally (no hard accelerating) shifting into second around 4K revs. Repeat this into third. Put the car in Neutral and use only the brakes to stop. If the spotter sees heavy smoke from a start that disapates and then returns to heavy after shifting, you have bad rings. If there is little or no smoke from start but there is a "puff" of heavier smoke when you shift, you have bad valve seals. Also, it will be black or blue smoke, not white. If you have white smoke it is a fuel (usually rich) condition.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

I'd hate to beleive it Jesse. If it was leaking onto the manifold, it can't get through the gasket and drip into the exhaust. I guess what your saying is that you do have an external leak out of your valve cover. As far as if your smoking out of your exhaust, your looking at a few things.

1. Valve stem seals
2. rings are getting clogged up or damaged
3. PCV is sucking up oil from your heads and into your intake manifold
4. your sucking oil from your rear head into the rear turbo'r rubber intake tube (mine did untill I disconnected the line and put a little breather instead)
5. Turbos/Turbo is blowing some oil into the intercooler pipes, (compressor side) or blowing it right into the exhaust (turbine side)
6. A bad valve guide can do the same thing as a bad valve seal. If the guide isn't sealed perfectly, then your stem seal is ineffective.

Hope this helps you to find your problem.

-Mike
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

You guys have been really helpful on such a newb topic, thank you both! I'm thinking of selling of it so all I can do to fix her up will help.

Jesse
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

mines been leaking oil out of the oil cover itself, the cover you take of the put oil in. it leaks out of that and goes onto the heat shield causing smoke and the burning oil smell, drives me crazy.
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Old 08-08-2007, 02:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

Quote:
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mines been leaking oil out of the oil cover itself, the cover you take of the put oil in. it leaks out of that and goes onto the heat shield causing smoke and the burning oil smell, drives me crazy.
Leaking out that cover (filler cap) is not unusual. You can pick up a new filler cap gasket for a few bucks at the dealership and should solve the problem.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Valve Cover Gasket & Valve Stem Seals

Leaking out of the oil cap is a sign of blowby as well. With high pan presure, you will also have high valve cover pressure, thus helping the oil to blow through the oil cap seal. The PCV system is only so effecient, and can not compensate for extreme blowby conditions.
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