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Old 01-05-2017, 02:32 PM   #1
othatseric
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Quick question about the valve cover gasket

Excuse my inexperience but does anyone know if its okay to re use the original valve cover/spark plug gaskets. I've been wanting to inspect my valve train for a while now but am a little nervous about the 20+ year old rubber. I figure when I take off the valve cover, i'll coat the old gasket in some oil before re installing it, is there anything else I'm missing?? And yes I will be buying a new set of gaskets soon but I don't want to wait :P

Thanks!

-Eric
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:38 PM   #2
iPee
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I would just check it after your gaskets arrive. Don't want to run the risk of breaking those studs but removing them too many times.
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:41 PM   #3
MrBurgundy
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Never reuse a valve cover gasket.
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:13 PM   #4
othatseric
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iPee View Post
I would just check it after your gaskets arrive. Don't want to run the risk of breaking those studs but removing them too many times.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBurgundy View Post
Never reuse a valve cover gasket.

will do, thanks
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:47 PM   #5
roguetoaster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBurgundy View Post
Never reuse a valve cover gasket.
Going to disagree there. On multiple M42s I've removed the VC and left the outer gasket alone, albeit after replacing it some time previously.

In your case, as the gasket is in unknown condition I'd assess the pliability of the material first. If it seems pliable, and you don't drive the car much I think you can safely reuse all 5 gaskets during the time new ones are on order. If it's brittle it'll leak along the exhaust side, and maybe in the plug wells, so if you must inspect in this case be prepared to park it.

For reference, the inner two plug well gaskets tend to be the things that fail, so if you can, order 2x the number of plug well gaskets that you need. You can also order all of the VC bolt seals at the same time if they appear to be worn out, but you should only need to replace those once every 5+ years.

Also, be very gentle with the valve cover bolts as some people have a problem stripping them out on reassembly. So, start them with an extension on a socket, use a 1/4" ratchet and just barely snug them down.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:08 PM   #6
othatseric
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Originally Posted by roguetoaster View Post
Going to disagree there. On multiple M42s I've removed the VC and left the outer gasket alone, albeit after replacing it some time previously.

In your case, as the gasket is in unknown condition I'd assess the pliability of the material first. If it seems pliable, and you don't drive the car much I think you can safely reuse all 5 gaskets during the time new ones are on order. If it's brittle it'll leak along the exhaust side, and maybe in the plug wells, so if you must inspect in this case be prepared to park it.

For reference, the inner two plug well gaskets tend to be the things that fail, so if you can, order 2x the number of plug well gaskets that you need. You can also order all of the VC bolt seals at the same time if they appear to be worn out, but you should only need to replace those once every 5+ years.

Also, be very gentle with the valve cover bolts as some people have a problem stripping them out on reassembly. So, start them with an extension on a socket, use a 1/4" ratchet and just barely snug them down.
Thanks!
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