Car Drama!

PaddedArtist90

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I'm having a little drama with my car right now, basically I changed the valve cover gasket not that long ago & my particular engine is notorious for leaking from the oil cooler housing underneath my exhaust manifold.

I don't have the money or time to A. take it to the garage or B. do it all myself right now, I'm still losing oil but not drastic amounts, I topped it up the other day and stupid me put too much in so I drained some out but now the new valve gasket is leaking.

Anyone know if I should take the valve cover off, clean the surfaces up then re-bolt with the existing gasket seeing as it's new providing I use brake cleaner on the gasket to clear away the oil or should I just get a new gasket?
 

Hockeyczar

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New gasket is best. Clean valve cover, bolt threads and head surfaces with carburetor cleaner and applied a light coat of new clean oil to the gasket surfaces and re apply in the manufacturers recommended order and specifications.

If is it a used cork gasket and you didn't over tighten the valve cover bolts you should be fine. Clean both the valve bolt thread, cover and head surfaces using carburetor cleaner, then reapply the gasket and make sure to get it lined up straight. There should be a specific bolt tightening order and torque torque applied. (Example, slowly tighten the inside bolts, then one bolt on each outside, switching side to side, gradually getting the bolts close when you use your torque wrench.
Don't use any gasket sealer on a cork gasket unless absolutely necessary, gasket sealer can make an uneven surface, causing leaks.

If it is a thin, rubber gasket the main focus is to make sure it is straight and there are no wrinkles in it. In this case the manufacturer may call for sealer to be applied to the bolts, check online for specifications. There should also be a bolt order and torque amount.

Hope this make sense.
 
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PaddedArtist90

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New gasket is best. Clean valve cover, bolt threads and head surfaces with carburetor cleaner and applied a light coat of new clean oil to the gasket surfaces and re apply in the manufacturers recommended order and specifications.

If is it a used cork gasket and you didn't over tighten the valve cover bolts you should be fine. Clean both the valve bolt thread, cover and head surfaces using carburetor cleaner, then reapply the gasket and make sure to get it lined up straight. There should be a specific bolt tightening order and torque torque applied. (Example, slowly tighten the inside bolts, then one bolt on each outside, switching side to side, gradually getting the bolts close when you use your torque wrench.
Don't use any gasket sealer on a cork gasket unless absolutely necessary, gasket sealer can make an uneven surface, causing leaks.

If it is a thin, rubber gasket the main focus is to make sure it is straight and there are no wrinkles in it. In this case the manufacturer may call for sealer to be applied to the bolts, check online for specifications. There should also be a bolt order and torque amount.

Hope this make sense.
It's a rubber gasket, I stupidly let someone help me whom I thought knew what they were doing & they put some gasket maker inside the valve cover to hold the rubber gasket in place whilst we put it back on the car (needless to say I won't be doing that again)

I just wondered whether the gasket could be reused if I managed to clean it off but now I'm not so sure.

I know the tightening sequence from middle to out and the torque specs are like 8NM I believe but I will double check.

I just don't fancy taking it to a garage & leaving it there as my dips are in the boot. lol
 

Dabl2008

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I'm having a little drama with my car right now, basically I changed the valve cover gasket not that long ago & my particular engine is notorious for leaking from the oil cooler housing underneath my exhaust manifold.

I don't have the money or time to A. take it to the garage or B. do it all myself right now, I'm still losing oil but not drastic amounts, I topped it up the other day and stupid me put too much in so I drained some out but now the new valve gasket is leaking.

Anyone know if I should take the valve cover off, clean the surfaces up then re-bolt with the existing gasket seeing as it's new providing I use brake cleaner on the gasket to clear away the oil or should I just get a new gasket?
Whenever I hear gasket and leaking/burning oil my first thought is “new car.”
 

jamiejamie

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Whenever I hear gasket and leaking/burning oil my first thought is “new car.”
Yup. That’s what happened to my 16 year old daughter’s car that is 10 years old with 120,000 miles. Ummm…. We traded it in for a brand new car so we wont have to worry about it til she’s done with college.
 

ade

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Hard to say without seeing it in the flesh and getting hands on.

You're likely to get different opinions from the opposing camps (from as to whether or not to use instant/liquid gaskets and sealants where gaskets are already fitted); I generally don't agree with them, but sometimes a quick bodge is needed.
 

PaddedArtist90

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Hard to say without seeing it in the flesh and getting hands on.

You're likely to get different opinions from the opposing camps (from as to whether or not to use instant/liquid gaskets and sealants where gaskets are already fitted); I generally don't agree with them, but sometimes a quick bodge is needed.
Basically the new rubber gasket was sitting in the housing but kept falling out whenever the cover was turned over, the person I was with put stuff in the corners of the groove and some down the middle to hold the whole thing in place so it didn't fall out.

I reckon this is responsible for causing the leaks as some of it leaked down the sides and was visible after refitting the valve cover & I think it's stopped the rubber from sealing properly.

I am lucky enough to have it still under warranty so I'm being sent a replacement gasket just in case I need to use a new one, this time I will NOT be letting anyone stick anything inside the valve cover besides the gasket.

I'm new to cars as this is my 2nd one & I'm still learning on what I can and can't do on my own but this is one thing I will be on my own from now on.

Sorry for the rant lol, it's just getting to me is all.
 

ade

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Basically the new rubber gasket was sitting in the housing but kept falling out whenever the cover was turned over, the person I was with put stuff in the corners of the groove and some down the middle to hold the whole thing in place so it didn't fall out.

I reckon this is responsible for causing the leaks as some of it leaked down the sides and was visible after refitting the valve cover & I think it's stopped the rubber from sealing properly.

I am lucky enough to have it still under warranty so I'm being sent a replacement gasket just in case I need to use a new one, this time I will NOT be letting anyone stick anything inside the valve cover besides the gasket.

I'm new to cars as this is my 2nd one & I'm still learning on what I can and can't do on my own but this is one thing I will be on my own from now on.

Sorry for the rant lol, it's just getting to me is all.
The 'trick' of holding on a gasket with sealant is widely used..... sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
You also have to bear in mind the type of gasket and the type of sealant (they're not always compatible).
Another thing is that beyond simple paper and card gaskets, the quality of the gasket matters. Cheap ones often fail to seal properly (had that problem with a 'rubber' gasket, some years ago, which was too stiff and plasticky to create a good seal; I eventually got an original part and all was good).

Of course, learning which brands are good quality in your locale is much a case of trial error, but you can browse at the various forums and blogs about car repairs, in general, and about your specific model (every brand and model brings a learning curve for everybody, including the professionals, so don't feel like a failure about not knowing stuff).
The internet's handy for learning from others' mistakes 😁

As long as you're willing to learn and have access to basic tools, there's nothing to stop you maintaining and repairing your own vehicle in excess of 'professional mechanic' standards.
 

KrankyPants

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I almost always apply a thin bead of RTV to hold the gasket in place while mating the cover to the head. I also apply a little around where the bolts go and where the distributor goes (if you have a camshaft driven distributor). It never leaked, but a new gasket is best in your situation.

My first car, 1996 Nissan Altima, was notorious for the valve cover gasket leaking into the spark plugs wells and around the distributor. I think that's just a known issue with all KA24 engines. The new gasket with a little RTV fixed it up. Again, be very careful mating those surfaces and use a little RTV silicone to hold the gaskets in place while installing. It will not cause any harm. 🙂
 
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PaddedArtist90

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Well I decided to get a replacement gasket, took the valve cover back off & cleaned everything up.

I've Mated it all back together and tightened down to 10nm but stupidly, Vauxhall (UK) never brought out a Haynes Manual for the Z16XER engine in mine so I've been going off of details for the Z18XER which is the 1.8L model.

Apparently bolting them up to 10nm is fine & so far no leaks (in the car, myself however is a different matter) lmao, I have a long journey end of the month so fingers crossed it makes it!
 

ade

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stupidly, Vauxhall (UK) never brought out a Haynes Manual for the Z16XER engine in mine so I've been going off of details for the Z18XER which is the 1.8L model.
Ooo! Twin cam.....posh! 😝
I used to have an Opel (Vauxhall) with the OHC engine and many parts, specs and techniques were applicable across engine sizes (good for upgrading a 1.3L with 1.6L parts from the scrapyard).
A quick Google shows your 1.6 alongside the 1.8 for various procedures, so you should be okay for most stuff.
The OHC engines were known for their robustness, despite some quirks (of the time), so you'd expect that to have carried on.

I see that he put sealant at the dodgy bits 🤔
Obviously, there shouldn't be any dodgy bits.....bad design, somebody needs a slap! Sort 'em out, Kranky!
🤪
 
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PaddedArtist90

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That's great news, @PaddedArtist90! It is wild that there isn't a Haynes manual. You made me chuckle at the end of your update! 😅 You'll make the journey. Did you use the gasket sealant trick?
Strangely enough I've used a tiny bead of clear mastic inside the valve cover and used a tiny paint brush to hold it all in when seating it back down. Took it for a long drive yesterday so I could get some heat cycles in and so far so good. Lol *fingers crossed*
 

PaddedArtist90

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Ooo! Twin cam.....posh! 😝
I used to have an Opel (Vauxhall) with the OHC engine and many parts, specs and techniques were applicable across engine sizes (good for upgrading a 1.3L with 1.6L parts from the scrapyard).
A quick Google shows your 1.6 alongside the 1.8 for various procedures, so you should be okay for most stuff.
The OHC engines were known for their robustness, despite some quirks (of the time), so you'd expect that to have carried on.

I see that he put sealant at the dodgy bits 🤔
Obviously, there shouldn't be any dodgy bits.....bad design, somebody needs a slap! Sort 'em out, Kranky!
🤪
Funnily enough I'm usually always on that forum! That video looks like the standard 1.6 I think, mines the vvt model so my cover looks slightly different but fingers crossed what I've done has sorted the issue. Lol
 

ade

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Funnily enough I'm usually always on that forum! That video looks like the standard 1.6 I think, mines the vvt model so my cover looks slightly different but fingers crossed what I've done has sorted the issue. Lol
Yeah, it can be lots of 'fun' getting parts; revisions and modifications throughout a range are common, aswell as for any aftermarket parts as the years go by and problems become known.
The centralized database was supposed to fix issues with getting the right parts, but that's wholly dependent on the manufacturer giving the correct info; with my last car, my ownership of which covered the introduction of the new system, they didn't and I was constantly having to correct parts suppliers.

The humourous aside to the then new system was 'they' didn't announce it's introduction much, if at all, and you'd get angsty men at parts counters doing the whole American Republican thing when asked for their vehicle reg number:
"Wtf d'ya need my reg for?!!! I pop a cap in yo ass, mutha fudger!" 🤣
Yeah, I was one of them (made all the worse by then being given the wrong part) 🤣
 
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BengieG

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The biggest mistakes you make is not following the torque sequence. Its very important. that will cause a leak every time Good luck to you
 

PaddedArtist90

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Well I've driven over 500 miles in the last week and no leaks! Hopefully it is all sorted but now I'm worrying about my valve cover as it looks distorted.
 

BobbiSueEllen

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My first car, 1996 Nissan Altima, was notorious for the valve cover gasket leaking into the spark plugs wells and around the distributor.
The KA24DE and GA16DE engines both have that prob. It sucks. Ugh! 😲 :cry:
 
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