: Quick help, need your advice



ccatera10
12-03-10, 03:00 PM
First off I have a 98 catera, I have a minor leak in the valve covers, not around dripping outside, but it seems to be the little ring gaskets that are suppose to stop oil from reaching the wells around the spark plug. I changed the gasket around 2 months back with an after market type of gasket, but was recommended for the catera. Like i said there is no leaks around the outside or perimeter. I would like to know if there is any type of oil leak seal or other product that may help stop this leak from within. I have already changed the gaskets about 2 times in the past within the span of 6 to 8 months, and I feel that it is just a waste of time doing the procedure over and over again. I see that the after market gaskets I use from auto zone do not hold up well. I have several other questions, what official brand used for this make, or any good aftermarket gaskets go well with this catera, what has given you guys the best results? Is their a more heavy duty gasket? The ones I have used seem kind of flimsy. Also is there a more heavy duty valve cover that I can purchase to replace the plastic looking covers? :bighead:

In addition, I have had other vehicles in the past such as an Acura legend, that has had a predominately small oil leak from within yet the spark plug boots do a great job in covering the spark plugs from oil., It seems odd that the cateras spark plugs do not do the same from my experience with this car, I usually can see oil in the boot, seems that the boot itself does not protect the plug from oil. Has anyone else had this issue/issues? :hmm:

USEDCAT
12-03-10, 03:38 PM
First off I have a 98 catera, I have a minor leak in the valve covers, not around dripping outside, but it seems to be the little ring gaskets that are suppose to stop oil from reaching the wells around the spark plug. I changed the gasket around 2 months back with an after market type of gasket, but was recommended for the catera. Like i said there is no leaks around the outside or perimeter. I would like to know if there is any type of oil leak seal or other product that may help stop this leak from within. I have already changed the gaskets about 2 times in the past within the span of 6 to 8 months, and I feel that it is just a waste of time doing the procedure over and over again. I see that the after market gaskets I use from auto zone do not hold up well. I have several other questions, what official brand used for this make, or any good aftermarket gaskets go well with this catera, what has given you guys the best results? Is their a more heavy duty gasket? The ones I have used seem kind of flimsy. Also is there a more heavy duty valve cover that I can purchase to replace the plastic looking covers? :bighead:

In addition, I have had other vehicles in the past such as an Acura legend, that has had a predominately small oil leak from within yet the spark plug boots do a great job in covering the spark plugs from oil., It seems odd that the cateras spark plugs do not do the same from my experience with this car, I usually can see oil in the boot, seems that the boot itself does not protect the plug from oil. Has anyone else had this issue/issues? :hmm:
I had great genuine GM parts from dpart1122 on eBay. I don't believe any sealer will fix this.

More importantly perhaps the breather system blocked or partially blocked is responsible for most such and valve cover gasket leaks. If the breather system is not clean you can keep throwing gaskets at it and the leak will re-appear. This is not my experience as I don't have such leak) but I cleaned my breathers and experts at omegaowners have noted this in many a posts.

Good luck.

ccatera10
12-30-10, 05:50 PM
Thank you for your reply, as in 'breathers" I assume you are talking about the air induction system? if so I have already cleaned the throttle body, checked the filter, the airflow sensor ect.. but have not found excess dirt or debri. I was told here on these boards once that the main entrance of the air induction system (towards the grill), tends to get clogged, I dont know if this has happened to anyone else.

elvin315
12-30-10, 10:07 PM
Don't now why GM didn't use them on our cars. The only real difference is the location of the oil filler cap. It will be closer to the firewall. Adding oil will require one of those long thin funnels. Small price to pay.

The advantage of the alloy covers is that they are less prone to leak because they won't flex and leak oil from high crankcase pressure. It's now more important to keep the breather box clean. Since you've removed its alternate means of pressure relief it has to find another. I believe it's the rear main crankshaft seal.

I bought a set of alloy covers from the UK for a Vauxhall Vectra, same as the ones on the Saab and Saturn V6s. I have a pair waiting to go to the polisher. They should shine up quite nice.

As for the repeatedly leaking covers, that's due to a clogged Crankcase Breather Box. It creates high crankcase pressure that forces oil past the camcover gaskets. The oil settles on the exhaust manifold heat shield and smolders producing smoke.

Solution? Replace the gaskets again and this time clean the breather. Follow the links to the breather cleaning and gasket replacement procedures.

http://www.omegaowners.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1152564281
http://www.omegaowners.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1285583967

elvin315
12-31-10, 01:10 AM
The gaskets are doing the best they can. The engine has a version of a PCV called a Breather Box. It filters crankcase air and relieves it of pressure caused by the pumping of the pistons. Yours is clogged. The built up pressure looks for a new exit and that's the camcovers. They're plastic and the pressure lifts them just enough to leak oil which hits the heat shields over the exhaust manifolds and burns. Once the camcover gaskets are fouled by this oil they usually need replacing. Clean the breather box without replacing the gaskets. It might cure the smoking. If it doesn't you'll have to do the gaskets again.

As for the plastic camcovers there is an alternative. GM put the same 3.0 L81 V6 in some Opels, SAABs, and Saturns. Some use aluminum alloy camcovers. They fit perfectly but if they came off front wheel models the oil filler will be in a different spot. You'll need a long funnel to add oil but that's a small inconvenience. I have a pair from an Opel Vectra waiting for a trip to a powder coater.

Replacing the Camcover Gaskets:
http://www.vauxhallownersnetwork.co.uk/showthread.php?63628-Changing-The-V6-Rocker-Gaskets

Cleaning the Breather Box:
http://www.vauxhallownersnetwork.co.uk/showthread.php?t=118814&highlight=breather

Breather Box:
http://inlinethumb48.webshots.com/41711/2096175150048927869S425x425Q85.jpg

Breather Box Location:
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h38/xj40owner/V6Engine3.jpg

Alloy Camcovers
Plastic camcovers have no place on a Cadillac. Here the covers are from the Saturn LS 3.0 V6. The oil filler is in a different spot but other than that they are a perfect fit. Being aluminum alloy they are 1000% stiffer the our pathetic plastic ones. Call around the junk yards and get a pair. you'll never have them leak again. Now remember, the breather still has to be cleaned or that pressure will find another seal or gasket to blow.
http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/39153636.jpg


Links and pictures courtesy of the Vauxhall Owners Network.
(http://www.vauxhallownersnetwork.co.uk/forum.php).

ccatera10
01-08-11, 08:49 PM
Thank you for all the details, very helpful. Is there a thread where I can take out and clean the breathers, i am not sure how to take this part out.

fast68
01-29-11, 08:21 PM
cool thanks to this thread and pic i checked the one on this 98 and its clear not clogged so any of the horrible oil leaking is not caused by crankcase pressures on this one then

hmm...

destinyintllc
02-06-11, 08:21 AM
those after market gaskets harden and get stiff after a couple of months get the OEM gaskets there rubber. I bought a 2000 catera and someone had just changed them with an after market part and they were rock hard when I replaced them had to scrape them off and out.