View Full Version : Still Can't Get The Front Valve Cover Off!!!

El Dobro
05-10-06, 04:31 PM
When trying to remove the front valve cover on my '98 Seville, the cover hits the radiator support and won't clear the camshaft sprockets by around 1/2"-3/4". Does the cradle have to be dropped some on the right so the cover clears the support?

05-10-06, 07:50 PM
Eldobro, with all of the past info you had posted over the years, I was beginning to think you were a Caddy tech. You are usually spot on. I see you are having trouble though, so can I assume that I was wrong about the tech thing? Anyway, how much room do you need? If it is minimal, dropping the rear of the cradle will probably give the room you need. If you need alot of room, I do not think that only dropping the rear will be good enough. But who knows, give it a shot. By the way, what is the problem you are having? Valve cover gasket leak?


05-10-06, 07:56 PM
You have the water pump pulley off and the water pump drive seal removed from the cam cover? If the seal is removed from the cam cover there should be sufficient movement allowable to lift the front end of the cover and slide it toward the drivers side so as to twist to remove over the intake cam snout.

Loose screw
05-11-06, 12:49 AM
I don't know about you particular model BUT the radiator bracket is removable without removing the radiator or and hoses on other models.

The engine and trans can be rotated back and up a little with out dropping anything by jacking up the under the front exhuast manifold DON"T get carried away. use a block of wood notched to fit both jack and maifold - other place work too. The back of the engine can also be pulled down a little , both methods rotate ot twist the engine and trans a few degress in the cradle.

The problem you may be having (if your car has some years and miles) is that the engine mounts get streched and weak with age and WOT and when at rest the engine and trans will sag down and forwards several degress. Result - no clearance to get the cover off.

You can also pull, pry or push the top of the engine back towards the firewall. Do you have a friend with a 2 by 4 that is about the quickest method. Just be carefull where it touches the engine and the car. I have done that and it works. That extra inch can make all the differece.

El Dobro
05-11-06, 03:29 PM
No Dadillac, not a tech, I only work on my own cars. I finish the repairs after the shop "repairs" them first. :rolleyes:
Besides the water pump drive seal leaking, the valve covers were also leaking in the corners and down the sparkplug holes. I've already finished with the back valve cover, that's why I'm doing the front. Chevelle, ;) I've removed the seal and pulley from the side already. What's happening is that the front of the engine is too close to to the radiator support, or should I call it the radiator crossmember, since it's welded in place. When you pull up on the passenger side of the valve cover, it hits the beam, which also has a 1 1/2 " lip, right where the thickest part of the valve cover is. I tried dropping the back of the frame today and it's still not good enough. I also tried dropping the front and it was even worse. The next time I'm in the mood to work on it, I'm going to try dropping the whole right side of the frame.

05-11-06, 08:11 PM

Don't forget that the side engine mounts, miunt to the body of the car. So if you drop the cradle down, but do not at least loosen the side mounts, the engine will not come down as far.


El Dobro
05-12-06, 07:59 PM
Well, I finally got the front valve cover off of the head. Just to get enough room to swing it off of the water pump drive pulley shaft, I had to drop the cradle all the way down on the right and the rear on the left. I also had to move the radiator forward, which also means I had to pull the right hand headlamp assembly out. Then, I had enough room to take the cover off. Other than that, it was a piece of cake. :rolleyes:

05-12-06, 08:07 PM
Remember when all you had to remove was 8 - 10 bolts?

El Dobro
05-12-06, 10:36 PM
And maybe an alternator or an a/c compressor. Never had to lower the engine before. Even when I worked on Corvairs, I just had to move a muffler or two.