Valve cover gasket question
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Valve cover gasket question in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I've seen the other posts on this and they've helped, but I have a question. I'm getting ready to change ...
  1. #1
    water walkin warrior's Avatar
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    Valve cover gasket question

    I've seen the other posts on this and they've helped, but I have a question. I'm getting ready to change the valve cover gaskets since my car is smoking like a steam engine at stop lights and when I stop driving. The car runs, but I need to get them changed soon so it doesn't ruin the engine. I've seen where someone said the rubber gaskets are better, but the guy at the store said the cork is better if the covers are ported or something like that. Based on the covers my 89 Brougham has, which is better? Cork or Rubber? They cost the same for the Fel-Pro brand.

    Also, do I need to plan on a tear down, then let it sit over night and reassembly the next day? I'm not totally lost when taking apart things, but I'm also not the most familiar guy with 307's. How many hours labor would a mechanic generally charge for?

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    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    Iīve always heard rubber is best. At first maybe both are the same or even cork adapts better but in the long run, rubber lasts more years in good condition.

    Iīm not familiar with the 89 engine but it uses to be an easy task: Just loose attaching bolts, taking out valve covers, tearing down old gasket remains and clean both sides where new are going to seat, applying some gasket adhesive paste on the valve cover side and bolting it again. Itīs a good moment to clean valve covers inside and outside, included PCV valve, before new gasket is on its place.

    Someone in this forum posted some tricks if you have no gasket paste at hand: Fixing new gasket to cover with some clothespins for a night to adapt it, or attaching it with a wire like the ones used to close bread packets. When cover is installed and before bolting is complete, you can take these wires out

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    water walkin warrior's Avatar
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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    Thanks, I saw those tricks. I think the most aggravating part will be taking all the hoses and stuff off to get to the valve covers. It looks like a mess. I'll be following the FSM very closely. I just wish it had more pictures in it. I'll be sure to take pictures of what I'm doing, if I think of it. I'm thinking that maybe I need to get some tape and a pen to label "Hose A" to "Place A" and "Hose B to Place B" etc.

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    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    never new valve covers would cause smoking...are you sure it's not a head gasket leak?

    or do you mean it's smoking from under the hood from leaking oil?

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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    Quote Originally Posted by water walkin warrior View Post
    I'm getting ready to change the valve cover gaskets since my car is smoking like a steam engine at stop lights and when I stop driving. The car runs, but I need to get them changed soon so it doesn't ruin the engine.
    A valve cover gasket leak won't ruin an engine, unless you allow a large amount of oil to leak out and don't refill.

    I've seen where someone said the rubber gaskets are better, but the guy at the store said the cork is better if the covers are ported or something like that.
    "Parts store guys" rarely have a clue as to what they are talking about.



    Also, do I need to plan on a tear down, then let it sit over night and reassembly the next day?
    No. Even if you use silicone gasket sealant (a paper thin layer is all it takes, not globs), the gaskets can be installed immediately.

    which is better? Cork or Rubber?
    Generally speaking, rubber lasts longer than cork or cork/rubber, but either will work just fine. Cork is one time use, rubber can often be reused, only really important if you plan on dissembling and resembling your engine often.

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    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    Take a good look at the passanger side and plan on taking most of the evap crap off to get a good fit. I vote rubber with sealant on the valve cover side only, also.

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    water walkin warrior's Avatar
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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    Quote Originally Posted by outsider View Post
    never new valve covers would cause smoking...are you sure it's not a head gasket leak?

    or do you mean it's smoking from under the hood from leaking oil?
    Leaking oil and smoking from where the oil is burning off the manifold. It was leaking before and smoking, but not as bad. It's gotten progressively worse. Hopefully this will take care of the oil leak and the smoking. The smoking comes from right under the valve covers.

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    drmenard is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    Many times people try to retighten the covers when they are leaking... Then they can be over tightened and bend the covers.. when this happens they won't sit flat and leak...Make sure after they are clean that when you put them on a flat surface they are not bumped out where the bolt holes are...If they are bent , strighten them by tapping with a small hammer on a flat surface... Like whats been said before, I always silocone the gasket to the cover and let set to dry. I put the bolts in place to hold ... a hour drying should do it...And if you have a olds motor, the ones that have only 5 screws holding it down they are a big problem trying to keep them from leaking.. What I would do is , after the gasket is glued to the cover and dry... then make sure the head is clean , put more silocone on the gasket and set in place , but don't tighten the bolts... just slightly tighten... let set for a hour then tighten to spec.. what ever that is , maybe 5 lbs

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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    I agree ^^^^

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    brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    I've used both cork and rubber and never had a problem with either. I never use sealer on them unless it's just a very thin layer rubbed on the valve cover side to hold the gasket in place while it's being put back on. If the the valve cover looks like it's warped from someone overtightening the bolts gently hammer them flat again.

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    water walkin warrior's Avatar
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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    I got the driver side done yesterday. I'll post the pics I took. Hopefully I didn't overtighten it. I have to do the passenger side right now. I wish I could stream it for you guys to say "Don't do that!" or "Now do this." lol The passenger side looks like a monster.

    Would you believe I was able to take the bolts on the drivers side off with my fingers, they were so loose? So far, I think the drivers side is ok. I may just try to tighten the passenger side today rather than tear it all apart, but then I'd have to change the gasket anyway later. The old gasket on the drivers side felt like peanut brittle. I'm sure the passenger side does do.

    Welp, Here I go, I'm gonna go work on the passenger side now.

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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    Dont' tighten it. That will make the leaks worse when you warp the cover. Stick with it... you'll get it changed. Go slow, label what you take off.

  14. #13
    water walkin warrior's Avatar
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    Re: Valve cover gasket question

    Thanks jay. I did tighten them a little. I'm going to wait until I have some help with the passenger side. It looks like everything has to come out to get that valve cover out. AIR pump, brackets. vacuum hoses, heater hoses, etc. Do you really have to take it all apart? What a mess. Maybe later this week I can get to it.

    I'll have to start early in the morning on my day off to get to it all probably instead of 5:30 in the afternoon when daylight is a commodity.

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