Valve cover gaskets

Just a quick recap on the valve cover leakage. The cover on the passenger side was leaking badly a the back bottom corner where the oil gathers before draining back down the block to the pan. It was getting on the exhaust pipe, smelling bad and leaving a trail of blue behind the car. On the advice of a local mechanic (Chevy MacDonald!) who is a Chev racer too, I bought a set of 3/16″ composite FelPro cork gaskets.

I have coated both sides of the gasket with anti-seize paste. That way the gasket will come away from the block and the cover without breaking if I have to remove the cover for any reason. The old gasket was a rubber compound and should have worked fine, but…

I use two small removable studs on the lower side to hold the gasket in place and then align the valve cover.

I only use a 1/4″ drive extension with a driver handle to install the valve cover nuts. That way I won’t over-tighten the bolts. I’m also using spreaders under the bolts to distribute the pressure along the cover lip.

Success! Only the lightest misting of oil at the back of the valve cover. After letting the engine cool I again snugged down the bolts again – not as tight as I could, just a bit now that the gaskets are warm and there is some looseness.

Next some parts arrived and I can replace the hood release cross-engine cable.

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