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1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention


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ChrisX
Novice

Apr 28, 2013, 6:06 PM

Post #1 of 15 (4270 views)
1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

1995 Toyota Corolla DX 1.8L 220,000 mi


Hi. I'm doing my first valve cover gasket. Removing the old spark plug tube seals left some scratches and at least one small hole (not shown) in the valve cover where metal was shaved off. I don't trust it not to leak.

What can I use to seal the spot that is safe for the engine/sensors?

Whatever I use should I let it dry before I install the seal because I am expecting it to need some oil or something to help slide it into place with my DIY bolt-&-washers press?
In other words should I apply stuff (=sealant or whatever you tell me to use) on the valve cover walls where the seal installs, dry stuff then coat seal with oil and press in. Or just coat seal with stuff, press in and dry.
I already have Ultra Grey RTV and some 3M super weatherstripping glue that I'm not sure is sensor safe and temp proof.

I need a good, large photo of where to put the required RTV on the head edges. The one in Haynes is too small to be useful. Using Fel Pro PermaDry set.

Oh one more thing. I'm nervous about the torquing so I planned to under torque to say 35 in-lbs to make sure I don't bust something and then drive it straight to a shop (5 miles) and have them check and torque it properly. Is this something I can get away with safety-wise and will they charge me to do so? (I have a rented torque wrench and no way of checking it's accuracy).

This is a lifesaver. Thank you.

Chris




ChrisX
Novice

Apr 28, 2013, 9:15 PM

Post #2 of 15 (4229 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

What - not sexy enough?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 28, 2013, 10:34 PM

Post #3 of 15 (4225 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

You are asking if this messed up job will work and are unsure of a torque wrench or sequence of tightening so you shouldn't have done this to begin with.

If the flaws are in not barbed out I think I'd just go for it as is. If the damage is sharp maybe smooth them out with something like Scotch-Bright or just a bit of very fine wet/dry crocus (sp?) cloth I call it. I'm not thinking any filler is such a great trick yet. FYI, many valve cover gaskets and any gaskets sealing anything to crankcase vapors are caused by excessive blow by (worn engine) or poor PCV. There should be a very slight vacuum in a tight engine but you have some miles on this thing so who knows?

Be warned that more problems come from over tightening/torquing things like this than under torqued.

Other things in an engine want exact torque, this is just a cover but you could wreck it even more. Hard to make the call but unless you screw it up real bad putting it back on it shouldn't be any worse than what caused you to do this job to begin with?

T



ChrisX
Novice

Apr 29, 2013, 2:41 AM

Post #4 of 15 (4213 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In


In Reply To

Quote

Quote
You are asking if this messed up job will work and are unsure of a torque wrench or sequence of tightening so you shouldn't have done this to begin with.

.....this is just a cover but you could wreck it even more. Hard to make the call but unless you screw it up real bad putting it back on it shouldn't be any worse than what caused you to do this job to begin with?


Guilty as charged. I am not a mechanic but absolutely I should have done this because if I want my only transportation back I am the only mechanic my car is going to get. I didn't do anything horrendous to this valve cover. I just carefully tried to remove the seals with (wrong) online advice so I had to figure it out by trial and error. I lightly tapped them out with a double-taped screwdriver and hammer and since I never touched metal to metal I don't know how the scratches happened but they did anyway.

So. Now that we are finished berating me for not having $100 an hour to hire a mechanic to change out my PCV valve, you are saying I should hope for no leak instead of doing what I can to make sure it won't leak? I was thinking I really don't want to have to do this again and other people even mechanics online have said they routinely use some product on the seals especially if there are leak paths so I just thought I'd be told to use X or Y. OK. I'll listen for what others have to say as well and hopefully someone will address the RTV diagram and the torquing question.




Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Apr 29, 2013, 5:12 AM

Post #5 of 15 (4205 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

How big is the hole? The scratches in the picture ain't nothing. A thin layer of Grey permatex RTV around the tube seals outer edge will fill in the imperfections when you go to press them back in. Make sure you install the seals facing the right direction.





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ChrisX
Novice

Apr 29, 2013, 1:36 PM

Post #6 of 15 (4185 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In


In Reply To
How big is the hole? The scratches in the picture ain't nothing. A thin layer of Grey permatex RTV around the tube seals outer edge will fill in the imperfections when you go to press them back in. Make sure you install the seals facing the right direction.


It's difficult to get a good pic of that area. I pulled off a shaving that was maybe 1-2 mm at it's widest edge and no deeper than that. This was my original idea but then I made the mistake of contacting Felpro and Permatex. I will assume the seal RTV can be dry when I install the valve cover on the car.


MarineGrunt
Enthusiast
MarineGrunt profile image

Apr 29, 2013, 4:27 PM

Post #7 of 15 (4165 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

Those scratches look awfully small to cause any kind of leak. On all of the cars I've worked on it seems like almost every aluminum mating surface has some pitting or scratches. Listen to DS above and put a very thin coating of rtv first. Just think enough to cover the pitting so pretty much paper thin.

For future info, when you're driving something out, be sure to use a punch that is made up of a softer materiall than what you're driving out. If you're hitting on steel use a brass punch. You never want to get carried away with a hammer. Use a hammer as a last resort although some jobs require a hammer though. Many don't though and will end up causing more damage. I'm not saying you caused any just giving you some fyi. I learned my lessen more than once when I first started working on my own cars!

You've found the last website you'll ever need for automotive advice. I came here over a year ago asking questions and haven't been to any other since. These guys here are professional mechanics and I have yet to stump them on a question or problem. Bottom line is they know their stuff. They helped me rebuild an automatic transmission last fall and I never thought I'd be able to tackle a job like that. I did feel comfortable trying though. I'm not saying you can jump into anything with their help because you're the one that's in front of the car. It's just nice being able to get some help if you get stumped. It's okay to jump out of your comfort zone a little but don't overdo it. If you stick around here you'll learn a lot. One warning though, the cost of tools to do certain jobs really add up. Although, it can be cheaper than taking to a shop though but not all the time. Just depends what you need.


ChrisX
Novice

Apr 29, 2013, 4:34 PM

Post #8 of 15 (4161 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

Cheers, MarineGrunt


ChrisX
Novice

Apr 29, 2013, 10:09 PM

Post #9 of 15 (4141 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In


In Reply To


hopefully someone will address the RTV diagram and the torquing question.



No one mentioned it so I will assume the valve cover won't leak like a sieve at 35 in-lbs or blow off the car at full power. I'm still searching for a good diagram or picture.


MarineGrunt
Enthusiast
MarineGrunt profile image

Apr 29, 2013, 11:14 PM

Post #10 of 15 (4138 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

There's no need for you to do everything and then take it to a shop and have them torque the bolts down. As long as you know how to use a torque wrench it's a simple procedure. To be honest, I don't think I've ever even used a torque wrench on valve covers. There are times you HAVE to use one such as for head gasket bolts, intake manifold, etc. It is a good idea to use one though. Even if your torque wrench is off 5 ft lbs it's not going to leak and it's definitely not going to blow off. You'll be fine.

I must've missed it but what kind of a diagram are you looking for?


(This post was edited by MarineGrunt on Apr 29, 2013, 11:24 PM)


ChrisX
Novice

Apr 30, 2013, 4:12 PM

Post #11 of 15 (4120 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In


In Reply To
As long as you know how to use a torque wrench it's a simple procedure.

I must've missed it but what kind of a diagram are you looking for?


First time using one. Practiced so I could learn what the click feels like but I want zero possibility of breaking a bolt. So I figure under torque to be safe and then let a pro with a calibrated tool do the finicky part (trusting he won't break a bolt).

I mean a clear picture of the RTV application to the 5 places on the engine head. The FSM should have a readable one but I don't.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 30, 2013, 4:30 PM

Post #12 of 15 (4116 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

Forget it! I read the crap you posted on the other site. All you want to do is complain about the help people give you.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



MarineGrunt
Enthusiast
MarineGrunt profile image

Apr 30, 2013, 4:32 PM

Post #13 of 15 (4113 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

You are way overstressing the torqueing process for valve covers. Depending on the strength of the bolt it would probably take 3 times the recommended torque specs to bust that bolt. You'd likely strip out the threads of the head before you'd break the bolt and even that's not gonna happen unless the threads are already screwed up. What I will sometimes do for some things is set the torque wrench to half of what it calls for, torque each one, and then torque again with the full amount. You'll be fine. If for some very crazy reason it does break (it won't though) you'll get to learn something else new and that is how to extract a broken bolt! If it strips out you'll learn what a helicoil is. There's normally a fix for most situations but it's highly unlikely you'll run into an issue with the valve cover bolts.

Seriously though, those bolts are much stronger than what the recommended torque setting is. Just set it and torque them. If you're going to tackle some of the jobs on your own vehicle you're gonna want to be confident in yourself and you'll gain some from this. You'll realize how much you're overstressing once you're done. I know where you're coming from because I can be the same way with some stuff. I wouldn't tell you to do it if I thought there would be a problem.


ChrisX
Novice

Apr 30, 2013, 8:51 PM

Post #14 of 15 (4102 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

 
MarineGrunt, thank you for your answers and to everyone else who helped thank you too. Discretesignals, Thanks. Smile


(This post was edited by ChrisX on Apr 30, 2013, 9:16 PM)


ChrisX
Novice

May 8, 2013, 6:23 PM

Post #15 of 15 (4059 views)
Re: 1995 Corolla Valve Cover: Leak Prevention Sign In

For those who come after me, here ya go.




(This post was edited by ChrisX on May 8, 2013, 6:30 PM)






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