Cam Cover gaskets

  • How Hard to change???

    Want to do it this week.. but totally lacking the know how/confidence to do it myself… but gonna do it myself.

    Doing the IM Gasket too...

    Anyone got advice as to how to do it, what to look out for and any special instructions?


  • Cover the gasket if they are rubber with a coat of oil to just make a good seal and when re tightening start on the middle 2 and work your way outwards in a circular motion to stop and mis-shaping occuring, do them hand tight first then go back around and just nip them up.

    Also front is dead easy rear is a bitch as you have to take the inlet manifold off to get to it.

  • Ok… It's the rear gasket i'm gonna do as i have a leak back there....

    So, IM comes off... Undo the bolts... Replace Gasket (with RTV on the corners i.e. Where the Cams are...) Bolt the Cover back on... replace IM Gaskets... Put IM back on.. Done???

    Sounds so simple :lol: I know it won't be!! :roll:

  • Hmm never heard of using oil DJ for them,only if you don't wan't the RTV to stick so it comes off easy next time. Anyway everyones got their own techniques! I have it bone dry to eliminate all seeping.

    Couple of extra pointers:

    -There's a bracket at the back of the manifold that connects it to the head, it's easily missed. I never reinstall it either, never had any issues.
    -You may wish to consider buying new intake manifold gaskets. You may get in there, have the IM off, then realise the IM gaskets are delapidated.
    -First time I did this I marked with Tipex or labels where each vacuum hose went.
    -Be careful if removing hoses from the solonoids, most of them have plastic nipples that break of very easily. You shouldn't have to disconnect them really.
    -watch out when removing the IM bolts and nuts. They love dropping into the valley of the v6, magnetic pickup tool is a lifesaver for them.

    It's really not a bad job, it's the first real one I took on with my car. It's all a good opportunity to paint your cam covers ;)

  • Cheers Marco….

    Was planning on painting Rear Cover and IM.. Front Cover is off being polished right now.... :wink:

    Didn't see the point of polishing the rear as ya can't see it anyway....

  • @8bac99e5a7=Marco:

    Hmm never heard of using oil DJ for them,only if you don't wan't the RTV to stick so it comes off easy next time. Anyway everyones got their own techniques! I have it bone dry to eliminate all seeping.

    My boo boo sorry, yes ignore that I was thinking or water seals in rudder stocks, the oil makes them easier to fit

    Dont cover them in oil hammy :wink:

  • Thats not entirely wrong about the oil, it shouldnt be used on fibre type gaskets, only RTV or similar should be, however it is recommended when using rubber/reuseable gaskets, for a few reasons. It aids the gasket to not grip the surface, allowing it to squish itself into place better, rather than folding/pinching, it also assists in stopping it from gluing itself to the surfaces under heat and pressure and last but not least, it does help provide a better seal since rubber gaskets cant be crushed in a similar way that the fabric/fibre/laminate ones can be since doing so would cause them to splurge out at the edges or long straights, buckle or twist in their channels or pinch puncture, a light smear helps seat them and fill in the tiny gaps.

    Clean engine oil is the safest and most recommendable choice. FYI Red rubber grease (developed by BMW iirc) is the best for using on brake caliper seals when you rebuild them as it helps hydrate the rubber and also doesnt cause it to swell. Copper grease on the other hand is a killer for that, and unfortunately far too many places recommend its use on the braking system, generally for stopping squeels under braking, though nobody ever warns of the dangers it can cause if applied liberally to the calipers and especially the rubber seals or something that may at somepoint contact or cause it to smear/rub/wash onto them. Most folks probably think that over greasing something is a good idea, and in almost everycase it is, but not in this one or when using copper grease, it is an anti seize compound, nothing else, it shouldnt be used on anything else than threads, it contains particles of copper (unsurprisingly) and so anything that you use it to lubricate will infact be subject to abbrasion due to the particles it contains. (sorry, bit of a rant there, long story, short version - bought a bike, someone rebuilt calipers with copper grease, rubbers swollen, brakes seized, bike accident)

    In this case I dont think it applies but I havent done any gaskets on the mx so dont know whats in use, id expect fibre except on rocker cover as thats the only place Ive encountered rubber gaskets being used.

    Theres a reason the manufacturer species to oill the rubber seal on your oil filter :) HTH

  • On my own car I like to put a very thin film of very high temp instant gasket on mine.

    On a customers car I don't use anything.

    I wouldn't oil em though.

    I usually torque em up correctly too, but hand tight and nip up is probably close enough.

  • Thanks everyone..

    @Admin.. What instant gasket do you use?

    Starting this this afternoon after work, and will be finished tomorrow (fingers crossed) :lol: after the painting….

  • I would mostly like to support Jesta's advise with the exception of brake overhauls, copper grease is for the back of the pads-thats all, calliper pistons should be kept clean. Incidentally if you should get something undesireable on a brake component, use a low flash point solvent with the following active ingredient: TRI-CHLORO-EHTYL-ENE.

    Its brilliant stuff.

    Don't get too much on your skin though.

  • Thank you :) Though you may have misread something somewhere as I havent said to use copper grease when rebuilding seals, I said red rubber grease, which is manufactured for that very purpose. While a clean seal and piston is no bad thing, a smearing of grease is better, since the seals have no form of lubrication once the piston is installed. The space between the dust seal and main seal provides an excellent place to build a dam of red rubber grease, allowing the piston to remain lubricated each time it moves. It also aids in stopping the ingress of water into the brake fluid and caliper body, causing mank fluid and oxidisation of the aluminium caliper shells.

  • Rain stopped play on Friday morning for this… And the weekend was a no go as it was the missus' birthday.

    Will be revisiting this when i get time...


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