1984 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

As automobile engines age, one location which often develops oil leaks is the valve cover gasket. Oil leaks from the valve cover gasket can drip onto other engine parts and also stain the cement were a vehicle is parked. Oil leaks can also create an unpleasant smell which enters the car through the cabin's ventilation system. With patience and the right tools, replacing these gaskets is a project that can be successfully completed by most amateur mechanics.

Tools Used: SAE socket set, High temp silicone permit tax gasket sealant, Replacement gasket kit, Standard pliers and vice grip pliers, Small stiff bladed putty knife, Spray engine cleaner, or brake cleaner, Steel wool

Replace Valve Cover Gasket

Gaining Access

Identify the valve covers on each side of the V8 engine. These engine parts will be bolted onto each side of the V8 engine. These valve covers are approximately 6 inches wide by 24 to 26 inches long and approximately 3 to 4 inches deep.

Remove any and all hoses, clamps, wiring or tubing that's mounted to or over the top of the valve cover gaskets. When gaining access to the valve covers, if the spark plug wires must be removed, label each wire. These wires must be replaced in the same order, to the same spark plug from which they are removed. Failure to do so can create firing and timing problems for the engine.

Remove the air filter housing and fuel system air supply parts in order to gain free access to the top of the motor and valve covers.

Replacing the Valve Cover Gaskets

Remove valve cover from the driver's side of the motor by removing the small bolts which hold the valve cover onto the engine block.

Carefully release the valve cover from the engine block. The existing gasket will form a slightly adhesive bond between the valve cover and the engine block. The valve cover will lift off the engine block with a slight amount of pressure. If the valve cover must be pried loose from the engine block, take care to not damage the valve cover or bend the lip of the valve cover during the removal process.

Remove the old valve cover gasket from both the valve cover and the engine block using the stiff bladed putty knife. Take care not to gouge the surface of the engine block or the valve cover. Once the valve cover gasket is removed, clean both surfaces with steel wool and brake cleaner fluid in order to prepare for a successful re-installation of the valve cover gasket.

Apply high temp silicone gasket material to the valve cover along the surface to which the valve cover gasket will adhere. Ensure that no voids exists in the silicone gasket material. Press the new valve cover gasket into the valve cover, using the silicone sealant as an adhesive.

Apply silicone high temp gasket material to the flat surface of the engine block which will receive the new valve cover gasket. Again ensure that the bead of silicone gasket material is unbroken around the perimeter of the valve cover mounting surface.

Replace the valve cover, bolting the valve cover to the engine block. Do not over-tighten these small bolts, as the bolts may shear off in the engine block if over-tightened. Repeat the process on the passenger side of the motor. Replace air filter housing and tubing, wiring, hoses, and any other engine accessories which were detached in order to gain access to the valve covers.

Tips & Warnings

When tightening the valve cover bolts, tighten them evenly across the entire part. Do not completely tighten the bolts on one end of the part until the rest of the bolts have been snugged lightly. The key to success in this process is creating even pressure on the valve cover and valve cover gasket as the part is reattached to the engine block.

Post a Comment