1989 Honda Prelude Head Cover Gasket Replacement

A leaking head cover gasket should be repaired promptly. If it is allowed to continue leaking, it can cause far more serious problems. If the leaking oil reaches the timing belt, it can shorten its lifespan, resulting in very costly repairs. Oil leaking onto the many hoses on the engine can shorten their lifespan as well, possibly causing them to burst and leaving you stranded. Oil leaking onto the hot exhaust components can lead to an engine fire, potentially totaling the vehicle.

Tools Used: Pliers, Ratchet, Extension, 10 mm socket, Flat head screwdriver, New valve cover gasket, Spark plug tube seals

Replace Head Cover Gasket


Twist and pull the spark plug wires at the valve cover gasket to remove them. Set them aside.

Squeeze the clip on the vacuum line running from the intake boot to the valve cover, with a pair of pliers, then slide it back onto the line. Pull the vacuum line off the valve cover.

Remove the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve from the center of the valve cover. Twist it, while pulling on it, to remove it from the grommet.

Use a ratchet, extension and 10 mm socket to remove the bolt that secures the ground wire to the valve cover. Set the ground wire aside.

Remove the bolts, washers and grommets that secure the valve cover gasket in place.

Insert a flat head screwdriver between the valve cover and the head of the engine. Gently twist the screwdriver to pry the valve cover up. Do this in several places around the valve cover. Lift the valve cover off the engine.

Remove the valve cover gasket and spark plug tube seals from the valve cover. Note the orientation of the spark plug tube seals.


Install the new valve cover gasket and spark plug tube seals into the valve cover. Ensure that the opening in the spark plug tube seals is facing outward.

Install the valve cover onto the engine and reinstall the grommets, washers and bolts. Tighten the bolts in an alternating sequence. Reinstall the ground wire onto the valve cover and tighten the bolt.

Reinstall the PCV valve, spark plug wires and vacuum line. Use the pliers to slide the retaining clamp over the vacuum line.

Tips & Warnings

Allow the engine to cool before working on it.

Always remove the spark plug wires by pulling on the boot, not the wires.

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