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 Post subject: Replacing valve cover gaskets: A real How-To
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:41 pm
Posts: 129
I decided to do a small how-to on replacing the valve cover gaskets on a 3.7. The only write up's I've seen have little to no pics, and some are just copies of the fsm. For the guys just learning to wrench, a good how-to could really help them out. I've been needing to replace my valve cover gaskets for awhile now. The spots in the driveway were starting to annoy me, and while checking my plugs I saw how bad it really was. Oil was leaking down into the plug galley.
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You'll need:
10mm wrench
10mm deep well socket
A couple of extensions
Flathead screwdriver
Pliers or channel locks
A can of brake parts cleaner
A gallon of HOAT antifreeze
13mm socket
5/16 or 8 mm socket and wrench

1) Start off by removing the intake tube and airbox. There are some nipples on the bottom that go into rubber grommets, so all you gotta do is pull straight up. It's a tight fit, so don't be scared to give it a good tug
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2) Once you get the airbox out, remove the 10mm nuts holding the coolant reservoir on. Take your pliers and slide the hose clamp back, and pull the hose off of the bottom of the reservoir. If you are fast, you can flip the reservoir to minimize coolant loss.
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3) Remove the ccv breather hose going from the head to the intake plenum. Also remove your pcv valve. To remove it, push it in and twist counter-clockwise.
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4) Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have screwed around trying to separate the clip around the heater hoses. So I'd leave it clipped, but it's up to you. I chose to remove the heater hoses from the firewall. I've read where guys un-clip the heater hose and try to work around them instead of removing them from the firewall. Sometimes it's easier and faster just to unhook stuff that's in the way.
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5) Remove heater hoses from the firewall and move them off to the side. Now you have some room to work and you won't have to fish the valve cover in and out.
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6) Unplug the coil and injector plugs. I also noticed if you unplug the a/c compressor, map sensor, and coolant sensor you can move all the wiring down towards the exhaust manifold. It gives you alot more room instead of trying to tie it up out of the way.
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7) Unbolt the oil filler tube(5/16 or 8mm). My Jeep was also leaking from the peanut shaped o-ring. I went with the Fel-Pro gasket set, so it came with new valve cover grommets and a new seal for the filler tube.
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8) Now you're ready to unbolt the valve cover (10mm). Next gently stick your Flathead screwdriver between the valve cover and head and pry it loose. You want to be very careful so you don't gouge the mating surfaces. Once it's loose pull the valve cover out.
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9) Now that you have it out, use your brake cleaner to clean the mating surface on both the valve cover and head. If you have to scrape, use a plastic putty knife or Scotch Brite pad. Remove the old grommets and install the new ones. One at a time works best so you don't get the bolts in the wrong order. After you get your grommets and bolts in, you'll see where the gasket presses into the collar/sleeve of the bolt to hold the gasket on. Make sure the gasket is fully seated on collars/sleeves. Here's what you should be looking at.
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10) Now you bolt the valve cover back on and start putting everything back together. I'm not sure of the torque rating of the valve cover bolts, but you don't want them superman tight. I usually hold my 3/8 ratchet by the head and get them as tight as I can like that. I'd guess by saying 15-20 ft lbs would be sufficient. If you over tighten them the gasket will push out and start to deform, and could warp the valve cover surface. If you didn't get it tight enough and it leaks, just tighten the bolts a little more until it stops leaking.

Now on to the drivers side:
It's not near as crowded as the passenger side, so I didn't take step by step pics. You can see everything with the single pic I took.
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1) Remove the battery (10mm), and battery tray (13mm). You'll have to slide the distribution block off by unlocking the tabs, then it just slides up. The evap/purge solenoid just slides up as well. There's a battery temperature sensor under the battery tray, which needs to be unplugged. There's enough slack in the wires for the battery tray to come out far enough to unplug it.

2) Unplug the coil, injector, tps, iac, and iat plugs, and remove the ccv hose (going from the head to the intake plenum) and the hose going from the tb to the evap line tee. The IAT sensor is on the intake manifold behind the #2 coil, and the tps and iac is on the throttle body.

3) Now you are ready to unbolt the valve cover and pull it out. The wiring sorta gets in the way on the drivers side, but once you start trying to get the valve cover out you'll see where it needs to be moved.

4) Put your gasket on like you did on the passenger side, clean the mating surfaces, and start putting everything back together.

Once you get everything back together, look it over to make sure everything is in order, top your coolant off, and bleed the cooling system. Now step back and admire your work.
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I hope this will help someone out who is unsure about doing it themselves, or someone stuck in progress and just needs some guidance. Some of us have been wrenching so long, that we forget about the days when we considered a project like this as doing some serious wrenching. Hope you guys enjoy


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing valve cover gaskets: A real How-To
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:12 am
Posts: 24
Location: Mid-Michigan
Thank you for this.... while I am sure I could have figured it out, your pictures were excellent in outlining what needed to be done. I have this project coming up soon.

I hope you don't mind, I saved as PDF and printed on a color laser printer for on-the-job reference!


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