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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have all my parts and will be trying this tomorrow.

Should I be using RTV sealant as well? Where? How much? Anyone got pics?

Any particular brand or formulation? I presume I can get it at a True Value type store?

TIA!

-kj-
 

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This has been discussed many times in past threads, but here's a recent one because I'm too lazy to retype. See my post within...

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=284030&page=2

On the brand or formulation, I'll let someone else answer which is the best readily available formulation. I've just used leftover Toyota FIPG sealant intended for the oil pan.
 

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Yes, that same issue has been mentioned for the last few days here, all about valve cover gasket, torque spec, sealant...

anyway, some suggested to use sealant in the rear, near the corner. However, if I were to do it, I will probably not use any sealant since I don't see any to be used to begin with. But if you are on the "save" side, you may want to put a little, not too much.

Good luck, do take some pictures to share with us :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. Funny, I was just reading that thread on my phone. I'll quote:

Even with the OEM gasket you do need to use some sealant. Mainly in the "corners" (where the mating surface changes from flat to the "humps" over the camshaft) and also a small amount over the "plugs" (semi-circular inserts in the head wall). Just don't use too much.
This helps, but I've never used sealant, but with all due respect, words like "some" and "too much" don't quite give me what I need...

A thin bead, of, say, 1mm or so? More? On top of the gasket? On the head before the gasket is applied? I don't even know if these questions make sense. Maybe it'll be easy when I tear everything apart.

Related question: what is best to use to clean the valve cover itself? I'm only concerned about the surface where the gasket will meet it. The cover itself is fairly corroded and isn't going to win any awards for appearance. Additionally, though I haven't seen the underside, if there's a lot of gunk, it makes sense to remove it, just wondering how.

Off to search some more threads...

-kj-
 

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Just use a wire brush and some oil to clean it. I like to put RTV around the spark plug tube seals, and a tid bit under the gasket in the groove, then put some on my finger and run it around the bottom of the gasket (a very thin coating). It will ruin the spark plug tube seals if you ever have to remove them again, so you won't be able to reuse them, but it will ensure that they don't leak.

As for which rtv to use, I prefer this stuff.
 

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I replaced the valve cover gaskets on our '98 Sienna last winter. It has the same engine as the V6 Camrys from that time period. (1MZ-FE). I found these two threads handy:

In this one he mentions using Permatex Black High Temp Silicone RTV, which is what I used as well. It's a couple dollars at your favorite auto parts store. As for how much to use, I just smear it around the entire gasket, using just enough to cover the mating surfaces but not so much as to cause it to mash out when the bolts are tightened. I know that's not very scientific, but a little bit is better than too much. Do be sure to get a good amount on the cam lobes, which are the U-shaped humps you'll see on the valve covers.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1451694&postcount=13

This next thread has pictures but during the same project he was going after the knock sensors so you'll see pictures and comments pertaining to draining coolant and pulling the intake manifold which won't apply to your valve cover gasket project. (Keep this one in mind, though, if you ever trip P0325 or P0330 which are "no signal from knock sensors"! It makes for a fantastic project but I won't get onto that tangent!)

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=157503&highlight=1mzfe+sensor+location

+1 on what SexieWASD says about cleaning the cover with a wire brush. Like him, I used the Permatex on the spark plug tube seals, but only because I didn't do a very good job of replacing them. Some advice, don't try replacing the spark plug tube seals unless you really think they need attention, or else you'll also be studying THIS post! :headbang:

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=177338

I ALMOST FORGOT! While you have everything taken apart, go ahead and replace the gasket where the PCV valve sits. Then put in a new PCV valve when you're putting everything back together. You'll be very pleased with how snugly the PCV valve sits in the new gasket. And that reminds me, while you have the valve cover off, make sure, as best as you can, that there are no deposits gumming up the airflow through the baffle leading to the PCV valve.
 

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Thanks. Funny, I was just reading that thread on my phone. I'll quote:



This helps, but I've never used sealant, but with all due respect, words like "some" and "too much" don't quite give me what I need...

A thin bead, of, say, 1mm or so? More? On top of the gasket? On the head before the gasket is applied? I don't even know if these questions make sense. Maybe it'll be easy when I tear everything apart.

Related question: what is best to use to clean the valve cover itself? I'm only concerned about the surface where the gasket will meet it. The cover itself is fairly corroded and isn't going to win any awards for appearance. Additionally, though I haven't seen the underside, if there's a lot of gunk, it makes sense to remove it, just wondering how.

Off to search some more threads...

-kj-
Sorry, wasn't trying to be a wise-a$$. It was late, no one had responded at the time and you indicated "TOMORROW" so was trying to point you at something to help you get started.

As far as thickness, no more than about 1/8 inch. A lot of times, if unsure, do a test and run a bead and press it between 2 pieces of flat scrap material and see how much it widens out.

I prefer to apply it to the head in this case. The application areas I indicated should be considered the minimum. Others have applied it to far more places. Some say they put it on the full run of the gasket, both top and bottom. I wouldn't think doing more area of the gasket would hurt anything as long as you don't have globs of sealant squeezed out into the inside of the cover where it could eventually break off and clog oil passages. It's also best to let the stuff cure fully before firing up the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Perfect, thanks! I'm going to wait for the 30mm socket I got on ebay before attempting this. The local shop wanted $15, saved $5 on eBay. :) I went ahead and fixed my rear sway bar bushings instead! :)
 

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I'm really not sure it's wise to use a wire brush on aluminum which is what your head and valve cover are made of. Brass wire brush would be better. Go very easy either way. Definitely never use steel wool on aluminum.

Solvents often work well. Spray on Gasket remover (never on painted surfaces though! take paint off) or even acetone. Apply to a rag and scrub. Light scrapping with a razor blade or wood chisel can help. Don't let residue fall into head.

Really, I've not had too much problem cleaning up these parts.

Make sure you clean the surfaces as much as possible. As 73sport likes to say... can never have them clean enough. Just prior to mating the parts, wipe again with acetone or lacquer thinner.
 
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