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RSX-S
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so toyota said my valve cover gasket is leaking which it definately is since you can see it. now its not a HUGE leak but its enough to drip down to the floor, make a really dirty burning oil smell and for white smoke to emerge from my hood because of it. now i want to get this fixed but for that, resealing my oil pan and doing a tranny flush toyota wants to charge me over 1,000 which i cant afford as a full time student. anyway my questions are... how hard is it to replace a valve cover? is it a really messy job? how much do the parts cost? because i saw them for around $15-25 which seems really low. and how much does a job like this cost at a normal mechanic? thanks =]
 

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'96 Camry XLE
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11,246 Posts
If it's the 5SFE I4 engine, it;s a snap. V6 is harder, but if you are REALLY in a money crunch, its a good learnign experiance. I just changed the Valve Cover Gasket in an I4 (Corolla, but same concept) on my Nana's car in the condo parking lot. Look 45 mins cause I was going slow as all her, with her nagging me over my shoulder thinking I was breaking her engine.
 

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Breakin' necks since '02!
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2,330 Posts
I have a gen 3, but also have a valve cover leak. It just drips onto my downpipe near the flex pipe then drips off that. I'd like to fix it myself but i'm scarred to and i'm even more scared to have a shop fix it cause i'll get ass raped on labor. I spent over $1k a few months back between my rear main seal leaking, distributor o-ring and oil pan gasket.
 

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'96 Camry XLE
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11,246 Posts
^ Ask Gino. He's been FUCKED with shit lately, but that is a simple job. He MAY be willing to help ya out next time you are there. He sould only take 30 mins. Just bring him a 6-pack as a Thank You. :)
 

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TN Pussy Man
Camry
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13,302 Posts
4banger- 30min job tops...same if it is the front valve cover on the v6

v6 rear one...different story all together though..:hammer:


and if it leaks THAT badly, you should REALLY get it fixed...
you can probably skip the tranny flush and pan reseal for now...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
yeah well i shudnt say im strapped on cash but i really think $1,000 is outrageous on a 10 year old car. is it a messy job? the only valve cover gaskeys i find for a 5sfe are on ebay. are these trustworthy? ill do it myself i guess =] its jst unscrew the valve cover replace the valve cover gasket and put the top back on? thanks =] oh and most importantly what tools do i need? Thank you!!!
 

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mixed bag 'o vehicles
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2,895 Posts
on the 5sfe its very easy and not very messy. i would suggest getting a new gasket from toyota. i bought one several months ago, but cant remember the exact cost. it was like $35. the tools you will need are is a 30mm socket and wrench (if you have it) or channel locks or large cresent wrench works to remove the spark plus tube nuts and a dead-blow hammer/rubber mallet/or regular hammer with a piece of wood to knock the cover loose after the nuts are off. oh, and a pair of pliers to pull the rubber hose off of the PCV valve. what else... oh, and brake cleaner to clean the mating surface and a tube of rtv to help seal the common leak points.
 

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'96 Camry XLE
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11,246 Posts
^ Listen to what he said.

I think gaster it around $20-25 from the dealer. And I'd say the 30mm socket would be a better idea then chanel locks, just for ease of it. I Think Advance Auto may have that size.
 

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If you don't have the tools yet, I would say that's a good $40 there for sockets and drive wrench. Not to mention the cost of the parts but it still beats the grand you quoted. Do a search on Ghettosled's post on oil sludge, there is alot of pictures there of engine with the valve covers removed. It will give you an idea how the internal would look like and how to disassemble the valve cover step by step.

kamrhee
 

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93 BMW 525i
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395 Posts
Don't torque the spark plug tube nuts to 30 Ftlbs!!!!!!!!!!

There is one manual out there that lists the torque spec for those as 33 or so ftlbs, and another that lists it as 17. 33 will crack the aluminum valve cover (ask me how I know).

Other than that, its a walk in the park. I would buy the 30 mm socket and use that.

Also, this is a great chance to polish or paint the valve cover and make it look extra nice. I have one for a 3rd gen that I'm almost done with that looks REAL nice that I will probably sell on here when I'm done.

I'm curious though - if you paid to have the distributor O-ring replaced, didn't the mechanic have to open the valve cover to get to that, and therefore would have already replaced the gasket?
 

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TN Pussy Man
Camry
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^ don't tell me you've actually cracked a valve cover?

the threads on the sparkplugs and the hole should strip long before that....same as when people say you can crack your valve cover over tightening the valve cover bolts....you can't...the bolts will snap long before the cover itself does
 

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93 BMW 525i
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395 Posts
Eye8Pussies said:
^ don't tell me you've actually cracked a valve cover?

the threads on the sparkplugs and the hole should strip long before that....same as when people say you can crack your valve cover over tightening the valve cover bolts....you can't...the bolts will snap long before the cover itself does
Oh it definitely cracked. I kept it in the garage for a long time (don't know why, lazy) but I finally threw it out. In retrospect, I heard it crack while I was tightening the nut/washer combo, but I assumed that it was just the friction of the nut on there. Anyway, I started a very fine covering of oil sprayed all over the front side of the intake manifold.

I thought "now, I don't know whats going on here, but oil doesn't leak UP..." Turns out there was a hairline crack in the fillet of the backside of the valve cover, and the vibrations of the engine were splattering over onto the intake manifold.

BTW, that was only tightened to 35 ftlbs or so. I had to go run to some junkyard and pick up a gen3 valve cover (which didn't fit and I'm currently repainting) and then I finally found a Gen4 at a dismantler.
 

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93 BMW 525i
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You won't be able to see them with the spark plug boots on, there are 4 large (30mm) nut/washers underneath the boots.

Thats all you have to remove to loosen the valve cover, however, to get the cover off, I believe you need to loosed to engine hoise brackets a bit for clearance (quick 10mm nuts/bolts).

Whole job can be done in 15 mins taking your time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
alotawatts said:
Plugs seals while you are at it ?
what do you mean? i guess thats one more question i should ask. what else should i do while its open? anything easy and worthwhile? thank you for all the advice =]
 

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Alltrack Wannabe
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639 Posts
There are no plug seals.
The plug tubes are sealed.
Where they thread into the head Toyota puts sealant.
They can leak after a while.
It's a bit of a PITA to reseal them though. You have to spin them out with a pipe wrench and such.

hooRAH said:
There is one manual out there that lists the torque spec for those as 33 or so ftlbs, and another that lists it as 17.
That's why the factory manual is nice to have. :)

hooRAH said:
I'm curious though - if you paid to have the distributor O-ring replaced, didn't the mechanic have to open the valve cover to get to that, and therefore would have already replaced the gasket?
Nope.
The dist slides out without removing the cover.
 

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Camry
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1,463 Posts
Eye8Pussies,

In doing my gasket replacement, I broke the valve cover (front corner left) and busted a bolt.

Then to really piss me off, I went weak on the back cover and the f**ker is still dripping oil on the exhaust. Since it's the middle of winter, nothing can happen for a couple more months.

I bought gaskets from Napa...I think next time I will go get Toyota gaskets. There is a diffference in what I took out and what I put in.
 
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