Valve cover replacement

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  #1  
Old 01-11-11, 04:46 AM
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Valve cover replacement

Hello everyone, I have a 1996 4 cyl.Toyota camry. I have a an oil leak, I am thinking about replacing the valve cover gasket. I just replaced plugs and wires, I didn't replace distributor rotor cap & rotor because of the number or other parts I would have to remove. I am slowly gaining confidence in myself thanks to all the DIY input. My questions; by changing the distributor cap will I disturbe the timing ? In replacing the valve cover gasket it looks like I will need a couple of additional tools, a special tool to remove the spark plug tube nuts plus a torque wrench which I have never used. I welcome any helpful info on this project and tools. Thank you, Al
 
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  #2  
Old 01-11-11, 02:09 PM
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No, you will not disturb the timing by removing/replacing the distributor cap, the distributor is locked down and will not move. Remember, there is only one way to get the cap to fit, it has a notch in it.

I have a newer Tacoma and Camry and I am not aware of any special tools to remove the plug wires, mine are rubber and pull right out. On the Tacoma you need a 12" long extension to get way done in there to reach the plugs. When replacing the rotor be sure to twist it until it locks on the notch.

Word of advice... MARK YOUR WIRES, even if with masking tape before you remove them, and mark the distributor as well. The biggest problem is people putting wires back on in the wrong place. Be sure to put some dialectric grease on each end of the plug wires before plugging them on. It keeps them from sticking and creates a sort of vaccum.

I never use a torque wrench but if you feel more comfortable, use it. Harbor Freight has inexpensive ones for $20. If you're screwing into an aluminum head you don't want to chance stripping it. I hope you put some anti seize on your plugs before you put them in? Makes it a whole lot easier to remove next time and keeps them from gaulling in the head.

I'm not familliar with your perticular engine, I'm assuming that you do have a cap and rotor, not many vehicles have them now a days.
 
  #3  
Old 01-11-11, 06:03 PM
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The newer Camry 4-banger is distributorless, but the older ones have one. Question on your oil leak: Are you sure it's the valve cover gasket leaking? Reason I ask is that there are other possibilities, most notably the cam seals - one at the distributor end and one at the timing belt end. Both require quite a bit more work, the timing belt end more so than the distributor end.

If that cover has the big nuts around the spark plug tubes, they can be removed with either a large socket or in a pinch usually channelocks will work if you're careful.

Wife used to have a '95, can't recall if there where any particuar hang-ups with the whole job.
 
  #4  
Old 01-11-11, 07:24 PM
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1. are you sure it's the valve cover gasket that is causing leak?
2. remove your spark plugs; no, you do not need special tool to remove rubber boots off them, but do not pull wires out of them. you will need 3/8 extension and proper size deep socket to get plugs out. are plugs drenched in oil? if yes, is oil on porcelain (outside) of the plug, or is on threads also?
3. distributor O-rings go bad over time, and start leaking. leak is from underneath the center of distributor and looks like valve cover gasket is leaking. it might be too much for a beginner, but replacing those O-rings is a good idea also. with this, you MUST be careful, so if you decide to, let us know and we'll let you know how to.
4. Toyotas and Hondas have spark plugs in deep wells, or tubes; valve cover has then sealed with donut looking seals that come in valve cover gasket kit. also, you will need to replace mounting bolts rubber grommets.
5. THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THAT YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL O-RINGS BETWEEN ENGINE HEAD AND ROCKERS ASSEMBLY. Honda does. those will, eventually, leak onto the spark plugs either.

not trying to scare you. but a little investigation beforehand helps. buy a repair manual. i recommend Chilton, their schematics seam to be better than Haynes.

if you want to feel real high-tec, buy some fluorescent die, put it into oil, let engine run, then shine black lite under the hood. it shows all oil leaks very well. costs few bucks to do.

i'll be chastised for this but, personally, i secure valve cover gasket in place with red silicon. helps.
 
  #5  
Old 01-12-11, 04:27 AM
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Everyone (ukrbyk, tow-man and HotRod53F100) I sincerely appreciate all the input. Your comments are sound alerting me to the area's I should leave to the pro's. The basic repairs I have done so far have been gratifying but thanks for keeping my feet on the ground. First thing I will do is clean up the engine to verify where the oil leak is, if it is where The-Tow-Guy suggested (cam seals) that is not a job for this old goat. Until my next adventure, have a great day everyone, Al
 
  #6  
Old 01-12-11, 07:32 PM
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oh, come on, man!! where's fun in giving up? prolly, no older goat than me, and i am not afraid of no ****, esp some as simple as valve gasket.
seriously, do the die thing. it's pinpoint accuracy.

sorry, dye, not die. we ain't that old, right?
 
  #7  
Old 01-13-11, 06:07 AM
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good morning ukrbyk, you are right, we are not that old, it's just the parts that are old. When I read your comment "do the die thing" I began to worry ***JUST KIDDING*** Thanks for the motivation and all the good advice you have shared. Al
 
  #8  
Old 01-13-11, 03:06 PM
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nope, we are not.. never give up, never surrender!
 
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