96 Civic valve cover


Old 11-07-11, 09:06 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 198
96 Civic valve cover

Do you need to remove the spark plugs in order to remove the valve cover?

Here's the deal, two spark plug wires on my 96 Civic went bad. The ceramic portion of the spark plug wire that attaches to the top of the plug got brittle/correded and eventually starting shorting out causing the engine to miss. The plug wires are less then a year old.

This morning I tried removing all the plug wires and two wires broke apart, leaving the ceramic portion and rubber boot still attached to the plug. I tried breaking it into pieces with a screw driver, but no luck. I was running short on time so I had to leave the car alone.

The valve cover gasket does have a minor leak. Oil is not leaking on the ground, but the top of the cylinder head is oily. It's a 1.6 SOHC engine so it has a deep well cavity of the plug wire.

If I can pull the valve cover without pulling the plugs, great. If I can't, then I'll continue trying to break the remaining spark plug wire apart, because I'm unable to put a socket over the spark plug with the pieces still remaining.
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Old 11-11-11, 05:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
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Old 11-11-11, 07:05 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 198
Thanks for the link, I forgot to update this thread. To answer my own question, yes you can remove the valve cover without removing the plugs (as the video shown)

Later on that evening I continued trying to remove the spark plug boot and ceramic pieces from within the well. There's only so much you can take out with a flat screwdriver. So after a while, I used my shop vac, a piece of plastic tubing and vacuum out as much as I could. Eventually I was able to remove all debris from the well. Re-install new wires and problem solved. The engine is running smoother than ever.

Upon closer inspection, it appears my "valve cover" leak could also possibly be a distributor o-ring leak. The oil seepage is in that general location. So I held off on replacing the valve cover gasket until I get a distributor o-ring seal.
Old 11-11-11, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,051
Yes from my limited Honda experience the distributor O-ring is a common leakage point and a first check point for Honda Mechanics. Usually when the valve cover leaks it is also leaking from the plug hole seals and you find oil all over the porceline on the plugs which eventually gives problems.

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