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1951 Buick Special Leaking from Valve Cover Gasket


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Leaking from valve cover gasket about 1 qt/100 miles. Should I try to re-torque the valve cover, or just pony up and get the new gasket?

I just bought this car and I'm kind of--how you say-- broke.

--Stephen

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So what's a new gasket gonna cost, 200 miles worth of leaked oil? Spring for the new gasket and don't over tighten it. Just a bit over snug is what you are looking for. Over tightening it will spring the cover and actually cause, not fix, leaks. If you don't already have a shop manual spring for that too. It will pay for itself many times over...............Bob

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So what's a new gasket gonna cost, 200 miles worth of leaked oil? Spring for the new gasket and don't over tighten it. Just a bit over snug is what you are looking for. Over tightening it will spring the cover and actually cause, not fix, leaks. If you don't already have a shop manual spring for that too. It will pay for itself many times over...............Bob

Check to see if the edge is warped on the valve cover around the bolts (from over tightening). If so, take a ballpeen hammer and flatten out the edges around the holes to match the rest of the valve cover edge.

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When installing, stick the gasket to the cylinder head with permatex gasket sealer, and let it dry really well (overnight) before intalling the valve cover. Do not put any sealer on the valve cover side of the gasket. Make sure that the valve cover is not bowed out along its length, and that the mating surface is flat. A little hammering on a flat surface might be needed to clean up any warped areas. Do not overtighten the nuts- just snug them up.

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