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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have a persistent valve cover leak that I just can't seem to get healed up.  Engine is an LA360 with a torker II manifold on it, regular old exhaust manifolds.  Nothing special that would need extra clearance under the covers.  I'm forever collecting oil out of the bolt areas on the intake manifold.  I've currently got regular old tin valve covers with regular old cork gaskets.  I've got the gaskets RTVd to the covers but they still just aren't sealing well.  I'm wondering if they are warped or if my choice of gasket is the problem.

At this point, I'm perfectly happy replacing the whole kit and kaboodle.  I've got a regular breather and oil fill cap on the passenger side and a PCV valve on the driver.  I'd like something that isn't going to make me buy special grommets or have to fab in baffles.
 

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Pull the valve covers and straighten the rails with a hammer.  I have an old piece of railroad rail that I use the lower flange as an anvil for valve covers, oil pans, etc.  Check the head to make sure there is no casting oddities that would keep the valve cover from sitting flat and flush with the rough cast lip on the head.  Test fit the valve covers, without any gasket, to ensure that they will sit on the head without contacting any part of the intake.  If they touch anywhere, trim the valve cover lip back for clearance.  If you want to spend the money, some of the silicone gaskets with the metal insert are the best thing you can do to prevent leaks.  Cork and rubber gaskets will be hit or miss at best.  I think I used some Moroso gaskets the last time I did it and they have worked very well without any sealant of any kind.  No matter what gasket you use, torquing them correctly is essential.  99.999999% of the time leaky stamped steel valve covers are over-torqued and they will never seal correctly.  The factory torque is 80 inch pounds, which is a lot less than most people try to use typically.  Cast aluminum valve covers are an option and will typically seal better if they are good quality.
 

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What Intake Manifold?  Check the flange along the intake, on aftermarket intakes some interfere with the flange and keep them from sealing.
 

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gremlinmt said:
So, I have a persistent valve cover leak that I just can't seem to get healed up. Engine is an LA360 with a torker II manifold on it, regular old exhaust manifolds. Nothing special that would need extra clearance under the covers. I'm forever collecting oil out of the bolt areas on the intake manifold. I've currently got regular old tin valve covers with regular old cork gaskets. I've got the gaskets RTVd to the covers but they still just aren't sealing well. I'm wondering if they are warped or if my choice of gasket is the problem.

At this point, I'm perfectly happy replacing the whole kit and kaboodle. I've got a regular breather and oil fill cap on the passenger side and a PCV valve on the driver. I'd like something that isn't going to make me buy special grommets or have to fab in baffles.
I never liked cork gaskets... they distort to easily.
I prefer the Fel- Pro Thick Composite Gaskets. These are the one's I've been running for years. They work. They are very thick and will not distort.
I do use some sort of sealer because there's not enough bolts to seal the best unlike the Magnum style engines.
I'm not sure of your specific part number.
And like Lanty said above... Cast aluminum covers are thick and seal way better. Along with the more expensive silicone gaskets.
 

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jerseybud said:
These are the best- silicone rubber with steel core.
https://www.manciniracing.com/mopestcovaco1.html

You're wasting time with cork or anything else. Theres a reason the magnums use the same material as these
Those are the ones I used. Very happy with them and they seem to be a good replacement for the old Mopar Performance gaskets that were made like the Magnum style.
 

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do the good gaskets and if you still have a problem l,d look at the baffles in the valve covers after 38 years they get clogged up with carbon
 

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Valve cover gaskets are much more prone to leaking on the exhaust side and at the rear corners than on the intake side. Gravity and oil flow. I like the thick Fel-Pro rubberized ones as they seal great (with sealant), don't distort and are reuseable. Flattening out the bold head divots is also a good call.

I'm willing to bet the oil around the intake bolt holes is coming from the intake bolts. Fairly common problem with aluminum intakes. Ya need to put a bit of lock-tite on the tip of the threads to keep em from backing out and then a liberal application of RTV farther up the bolt to seal it up. Some RTV under the washer / above the intake might help.
 

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I'd use the new silacone one as above , even if they have the extra boltholes for a magnum cover ....
 

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RWG75 said:
Valve cover gaskets are much more prone to leaking on the exhaust side and at the rear corners than on the intake side. Gravity and oil flow. I like the thick Fel-Pro rubberized ones as they seal great (with sealant), don't distort and are reuseable. Flattening out the bold head divots is also a good call.

I'm willing to bet the oil around the intake bolt holes is coming from the intake bolts. Fairly common problem with aluminum intakes. Ya need to put a bit of lock-tite on the tip of the threads to keep em from backing out and then a liberal application of RTV farther up the bolt to seal it up. Some RTV under the washer / above the intake might help.
^^^^This
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
New gaskets installed, the fancy blue ones from Mancini, I think I've got it all sealed up, but  won't know for sure until the next heat cycle.  The covers sat on the heads without gaskets nice and flat, no interference, but the bolt head holes are protruding more than the rest of the gasket surface, not sure the gasket picked it all up.  If not I'll tear them off tomorrow and decide what the heck to do.  New tin or just add RTV.  I didn't see any leaks on the manifold bolts, good tip for oil working it's way up the threads.
 

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it was suggested that you  "hammer" the protruding bolt holes back flat , good advice "standard procedure " ,  but you may get away with it .
 

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Yeah, hammering the bolt holes flat is going to be a "must do" for any stamped steel valve covers, oil pans, etc.
 

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I bolted on a set of Mopar Performance cast valve covers about 5 years ago, problem solved, no more valve cover leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, mine were still leaking, the bolt at the back of the block for most of it, pulled it all off, got the bolt holes flattened out enough to be even with the ridge, went ahead and sealed the gasket to the valve cover as the oil pattern on the gasket indicated that is where it was leaking, it's torqued to spec right now and I don't really need to drive it for the next day or two.  I'll let everything cure up and see how it does next week.

If I ever have to pull them off again, I'd like to go to cast or fabricated aluminum covers.  Recommendations for those?  Also, are the cast covers thick enough that stock PCV and breather grommets won't fit?  Also, what about baffles?
 

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gremlinmt said:
Well, mine were still leaking, the bolt at the back of the block for most of it, pulled it all off, got the bolt holes flattened out enough to be even with the ridge, went ahead and sealed the gasket to the valve cover as the oil pattern on the gasket indicated that is where it was leaking, it's torqued to spec right now and I don't really need to drive it for the next day or two. I'll let everything cure up and see how it does next week.

If I ever have to pull them off again, I'd like to go to cast or fabricated aluminum covers. Recommendations for those? Also, are the cast covers thick enough that stock PCV and breather grommets won't fit? Also, what about baffles?
I really like my fabbed covers.



Nice thick rail but thin enough every where else for grommets to work.
I actually TIG'd bungs on and used threaded filler and breather units.
No leaky's with a positive fit.
The grommets these days are all China crappo's that die young.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I hear that, I bet I've replaced grommets three times since this motor was rebuilt back in 2012.  Do you remember where you go the fabbed covers?
 

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Hey Kurt, what are you using for pulleys/mounting plates? That looks pretty good
 

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lotsa $$$$$ I'm bettin  ;D ;D ;D
 

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gremlinmt said:
I hear that, I bet I've replaced grommets three times since this motor was rebuilt back in 2012. Do you remember where you go the fabbed covers?
I think my first set was Pro Form.
After my roll over, I had to replace one that got damaged. I went with 440 Source for that.
Now I have a spare. Hopefully I'll never need it. ;D
 
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