05 Saab 9-3 Valve Cover Gasket (2.0 GM Ecotec engine)

Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
1,707
Location
MD
I'm getting our Saab ready to give to a family member, and I happened to find recently number 1 spark plug well full of oil. I was a little surprised, as I had done the valve cover gasket on this car about six months ago.

I took everything apart, and didn't find much. I cleaned the head surfaces, cleaned and reset the gasket and put it all together, torquing the bolts to 88 inch pounds.

About five days later (today) I looked at number 1 spark plug again. There was a little oil around the the top of the threads, but nothing like the amount I found originally.

Now I'm wondering about the longevity of this repair, as it seems to be seeping very slightly.

And so, my questions, should I torque the bolts a little more? Should I put in a new gasket? I have a new Elring on hand. The original one in question is a Victor Reinz.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
12,488
Location
USA
Did your gasket come with spark plug tube seals? And if it did, did you replace them? Did you use liquid gasket where you were supposed to? Are you supposed to use it at all on that car? :unsure:

One time I installed the tube seals upside down :oops: :censored:

Is 88 in lb the correct spec? Did you torque the bolts in sequence? Sometimes, they also recommend a smaller torque first, then the full torque after that.

Did you replace the spark plugs along with the gasket?
 

ET16

Thread starter
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
1,707
Location
MD
is it possible that the oil on the threads is just left over oil from when it was previously filled with oil?
I was thinking that, too, but I thought it was a little too much.
 

ET16

Thread starter
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
1,707
Location
MD
Did your gasket come with spark plug tube seals? And if it did, did you replace them? Did you use liquid gasket where you were supposed to? Are you supposed to use it at all on that car? :unsure:

One time I installed the tube seals upside down :oops: :censored:

Is 88 in lb the correct spec? Did you torque the bolts in sequence? Sometimes, they also recommend a smaller torque first, then the full torque after that.

Did you replace the spark plugs along with the gasket?
88 inch pounds should be right, but i have seen people go up to 94.

Yes, but with good used plugs that I had on hand.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
1,216
Location
A Barrier Island
I have an '06 Saab combi and other than an oil leak from the vacuum unit it is oil tight. I have been chasing a slow coolant leak for about a year. The Trolls from Trollhättan are devious little devils.
1624147626350.jpg
 

ET16

Thread starter
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
1,707
Location
MD
Wait, so ... you saw you had an oil leak, removed the valve cover, and didn't replace the gasket? :unsure:
Wait, so ... you saw you had an oil leak, removed the valve cover, and didn't replace the gasket? :unsure:
I didn't have a new one on hand, and I knew that the gasket was relatively new, and it looked fine.
 

JRed

Site Donor 2021
Joined
Jun 1, 2009
Messages
2,590
Location
Virginia
I didn't have a new one on hand, and I knew that the gasket was relatively new, and it looked fine.
Ah ok so it's not a five year old gasket or anything. Understandable. You can try tightening the bolts a little especially the center ones nearest the plugs IF the gasket didn't seem like it was flattened into the groove of the valve cover too badly. I've never actually stopped a valve cover from leaking by doing that but there's a first time for everything.

Then again if you have a socket on the bolts for the valve cover you're already half the way to removing it.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
68
Location
CA
I didn't have a new one on hand, and I knew that the gasket was relatively new, and it looked fine.

Reading your original post the first time I missed the part where it was filled with oil six months after going the job. It filled with oil after changing the gasket so something was not done right.

Make sure to use a good quality gasket set and make sure the gasket sealing surfaces on the head and valve cover are completely cleaned of oil. Brake clean works well to get the mating surfaces dried up. I'm not familiar with the cylinder head on your car, does it have other seals for the spark plug wells other than where they meet the valve cover? Some engine designs use more than one seal/gasket along the length of the spark plug well.
 

ET16

Thread starter
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
1,707
Location
MD
Reading your original post the first time I missed the part where it was filled with oil six months after going the job. It filled with oil after changing the gasket so something was not done right.

Make sure to use a good quality gasket set and make sure the gasket sealing surfaces on the head and valve cover are completely cleaned of oil. Brake clean works well to get the mating surfaces dried up. I'm not familiar with the cylinder head on your car, does it have other seals for the spark plug wells other than where they meet the valve cover? Some engine designs use more than one seal/gasket along the length of the spark plug well.
I wiped the head of oil, but did not completely clean it of oil. there are seals for the spark plug wells. I assume that's were the leak was.
 

ET16

Thread starter
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
1,707
Location
MD
I redid everything, cleaning well with brake cleaner and a new Elring kit.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
8,087
Location
California
How’s the PCV system as well? Not sure about Saabs but if they use the same GM Ecotec series as a more plebeian Chevy/Buick/Pontiac/Olds the same quirks should apply.
 
Top