Valve Cover Gasket Replacement Gone Wrong

Messages
954
Location
PR CA, USA
View attachment 39977

These your manufacturing specifications so that Tecton torque wrench is exact match for your job intended there; in fact, I’ve been thru that job before, done it on my old M6
When the manual gives you a range like that it means you can do it by feel. I can’t stand using a torque wrench on m6 bolts. It always feels like something is going to break. I have a small Snap-on 1/4 ratchet that gets them tight enough every time by feel. I verify a torque wrench in a vise before using on small or really critical fasteners to see if it’s working and what correct torque should feel like.
 

GMFan

Thread starter
Messages
2,092
Location
NC
Update. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but my friends torque wrench had brownish oil when I lowered the torque setting at the base where the torque spec is dialed in. I thought maybe it was motor oil, so I just wiped it off but after reading a bit online people say this is an indication of it being bad and can throw torque specs out. What I’m wondering is if the wrench is out of spec or had an issue. I re-watched videos on YouTube and I can’t see what I did wrong. I do think thought I would have been certainly better off using a 1/4” torque wrench instead of a 3/8”. I’m fairly confident though that it wasn’t clicking like it should. However my brain should have said STOP.
 

GMFan

Thread starter
Messages
2,092
Location
NC
Well I have good news...

Those cams look absolutely great. And that motor is doggone clean as it can be. Very very good for 150k miles.
Thanks bbhero. She doesn’t burn a drop of oil either. The Ford/Mazda 2.5L Duratec/MZR engines are good. There’s one guy on Mazda6 forums who just hit 400k on his!

I ran Kendall Synthetic 0w20 mostly for about 50k miles, and then for the next 50k I bought whatever synthetic was on sale. I even ran Supertech for a few. Then for the last 50k it’s been a mix of Valvoline Synthetic or Castrol Edge 0w20 depending on what had the better price, mostly Castrol. Next oil change will be back to Valvoline Synthetic but I plan to run 5w30 now that she’s got some more miles on her. I typically run 7.5k OCI, but in the past I’ve gone closer to 10k OCI. I’ll probably stick to 7.5k OCI as it means about 2 OCI/yr which I think is reasonable.

My last vehicle was a 2001 Saturn. Drank oil like it was going out of style. It’s nice to not have to top off the engine oil all the time with this vehicle.
 
Last edited:
Messages
12,691
Location
North Carolina
Update. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but my friends torque wrench had brownish oil when I lowered the torque setting at the base where the torque spec is dialed in. I thought maybe it was motor oil, so I just wiped it off but after reading a bit online people say this is an indication of it being bad and can throw torque specs out. What I’m wondering is if the wrench is out of spec or had an issue. I re-watched videos on YouTube and I can’t see what I did wrong. I do think thought I would have been certainly better off using a 1/4” torque wrench instead of a 3/8”. I’m fairly confident though that it wasn’t clicking like it should. However my brain should have said STOP.
I use a torque wrench for things like main and rod bearings, cylinder head bolts. Things where bearing crush is crucial. I don't use them on things like valve covers, water pumps or egad, oil drain bolts.

I have changed many valve cover gaskets , and only hand torqued them. A short 1/4 inch drive handle works well.
 
Messages
1,946
Location
GA
do not overthink now, just remove those broken bolts and you'll be good to go

however, that valve cover is made of plastic; maybe is good idea to order a new one now, they tend to crack over time or by anytime you remove it and that's is where it may end up leaking
 
Last edited:
Messages
9,125
Location
Virginia
Thanks bbhero. She doesn’t burn a drop of oil either. The Ford/Mazda 2.5L Duratec/MZR engines are good. There’s one guy on Mazda6 forums who just hit 400k on his!

I ran Kendall Synthetic 0w20 mostly for about 50k miles, and then for the next 50k I bought whatever synthetic was on sale. I even ran Supertech for a few. Then for the last 50k it’s been a mix of Valvoline Synthetic or Castrol Edge 0w20 depending on what had the better price, mostly Castrol. Next oil change will be back to Valvoline Synthetic but I plan to run 5w30 now that she’s got some more miles on her. I typically run 7.5k OCI, but in the past I’ve gone closer to 10k OCI. I’ll probably stick to 7.5k OCI as it means about 2 OCI/yr which I think is reasonable.

My last vehicle was a 2001 Saturn. Drank oil like it was going out of style. It’s nice to not have to top off the engine oil all the time with this vehicle.


Good, good deal GMfan... That is a definite keeper. And of course you are right about that duratec motor... They are very, very good.


Question... How much umph or power or effort shall we say did you use on the torque wrench ??

Say 50 percent... 80 percent... Or more ??

I know it's a bit of a guess. But I changed the transmission fluid out of my father in law's 09 Camry.. I would say I only put like 10-15 percent on that drain bolt and it was loose... It honestly shocked me... I figured I was going to have to amp up to pop that bolt loose. I had barely felt like I was just starting to add force and it broke loose on me. And that oil started to drip.... It was on there and no leaking. But it sure was not on there tight at all.

When I have done my own transmission fluid changes... The first time I had to use my foot/leg to pop it loose. After that initial change I have had to either use both hands or mule kick the ratchet with my foot/leg to break the drain bolt loose. And I was the one who had tightened it before :)

That badboy was on there no doubt. And if I used one hand my right hand and arm I was at 100 percent trying to loosen the drain bolt. Two hands is hard to do laying on the ground. So I have used the mule kick very well.
 
Messages
371
Edit: What's your OCI, filter and oil? That thing is clean enough to eat a 5 star meal off it. ;)

I've developed a good sense for how much torque certain sized bolts can take without damage over the years. Helps a lot when the torque wrench isn't working right and I can avoid over doing it, or under doing it. It gets really easy when you have a 1 foot long wrench and the ft/lbs is your exact body weight. LOL

When it comes to valve cover gaskets, some engines can be very picky about the exact torque. The old Toyot 4 banger 22re for example can start hitting the valve train if tightened too much. A real PIA to get it just right so there is no physical contact causing loud ticking/clacking, but also not too loose to let oil flow out.
 

BlueOvalFitter

Site Donor 2021
Messages
9,141
Location
Cajun Country, La.
Something that small, I have never used a torque wrench on. When you have been wrenching for awhile you get that "IT'S TIGHT ENOUGH" feeling and STOP!
I have installed BOO KOO SBC valve covers. These are the size/kind of bolts I am referring to.
 
Messages
2,064
Location
Mississippi
Craftsman
I had a Pittsburgh torque wrench that size that did the same thing. The other sizes of that brand have been fine. I owned it for several years before I used it. I wound up just using a regular ratchet when installing a dorman transmission pan on my daughter's car. I knew the bolts were getting too tight for what the wrench's setting.
 
Messages
954
Location
PR CA, USA
Something that small, I have never used a torque wrench on. When you have been wrenching for awhile you get that "IT'S TIGHT ENOUGH" feeling and STOP!
I have installed BOO KOO SBC valve covers. These are the size/kind of bolts I am referring to.
Same with BMW inline 6’s. I’d rather do it by feel than crack a $600+ plastic valve cover by trusting some cheap torque wrench.
 
Messages
1,086
Location
Pacific Northwest
Knew a guy who's job in the military was calibrating torque wrenches. I guess it really matter's when you're torquing bolts on jet fighters and nuclear submarines. Personally, I just use my mark I calibrated elbow for most things.
 
Messages
2,952
I don't know what you did wrong but that should be an easy job to do; maybe somebody mess it up way before you? likely??
your inch/lbs look good on your torque wrench, within specification

also that torque wrench is more for something like tires not for 8mm screws id say

yet, you haven't screw it that bad, any shop or even yourself you can tap that out

btw, good looking engine on the inside

Tekton is doing great torque wrench for small jobs like that
View attachment 39972

looks like I got mine in 2015
View attachment 39976

I have 2 of these in different torque ranges. I have had them for a few years and they are good to go! I was told by my bike mechanic they make torque wrenches for various others like Park Tool the well know bike tool company.
 
Messages
1,946
Location
GA
I don’t know where did he go wrong but if live closer I’d help him with wrenching; about 3y ago

C05DE169-6EA2-4476-A0D3-BB9B8C5CD580.jpeg
 
Messages
25,470
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Old Mopar 2 bolt covers have to be the most over torqued items ever, I cant remember one that wasn't stoved in where the bolts go.
Guys wouldnt believe that just 2 bolts could keep it tight enough for it to seal so they really crank down on them and then they couldn't figure out why its leaking oil all over the place.
 
Messages
954
Location
PR CA, USA
Old Mopar 2 bolt covers have to be the most over torqued items ever, I cant remember one that wasn't stoved in where the bolts go.
Guys wouldnt believe that just 2 bolts could keep it tight enough for it to seal so they really crank down on them and then they couldn't figure out why its leaking oil all over the place.
VW made the air cooled VC’s seal with spring steel for 50 years or so. People trying to fix a non existent problem often made them worse too.
 
Top