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Old 10-30-2018, 06:42 AM   #1
mbiver
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Default Changing Valve Cover Gasket

Just finished replacing my oil pan gasket (hasn't dripped so far) and am going to change the valve cover gaskets since they're leaking around the bolts. I've never removed a valve cover before and am wondering if I have to worry about dropping old gasket material down into the engine when removing? Since this is my first time, I just don't know what's under there. Thanks for any guidance for this noob!
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1978 Scout II with 1977 345 engine
Four wheel drive Dana 44 Axle's, Dana 20 T-Case, Power Steering, Power Brakes (Disc/Drum), no A/C.
Manual trans, Borg Warner 3-speed w/floor shift.
Prestolite distributor with petronix.
Fuel System: New 19Gal. Poly tank/Sending unit from IHPartsAmerica, Nylon fuel line, relined original fuel neck filler tube, rebuilt Holley 2245 Carb.
Unknown non-oem modifications
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:23 AM   #2
Gunfighter97
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Default Re: Changing Valve Cover Gasket

If your pan gasket disintegrated on removal I would be a bit carefull. I just pulled one off a 1965 engine and it peeled right off with the cover without any tearing. When you remove it, clear any unnecessary danglys away (lable your plug wires) and as you slowly wiggle it loose look for places where it sticks to the head or cover. If it sticks to the head carefully remove it from the head with a box cutter blade angled downward and LIGHT pressure. If the metal is soft enough it may shave the head, your only object here is to peel it off. If it sticks to the cover and not the head youre fine, just clean it up. If crumbly you can chase the gap around the top part of the gasket with a small vacume as you break it loose that should prevent things from getting in there. Clean around the cover first. Maybe somebody here will chime in a better technique, this is what I do on everything from mowers to larger engines.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:37 PM   #3
mbiver
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Default Re: Changing Valve Cover Gasket

Thanks, Gunfighter97. I’ll give it a try. Just got my gaskets in the mail from Jeff so will have to find some time and get it done. Will report back after.
__________________
1978 Scout II with 1977 345 engine
Four wheel drive Dana 44 Axle's, Dana 20 T-Case, Power Steering, Power Brakes (Disc/Drum), no A/C.
Manual trans, Borg Warner 3-speed w/floor shift.
Prestolite distributor with petronix.
Fuel System: New 19Gal. Poly tank/Sending unit from IHPartsAmerica, Nylon fuel line, relined original fuel neck filler tube, rebuilt Holley 2245 Carb.
Unknown non-oem modifications
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:24 AM   #4
mbiver
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Default Re: Changing Valve Cover Gasket

Well, I've got the valve cover off. Cleaned up the area before with the vacuum cleaning wand, and chased the top of the valve cover as I removed it. Worked great. I did see a little dirt fall in, but was able to suck it out with the vacuum. Now that I have it off, though, there is a lot of rust everywhere. I'm not going to touch the rust in and around the rocker arm assembly, as there's no good way to break it all loose and keep it out of the engine. For the valve cover, though, I'd like to clean it up. I was thinking about soaking it in some kind of rust remover or fine sandpaper/steel wool. Any recommendations? Also, I've included some pictures below. I'm not sure what the highlighted parts are. Is that the baffle or some fire suppression system? On the outside of the valve cover, the connector foes to a hose on the underside of the air cleaner. I don't want to get a bunch of rust under/in that and not be able to get it out. Thanks!
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__________________
1978 Scout II with 1977 345 engine
Four wheel drive Dana 44 Axle's, Dana 20 T-Case, Power Steering, Power Brakes (Disc/Drum), no A/C.
Manual trans, Borg Warner 3-speed w/floor shift.
Prestolite distributor with petronix.
Fuel System: New 19Gal. Poly tank/Sending unit from IHPartsAmerica, Nylon fuel line, relined original fuel neck filler tube, rebuilt Holley 2245 Carb.
Unknown non-oem modifications
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:51 PM   #5
Zaedster
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Default Re: Changing Valve Cover Gasket

The highlighted piece is indeed the spark arrester. It routes to the air cleaner from the factory so you're good there. The rust on the valve cover can just be cleaned up with a wire brush.
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:55 PM   #6
Gunfighter97
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Default Re: Changing Valve Cover Gasket

Wire brush and remoil(remington gun care products) action cleaner degreaser would be my choise rinse but only because thats the only degreaser I have laying arround. Just make sure it evaporates with no residue and youre golden. Scrub untill its not rust colored anymore. If you wanted you could pull the rocker assy and clean it then torque back on. Would have to look up the torque spec.
__________________
Coming to you from behind enemy lines, in an unmarked barn, somewhere in The Communist West
(currently planning my escape)

1965 IH D11004x4 "Sherman"
1946 Dodge Job Rated half ton "Rusty"
1973 Fiat 850 Spider "il Cannoli"
Half of a dead 1958 Apache "Mad Dura-Max(to be)"

VOTE!VOTE!VOTE!VOTE!VOTE!VOTE!VOTE!
"SHHHHH! Be wary, wary quiet! Im hunting turkeys"
Happy Thanksgiving!
RIP belts everywhere
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:54 PM   #7
mbiver
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Default Re: Changing Valve Cover Gasket

Thanks a lot for the feedback. I’m a pretty big noob, so removing the rocker assembly scares me a little. Will have to think about that one a bit. Regarding the valve cover...So the shield on the top inside of the valve cover is also part of the spark arrester system and doesn’t have a bunch of passages where rust will accumulate if I just rinse it really well? I thought I saw another post that said I could also remove the arrester and soak it in solvent/blow it out to clean it. There is just a wire “mesh” or “confetti “ inside it? Lastly, this valve cover is on the passenger side but I keep seeing posts saying the spark arrester is supposed to be on the drivers side. I’m wondering if a previous owner swapped the valve covers because the oil fill is easier to get to on the passenger side. Does it matter as far as engine function if it is swapped? Thanks again!
__________________
1978 Scout II with 1977 345 engine
Four wheel drive Dana 44 Axle's, Dana 20 T-Case, Power Steering, Power Brakes (Disc/Drum), no A/C.
Manual trans, Borg Warner 3-speed w/floor shift.
Prestolite distributor with petronix.
Fuel System: New 19Gal. Poly tank/Sending unit from IHPartsAmerica, Nylon fuel line, relined original fuel neck filler tube, rebuilt Holley 2245 Carb.
Unknown non-oem modifications
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:31 PM   #8
Winchested
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Default Re: Changing Valve Cover Gasket

Lots of people did the switch to make the oil fill easier to get to. When I just put my 345 back together I did this.
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