Just Installed New eBay Valve Covers & Gaskets...Now Leaking Oil. Help?

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wick001
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Just Installed New eBay Valve Covers & Gaskets...Now Leaking Oil. Help?

Post by wick001 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:29 pm

So I just bought this Valve Cover & Gasket Set for the Ford 390 on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-FE-Chrome ... 2749.l2649

Now my valve covers are leaking worse than the originals.

I cleaned the surface of the heads off nice and clean before I put the new rubber gaskets on, lined everything up nice, and lightly tightened the 5 valve cover bolts that it came with. It's now leaking really bad.

So I tightened them up fairly tight, and it's even worse.

Is there a trick to putting these on? Should I use some sort of gasket sealer? Could it be bad gaskets or warped valve covers?

Help, thanks.

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sseebart
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Re: Just Installed New eBay Valve Covers & Gaskets...Now Leaking Oil. Help?

Post by sseebart » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:11 am

You can check to make sure the valve covers are true by placing them on a flat surface, like a piece of glass, to check. Chances are you've warped the flanges when you torqued the bolts down tighter.

I can't speak to the quality of the covers you bought, but I was in the market for these recently, too. On Amazon at least, it appeared that listings for these repops came and went without any time to generate reviews. Usually, that's a sign of a poor quality product and unscrupulous sellers. I found and refurbished a pair of originals--more expensive and more work, but probably worth it.

There have been lots of discussions about sealing valve covers. I was able to prevent leaks with cork gaskets and RTV sealant, following the instructions to the letter: apply sealant, install with bolts finger tight, allow to dry, then tighten to spec. The seal was perfect, but the valve covers were impossible to remove without destroying them. (Which is why I was in the market for new ones!)

Also, be sure that the leak is actually coming from the valve covers. It's common to see oil coming from the joint between the heads/block/intake manifold as well as the timing cover and front seal.

~Steve
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jtschug
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Re: Just Installed New eBay Valve Covers & Gaskets...Now Leaking Oil. Help?

Post by jtschug » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:18 am

Yes, it could be either or both.

Over tightening valve covers definitely causes warping which definitely makes leaks worse, so the tact that your problem got worse with tightening points to overtorque.

These are pretty cheap, so maybe they are made from thin metal and warp real easy, or maybe they came warped from the source. Try to flaten them back out and use a good sized washer to even out the pressure to resist warping or bending. Make sure you put all the bolts in finger tight and then snug them down a little bit at a time starting from the center outward.

I've never used rubber gaskets on FE valve covers. I've always used cork. There is a tendency to leak right where the intake and the head come together under the valve cover and make a "T" shaped gasket surface. That spot is just simply a bad idea. No other engine does that. So I clean that lower surface, put an extra dab of "great stuff" at the vertex of that "T" then lay down a bead on the flange and lay the cork gasket on that. Then I put the valve cover on top with no sealer or RTV.

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RedBird64
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Re: Just Installed New eBay Valve Covers & Gaskets...Now Leaking Oil. Help?

Post by RedBird64 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:53 am

Just my experience but I would stick with rubber gaskets. Every single cork gasket I have ever used has leaked. Especially where they get extra hot. Rubber doesn't cost any more so why not?
My VC's are glued down with Great stuff and rubber gaskets. I also paid special attention to the area JTSchug mentioned. I let them dry for at least a full day before starting the eng or putting oil in through them. So they stayed clean and dry while setting up
.
My neighbor rebuilt the eng in his 1936 Dodge and used all cork. Oil came out like a sprinkler!! :sad:
He removed the pan, etc. and replace with rubber and GS and it's been good ever since.

JMHO,
Scott
1964 Coupe Wimbledon white/Rangoon Red w/black int. Owned for 42 years. It was my folks car before that (second owners). VTCI # 12013.

Terry64HT
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Re: Just Installed New eBay Valve Covers & Gaskets...Now Leaking Oil. Help?

Post by Terry64HT » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:00 pm

That area where the head and intake comes together is always a problem. On my engine, the difference in the surfaces was over 1/16" (no idea why). I cleaned the area, taped it off and packed it well with old cloths, then ground the transition smooth. Never had a leak there again. Making sure there was no chance of filings getting anywhere was most of the work.
Terry
64HT

bbogue
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Re: Just Installed New eBay Valve Covers & Gaskets...Now Leaking Oil. Help?

Post by bbogue » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:42 pm

I like the Fel Pro 1632 gaskets. Rubber/cork composite. At 3/16” thick I think that’s 50% thicker than most. A little more forgiving.
Good luck.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
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Cliff Rankin
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Re: Just Installed New eBay Valve Covers & Gaskets...Now Leaking Oil. Help?

Post by Cliff Rankin » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:50 pm

I would basically check them for warp and over tighten
At the bolt holes. Gaskets ether or but I like rubber. I would silicon them
To the valve covers. I do this so I can easily install and remove. If they still leak ,then glue them I like the black RTV silicon. I like it on most everyday cars I work on. I feel it comes apart and cleans up a lot easier where without it you can be scraping forever. At lest on an FE
You are not always pulling them to adjust rockers. So
Once they are on it’s done. Just my opinion. Mine are glued on my 63.
Cliff

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