Valve Cover Replacement - North American Motoring

Valve Cover Replacement

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Old 08-25-2011, 12:05 PM
Dave_07
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Valve Cover Replacement

My '07 Justa was leaking and consuming oil so I replaced the valve cover. I didn't see much info elsewhere, so I'm sharing some pictures.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...psa7986e0b.jpg


The image below shows that besides leaking around the edge, my Justa was leaking into the #1 spark plug cavity.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ps2a06c248.jpg

Below is a picture with the valve cover off. I know, somebody needs to change the oil...

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ps780428a6.jpg

Below is the top of the valve cover with the two caps removed. You can see the little cap (at the bottom of the photo) opens into nothing, at least on the Justa. The larger cap covers the lower right of the photo below which is essentially a control valve for venting the oil vapors into the intake system. This is a "normally open" valve from the perspective that when the pressure in the crankcase is the same as the PCV pipe, the spring props the diaphram open. When the pressure is lower in the crankcase, the diaphram is sucked down compressing the spring and preventing oil flow into the PCV pipe. I should warn anyone trying to remove this cap that there are three tabs snapping it into place. I was careful in prying the one nearest to spark plug #1, but the other two broke - which was fine b/c a new cap comes with the new valve cover.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...psc0ba67af.jpg

Finally, below is the "money shot" of the inside of the valve cover with the plastic-welded cover popped open. Some engineer gave his/her all in designing this baffle system - which didn't work very well in my case. On the left of the photo, the oil vapor enters the maze, flowing left to right through the mase. Just before the vapor gets to the diaphram, the flow necks down and has to climb up over a hump (see upper cover above) before entering the diaphram area for injection, or not, into the intake manifold.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ps81132b77.jpg
I posted elsewhere that I did all this because my Justa was consuming about 2 qts in 6500 miles with an odometer at 65K miles. Did it work? I dunno. At least there are no leaks around the peripheral gasket (although there was never a drop of oil on the floor). The good folks that sold me the replacement said the sku had changed so maybe the oil maze, or more likely, the spring stiffness was altered. So far, so good.

Dave
 
Attached Thumbnails Valve Cover Replacement-1vcleak_zpsa7986e0b.jpg   Valve Cover Replacement-2vcleakinside_zps2a06c248.jpg   Valve Cover Replacement-3valves_zps780428a6.jpg  

Last edited by Dave_07; 10-11-2012 at 12:41 PM.
  #2  
Old 08-25-2011, 01:16 PM
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Nice work, how hard was that to get off? Say an afternoon or weekend job?
 
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:03 PM
Dave_07
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Thanks. It was a 2-3 hour job for me. Getting the PCV hose off was a bit of a trick for my first time. No tools required on this one, just pinch the ring in the right place and pull. After that, use a small screwdriver / pick to get the wire harness off the plastic tabs. Take your time and save the tabs and inserts. The last trick was getting the wiring harness on the drivers side of the engine away from the valve cover to access the last bolt securing the valve cover to the head. You just pull up on the plastic housing and it will slide off the hanger. (I know, it's hard to picture what I'm talking about but it will become obvious when one bugger of a bolt is tucked under a plastic wire housing.
Dave
 
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:39 PM
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You cant just change the rubber seal/gaskets that is on the valve cover? I bet they dont sell a kit for that and want you to purchase a whole new one.
 
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:41 PM
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High temp paint the replacement for a custom look. Just saying because that is what I want to do.
 
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:28 PM
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You cant just change the rubber seal/gaskets that is on the valve cover? I bet they dont sell a kit for that and want you to purchase a whole new one.
If you are talking about the valve cover gasket and the little rings that seal the spark plug holes, yes I could have just changed that and solved the leaking. But I was told by the Mini dealer that often times they are changing the valve cover as well. I know, I thought he was nuts too. Doing more research, I found that oil blow by was "managed" by the inner workings of the valve cover, so I replaced that as well. Replacing the diaphram alone isn't allowed.
Dave
 
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:01 PM
6speedwtneed
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Hmmm weird. Yeah I've seen many MINI's with warped valve covers. But I would have just replaced the valve cover gasket personally....
Nice job. Hope all your troubles stopped
 
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:07 PM
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If it is anything like my Nissan(which had the same problem but worse) the rings that seal around the spark plugs are not replaceable. I have never looked at the MINI to see if it is the same. Your should paint it though. It would look awesome.
 
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:08 PM
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Powder coating the valve cover looks better. Trust me
 
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:10 PM
Dave_07
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Port - the valve cover wasn't warped in my case, it just leaked. Over time, the gasket became hard and didn't seal. It's TBD if the new cover fixes the blow by.

6speed - Good idea about the paint. Next time.

Dave
 

Last edited by Dave_07; 08-30-2011 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Names mixed up
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 6speedwtneed View Post
Powder coating the valve cover looks better. Trust me
Can't powder coat plastic.
 
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:25 AM
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Did it work?

My Justa was consuming about 2 qts in 6500 miles with an odometer at 65K miles. Did it work? Somewhat

I've put 2500 miles on the car since replacing the valve cover. The dipstick shows just over 1/2 qt down. My new oil consumption is about one quart in 5000 miles (vs 1 qt in 3250 miles).

Given the error in my measurement and mileage since repair, it's hard to get too excited. If given the situation again I'd go with 6speedwtneed's comment and only replace the valve cover gasket on Justa Cooper. I didn't see any magic on in the autopsy of the old valve cover so save your money. Justa Coopers (IMO) don't get that hot and rarely warp but the gaskets do harden and leak into the spark plug area and outside on the exhaust side (easily visible when hood open). Just my experience...

Dave
 
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:47 AM
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Correction 1qt/4k mi

I finally added a quart of oil today - 4k miles after I replaced the valve cover and gasket. IMO, the new plastic didn't help a bit. So if you own a Justa, it uses oil and leaks a bit, just replace the gasket unless you have evidence of a warped cover.

I'm hoping to talk with the mechanic next time I'm in his area. My Justa had a recall a few years ago because the cooling fan fuse was undersized. I had a civic several years ago that overheated, scorched the rings, and started using oil. If someone else has this problem (fan fuse and oil consumption), pls PM me.

Dave
 
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:14 PM
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I go 5000 miles and use no oil, still on full. 38,000 miles. I do remember the fuse thing, the dealer replaced it. It was an underrated 30 amp fuse replaced with a 40 amp fuse.
 
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:36 PM
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I'm going to be doing an Auto Trans. Flush come April, is it a good idea to do the Vavle Cover Gasket R&R at the same time, yes I know not related or even in the same area, just asking if it should be done just to be on the safe side or should I wait 'til I have leakage??

TIA!!
 
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:14 PM
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Just curious, what was your cost for parts for this project?
 
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:43 AM
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Very nice post, I was thinking about doing this

+1 for the parts cost, and any special tools ? I'm a beginner, I work with a cheap ratchet and a screew driver for now......

Thanks a lot !
 
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:54 AM
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gixxerjasen, desiletspo - I don't remember the exact parts cost and couldn't find it by searchim my computer. I remember something in the couple hundred dollar range. I paid almost the dealer price but when I searched online they offered $10 off. The valve cover and gasket come as a package. No special tools.

RJKimbell - If you can get a free replacement sure, otherwise wait for a leak (either easily visible in the front or the spark plug hole). I'd put money on the same spots mine leaked - it's just the nature of things.

glangford - I think you are right about the fuse sizes. We did drive the car for a few months before the dlr replaced the fuse. Of course the engine really heats up when the engine is turned off and at that time our fan never came on. As I remember the engine overheated during driving and started to sputter one time, then we took it into the dealer. I think it has an automatic shut down w/ temperature. The pisser was that we had the car in for service a few weeks earlier and they "forgot" to check the recall notices to replace the fuse - and fan 'not coming on' when parked had been happening for a few months.

Dave
 
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:42 PM
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what you did is really a nice job man! how long did it take you to finish all of that work? i envy you for having the time to work on all of these. i was just wondering where you got your parts for this? i was also planning to do this so i tried to check online sites but i wasn't able to chose from the many choices there. if ever, this will be my first time and i have no idea where to start. see valve cover replacement so you can know what i am talking about. and maybe you can choose parts there for me. thanks in advanced! cheers.
 
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:34 AM
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Interesting to see other owners replacing this part. I was hearing a hissing noise after shutdown which slowly dissipated. Oddly though I was not consuming any additional oil, as others have stated. My issue was the PCV failed.

Using realoem.com I located the part number, ordered the new part from Ralph Schomp, picked it up from Ralph Schomp and replaced in an afternoon. Been happy since.
 
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
High temp paint the replacement for a custom look. Just saying because that is what I want to do.
Finally got around to doing it.
Name:  2012-10-20_16-46-02_219.jpg
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:32 PM
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Nice! That must be a pain to keep clean though.
 
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:11 PM
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I just painted it last night so time will tell.
 
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
I just painted it last night so time will tell.

Some pics would be great !
 
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by desiletspo View Post
Some pics would be great !
Umm did you not see my post?
Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
Finally got around to doing it.
 

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