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Old 04-09-2014, 08:21 AM   #1
Warpedlogic
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Question Replace gaskets

Hey guys! I took my 05 ST to the dealer for a checkup yesterday and they stated the valve cover gasket, timing cover gasket and oil pan gasket are all leaking oil and quoted me $1500 to replace them all. I know the valve cover isn't that hard to do, but what about the other two. How long / difficult are those to get to?


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Old 04-09-2014, 09:26 AM   #2
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Oil pan gasket shouldn't be hard. Just have to drain the oil, unbolt the oil pan, put a new gasket on, and bolt it back up. Not sure about the timing cover gasket though.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:36 AM   #3
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Meh, not an emergency unless the plug wells are filling up with oil.

Valve cover you could handle for sure & that one should be done because seepage from there can cause issues.

Pan is done with sealant, getting the dipstick tube loose was the hardest part when I did that for the BSD install (crud & rust gets in above O-ring on tube, solvent & wiggle to get out).

Haven't done the side cover, quite a bit in the way there (like the Serpentine). That's the one to leave alone, IIRC you get into engine timing when pulling pulley to get that off.

Valve cover is all that's likely necessary unless it's really leaving a trail, bit of seepage underneath isn't unusual or a real problem unless it's "marking it's spot" badly & that's a concern for you. Occasional drip isn't tragic for most.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:18 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the replies. Sailor, if oil drips onto the alternator, could it cause the alt to go out? Which gasket is that likely to happen from, if so.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:56 PM   #5
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pretty good chance all three are not leakiing, but oil is creeping down along the gasket parting line and making it look like they are. Do the valve cover gasket and clean up the motor. See if the leaks still appear to be coming from the other places or if they go away.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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Not same answer but close. I'd be cleaning all those areas to find the most likely ONE gasket that is leaking and fix that one. They just include every option there to bump the cash flow up. The dealership way, they are more concerned with cash input than what is best for you.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:39 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the amazing input and tips! I agree the dealer is just being a dealer here, and that's why I decided to do it myself / with the help of a trained mechanic friend. What's best to clean the oil off the engine with? Brake cleaner and a wire brush? And is it possible for the oil to leak into the alt and burn it out?
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:08 PM   #8
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Engine shampoo is cheap enough, or any degreaser, but I'd pass on the brake cleaner just because you'd need a lot of it and it's more expensive and less environmentally friendly. I'd also use a stiff nylon brush rather than wire. Get the engine warm but not hot first, let the shampoo soak in a bit, brush, then rinse. Might have to do it twice to get the heavy buildup off. And watch the electronics so you don't mess them up with cleaning stuff or even water.

I've never heard of oil leaking into the alternator and can't imagine a leak that would end up there unless it was catastrophic.

I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that it's the valve cover gasket...I've done those on both of my two Foci but never the timing cover or oil pan gaskets.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:07 AM   #9
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Sometimes oil carried by belt gets in there, normally not a bad problem but if enough to get on the brushes deeper inside, it will screw up the brush rings. Minor amounts are OK. I've seen some pretty grunged up ones that worked fine but looked horrible.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:50 AM   #10
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You guys rock. See, this is why ! I'll work on cleaning up the engine around these areas this weekend and keep you all posted. Thanks again!
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