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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I've got a 2001 Zetec that needs a new valve cover gasket. All the info I've found on this site so far makes sense, but there's one question I still need answered:

How do I get the valve cover unstuck?

I've removed all the bolts, got the hoses, cables, and plugs out of the way, and taken off the timing belt cover. There's nothing but the old gasket holding the cover on, and it simply won't let go. I don't want to pry it off through one of the plug wire holes because I'm afraid of breaking it.

Thanks!
 

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screwdriver that s[:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)]
 

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I used a firm putty knife on mine. I started in the front and worked to the right. They're stuck on pretty good, but it will come loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll try that next! I had already used a utility blade along all of the front that I could reach, which is basically the left and right corners. Is removing the header shield an easy thing to do that would give me access to the front center? And does it matter that I can't get to the back (injector rail) or sides (curved portion on the left, cam gears on the right)?

Lemme guess....if I try to drive it now that I've knifed the gasket, it'll spew oil all over the place.
 

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No, the gasket sits in a deep groove. Try to lift the thermostat side. Get some leverage on it. It'll get stuck near the gears too. You'll have to lift and wiggle at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It won't spew? Oh good, then I can drive to work when it's supposed to snow and not have to take the motorcycle...
 

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I'm brand new here but it just so happens that I pulled my valve cover off the other day to paint it. I used a 6" pry bar on the oil cap end. That broke loose and I was able to work the bar to the left. It was really sticky but it came off. Took a few minutes but I got it off.
 

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If that doesn't work try a scredriver with a flat head and a hammer
You don't want to go crazy doing it this way. You run the risk of possibly cracking the channel that the dry-rotted gasket sits in, since it basically shrinks itself up into the grooves of the valve cover.

Some slight tapping and prying with a long handled flathead screwdriver has always worked well.

You might want to clean the surface of the head down with a razor or puttyknife after you pull the cover off.
 

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Rubber mallet combined with a careful use of a plastic paint scraper.

Hammers and screwdrivers work, but at the risk of damaging the valve cover and/or mating surface on the head, thereby causing future oil leakage.

Oh, and it helps to have a lot of patience while doing this.
 
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