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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys, here's the deal. 2002 ZX3, 103,000 miles, 5 speed.

I've been smelling and seeing a little bit of smoke come from under the hood for a couple weeks. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Well the other day when I put on new spark plug wires and plugs, I found the leak. Not sure what it is that's leaking, but it comes from the front of the motor, behind the header, and then gets burned off from the header heat. The leak is very small, not even warranting any additional oil between changes.

Can someone tell me what it is that's leaking and what's needed to fix it? Also if you can figure out what it is, is it something to attempt myself or have a shop do it? Pics below (btw, don't mind the dirty engine bay, driving 1500 miles a week will do that.







I couldn't get a good pic from the front due to crappy camera on the iphone, but it's about halfway down the block I would say. You can see where it's wet in the first two pics.
 

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Its still pretty difficult to tell but I still say either valve cover gasket or possibly leaking between head and block.

Does the leak appear to be above the head or below it?
 

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i would guess gasket too, looks like it comes from the top of the head, so i think its the valve cover gasket.
 

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gasket isn't too expensive so lets hope that's what it is.............my opinion too like the guys above!
 

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I think valve cover gaskets are 20-30 bucks and when you do it make sure you clean the surfaces good and whiles you have the valve cover off give it a good cleaning too.
 

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@ 100K+ miles the factory VC gasket is bound to be hard as arock....at least mine was @ 75K mi.

egbertnr,or anyone, would he lose comp if the head gasket was leaking?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
the oil is pooling on that little shelf between the head and the block, so due to gravity is has to be coming either right from there, or above it and dripping down. How hard is to change the valve cover gasket? Is it something that I (very little mechanical experience) and my grandpa (tons of experience with 60's and 70's muscle cars) can pull off? And any chance their is a how-to anywhere?
 

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Very easy. Take out the bolts holding the valve cover on, take the cover off, replace the gasket, and reverse. Easy as pie.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well I suppose I'll try that tomorrow afternoon if I can find a gasket in stock.

Kinda scared to ask this question, but if that doesn't get it and it is leaking from between the head and the block what does that mean?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Stupid double post
 

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Well that might mean it will cost a little more then 20-30 bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Replaced the valve cover gasket this afternoon. Seems to have fixed the oil leak issue. The old gasket was hard as a rock too. I'll report back n acouple days to let u all know if that was it for sure
 

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I have the same issue and am looking around for the cheapest gasket. The only thing is some stores say that because my VIN# has a 3 in the eighth position instead of a 5 that I need a $50 gasket that comes with grommets. Anybody know if this is legit? I guess it might depend on if the old ones are worn out but I'm not sure. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i think mine was 38 bux plus tax, not really sure what the grommets were for though, the old one didn't have grommets so I've got them sittin in the bag but not used.
 

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u dont need grommets
 

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> am looking around for the cheapest gasket.

My experience has been that gaskets are not a good area in which to go for the cheapest replacements. My Ford Explorer valve cover gaskets leaked and it was obvious when I took them out that Ford used a cheap gasket. Replaced with high quality Felpro gaskets and have not have even a small leak for many years.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
^^^ If you're talking to me, yea i replaced it with a felpro. Problem solved.
 

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Cost of a valve cover gasket.

I got all my parts at RockAuto and it cost $30.79 good luck hope it's not a head gasket[dunno]
 
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