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AAAHHHHH!!!!
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my zetec's valve cover gasket is pretty leaky(as most are) so i ordered a new one off the internet with every intention of replacing it myself. Only problem is that i cannot get the valve cover off. I removed all the bolts but that joker is stuck on there. Anyone else had trouble removing their valve cover? Maybe im just a weakling.
 

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Focused Focus
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Are you sure that you have all the bolts out?
 

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If you are really SURE you have all the bolts out, a bit of "not to hard" tapping with a rubber mallet, but not too near the gasket area, might be the thing. Sometimes valve covers stick a bit.
 

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I ran into the same thing a few weeks ago so I know what you mean exactly. It is probably a combination of the gasket being on for 6 years plus all the dried and baked oil acts like glue. What I did was unscrewed the oil cap and pulled straight up from that opening. Give it a good tug, but don't try to rip it off. That way you are concentrating most of your pulling force on one corner. The seal will give eventually. Believe me, I thought the sucker would never come off, but eventually it did. You just have to keep pulling on it.
 

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AAAHHHHH!!!!
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thanks, i dont know when im gonna get some time to do this but i appreciate everyones help
 

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okay i had the same problem and all i did was take a small putty knife and lifted one corner of the valve cover. that made it way easier to pull the whole thing off.
 

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"all i did was take a small putty knife"

Reasonable suggestion. I might add that using a plastic one is a good idea to avoid marring the gasket mating surface if it slips. It's a bit harder with a plastic one, but I prefer to be extra cautious. That's what I used on the transmission oil pan to free it up last weekend. You can get cheap plastic ones at placed like Home Depot for less than a buck.
 

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I hope all is solved... I have had mine off at least 18 times since 2001 and have the new replacement still in a baggie in the shop. Still orginal and still no leaks. Make sure every thing is clean and then tighten from the inside out on the bolt pattern
 
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My gasket leaked and I changed it myself. Pretty easy although a little help around the edges with a piece of 2x4 did the trick. Make sure "all" traces of oil are wiped away and then use rubbing alcohol on both mating surfaces to thoroughly clean it. Use a 1/4 inch ratchet and socket gently and tighten down from inside out on opposing bolts until they stop with no extra force. That's it. Hope this helps.
 

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penguin said:
If you are really SURE you have all the bolts out, a bit of "not to hard" tapping with a rubber mallet, but not too near the gasket area, might be the thing. Sometimes valve covers stick a bit.
He means tap it sideways, don't hammer it back down into the head. VERY LIGHTLY so as not to crack the valve cover. Never use putty knives, screwdrivers or other sharp objects that will damage the gasket mating surface. You could create future leaks. If you did that already, be sure to seal the gasket mating surface with a very thin, 1/8" bead of black RTV.
 

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"He means tap it sideways,"

You are correct, I should have been more specific.

"Never use putty knives"

Generally I agree with you, but what's your opinion of using plastic putty knives on problematical gaskets? I must admit I've never had to use one on a valve cover gasket, but I have used them on transmission pans. I seem to recall that some of the auto manuals have recommended this, but I can't give a specific reference.
 

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I've used old brake shims on cast iron heads with no issues, the metal was weak enough not to scratch the surface. I also keep a plastic putty knife handy, and I think the Haynes manual might be the one you saw that in. Scotchbrite green scrubbing pads are good also if you're in a situation where the gasket simply won't come off with a plastic knife.

There are times when heavier duty scraping is needed, and we have to do what we have to do. There are ways to avoid this (soaking), but time consuming. This is completely crazy, but if you're ever rebuilding a motor that's running I ran across a super trick by accident. We had an old Datsun that needed a head gasket. During the time it sat up, all the coolant (just water) leaked into the crankcase because it was pointing uphill. We drove that little bugger for 5 miles with no coolant in the radiator, and the crankcase full of water and oil. When we took it apart later that day- EVERYTHING fell off. No gasket stuck, no cleaning needed (except oil pan), and the motor looked brand new inside. I also did this on a 305 I was putting in my Monte Carlo that needed a full rebuild because of bad rod and cam bearings. This time I just poured a couple of gallons of distilled water in the crankcase, popped off the oil fill cap, and steam cleaned that one. It didn't work as good as the Datsun did, but I just let it idle instead of driving it. I think that it needs to heat up quickly to work well. Then again, Chevy's are horrible about top end carbon build-up- which was the only issue I had cleaning that one.
 
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