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Advice on cam cover gaskets


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Been loosing a fair bit of oil recently and after a bit of a run today pulled up at some lights, glanced in rear view mirror to see large cloud of smoke exiting the engine cover. Sheepishly tried to look away from all the other people in their 'normal' cars which were running just fine tankyou very much :D

After I got home there was still a bit of oil buring off on the manifold and little pools of the stuff in the spark plugs which leads me to believe the cam cover gasket(s) have gone again (annoying as they were only replaced about 6 months ago after a C service).

On first inspection it looks as though this 'should' be a fairly simple job with only a few bolts holding the covers in place but experience tells me this is never the case. Any words of advice from those of you that have done this before?

Owen

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Been loosing a fair bit of oil recently and after a bit of a run today pulled up at some lights, glanced in rear view mirror to see large cloud of smoke exiting the engine cover. Sheepishly tried to look away from all the other people in their 'normal' cars which were running just fine tankyou very much :D

After I got home there was still a bit of oil buring off on the manifold and little pools of the stuff in the spark plugs which leads me to believe the cam cover gasket(s) have gone again (annoying as they were only replaced about 6 months ago after a C service).

On first inspection it looks as though this 'should' be a fairly simple job with only a few bolts holding the covers in place but experience tells me this is never the case. Any words of advice from those of you that have done this before?

Owen

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Owen,

It's a pretty simple procedure to replace the cam cover gaskets. Just remove the 3 allen head screws from each and pop it off. Clean off the old gasket material from the cover and cam tower and reseal with new gaskets and loctite 518.

However, it is also common for the leak to occur at the joint between the cam tower and the head in which case the procedure becomes quite a bit more complicated and should include checking the valve adjustments and re-shimming as necessary and timing belt if needed. With a service manual and the proper tools it can be a DIY job but I would only recommend it for someone who is very confident in their mechanical abilities if you know what I mean.

Make sure you know where the leak is coming from before you dive in. The cam towers will also leak from the seals at either end as well which can also be simple or difficult depending on which end with the rear end nearest the turbo being easier.

Hope this helps,

Jim

1995 S4s

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Very sound advice. I'v got a similar smoke cloud on mine and it is coming from the cam towers NOT the cover gaskets. I'mhoping to get mine resealed when it goes in for the C service.

Fingers crossed this should sort it for a while.

Cheers

Alan Croft

2000 V8 GT

87 Turbo Esprit HC

2000 Elise Sport 160

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Sorry, ditto :D

You might be lucky, but the cam tower leak is well common and

if it's not the top one leaking into the plug wells, then it's the lower

one onto the manifold.

Mine happened EXACT as you describe. I was lucky as i was due

a C service so most of the cost was lost in that.

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Damn, of course it couldn't be that simple could it :)

Oh well, I guess I can try the covers and see of this makes a difference as it seems to be the simplest step to take. Beyond that it's into a specialist as my mechanical ability is not exactly legendary.

Thanks for the advice guys and im (sort of) glad I asked first.

Owen

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Mine was the Cam Towers. Allowing a 1 drop of oil per minute to find its way to the manifold - thus emmitting a small yield nuclear cloud through the rear vents.

As you said - very embarassing.

From memory it cost me under

Simon  (94 S4)      My Esprit will be for sale in late 2017

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Damn, of course it couldn't be that simple could it :)

Oh well, I guess I can try the covers and see of this makes a difference as it seems to be the simplest step to take. Beyond that it's into a specialist as my mechanical ability is not exactly legendary.

Thanks for the advice guys and im (sort of) glad I asked first.

Owen

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Careful. betcha if you overtighten the covers then then you might create

another leak?

:)

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Damn, of course it couldn't be that simple could it :)

Oh well, I guess I can try the covers and see of this makes a difference as it seems to be the simplest step to take. Beyond that it's into a specialist as my mechanical ability is not exactly legendary.

Thanks for the advice guys and im (sort of) glad I asked first.

Owen

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Clean the area up first and then run the engine a bit to see where it's leaking. Should be fairly easy to see with a torch (that's what you guys call a flashlight right :) ). No sense putting new gaskets on if that's not going to fix it and then having to replace them again when it goes to the shop.....IMHO

Cheers,

Jim

1995 S4s

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Mine was the Cam Towers.  Allowing a 1 drop of oil per minute to find its way to the manifold - thus emmitting a small yield nuclear cloud through the rear vents.

As you said - very embarassing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Mine has been doing that for a long time, although not enough to produce visible smoke while driving.

Driving faster makes the cloud less visible :-)

-Dave

All Cows Eat Grass

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