Cam cover gasket replacement

Discussion in '308/328' started by PT 328, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. PT 328

    PT 328 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    May 1, 2005
    I just picked up some cam cover gaskets. I have two that are leaking slightly and are dripping onto the exhaust.

    Question: Do you need to drain the oil to replace these gaskets or has the oil settled low enough to allow the gasket change without draining the oil?
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  3. Formula Junior

    Dec 7, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Full Name:
    Andy Rein
    You don't need to drain the oil to change the cam cover gaskets, in about 5 minutes, all the oil will drain from the heads.

    But just to be safe let it sit overnight if you don't mind waiting.

    I also noticed that if you use the good, high quality green gaskets, you don't need any gasket sealer or rtv, just make sure you reinstall the hardware per the original configuration and torque all the cam cover nuts per the spec.
  4. PT 328

    PT 328 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    May 1, 2005
    Thanks Andy, I got it squared away this morning. I appreciate the advice.
  5. Mike Florio

    Mike Florio Formula Junior

    Jun 19, 2003
    NW Rural Nevada
    Full Name:
    Mike Florio
    There are several threads (do a search) on replacing these gaskets. One key point, in addition to Andy's comments, is the amount of gasket to trim where the gasket meets the front cam seals. Most guys trim it back 5 mm or so and place a dab of RTV (I use HondaBond) where the cam seal meets the head. Bear in mind the cam seals are captured and sealed by the bare metal on the cam cover, that's why the thickness of the gasket and careful torquing of the cam cover is critical. Carefully check that the position of those cam seals is correct just before (and after) torquing the valve covers. They are a famous source of leaks.

    I just finished mine after a belt change and valve adjust, and no leaks so far. For a couple of bucks you can go to the McMaster Carr website and get a bag of the proper metric "wavy" washers and new acorn nuts. They really dress up the engine. While you are there get new nylon locknuts for the carb air horns.

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