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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to paint the valve covers on my 84. How hard are they to remove and put back on? What all will I need to replace once I go to put them back on? I had the gaskets replaced about 6 months ago, but they are cheap to replace again correct? Anything I need to watch when putting them back on? Any specific torque to tighten them to? I'm new to underhood maintenance and detailing, so any tips or tricks will be appreciated. thanks!
 

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I took the ones off my L98 very easliy. I would think the CFI cars aren't much different, I did have to remove the alternator and loosen the A/C to allow clearance. But those items were incredibly easy. My gaskets are some type of rubber which happens to be in perfect shape. :)
Cork gaskets are really cheap if you need em.

What color you painting them? I am doing mine in bright red.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am going to paint mine with Duplicolor MetalCast metallic red. My car is silver with a red interior, and I've already painted the air cleaner lid that color, so I might as well match it all up. Maybe I'll go all out and put on a braided hose kit. Yours looks great with that and the red wire looms! Did you buy the hose covers as a kit, or were they all seperate? What about the wire covers? What part of installing the braided steel was a pain? I've already polished a whole bunch of the underhood stuff, so I might as well do everything at once. At least the valve covers are as easy as 4 bolts each. Do you know if there is a magic torque number to tighten them to or do I just go until they are tight?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also, the motor is full of oil and everything, so when I take them off will it make a huge mess with oil, or do I have to drain the car first or anything?
 

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Your oil will drain back down into the oil pan, so there will be no need to drain it.

A small amount will stay on the head under the valve cover, so you may have a little to wipe up, but very little, so go ahead and take off the valve covers and don't worry about it. :)
 

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muddpile said:
I am going to paint mine with Duplicolor MetalCast metallic red. My car is silver with a red interior, and I've already painted the air cleaner lid that color, so I might as well match it all up. Maybe I'll go all out and put on a braided hose kit. Yours looks great with that and the red wire looms! Did you buy the hose covers as a kit, or were they all seperate? What about the wire covers? What part of installing the braided steel was a pain? I've already polished a whole bunch of the underhood stuff, so I might as well do everything at once. At least the valve covers are as easy as 4 bolts each. Do you know if there is a magic torque number to tighten them to or do I just go until they are tight?
Great color :)

The braided hoses are a PITA no matter how much care you take, but they look really trick. When you have the plenum, valve covers, alternator & air pump off the hose braiding gets real easy except for the fact that it is hard to get it evenly on the hoses.

I bought the hose braiding as one kit, and the wire looms individually by size.

The torque for the valve covers is 55-125 according to the Haynes manual, but I am gonna start at 70 then check it after a few miles.

Just be sure you can do without the car for a few days, you find a million little things you want to do (Like drop a 383 in ;) ) once this stuff is all apart.
 

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BTW if they are sbc perimeter valve covers

JEGS sells these that help a great deal
http://www.jegs.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=2207&prmenbr=361
a few things you should know

[1] synthetic oil desolves that yellow 3m weatherstrip gasket adhesive than many guys use over a few months time so you cant use it to glue valve cover gaskets

[2]you must use a o2 safe gasket cement like the BLACK RTV silicone cement and you must clean and degrease the cover with acetone or a similar solvent before glueing on the gasket to get the best retention

[3]you need to allow at least a few hours to over night,depends mostly on temp. for that black silicone gasket cement to set up before installing the valve covers, and placeing them gasket side down on a table with a sheet of wax paper under them and a 20lb weight on top of each valve cover while the cement sets up is the best way to insure the gaskets stay correctly aligned on the valve covers perimeter

[4]a light coat of (PAM) cooking spray on the lower gasket surface keeps them from sticking to the cylinder heads after installation

[5] these gasket retaining rings add a great deal to the valve covers ability to firmly hold the gasket WITHOUT bending SHEET METAL VALVE COVERS OR CRACKING CAST ALUMINUM VALVE COVERS AND ARE WELL WORTH THE MINIMAL COST

[6]doing it correctly the first time saves time and money

[7] having the outer surface of the valve cover totally degreased and BEAD BLASTED before repainting adds a great deal to the new paints ability to firmly stick to the new surface

[8]if your looking for great results theres always the powder coating option

powder coat parts at home or have them done
http://www.powderequip.com/allaboutpc.html

http://www.powderequip.com/powder1.html

http://www.powderequip.com/customcoater001-300.html

http://www.eastwoodco.com/

http://www.pcoating.com/index.asp

http://www.powderperfect.com/

http://www.colorpowdercoating.com/RAL.htm

http://www.discover-net.net/~enviro/about.htm


a very small sample of whats available

http://www.thinair-usa.com/Powder_Colors.html

http://www.caswellplating.com/powder/powder_colors.html?PHPSESSID=1905fe801c2c2f45c418370f05c2e031

http://www.eastwoodco.com/email/default2.asp?SRCCODE=O1KW3465&PageName=HCPOWDERS
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, basically what I need to do is:
1. Get all the various junk out of the way (air, alternator, air cleaner, etc.)
2. Take em off
3. Clean em up to perfection
4. Paint.
5. Silicone new gaskets to them with Black RTV, leaving a weight on top overnight
6. Reinstall with 55-125 lb torque
7. Look at my accomplishment and realize how much better it looks than the dirty greyish-greenish-gold stained color.

Grumpy, I am using the factory magnesium covers. I've heard you can't powdercoat them. Is that true or just a myth? I don't want to powdercoat them anyways, for I may want to change something someday.

Are there any material options available for the gaskets? Which is best?

I had the gaskets replaced about 1000 miles ago, for the old ones were leaking badly. Do I still need new ones or would the old ones be re-useable?
 

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"Reinstall with 55-125 lb torque"
that will result in instant cracked valve covers
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I kinda wondered when I heard that. All my other steps are ok though, right? How much torque should I put the bolts in with, or do I just go until they feel tight enough?
 

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grumpyvette said:
"Reinstall with 55-125 lb torque"
that will result in instant cracked valve covers
:agree: :agree: :agree:
Buy the GOOD rubber re-useable gaskets, Install with no glue and just snug them up by hand. The better you clean them the better the paint will turn out!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Once I take em off I'll have to see whats there for gaskets. They were replaced when I bought the car, and it's racked up just over 1000 miles since then. With any luck they're rubber and I'll be set. If they're cork, I guess I'll be in the market for some better rubber ones. Where would I buy such a product as rubber gaskets? Would my local auto parts store carry them, or are they more of a special order?
 

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I just realized the problem with the 55-125, it's INCH LBs not FT. LBs. Sorry about not being specific on my first reply. :)
 

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55-125, it's INCH LBs not FT. LBs.

thats approximately 5-11 ft lbs or just alittle more than finger tight BTW
 

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Ahh yes. That makes a little more sense. It'll be a couple weeks now before I get em off anyways. Its 30 degrees below celsius here right now and about 28 below in my shop, so I don't really want to work out there at the present time. Maybe next week it'll be warmer so I can start polishing and painting etc. I've got some before pics and I'll be sure to take some after pics when I'm done.
 

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Valve covers

A friend of mine at work told me that the valve covers that bolt through the middle have rubber gaskets that are reusable and all you have to do is stretch them over the inner cover and tighten them down. He also said they stay in place pretty well and you don't have to worry too much about dislocating them while you are trying to reinstall the cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've heard that too, but unfortunately I believe mine bolt on through the rim. I haven't seen the car in a couple weeks because its been too cold, but maybe I'll be in luck and it will have the rubber situation. I think its rim though.
 

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On page 74 of the March issue of vette magazine they discuss rubber valve gaskets. The writer says that they don't stay in place too well but he used masking tape to hold them in place and after he puts the cover in place he then pulls the tape out from under the covers. There are some pictures of the process as well.

Let us all know how it goes. I need to paint my covers too. I need a new corvette emblem to stick on them also.

Good luck!
 

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Steve S. said:
On page 74 of the March issue of vette magazine they discuss rubber valve gaskets. The writer says that they don't stay in place too well but he used masking tape to hold them in place and after he puts the cover in place he then pulls the tape out from under the covers. There are some pictures of the process as well.
I'll have to see if I can get ahold of that issue. I can't see how tape is going to do the trick b/c when you pull the tape out it should bring the gasket out too. :surprised

I find that if you take it nice and slow with the centerbolt valve covers, the gasket will stay put. One little bump against the wiper motor housing or a rocker and it'll fall off. You have to slide it in nice and smooth. ;)
 
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