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Old 03-21-2014, 01:53 AM   #1
RobertGary1
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Default 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

AllData says the you need to remove the intake manifold to change the right side valve cover gasket. Has anyone found that necessary?

-Robert
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
AllData says the you need to remove the intake manifold to change the right side valve cover gasket. Has anyone found that necessary?

-Robert
FSM says same thing ... however, a previous post by Bern mentions need to remove upper intake plenum only (need a 3-piece gasket set):

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=196423

I've recently exchanged PM's with another member ... chevellefreak ... who adjusted valves ... I've sent PM asking how much of intake needs to be removed.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
FSM says same thing ... however, a previous post by Bern mentions need to remove upper intake plenum only (need a 3-piece gasket set):

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=196423

I've recently exchanged PM's with another member ... chevellefreak ... who adjusted valves ... I've sent PM asking how much of intake needs to be removed.

Excellent. Thanks. At 110,000 I have a very slight leak which I guess is to be expected. At 5,000 miles the oil was about 1/10 below the top of the hash.

BTW: When I did my 100,000 stuff I obviously didn't elect to do the valves. Have people found it necessary? I don't hear any clattering that would suggest they are widening. CA SMOG showed almost no measurable HC's at 25mph.

-Robert
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
BTW: When I did my 100,000 stuff I obviously didn't elect to do the valves. Have people found it necessary? I don't hear any clattering that would suggest they are widening. CA SMOG showed almost no measurable HC's at 25mph. -Robert
I had a mechanic replace timing belt and water pump on two family Vue's just before they rolled over 100,000 miles. He has many years of experience with Honda engines and felt checking 3.5 valve-lash wasn't necessary at 100,000 miles unless engine was "running rough".

On the other hand - I've read several posts, and received a few PM's, pointing out that exhaust valve lash tightens as engines pile on miles. A few members - some with professional experience working on 3.5's - feel adjusting valve-lash (primarily exhaust) is very necessary.

One member (chevellefreak) PM'ed some excellent photo's of 3.5 valve-train he uncovered to adjust valves. I'm going to ask him to post his photo's and valve adjusting experience to your thread since they are very informative.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
I had a mechanic replace timing belt and water pump on two family Vue's just before they rolled over 100,000 miles. He has many years of experience with Honda engines and felt checking 3.5 valve-lash wasn't necessary at 100,000 miles unless engine was "running rough".

On the other hand - I've read several posts, and received a few PM's, pointing out that exhaust valve lash tightens as engines pile on miles. A few members - some with professional experience working on 3.5's - feel adjusting valve-lash (primarily exhaust) is very necessary.

One member (chevellefreak) PM'ed some excellent photo's of 3.5 valve-train he uncovered to adjust valves. I'm going to ask him to post his photo's and valve adjusting experience to your thread since they are very informative.
Yes, before I tore into my engine I did a query call to the local Honda dealer and asked them what they thought.

-Robert
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post

BTW: When I did my 100,000 stuff I obviously didn't elect to do the valves. Have people found it necessary? I don't hear any clattering that would suggest they are widening. CA SMOG showed almost no measurable HC's at 25mph.

-Robert
The Honda valve train normally does not get noisy. The valve clearances tend to tighten up and produce misfires when they go out of adjustment.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:48 AM   #7
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Default Vue 3.5L Cylinder Misfire \ Valve Adjustment \ Cover Gasket Replacement

Our 148k 2006 AWD Vue recently HAD the P0300, 302, 303 and 305 DTC's after starting one day. Spark plugs and coil packs were checked and found to be good. Soon after the Engine Light would flash when leaving my driveway. After doing some research here and on the internet, this is what I found out. My local Chevrolet dealership that now services Saturn Knows Absolutely NOTHING ABOUT HONDA MOTORS and their requirements to fix. They followed the standard repair service template and after the AFIT (active fuel injector test) showed that the fuel injectors were fine, told me that my motor had internal damage and that the next step was a new set of cylinder heads at a price of $5200.00 installed!!! I already knew that wasn't going to happen. So I got my Vue back and started the troubleshooting again. I noticed that after the car was warmed up the engine light wouldn't flash. It was still on but not flashing. I started suspecting valve adjustment but after listening to the engine, it didn't sound abnormal and there was no exhaust spitting.
It came down to this reply by member Bern http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=196423 that made me decide to adjust the valves in an attempt to fix the misfire DTC's.
This Post provided more info that I needed. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=169060 And this was also informative. http://www.piloteers.org/forums/18-m...djustment.html
Here are some pictures I took during the repair.

View of the valve covers after removing the Upper Intake Plenum and spacer. After unbolting the Fuel Injection & Coil Plug Harness Holder, you will have access the remove the Valve Covers.


Intake spacer needed runners cleaned


Lower Intake Runners were also dirty


Ready to Adjust the valves.
The Bank 1 Cylinder Head Harness can be worked around without removing it any further. After the covers were removed, the first thing I noticed was that the Bank 2 Cylinder Head (Front of car) was more dirty then Bank 1. The PCV Valve didn't seem too dirty or clogged. Same thing with the EGR.
As it turns out, the first exhaust valve I checked was too tight. In fact every exhaust valve was too tight and out of the specified gap range. Bingo! Intakes were all within spec.


You can really tell the difference in this picture of how dirty Bank 2 was by the inside of the valve covers. Intake Plenum was pretty crusty too. It took 4+ cans of carb cleaner to make these look new again.


Everything cleaned back together with a new set of Denso Iridium's ready for the Intake Plenum. (Note) Before putting the valve covers back on, make sure to oil the rubber spark plug tube seals or you could have a tube tear the seal when installing.


Intake Plenum cleaned and installed. Almost done.......


Once everything was put back on, battery hooked back up. I started her up......Engine Light off and she's idling the smoothest since we first bought. NICE!...... It's been 2 months and the light has not came back on. I'm pretty sure the Valve Adjustment and cleaning fixed the problem. Thanks to Far2Grumpy for all his help and Bern for the answer. Now it's time for a long overdue Timing Belt & Water Pump.....

Last edited by chevellefreak; 03-25-2014 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

What's the theory as to why the valve lash would tighten with age vs loosen??

I"m surprised a valve issue could throw a misfire code. Isn't the misfire just a reflection of the electrical resistance on the coil when it fired? Its detecting that the plug didn't draw current.

-Robert
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
Isn't the misfire just a reflection of the electrical resistance on the coil when it fired? Its detecting that the plug didn't draw current. -Robert
Misfires can be caused by lack of fuel, spark or compression in one or more cylinders.

The 3.5 PCM uses information from the crankshaft position (CKP) sensor and cylinder firing order to determine when engine misfire is occurring. By monitoring variations in the crankshaft rotation speed for each cylinder, the PCM is able to detect individual cylinder misfire events.

A misfire rate that is high enough can cause the 3-way catalytic converter (TWC) to overheat under certain driving conditions. The malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) will flash ON and OFF when the conditions for TWC overheating are present. One or more misfire codes will be set.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Vue 3.5L Cylinder Misfire \ Valve Adjustment \ Cover Gasket Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevellefreak View Post
Our 148k 2006 AWD Vue recently HAD the P0300, 302, 303 and 305 DTC's after starting one day. Spark plugs and coil packs were checked and found to be good. Soon after the Engine Light would flash when leaving my driveway. After doing some research here and on the internet, this is what I found out. My local Chevrolet dealership that now services Saturn Knows Absolutely NOTHING ABOUT HONDA MOTORS and their requirements to fix. They followed the standard repair service template and after the AFIT (active fuel injector test) showed that the fuel injectors were fine, told me that my motor had internal damage and that the next step was a new set of cylinder heads at a price of $5200.00 installed!!! I already knew that wasn't going to happen. So I got my Vue back and started the troubleshooting again. I noticed that after the car was warmed up the engine light wouldn't flash. It was still on but not flashing. I started suspecting valve adjustment but after listening to the engine, it didn't sound abnormal and there was no exhaust spitting.
It came down to this reply by member Bern http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=196423 that made me decide to adjust the valves in an attempt to fix the misfire DTC's.
This Post provided more info that I needed. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=169060 And this was also informative. http://www.piloteers.org/forums/18-m...djustment.html
Here are some pictures I took during the repair.

View of the valve covers after removing the Upper Intake Plenum and spacer. After unbolting the Fuel Injection & Coil Plug Harness Holder, you will have access the remove the Valve Covers.


Intake spacer needed runners cleaned


Lower Intake Runners were also dirty


Ready to Adjust the valves.
The Bank 1 Cylinder Head Harness can be worked around without removing it any further. After the covers were removed, the first thing I noticed was that the Bank 2 Cylinder Head (Front of car) was more dirty then Bank 1. The PCV Valve didn't seem too dirty or clogged. Same thing with the EGR.
As it turns out, the first exhaust valve I checked was too tight. In fact every exhaust valve was too tight and out of the specified gap range. Bingo! Intakes were all within spec.


You can really tell the difference in this picture of how dirty Bank 2 was by the inside of the valve covers. Intake Plenum was pretty crusty too. It took 4+ cans of carb cleaner to make these look new again.


Everything cleaned back together with a new set of Denso Iridium's ready for the Intake Plenum. (Note) Before putting the valve covers back on, make sure to oil the rubber spark plug tube seals or you could have a tube tear the seal when installing.


Intake Plenum cleaned and installed. Almost done.......


Once everything was put back on, battery hooked back up. I started her up......Engine Light off and she's idling the smoothest since we first bought. NICE!...... It's been 2 months and the light has not came back on. I'm pretty sure the Valve Adjustment and cleaning fixed the problem. Thanks to Far2Grumpy for all his help and Bern for the answer. Now it's time for a long overdue Timing Belt & Water Pump.....
I think this is a superb post.

It will have lasting value for all 3.5 owners contemplating what to expect when inspecting and adjusting valve-train components.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Great post. Thanks for taking the time to share this info.

This post came along at the perfect time. I am about to adjust my valve lashes. I have a question about the appropriate torque for the valve adjustment. Is there a specific torque for these valve nuts? If so, how would you torque the nuts without moving the screws?
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Thanks much for the post! I was very interested to read and see the pictures. I have the 2004 vue 3.5 with 135k miles... I just removed my intake manifold cover and it looks just as bad as the pictures above... It runs a bit bad, response is not so good.

I am considering doing the same cleaning as described above, but before proceeding, several questions...

Since I am not a trained mechanic, I am wondering if it's necessary to completely remove and clean all components including the valve covers and manifold spacer also. Or, if I were to simply remove the throttle body and manifold intake plenum only and thoroughly clean these 2 parts, would this have any positive effect by itself?

Also, I read above about needing a 3-piece gasket set. Does anyone have a weblink of an oem or after market part number for this so I get the correct set? In addition, what cleaner is best to use for the manifold and valve cover cleaning?

I have also read about the valve adjustment procedure, is this something that any good mechanic would know how to do, or they need to be Honda trained for this? I am in the Tampa/Clearwater, FL area... Anyone know someone who can do it?

Last thing... Is there any particular care needed when removing and re-installing the throttle body itself? I have heard that this is very sensitive.


Thanks in Advance!

Robert
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Old 07-04-2022, 06:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Very Nice...Same thing happened to my 2006 Saturn right after I hit a severe pothole filled with water...now that I read your thread, Im wondering if it had anything to do with the pothole after all? Anyway, replaced all that you did and my car drives like a brand new car. Love it!
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Old 07-12-2022, 07:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: 3.5L valve cover gasket replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert1969 View Post
Thanks much for the post! I was very interested to read and see the pictures. I have the 2004 vue 3.5 with 135k miles... I just removed my intake manifold cover and it looks just as bad as the pictures above... It runs a bit bad, response is not so good.

I am considering doing the same cleaning as described above, but before proceeding, several questions...

Since I am not a trained mechanic, I am wondering if it's necessary to completely remove and clean all components including the valve covers and manifold spacer also. Or, if I were to simply remove the throttle body and manifold intake plenum only and thoroughly clean these 2 parts, would this have any positive effect by itself?

Also, I read above about needing a 3-piece gasket set. Does anyone have a weblink of an oem or after market part number for this so I get the correct set? In addition, what cleaner is best to use for the manifold and valve cover cleaning?

I have also read about the valve adjustment procedure, is this something that any good mechanic would know how to do, or they need to be Honda trained for this? I am in the Tampa/Clearwater, FL area... Anyone know someone who can do it?

Last thing... Is there any particular care needed when removing and re-installing the throttle body itself? I have heard that this is very sensitive.


Thanks in Advance!

Robert
Have you had your timing belt replaced? If so, the valve lash should have been adjusted at that time.

Edit* Nevermind, I just realized this post is 7 years old.
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