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Old 06-02-2006, 10:25 PM   #1
maestro
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1997 SC1
Wrench cracked head,valve cover gasket or cam gasket leaking ???how to tell !!

is there any certain way to tell if oil leak on manifold is from a cracked head,,valve cover or cam cover gasket bad or what,i mean is there any ceretain thing to look for on each?,,,oil does leak on to manifold,,its a sc2 96,,im intreasted,,,also told that saturns aluminums,,not iron or steel which is sensitive or cant take alot of heat,,,if heat warped the head,,what am i look at cost wise,,,,or do you get another motor,,,need input fellas,,,but of coarse it could be somthing as simple as valve cover gaskets or cam gaskets or are valvue and cam cover the same thing???let me know,jus tryn not to be cheated buy seller,,,,um out !!!!!maestro

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Old 06-02-2006, 10:30 PM   #2
itsmesillybubba
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2006 ION-3 Quad Coupe
Default Re: cracked head,valve cover gasket or cam gasket leaking ???how to tell !!

Blown head gaskets are not too common in these cars....heads however a know to crack.......is there any oil in your coolant or coolant in your oil? Is the oil leaking out of the front in to you spark plug wells? If so it vould ne the valve cover gasket....they are also known to go.

If you are purchasing the car...GET IT LOOKED AT BY A MECHANIC FIRST!

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Old 06-02-2006, 10:50 PM   #3
Sky King
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1999 SC2
1995 SL2
Default Re: cracked head,valve cover gasket or cam gasket leaking ???how to tell !!

Like itsmesillybubba said, the head gaskets on these engines rarely fails. You said you have an SC-2, this is a twin cam engine, these heads are quite reliable. It is the single cam heads that are prone to crack. I haven't heard too many people on this board report a warped head due to overheating. Yes, they are aluminum, the head and block.

On these engines, the cam cover gasket is a common failure, they are also easy to fix. (The "cam cover" and "valve cover" are the same thing on these engines). Because of this, without seeing it, my first thought would be the cam cover gasket. Do you own this car or are you considering purchasing it?

...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
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Old 06-02-2006, 11:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: cracked head,valve cover gasket or cam gasket leaking ???how to tell !!

sky and its me thanx for answering,,,oil does appear to becoming from front leaking on manifold,,,i dont own the car yet but would like to buy,,i thought the same thing that seems to be a gasket instead,,,but need to make sure,,i will check to see if oil has collant in it,i will definately look it over befor i buy,,,but other than this its a great looking car ,,,not dents clean and owner going to let it go i think for alomst a steal,,,but like i said it does appear to be valve or cam cover gaskits,,,,looks like thats exactly where the oil is coming out,,,any reason what may have caused this,,,is there any other certain thing i dont wanna ignor due to gaskets being blown or bad,,,man this is good info hit me bac when ya can ,,,,and like i said let me know if there are other things that imay be concerned about that may have caused this that may be a break down down the road,,,see ya thanx ! maestro! good responses thats what um talking about,,,thats why i love this site !!!!!thanxs guys!!!

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Old 06-03-2006, 01:40 AM   #5
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1999 SC2
1995 SL2
Default Re: cracked head,valve cover gasket or cam gasket leaking ???how to tell !!

I agree with itsmesillybubba, I would have a trusted shop look it over. You might also want to go to the nearest Saturn dealer and ask for the service history. They will have everything that has been done at Saturn shops. There are several things I would look at if I were buying it. The obvious things are hoses and the serpintine belt. I personally would do a compression check. I would inquire if the owner ever replaced the ECTS with the newer brass tipped one. Look at the top engine mount on the passenger side referred to as the torque axis mount, (TAM). There are numerous things to be looked at and I am sure I will not list them all. Others will surly chime in with things.

As for what caused the cam cover gasket to start to leak, again, this is a common failure. You say this is a 96, SC-2. That means it will have the black composite cover. The gasket for this is a preformed rubber gasket that sets in a groove in the cover. It is VERY easy to replace. It could have failed simply due to age. If it was ever replaced previously, the person doing may not have obeyed the main cardinal rule for this repair, CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. But again because it is such an easy thing to replace, it isn't that big a deal.

Oh, and as for the notation that there are no dents, polymer doesn't dent, it breaks if hit hard enough. The only exterior metal is the hood, roof and trunk lid.

...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
2003 Harley Davidson Low Rider - mine

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Old 06-03-2006, 03:06 AM   #6
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1996 SW2
Default Re: cracked head,valve cover gasket or cam gasket leaking ???how to tell !!

Which manifold, BTW?

In either case, think of the physics. The head gasket is between the head and the block. Oil leaking from it is VERY unlikely to go UP onto either manifold, but rather it will leak down onto the outside of the block. If you have oil on either manifold, it's most likely come from above, namely, the mating between the cam cover and the head.

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Old 06-03-2006, 09:49 PM   #7
maestro
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1997 SC1
Thumbs Up Re: cracked head,valve cover gasket or cam gasket leaking ???how to tell !!

thanks mad,,sky,,,and it's me for response to question hopw to tell where leak comin from valve or head,, all were great answers i will surely consider,,,,no i wont jus jump onto a what seems like a deal before throughly checking things out,,the guy selling the saturn sc2 coupe is a nice guy and trust worthy,,in fact as mentioned he is prob willing to replace the engine with another one,,,but as ive heard why replace the engine if its only a small matter of gaskits,,,maybe! and i know it doesnt dent,,,the poymer that is,,but no dents in hood or other metal parts,,,so hopefully its a small matter,,i will keep you guys posted,,also ill try to get by there to get pic of where its leaking oil so look for them,,ill let you know when i place them online
if you guys come up with any more helpful information about this matter ,,,please dont for get me Maestro! fill me in aahhhhiiiiight be good,and thanx a million!!!!! Maestro!!! again,thats why i joined this site ,,,guys like you with honest suggestions and answers,i am new to the saturn thing,,,so far um loving it,,have a 97sc2 wife found at yard sale,,,it didnt look the way it does when we bought,,,ive hit a few junk yards up with deals,,,wheels,,,interior console and trunk carpeting among break shoes ,,pads,,,rotors and drums,,and smaller detailish stuff,,,its been fun restoreing this thin,,,,its all ive been up to for the last month,,,um out ! holla bac !!!!!!!

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Old 06-04-2006, 12:40 AM   #8
Sky King
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1999 SC2
1995 SL2
Default Re: cracked head,valve cover gasket or cam gasket leaking ???how to tell !!

I read your reply to nmsaty concerning his leak being almost identical to yours. I just want to remind you if you havn't already come to this realization, your cover is a black composite cover and his is aluminum. The change was made in 1996. Those two covers require a VERY different sealing methode. The aluminum, 1995 and older, uses either RTV from a tube or a preformed RTV seal. The composite, 1996 and after uses a rubber gasket that sets in a groove in the cover. No RTV except for a SMALL dab at the joint between the timing cover and the head.

...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
2003 Harley Davidson Low Rider - mine

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Old 06-04-2006, 01:40 AM   #9
maestro
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1997 SC1
Default sky! i thought i said the sc296 im intrested in !

is in fact and i repeat a 1996 sc2 twin cam,,so what your saying is that all valve covers on 95 and under were made of a diffrent material and 96 and up are aluminum,,if i said anything diffrent than it being in fact a 96 sc2 twin cam then oops! my bad! but that is what it is,,,thanx again!!!!!maestro! oh and thanx for the info on sealing
materials,,ill make sure to use the right one for the yr andvalve material its made for. dang sky,,,i read your response three times now i get what your saying,,,his is a 95 or eariler and also a sl model,,,sorry bout that! must be the fact that im off for the weekend,,,you are johnny on the spot,,how dare i forget that ,,thanx again maestro!!!!! good lookin out!

Last edited by maestro; 06-04-2006 at 01:49 AM..

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Old 06-04-2006, 01:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: sky! i thought i said the sc296 im intrested in !

I,got,,so,,,caught,,,,up,,,,,in,,,,,,all,,,,,,,the ,,,,,,,,commas,,,,,,,,,that,,,,,,,,,,I,,,,,,,,,,,l ost,,,,,,,,,,,,all,,,,,,,,,,,,,track,,,,,,,,,,,,,, of,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,he,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,was,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,trying,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,to,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ask.

...
Old Saturns never die, people KILL them, so check your damn oil!
"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." Albert Einstein

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Old 06-04-2006, 01:53 AM   #11
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Default wolf!!

i do kinda make it a lil illusional dont i,,its all good tho,

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Old 06-04-2006, 04:26 AM   #12
Sky King
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Default Re: sky! i thought i said the sc296 im intrested in !

Quote:
Originally Posted by maestro
so what your saying is that all valve covers on 95 and under were made of a diffrent material and 96 and up are aluminum:
Other way around. up TO and including 1995 = ALUMINUM, 1996 and after are COMPOSITE

...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
2003 Harley Davidson Low Rider - mine

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