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Old 10-29-2003, 05:32 AM   #1
wolfman
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Wrench S-Series Camcover Gasket Replacement

Saturn “S” series SOHC and DOHC Camcover replacement

Two types of camcovers are used on these cars, the silver ALUMINUM covers used on ALL SOHC engines and DOHC engines until 1995, and the BLACK composite (plastic) covers used on DOHC engines after 1995.

The aluminum covers require NO GASKET
The black composite covers require a gasket from Saturn or your local parts house

To change either type you will need:

Set of metric SOCKETS (6 point variety recommended) and for the SOHC a set of TORX bit drivers
1 can of “Brake Kleen”
1 Medium sized tube of RTV Form a gasket (and Gasket "kit" for 96’ and up composite covers)
Clean towels and perhaps a putty knife and scotch bright pad.

SOHC and DOHC to 1995 (Aluminum covers)
Proceed as follows:

On the SOHC, remove the two nuts holding the MAP sensor to the cover and slide the MAP sensor off toward the firewall (removing the air filter assembly first makes this WAY easier)
On the DOHC, unplug the electrical connector and vacuum lines from the EGR solenoid (you can leave the solenoid attached to the cover)
On BOTH engines, disconnect the PCV valve and breather hoses from the cover and set them aside.
On SOHC engines, remove the TWO TORX head bolts securing the cover.
On DOHC engines remove the bolts securing the cover to outside edges and center “well” of the cover and remove the plug wires from the spark plugs.
BOTH engines, remove the cover from the head. (If it sticks, wack it GENTLY with a wooden or rubber hammer or CAREFULLY pry up on one corner with a SMALL blade screw driver until the cover releases)

BOTH Engines, take the cover inside and WASH IT with dish soap and water until COMPLETELY oil and dirt free, use a scotch brite pad or putty knife to remove ALL TRACES of old RTV from the cover. Set aside to dry. Back out at the car, use a putty knife and scotch brite pad to scrub ALL TRACES of old RTV off the engine mating surface for the cover. Then spray the area with Brake Kleen to ENSURE IT IS COMPLETELY DEGREASED.

BOTH Engines, apply a gapless even 8mm (3/8 in) bead of RTV all around the outer perimeter of the COVER. On DOHC covers, do the same for the circles that meet the plug well holes. Set the cover aside.
BOTH Engines, Apply a thin bead of RTV to the ENGINE where the timing chain cover meets the head on the passenger side of the engine, there is a small “ridge” here on either side of the timing chain about ½ in or so long. It is this ridge you want to apply the RTV to.

BOTH Engines, CAREFULLY set the cover straight down onto the engine being CAREFUL not to smear the RTV.

On SOHC engines install the two TORX head bolts and snug them down. Torque spec is a very “loose” 10~12 foot pounds, DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN!

On DOHC Engines, reinstall the bolts and tighten gradually from the CENTER OUT to 8 ft pounds. This will seem very loose…DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN

On BOTH Engines…reinstall the hoses and electrical connectors you removed (now would be a good time to replace the PCV valve if you like)
On the SOHC, reinstall the MAP sensor and nuts.

1996 and UP DOHC with composite cover
Procedure is essentially the same EXCEPT, use the RTV VERY SPARINGLY on the cover to “glue” the gasket to the groove in the COVER. Like wise to “glue” the supplied “O” rings to the holes in the COVER for the plug wells. You STILL need to apply RTV to the “ridge” between the timing chain cover and engine mentioned above. The gasket set will also come with new “bolt isolators” for the bolts that go along the outer perimeter of the cover. These just pop in/out and require no additional sealer. While not “officially recommended” by the FSM, I always apply a THIN (finger smeared) layer of RTV to new gasket BOTH where it meets the cover AND where it will touch the engine when installed just to be sure of a perfect seal. I do the same thing with the supplied rubber “O” rings for the plug well holes.


TIPS:
CLEANLINESS MEANS SUCCESS! I cannot stress enough the importance of getting BOTH the engine and cover SQUEAKY CLEAN prior to reinstalling with the new gasket/RTV.

DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THE BOLTS! You’ll strip out the bolt holes and be up the proverbial creek. If you don’t have a torque wrench, snug down the bolts GRADUALLY until they “feel” tight and NO MORE. DO NOT be tempted to wrench them down till they won’t turn anymore! You WILL break something.

...
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Old 10-30-2003, 02:54 PM   #2
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Do you let the RTV "skin" for 10 minutes before sticking it down?

Do you have a favorite "flavor" of RTV? I like the red hi-temp stuff; slow drying but reliable.

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Old 11-01-2003, 09:29 PM   #3
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YES, Let it "skin"
Ultra BLACK by Permatex.

...
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:22 PM   #4
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Damn... Switched valve covers to a composite (plastic) today, and guess what? I can't get the damn spark plug wires on, nor can I bolt my EGR solenoid to the valve cover anymore.

Do 1996+ cam covers use a different spark plug wireset?

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Old 11-10-2003, 02:15 PM   #5
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The composite cover does require a different style plug wire boot. So yes, you would need wires for a 96 or later.

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Old 02-19-2004, 09:32 PM   #6
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Since the procedure is usually done in response to the cover leaking oil, do you recommend blowing compressed air in/around the plug holes (DOHC model) while the top is off to get rid of leaked oil?

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Old 02-20-2004, 06:03 AM   #7
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Good question, but NO. Compressed air will just more the oil around for the most part. If desired (or needed) remove the spark plugs and allow the oil to run down into the cylinders where it will be harmlessly burned when the engine is started. Stuffing paper towels into a DOHC engines plug well holes will do an adequate job of removing any oil left coating the plug wells.

...
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Old 02-20-2004, 11:21 AM   #8
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And, of course, as you all know, should there be excessive oil in any of the wells, a turkey baster used to remove the oil, can be very handy.

...
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Old 02-23-2004, 04:53 PM   #9
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Do you want pictures? I look a ton when I did mine... didn't know this thread existed...

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Old 03-03-2004, 01:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Son93SL2
Do you want pictures? I look a ton when I did mine... didn't know this thread existed...
i would like it

thx

BTW would you really need a gasket "kit"? cause a called around asking about a valve cover gasket and they an't cheap, $34- $53 at the dealer, $52.50 at Canadian and $82! at NAPA (not sure if its the kit or not)

can i do away with just the valve cover gasket? i also asked about the bolts and they're $6-10 each! just the BOLTS.

'96 SL2
189 250 kms and leaking oil in #4 cyl. (the far left)

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Old 03-03-2004, 02:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: "S" Series camcover gasket replacement

You just need a gasket and a RTV. You can re-use the bolts.

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Old 03-05-2004, 01:57 AM   #12
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I have seen just RTV used successfully (and unsuccessfully) on the black composite type covers. I would recommend using the gasket with RTV in the right spots as well as a THIN coating around the gasket surfaces as posted. YES you CAN generally reuse the bolts with no problem.

...
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Old 03-05-2004, 05:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by wolfman
I have seen just RTV used successfully (and unsuccessfully) on the black composite type covers. I would recommend using the gasket with RTV in the right spots as well as a THIN coating around the gasket surfaces as posted. YES you CAN generally reuse the bolts with no problem.
great, now the only problem is that i don't have a torque wrench

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Old 03-06-2004, 11:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Fm petdmc
great, now the only problem is that i don't have a torque wrench
But, keep in mind, the torque wrench must in in inches, not foot pounds
for the technical specifications are: 89 In-Lbs, which actually converts to 7.4 Ft-Lbs.

...
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Old 05-10-2004, 04:41 PM   #15
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on the 93 DOHC, the bolts are T40 torx, right?

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Old 05-14-2004, 10:48 PM   #16
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ether T40 or T45, i'm not sure

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Old 05-14-2004, 11:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by sierrap615
ether T40 or T45, i'm not sure
T-40. I did mine this week. no leaks so far.

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Old 05-16-2004, 02:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by petdmc
great, now the only problem is that i don't have a torque wrench
Just gently snug them, you won't have any problems. Use a torque wrench only if you are super-anal.

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Old 05-22-2004, 11:11 PM   #19
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Personally, I have a 93 SL1 with no gasket for the cover, it uses a thin rubber for spill-proofing.. I've removed it several times, no gasket..

Only gaskets I've seen so far are for the TB and the EGR Valve

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Old 09-13-2004, 06:23 PM   #20
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Happy Just changed Cam Cover gasket

Just changed cam cover gasket 2 hours ago. So far no leaks, but should I keep an eye on it?

Thanks for the help?

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