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Old 02-21-2009, 11:14 PM   #1
cdog999
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Default Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

Greetings everyone. First time poster here. For my 1996 SL2, spark plug well #1 has oil leaking into it, and from all of my research it appears to be the valve cover gasket (which is the original).

I plan on replacing my Valve Cover Gasket, and I have all of the necessary tools except for the torque wrench. How can I estimate 89 inch lbs for tightening the bolts? Is this just slightly past hand tight?

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Old 02-21-2009, 11:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

You have the plastic valve cover and the bolt goes into a shoulder washer that sets the maximum compression of the gasket. So, the torque spec, 89in-lb is the generic spec for tight enough for a 6mm bolt. There is nothing being held under any tension here other than the bolt. Use a nut driver and pull the bolts down evenly a quarter turn at a time till they are tight. Unless you are a gorilla you can not break them with a nut driver so tight will do it. Be sure that any old RTV is cleaned off of the bolts and out of the holes. A 7mm rifle brush and electric drill cleans them right out. Use a fiber bristle brush, not brass.

Last post in this thread has some conclusions on the art and science of stuffing the gasket into the cover. Its a good writeup.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=129309

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Old 02-21-2009, 11:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
You have the plastic valve cover and the bolt goes into a shoulder washer that sets the maximum compression of the gasket. So, the torque spec, 89in-lb is the generic spec for tight enough for a 6mm bolt. There is nothing being held under any tension here other than the bolt. Use a nut driver and pull the bolts down evenly a quarter turn at a time till they are tight. Unless you are a gorilla you can not break them with a nut driver so tight will do it. Be sure that any old RTV is cleaned off of the bolts and out of the holes. A 7mm rifle brush and electric drill cleans them right out. Use a fiber bristle brush, not brass.

Last post in this thread has some conclusions on the art and science of stuffing the gasket into the cover. Its a good writeup.

And, Welcome to the Forums!
Thanks for the quick response. From reading the other thread it appears you recommend coating the gasket grove with a small amount of RTV. Is this needed? Doesn't the Fel-pro gasket eliminate the need for this RTV here?*

*I do have a new container of black RTV which I had only planed on using at the two points where the timing chain and head meet.

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

You do not need it in the grove. It is only recommended as a replacement for proper positioning of the gasket. Each leg of the gasket is a bit long and the "extra" has to be evenly distributed throughout the entire length. the RTV is slick and it will allow the gasket to slide slightly while being torqued down. If its put in right to start with you do not need or want it. If you lay the gasket out on the bench you can see how much extra is on each side and just make sure it stays on those sides. Insert the corners and then the middle of each side and then the middle of the bulge on each side and repeat till its close then turn it over on a clean sheet of paper and gently press down. It should be good to go. It takes longer to get the gasket in the cover than it does to put it on the head. This is one of those jobs where the preparation is the hardest part. Everything has to be oil free clean. Acetone is a good final cleaning wipe.

That timing cover/head joint RTV should be allowed to skin over before you put the cover on so it has some filling ability.

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
That timing cover/head joint RTV should be allowed to skin over before you put the cover on so it has some filling ability.
How long do you estimate I would need to wait after applying the RTV? About 30 minutes?

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Old 02-22-2009, 01:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

Its temperature dependent. If its in the 70s 10 minutes is plenty. Lower temperature means longer. When you touch it and it does not stick to your finger its about there. Put it on the head and a test gob on a board. When you can poke at it and its like a water balloon its skinned. Poke gently.

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Old 02-22-2009, 10:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

I have the same problem, what is with the 1st spark plug well?

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Old 02-22-2009, 10:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

Usually the problem with the first plug well is the installation technique.

INTAKE SIDE
9 - 5 - 6 -10
3 - 1 - 2
8 - 4 - 7 - 11
EXHAUST SIDE

You tighten each bolt 1/4 turn at a time in sequence, if you do not then it will leak.

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

I'm currently stuck...

It appears the cover has a plastic gasket already in there. I was expecting some sort of rubberized gasket (similar to the Fel-pro one that I am planing to install). It seems like its going to be a bear to pull this plastic gasket out. Any suggestions? Even the gasket for the 4 wells appears to be on there really tight. Am I completely losing my mind? I must be missing something...

Also, with regards to the 11 bolts, they are 10mm ones and they don't come completely out... What are the 11 grommets actually used for? Should I not even worry about utilizing these?

I thought this was going to be easy

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

The old gasket will just pull right out. Assuming the one thats there isnt a gooped in RTV job.

But from the sounds of it, you may have the incorrect replacement gasket. Whats the Fel-Pro part# of the gasket you have?

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

1996 was the change over year for the valve covers. Depending when the engine/car was made it may have the metal VC or the black composite one. Differetn gaskets and proceedures for them.

What VC do you have? The silver metal one or the black composite (plastic) one?

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

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1996 was the change over year for the valve covers. Depending when the engine/car was made it may have the metal VC or the black composite one. Differetn gaskets and proceedures for them.

What VC do you have? The silver metal one or the black composite (plastic) one?
According to the parts book, 1996 only had plastic ones. Or else it would list the aluminum one up until VIN#xxxxxx for 1996.

The only odd notation is to use a 96-98 gasket on the rare compostie 1994 covers.

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Old 02-22-2009, 01:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn View Post
The old gasket will just pull right out. Assuming the one thats there isnt a gooped in RTV job.

But from the sounds of it, you may have the incorrect replacement gasket. Whats the Fel-Pro part# of the gasket you have?
Yes, it is the black valve cover. The Fel-pro part# is VS50454R, which is the current replacement for the 96 DOHC per every site I've looked at.

What's strange is the hard plastic for the old gasket that is currently on the valve cover. This was a big surprise since I knew the Fel-pro VS50454R is rubber. I was expecting something very similar...

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Old 02-22-2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

I will tell you how I estimated 89in lbs when I did my gasket. [x]tightens BREAK![x] ****!!!!!!!!! [x]tightens another one BREAK![x] GOD **** MOTHER ******! Yupp I didn't do a good job at estimating it. At that point I didn't know they were only 89in lbs though so I figured just tighten them pretty good, doesn't work to good.

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Old 02-22-2009, 01:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

I know it's a little late, but Harbor Freight has a 1/4" drive inch-lbs torque wrench for $20. There's a 20% off coupon that's valid until this Monday which brings the price down to $16. Probably not the greatest quality torque wrench on the planet, but I picked one up anyway. Haven't had a chance to use it just yet unfortunately.

You can find the coupon on fatwallet.com, just search for harbor freight.

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Old 02-22-2009, 02:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

If you use a low cost click type wrench be sure to camp a sacrificial bolt in a vice and click it several times at the desired torque setting before use. For the cam cover bolts torquing to 85 or 86 in-lb will be quite adequate if you clean out the holes.

Data on the final accuracy of the torque wrench vs the SWAG


To get your 35% you do have to know what the correct target value is.

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Old 02-22-2009, 02:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

They break? Huh. 89in lbs, if in lbs directly converts to ft lbs is roughly 7ft lbs. I'd estimate that the ECTS gets tightened roughly the same as the VC bolts, so if you break the bolts you'd probably also break the ECTS

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Old 02-22-2009, 02:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

Update: I was able to get the old gasket off the valve cover using a box cutter and some twisting and turning

But, what the heck are the 11 valve cover grommets used for? I can't see any reason to use them, or how I even would use them with the 11 bolts. Why are these provided with the Fel-pro Gasket kit? Are these even needed (I can't get the bolts all of the way off, they stay on the valve cover...)?

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Old 02-22-2009, 03:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

IIRC the grommets are used like washers. They are placed in the holes on top of the cover and then the bolts are put through them.

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Old 02-22-2009, 03:47 PM   #20
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Default Re: Estimating 89 inch lbs without Torque Wrench (Valve Cover Gasket replacement)

The origional gromets tend to not come off the bolts, so it'll make it look like there's no where to put the new ones. Take the old (probably black) ones off and put the new (probably blue) ones on.

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