Gen 3 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement Guide?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by pingd, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Wonder if anyone is aware of a good, hopefully step-by-step guide on how to replace the valve cover gasket?
    I poked around here and on youtube ... maybe I'm just a bonehead ... but nothing is standing out.
    [This will be my next task after I get that %$&%##@! EGR cooler out!]

    I have changed simple ones, like an old Corolla and RAV4 ... the Prius has a lot of extra connectors!
     
  2. spiralhelix

    spiralhelix Active Member

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    Just watch the headgasket video. They take it off at the start and put it back at the end. Add the repair guide and it’s pretty easy.


    -Spiral
     
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  3. spiralhelix

    spiralhelix Active Member

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    -Spiral
     
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  4. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Spiral - Thanks Kindly Man - clever - that saved me a lot of time and uncertainty!
    It might even make it easier to get the EGR cooler off (a little more room to work in I reckon).

    Man! It took him like 5 mins what will take me an hour I'm sure... lol
     
    #4 pingd, Sep 30, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  5. spiralhelix

    spiralhelix Active Member

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    Nah, 45 min lol.
    They also don’t show removing all the wiper stuff and cowl.

    Just be careful you don’t drop any bolts. That will add 15-20 min finding them
    Later.


    -Spiral
     
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  6. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Spiral - prudent and thoughtful advice again!
    With my luck I'll drop something into the valves and forget about it ... wrecking the engine that way ... going to have to make a cover (even if it is just a sheet or cloth towel or plastic wrap or ...).

    The other day I convinced myself I had a pair of mid-length, angled needle nose pliers with orange handles.
    Turns out I don't but had seen it so many times in the NutzAboutBolts videos I spent like 20 mins looking for them! ha ha ha!
    Some things are harder won than others, eh?
     
    #6 pingd, Sep 30, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Torque values in the attached:
     
  8. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Thank you kindly again Master Jedi Mendel Leisk!
    Am I reading it correctly ... if it states "10 (102, 7)" I should decode it as "10mm bolt head size and 7 ft-lbs torque (with no anti-seize)"?
     
  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    No, the 10 is a reference to 10 Newton-meter torque spec. See the note at the lower left corner of the page.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Yes. 7 foot pounds is getting pretty low, below bottom threshold of many 1/2" or even 3/8" torque wrenches. And torque wrenches tend to be least accurate near their extremes.

    A 1/4" drive wrench, typically calibrated in inch pounds might be better, the value would be 7*12=84 inch pounds.

    I used to just wing it with the valve covers with previous Hondas, but it doesn't hurt.

    One trick I'd do for maintaining low torque is to one-hand tighten with a ratchet wrench.
     
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  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Yeah regarding the "10": read grasshopper, it says somewhere what the three numbers are. (y)
     
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  12. The Critic

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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Setting up valve clearances on our fleet of Hondas over the years, I rarely changed any of the gaskets, only if they were brittle.

    That said, if this is once-in-a-blue-moon, and they've been in there a long time, yeah it's a good idea. But it's not obligatory; they don't self-destruct when you pull the valve cover off.
     
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  14. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    When I did my head gasket replacement, the valve cover gasket felt brand new. But those two small gaskets were extremely hard, especially the small o-ring. The small o-ring will stick to the valve cover as well; I almost missed it.
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Yeah, as warranted. And I guess that's where that gasket rebuild kit comes in handy: you're getting the head gasket, plus pretty much every rubber piece under the sun, so you might as well use them.

    Too, with the old Accords, prying the valve cover off was relatively trivial event, every two or three years at the longest.
     
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  16. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    I have attached a picture with the gaskets circled.

    Those two gaskets tend to be very hard and must be replaced whenever the valve cover is removed.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Nice picture! Those tubes direct oil over the cam lobes I guess?
     
  18. pingd

    pingd Member

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    SUMMARY: In finishing this replacement, I believe there are an additional 3 gaskets/seals not mentioned.

    Total 4+2+1+1+1=1=10:
    4 spark plug tube seals
    * 2 small o-rings (internal to the 2 devices that attach to the top of valve cover)(see attached pic)(sorry, I don't know their names!)
    1 tiny o-ring (see The Critic's' pic above)
    1 three hole o-ring (see The Critic's' pic above)
    1 valve cover gasket
    * 1 valve cover bolt gasket/grommet (for that one LONG bolt in the "center" of the valve cover)
    [ * = not mentioned in this post yet ... see red circles in attached pic]
     

    Attached Files:

    • vc.jpg
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