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ryanfudger

Upper Timing Cover Leak

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My car came with a upper timing cover leak and it was described as an easy fix. Which it was, until my fix didn't work. The PO obviously tried the same thing I did: sealant on top of the torn up head gasket. Didn't work for him and it didn't work for me. I'm debating on spending another $3 with pelican parts and trying again or spending $50 for a new headgasket (and company) set and just doing it right. I've read that people have cut up their head gasket and just used sealant, but that seems a little janky and unreliable. Supreme thoughts? Thanks!

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Guest Anonymous

Do you mean the rocker arm cover gasket is leaking? Possibly near the front of the engine where the timing chain cover is? I fixed a leak on mine with a bit of flat gasket sheet made of 'cork'. If the rocker cover gasket is in decent shape save it, Cut a 1/4" strip of cork gasket material and sandwich it between the head surface and the bottom of the good gasket. Fill the void with cork. Do it on the top and bottom of the valve cover. If you fold the cork once or twice it layers and fills the void. Oil leak stopped.

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What often happens is that the head gets shaved bit the timing cover doesn't creating a misalignment

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Where exactly is it leaking?

The front timing cover is a VERY common spot. The valve cover gasket is less common. It just needs to be in good shape and tightened down correctly. How about from the exhast studs? That's another common leak spot.

Before you go pulling the head, how old is the motor? Try the simple fixes before you dive down that slippery slope.

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It's leaking where the timing cover meets the head gasket, particularly in the corners. When pulling the cover off, it want to take the head gasket with it and the layers have separated. I could see older sealant where the PO tried to fix the leak...I cleaned it as much as possible and tried the same thing. Both of us failed. I honestly can't remember what the PO told me as far as a rebuild, but the head is very clean and the car runs well.

I suppose I could give it another go, but I'm partial to just doing it the right way. Pulling the head doesn't seem to be too rough.

post-17625-13667620402241_thumb.jpg

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I'd try some more to get the front cover to seal before I pulled the head. Some of the other people here have used things like Yama-bond sealant. I have used Permatex aviation sealant on my M3.

It's a slippery slope: Could you honestly say that the ~only~ thing you would do is pull the head and change the gasket? In my opinion, the oil leak is a nuisance. I would only change a head gasket for major stuff like low compression or milk shake in the coolant. That could be just because of how I am. I'd be tempted to do other stuff while I had the head off and the car would be disabled for 5 years as I kept digging into it more and more.

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I just used Permatex RTV black last week on top of my valve cover where the upper timing cover meets. I also used it at the bottom area of the upper timing cover where the block meets. This worked pretty well. If yours still leaking, I suggest you take out the head and replace the head gasket, it might be old already and while your at it have the head to a machine shop for a valve job and have them resurface the bottom, don't forget the upper timing cover also when you have them resurface. Hope this helps

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