E46Fanatics - View Single Post - Yet another "Replaced Valve Cover gasket and still Leaks"
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:20 PM   #72
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 26,620
My Ride: Lexus
Originally Posted by havnfun328 View Post
Two things:

First, always replace the rubber grommets. The first time I replaced mine I didn't order enough so I reused two of them. Sure enough within a few months it was leaking from the old grommets.

Second, the VC bolts are designed so that they bottom out on the head after compressing the grommets slightly. Tightening beyond that will only stress the bolt and threads. So I was advised by my indy to use a small ratchet, 1/4 or 3/8 max, and tighten them down until you feel the bolt bottom out. Then tighten by feel beyond that just enough so that they don't loosen up.

I did this when I replaced the VCG the second time and have had no problem over a year later.
While I agree they should not be tightened beyond bottoming out, they shouldn't be bottomed out in the first place. Bottoming out the nuts excessively flattens/distorts the grommets. If you look at cars where the valve cover has never been touched (04+ models) you'll notice the rubber grommets are nowhere near squished,flattened or distorted. 10 ft-lbs--no more.
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