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Old 12-17-2020, 03:14 PM #1
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Angry spark plug tube seals are REALLY IN THERE!!!!

hey ya'll,

doing a valve cover gasket replacement (had a fuel leak so im just doing /everything/ under there) and im trying to get my spark plug seals out. i got the big part of the seals out but there is a ton of gross caked up crap left behind on the inside of valve cover and around the lips. i've been trying sort of successfully/unsuccessfully to get this crud out, but there has to be a better way. i purple powered the valve covers but this stuff is still gross and in there. i've been using a small metal pick, but i've scratched a little of the inside of the valve cover due to excessive ape force and i definitely want to stop doing that. nothing too gnarly just a few nicks here and there like if you walk through some brambles with shorts on. does anyone know a better way to get all this crap out so i can put the new seals in and be done with it???? everything has been going quite smoothly til now lol.

thanks and happy wrenching
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:20 PM #2
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I soaked mine with carb cleaner and then scraped it off with a pocket screwdriver
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:24 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
I soaked mine with carb cleaner and then scraped it off with a pocket screwdriver
i will get started on a carb cleaner bath and go buy some small putty knives for a relaxing night of crafts with my friend jim beam. ty!
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:20 PM #4
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Maybe try a dremel with a plastic wheel brush or a soft fine brass wire wheel, you will go through the plastic brush wheels quickly, so you might want to have a few on hand, this won't cause damage to the sealing surface, maybe someone siliconed them in last time or you have a lot of sludge built up, I don't recall mine being that hard to clean up and I don't bend the retaining lip that holds the seal it will tuck under that lip then press in place.
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:36 PM #5
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i took a small flat screwdriver and tapped it in with a hammer. It's a little sketchy to not scratch the aluminum but you learn quick. i think Timmy has a youtube video on the removal to give you an idea, i cant remember what technique he used.
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Old 12-17-2020, 07:32 PM #6
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sounds like a oil system that has been neglected....or a overheated motor at one time and things cooked..When I did my oldest sons old taco, I had that issue of stuck seals and had to pick away . However I did one that was a well taken care of rig and everything popped off just fine. my old 2000 that had had many oil changes with synthetic and everything looked so clean inside, after I pushed the lock tabs out of the way, the seals came off no problem...well needed a little love. Age, miles care all those can make a big difference.
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Old 12-17-2020, 09:20 PM #7
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i am going to get me a plastic/nylon/brass dremel bit tomorrow and just grind away. i guess it's only fair that /this/ is the thing that is giving me the most trouble so far. blugh i hope it's only this lol.
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Old 12-18-2020, 03:02 PM #8
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There's no way around it really, patience is key since if you miss any your new seals will likely leak. Soaking it in some oil actually wouldn't be a bad idea either if you are completely at a loss. It will help re-hydrate the old rubber seals to make it a tiny bit more pliable.
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Old 12-18-2020, 06:41 PM #9
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personally I think the worst part is going to be getting the seals out of the small O-ring part. that is being a real pain in my ass. I'll need to find a small dremel I can get in there to zap it out
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Old 12-19-2020, 11:36 AM #10
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I was able to use the flathead screwdriver and rubber hammer method, slightly tapping the outer edges of the seal. Then, when I was able to get a good grip, I used to pliers to yank them out. Worked pretty well for me!
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Old 12-19-2020, 02:07 PM #11
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spark plug tube seals are REALLY IN THERE!!!!

I put mine seal surface of the valve cover down and put a screwdriver in the lip and drive them out with a hammer.


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Old 12-23-2020, 02:45 PM #12
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does anyone know if the valve cover's surface has to be /completely/ clean before inserting the new spark plug gaskets? i've picked out a ton of crap but just wondering if it needs to be 100% perfect clean or if there can still be a little residue and i can just pound the new ones in. this is very annoying. i even bought another set of valve covers...and they still have seals in there... with one side having broken seals that are even more brittle and stuck than mine. this has to be a sick joke. what was going to be a 2 day job taking it easy has taken a week of misery and me not knowing what the hell to do now. google gives me no direct answers. feel like an idiot. i'd post pics but apparently i can only upload a picture that is 137.6kb what??
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Old 12-23-2020, 04:49 PM #13
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I thought it was just sludge, a lil leftover seal material and goo you where trying to remove. Those seals are 20 years old and cooked in place so they will break up like hard plastic. I smashed the centre out and then twisted and pryed up from the under side with a large flat screw driver and used a drift and hammer to punch out the remainder stuck to the VC housing, if it breaks up while hammering it out just take it out a chunk at a time, go from the top of the VC opening and start punching it out without damaging the sealing surface, again I don't bother bending the metal tabs on the underside of the VC, the seal comes out and goes back in without distorting that metal "retainer", if you scratch it up a bit, smooth it out with sand paper and use peramtex ultra grey to install new plug tube seals and be done with it, I think you're making this way harder than it needs to be, a bit of brutt force will knock them out unless someone jb welded them in place.. And yes you want it completely clean of lumps and grooves as this is not a easy location to discover you have an oil leak as the spark plug tube fills with oil and you get a missfire and you get to do the entire job over with new intake gaskets..
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Last edited by Malcolm99; 12-23-2020 at 04:57 PM.
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