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Hey there ladies and gents- my apologies for being absent for the better part of the last couple of months. Life has had me jumping through some rather difficult hoops lately that only started with an imploded engine, and job loss...

My 1996 (see below) has had leaking valve covers for a long time. I know I should've gotten to it earlier, but I can't seem to figure out how to properly remove all of the fuel injectors/fuel rails/all the other stuff without breaking something. I was hoping the van could hang on long enough for me to accrue funds under unemployment so that I could get the van to the dealer to be fixed. It doesn't seem to look like it's going to last that long. (I only *just* got approved for Unemployment nearly 9 weeks after being laid off.) I'm starting to get some major oil dripping over night into a drip pan and since $475 doesn't grow on trees I have to find a different solution. I already bought the valve covers a while ago from Mopar and I *probably* have all the tools required... what I would LOVE is if I could find someone locally (anyone in Ohio, or Michigan really) who would be willing to guide me through the repair and make sure I don't made a lawn-ornament out of THIS van too.

Ever since my 2000 basically fell out from underneath me after I spent years trying to take the best care of it, I am VERY gun shy about touching the engine in these vans. The other issue is, I'm fresh out of vans. If I break something fuel-related on THIS van, or otherwise incapacitate it- I'm truly up a creek as I've got no vans to fall back on.

I'm located on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. I'm basically desperate for help at this point, if there is anyone who would be willing to lend me their Saturday, and help me do this repair. I would be eternally grateful and will provide the pizza and beer. I'm willing to drive as far as Detroit, which is about 3-4 hours if I can find someone who knows what they're doing. Essentially, I *cannot* afford to screw this up. Which (given my track record with maintaining vehicle) is an extreme possibility.

It's a miracle the van runs as well as it does, given it's leaking oil like a sieve. But I'd trust that Town & Country to go anywhere (provided I have an on-board case of oil of course). It runs just as well as it always has, smooth as glass and my fuel economy is right up there, if not slightly better than the current 5G vans- so I know it's running top.

But it won't be for long if this keeps up. As of now, the van runs and drives like a dream, its just leaking oil pretty bad from the valve covers. I've got about a million things in my life to worry about at the moment, and getting this one solved would be huge. If anyone would be willing to help- I'd REALLY appreciate it.

Thanks guys, sorry to dump on ya'll... but as you can tell, I'm desperate. It's got the Chrysler 3.3L EGA V6 Push-Rod

 

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If you are willing to get greasy, as you are aware right now, you shouldn't have a problem taking care of this yourself. The fuel rails are very easy to remove, just look around the two injector sets on the sides of the throttle body, should be two bolts on each side, but the only reason I could think you would need to take them off is because they cross over the valve covers themselves. If you still have to remove them, unbolt, gently lift. They kind of pop right off, just stick a big plastic bag over them and tie it shut to keep them clean and dust free. You can replace the O-rings if you want, stick a little vaseline on them when installing and you are good to go.
For the valve covers themselves, just get the surfaces real clean and dry. I like using a smear, very thin, of blue permatex on the sealing edge but figure a lot of the guys say just clean and dry and you will be good to go. You have a little time on your hands, (sorry), so take your time and if you have any questions, ask.

This is in the event nobody is able to assist, of course.
 

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I don't think I had to do anything with the fuel rails when I did the valve covers on my 1999 3.8 motor other than wiggle stuff a little as I removed the covers.
It's not a bad job - maybe you can find someone to help you with it and get a little confidence back working on it.
 

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Check the PCV valve. A clogged valve can cause the valve covers to leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Check the PCV valve. A clogged valve can cause the valve covers to leak.
Okay, will check. But, if the PCV valve was clogged, wouldn't I be having a whole host of other problems... like a really badly running motor?
 

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It can be messed up enough to force oil a little out and still run decent from my experience. You'll need a PCV valve and the curved rubber extension hose to it most likely. It's buried so I'd plan on doing it with the valve cover gaskets.
 

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Remove the oil fill cap and with the engine running hold a piece of paper over the hole. It should get sucked down over the hole. If it does, the PCV system is working; if not, you have a PCV problem and must correct that before any valve cover gasket repairs.

Cudapete has it right! Just my $0.02.

FredB
 

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I'm having a similar oil leak and can't figure out where it is coming on my 2005. It has the 3.8 engine. Appears lots of oil is accumulating in a notch on the passenger side between the two valve covers. Not sure if oil can be leaking from the intake manifold or just the valve covers.

Anyone know where the pcv valve is located on the 2005 3.8 engine?
 

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I would suspect the oil leak is a valve cover gasket.
The PCV valve should be shown on your underhood vacuum diagram label. I believe that it is on the rearmost valve cover. The rubber PCV hoses could harden, crack or rot on these as well.
 

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I learned a lesson when rebuilding my 3L. I used Fel Pro gaskets for the heads and the last thing (almost) was to install the valve covers. So I used Fel Pro for the gaskets. I could not get them from leaking. After a few hours of putzing with them, I went to the Dodge dealership and purchased OEM gaskets. First time on and no leaks. I noticed that the Fel Pro gaskets had a much higher durometer so I figured that any problem with the covers did not allow the gaskets to conform. (And believe me, the surfaces of the heads and the covers were clean as a whistle).
On the 3L, the only thing was the alternator bracket; the spark plug wires are removed anyway (actually addthe ends to the wirewall plugs before the covers so as to give you more room. Especially that plug under the alternator bracket.
 

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FlePro's valve cover gaskets for the 3.3/3.8 are very good. However, there are isolated and non-isolated valve covers and each takes a different style gasket. Maybe by 2005 there was only one style used, but it sucks to have it all apart and find out you have the wrong style gasket.
 

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These are thin durable steel-backed, ribbed-rubber gaskets. If you haven't tried snugging the vc bolts a little bit, you might want to see if that stops the leak first. If you do replace the gaskets, OEM is best.
 
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