'88 LeBaron Conv. Premium, 2.5L TBI. Any tips/hints/warnings before I tackle replacing my valve cover gasket? Thanks as always. BTW, just used "Forever Black" convertible top dye product and the top looks brand new. Highly recommend this product.
Move any wires or hoses going across the cover first, make sure they aren't going to be in the way or get pinched afterwards, unbolt, pop it off, clean the gasket off completely and make sure the head surface is clean, too. Once everything is clean and dry, I like to take and smear a very thin film of blue or black Permatex along the flat surfaces about paper thin and put a pea sized dallop in the corners where the gasket goes over the round humps on both ends, then a small bead where the curve is (too much is just as bad as too little, it squeezes flat but this gets into the grooves the best), then put the gasket and cover on, bolt down evenly, don't bolt one spot down tight and then move to another bolt, do them all evenly. Using a screwdriver and socket helps prevent getting it bolted down too tight this way, .
Use the rubber strips on the ends, and either a cork gasket held with Indian Head shellac, or just a bead of RTV, for the long sides. Let it tack up just a little, and torque only to 105 inch-lbs, starting from the center.
I have read quit a few posts about these valve covers, their gaskets and how they leak. My 90 Sundance TBI 2.5 leaks a little.
The solution I found that I like the best is the one offered from the factory. I read that they switched from a stamped steel valve cover to a forged aluminum (Al) cover in 94. I can confirm that this is true and that Felpro makes a one piece blue rubber gasket which is claimed to do very well. I found a 94 in the yard and it indeed had a forged Al cover that fits perfect on my head. I don't have it installed yet as I am going to put in on with the custom head, intake and exhaust manifolds I had made.
Sorry I don't have the part number for the new gasket to offer.
VS50334R for the Fel-Pro O-ring style gasket. I replaced mine when I replaced my head gasket and it's been clean and dry ever since. A note: on my engine (a 1995 2.5, but I believe this is common across all 2.5 motors if not the 2.2 as well), there's a sheet metal curtain that covers the actual valvetrain to keep the oil where it needs to be. This curtain doesn't just drop back on, it has to be squeezed just a bit to fit where it needs to on the head. Sounds simple, but it took me two hours of puzzling and... err... persuasive language... to figure that one out.