My project could potentially be turning into a nightmare! Valve Cover Issues

When trying to replace my Valve cover gasket, I broke the air intake hose (I think thats what I broke at least). It is a hose that connects the air filter to the throttle system, and it was severely dry-rotted? I have a few questions:

1) there is a vacuum resevoir connected to the top of this hose which is now broken. Can I just scrap the resevoir and buy a hose that will connect directly from the air filter to the other side without even having this vacuum resevoir? or will this not work?

2). The valve cover bolts are stupid piece of shit allen wrench-like bolts that are round on the outside and have the space for an allen wrench on the inside. What tool does one use to disconnect these? It is impossible with a small allen wrench set and how would you even torque these?

3) I am at my breaking point after dealing with this all day and would like to know what it would cost to have a mechanic do this. I think with the proper tools, it certainly would not take that long and I have already bought all of the parts required to replace the valve cover gasket and the spark plug tube seals so if anyone could give me an estimate on the labor time and costs, that would be extremely helpful.


You wanted a “project”, you got it…That Trooper of yours has 274K miles, right? You gave $900 for it…(ouch!) If you wanted a job in a junk yard, you should have filled out a job application at one…If you don’t have a full set of mechanic’s tools, you soon will have…It’s all part of “The Fun”! Stop whining and enjoy your new hobby!

First, take the correct size allen wrench and go to a hardware store. They should sell some allen wrench head tools that are attached to a screw driver type handle, or even a T-handle. That may give you enough leverage to get them out. You can also get allen head wrench bits to fit in a cordless or electric drill that may work also. I would hand tamp the screws when done and not torque, anyway, on a valve cover gasket.

Allen wrench driver sets are available at a reasonable cost at most auto parts stores. The drivers fit a 3/8 inch ratchet driver.

Take a deep breath and purchase the tools you need. You will need them again at some point.

Getting crankier in your old age?