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My project isn't a nightmare!...but I still have a question!

Alright its a '94 isuzu trooper. I bought it for $900 as a project so I could learn a little more about cars. It was emitting a puff of smoke upon start up, but i had it completely gone through by my mechanic and he said that, along with many other leaks which will be tackled later, the valve cover gasket is leaking and needs to be replaced.

So first of all, screw isuzu for their design and plavement of the valve cover! honestly its under shit tons of crap and they make my life harder! ha

my two questions are as follows: 1). do I need to drain the oil before removing the valve cover? and 2) do the bolts that hold the valve cover down have to be torqued to a specific amount?

thanks, and any advice you can give me on replacing the VC gasket would be greatly appreciated. the sooper trooper is cooling off in the garage now and I’ll probably work on it through the night!


No, you do not need to drain the oil to remove a valve cover. Just don’t run the engine with the valve cover off. It will get messy.

Yes, there is a torque spec for the valve cover bolts. They are typically listed in a Haynes or Chilton’s manual. If you do not have one, I suggest you get one for about $20. Or a factory shop manual, which is best, but could be pricey.

Where are the other leaks? If some of them require removal of parts below the valve cover gasket, you’re going to want to do them first, as otherwise you will need to replace the valve cover gasket again when you fix them.

no, the other leaks are below the car. one is the speedo seal at the differential and the other is somewhere near the transmission but both are accessible from underneath the car. I think I might be able to do the valve cover job though without having to take off the entire intake manifold and throttle cable though…ha excuse my unintelligent language, but i think i can get the valve cover off just by removing the tube thingy that connects the square box thing to something to the left of the valve cover. ha. who knows. it’ll be an all day thing tomorrow but better that than paying $400 to have a mechanic do it!