replace valve cover gaskets - Nissan Xterra Forum
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1 Old 09-19-2011, 08:04 PM
mfkcbk
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12
2002 Xterra
mfkcbk is on a distinguished road
replace valve cover gaskets

About 4 months ago I replaced the passenger (easy) side on my son's 2002, 6 cylinder xterra. The driver's side wasn't leaking at that time. Now it's leaking oil and I was wondering if this was something I should take on. There's a lot of stuff on top of that valve cover; the upper intake manifold, cruise and acceleration cables, etc. I'm not a real mechanic but I get a lot of satisfaction from doing my own brakes, fluids, you know minor stuff. I was pretty proud of myself for replacing the easy side valve cover gasket. I just don't want to get in over my head and really have this fear of the unknown. I have the Haynes manual, but that just says take this off and that off like I already know what I'm doing. I'm tempted to try but I'm a little skeeered I might be biting off more than I can chew. Any advice would be appreciated.
mfkcbk is offline  
2002 Xterra
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 09-19-2011, 08:14 PM
xtacular
Spaz
 
xtacular's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Washington
Posts: 5,351
2002 Xterra
xtacular is a jewel in the rough xtacular is a jewel in the rough xtacular is a jewel in the rough xtacular is a jewel in the rough
Try tightening the bolts first, that is the only problem for some.

2002 Super Black 5 Speed 4x4
Lift/Suspension: AC Shackles and UCAs, Extended Bilsteins, 2" BL
Armor: front ARB Bumper, rear Skid Row bumper with custom tire carrier
Steering: Bandit 4x4 idler arm bushings, AC HD TRAs, Calmini IAB; Moog TREs and 555 centerlink
Wheels/Tires: 33x12.5x15 Goodyear Duratracs, desert runner wheels
Performance: K&N intake, Doug Thorley headers, Magnaflow muffler
Electronics: backup camera, Pioneer head unit, JBL 770w amp, JL Audio 12" W0, rear Sony Xplods
xtacular is offline  
2002 Xterra
#3 Old 09-19-2011, 08:17 PM
AaronsX
Phreak
 
AaronsX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Posts: 2,124
2000 Xterra
AaronsX will become famous soon enough AaronsX will become famous soon enough
Yup^ my screws had made a complete rotation loose

My Build: Smokey The Bluegrass Bomber
Poor Mans Lift (PML) [x]
8,000lb Winch[x]
Kenwood Aftermarket Sound System[x]
Plastics Repainted Black [x]
Resanators, Rear Sway Bar, Nerf Bars Removed [x]
Rims Painted [x]
30" Firestone Destination A/T's [x]
Cobra CB & 3' Firestik Antenna [x]
Cherrybomb Glasspack [x]
AaronsX is offline  
2000 Xterra
#4 Old 09-19-2011, 10:03 PM
mfkcbk
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12
2002 Xterra
mfkcbk is on a distinguished road
Well I'll try it but the gasket I replaced on the passenger side was hardened. It came out whole because the rim of the pan had little points that were bent over to hold it in place, and you could see a couple of little cracks in it where oil was leaking out. So I'm not sure it would be compressible enough to squash and fill a crack in the gasket. Plus if I tighten too much couldn't it warp the rim of the pan?
I will try that though. I wish I'd posted earlier when my son was here with the vehicle. I think I can get to those lower screws fairly easily, and that would be awesome to fix it that way.
mfkcbk is offline  
2002 Xterra
#5 Old 09-19-2011, 10:05 PM
xtacular
Spaz
 
xtacular's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Washington
Posts: 5,351
2002 Xterra
xtacular is a jewel in the rough xtacular is a jewel in the rough xtacular is a jewel in the rough xtacular is a jewel in the rough
Don't tighten them down too tight, you'll have to use your judgement. You could at least go to the specified torque.

2002 Super Black 5 Speed 4x4
Lift/Suspension: AC Shackles and UCAs, Extended Bilsteins, 2" BL
Armor: front ARB Bumper, rear Skid Row bumper with custom tire carrier
Steering: Bandit 4x4 idler arm bushings, AC HD TRAs, Calmini IAB; Moog TREs and 555 centerlink
Wheels/Tires: 33x12.5x15 Goodyear Duratracs, desert runner wheels
Performance: K&N intake, Doug Thorley headers, Magnaflow muffler
Electronics: backup camera, Pioneer head unit, JBL 770w amp, JL Audio 12" W0, rear Sony Xplods
xtacular is offline  
2002 Xterra
#6 Old 09-20-2011, 06:56 AM
dawgn86
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 97
2002 Xterra
dawgn86 is on a distinguished road
Mfkcbk,

also have a 02 Xterra V6. A few months back, I notice what seemed to be a valve cover leaking and tightented the screws holding it down. Seemed to stop, but now I have a very small oil leak / drop at the area of the rear oil pan, starter bolted to trans area. I hear that it could be from the valve cover..did you have this area leaking prior to replacing your valve cover gasket?
dawgn86 is offline  
2002 Xterra
#7 Old 09-20-2011, 07:17 AM
mfkcbk
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12
2002 Xterra
mfkcbk is on a distinguished road
Originally, the passenger side leak was not too bad. It was just smoking and stinky and I saw a small leak that was burning oil and causing smoke. Didn't think about tightening the screws, just replaced that side and it wasn't too bad. Just some wire harness needed moving.

However, the driver's side gasket is leaking real bad. My son is in college and called me yesterday because it was smoking so bad. So I made him drive home so I could look at it (same city, so not far). It is definitely the driver's side valve cover gasket leaking and it is bad. You can see oil under the vehicle and if you didn't look at the valve cover you could mistake it for an oil pan leak.

I'm going to drive over to his house this afternoon and try to tighten the screws a little and see if that works but judging from what the gasket looked like on the other side, hard and cracked, I'm not optimistic. I still think I'll have to replace the gasket or have it replaced. Still hoping for some input on the difficulty of doing that.

To answer dawgn86's question, in my limited experience, I would say that if it is burning oil and smoking then its probably still the valve cover gasket leaking because if its a bad leak, what doesn't burn will run down and look like its coming from possible the oil pan. That's what my son's vehicle is doing. If its not smoking, because ours is smoking bad, then its probably not the valve cover gasket. That's only my humble non-expert opinion.
mfkcbk is offline  
2002 Xterra
#8 Old 09-22-2011, 07:18 PM
mfkcbk
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12
2002 Xterra
mfkcbk is on a distinguished road
replace the gasket

miserable job

took about 4 hours

first mistake was not waiting until the engine was completely cool before loosening the plenum screws. Stripped only one of the hex bolts but it came out with a bolt extractor the next morning.

2nd mistake was losing one of the phillip screws with the grommet that fastens the pan. The one by the distibutor and it disappeared into the abyss of the engine. Never found. Ended up using one of the screws from the plate that covers the oil filter under the truck. Its a little shorter but worked until a replacement.

The most miserable part was all the hoses that were clamped on and stuck.

Its over now though and I'm rambling....

If I can do it anyone can. Just a pain!
mfkcbk is offline  
2002 Xterra
#9 Old 09-29-2011, 11:08 AM
diroccopdr
Noob
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3
2001 Xterra
diroccopdr is on a distinguished road
what else should be replaced while the drivers side valve cover gasket is replaced? No sense in going through it more than once if it can be avoided. Thanks.
diroccopdr is offline  
2001 Xterra
#10 Old 09-30-2011, 03:59 AM
mfkcbk
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12
2002 Xterra
mfkcbk is on a distinguished road
I didn't replace anything except the valve cover gasket and a new intake manifold gasket. The old valve cover gasket was hardened and had a crack where the oil leak was, so tightening the screws had no hope of helping. I never could get the intake manifold off completely (a couple of those short hoses near the firewall were impossible for me in the time I had) so I ended up propping it up with a piece of wood. It made it harder to do but quicker in the long run. The intake manifold gasket didn't look bad and might have gone back on fine, but I'd bought one to replace it anyway since the book recommended it.
mfkcbk is offline  
2002 Xterra
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Nissan Xterra Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode


Forum Jump

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off