Replace rocker cover gasket

Replace rocker cover gasket

The rocker cover, or valve cover, is the piece of metal at the very top of the engine that cover the cam shaft. A gasket seals the cover to the engine block its self. Over time these can leak causing noticeable traces of oil all over the engine.

You'll need

  • New rocker cover gasket (part RC3156)
  • A screwdriver
  • 10mm socket with extender
  • Plastic scraper
  • Rags


Step 1: Remove timing belt cover and breather tube

Unclip the timing belt cover from the left side of the engine - just need to get it out of the way.

At the top right of the rocker cover is a breather tube held in with a jubilee clip. Remove this with a screw driver and move the tube out of the way.

The throttle cable is also attached to the top of the rocker cover with a rubber grommet. Slide that off its mount.

Step 2: Undo 8 the 10mm nuts surrounding the rocker cover

Remove these nuts and place them somewhere safe. Note that at the top-left of the engine there is a grounding point - that can just hang where it is after the nut is removed.

At the front of the engine is a bracket guiding the throttle cable. Make sure this does not get lost.

The left 2 nuts hold down the inner side of the plastic timing belt cover. Remove this too and place somewhere safe.

Finally, lift off the 2 metal flanges that sit between the nuts and the rocker cover.

Undo rocker cover nuts

Step 3: Lift off the rocker cover

Lift off the rocker cover and angle it out of the way. You may need to wiggle it a little to break the seal with the existing gasket.

It's a little tricky to remove the rocker cover with all the vacuum lines in the way but it can be done by moving it up and towards to the left.

With the rocker cover free now might also be a good time to clean it up or give it a new coat of paint.

Lift off the rocker cover

Step 4: Remove the old gasket

Carefully peel the old gasket away from the surface, taking care not to let any pieces fall into the engine. The old gasket may be brittle and break.

The older gasket may also come in several pieces - the main gasket, a rubber half-moon shape on the right side of the engine or a separate seal to the left of the engine near the cam pulley.

If there are remnants of the old gasket stuck to the engine use a scraper (preferably plastic so it doesn't gouge the surface) to remove them.

Use a rag to clean up any remaining oil or debris.

Step 5: Install the new gasket

Position the new gasket in place. 

Once in position replace the rocker cover, making sure none of the gasket is pinched, torn or moved in the process.

Replace the 2 flanges, with the more "pointy" ends of them facing to the right side of the engine.

Put the nuts back on, tightening them to 10nw. Don't forget the timing belt cover, grounding point and throttle cable bracket.

Step 6: Replace the timing belt cover and breather tube and test for leaks

Replace the timing belt cover and breather tube as mentioned in step 1.

Start the car and watch for any leaks.

Also check for leaks when the car is warm.


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