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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to stop an oil leak. The valve cover needs replacing. Would I be better off paying the higher price for the metal valve cover or can I get away with the cheaper plastic cover? Won't the plastic cover, eventually, warp from the heat? Anyone know of any used metal valve covers??

 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I assume that you have a 258 engine (please fill out your profile). If so, you are going to curse every second you spend with a plastic valve cover. I have changed to an aluminum cover and never regreted it. Search this site for "valve cover" to get the full scoop on the different makers and any problems.

 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Hitwoman,

PLASTIC VALVE COVERS SUCK, plain and simple. There are a couple options here. You can keep messing with them and TRY to save a few bucks or just get a nice metal one (around $150) and be happy.
There are also a couple options in choosing a metal cover. The CLIFFORD and 4WDH ones usually require drilling your head for some of the mounting bolts. I chose yet another route and went with the WESTSIDE PERFORMANCE one and it hasnt leaked yet and i didnt have to drill anything. It is a very good cover. To see my writeup on it visit: http://206.190.221.134/vcover.htm Any questions feel free to email me at the address found on that site.

Good Luck

Kevin
New England 4x4 Club
http://206.190.221.134/cj7.htm
79 Jeep CJ7
 

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hey there. depending on what year you 258 is.. pre 81, you can try a bone yard and look for a gremlin, or some other amc car, most came with 258's and had metal covers. or try to buy a used aluminium from some jeeper. i had a 4wdh one and worked great. and yes you have to tap out some holes on the intake side. i just used some heli-coil (sp?) in it and lock tight. worked fine for many, many moons

survival is instinct, but living takes guts
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
do a search in this site for valve covers. months ago there was a lot of responces to this very same question.
thanks,
chase

 

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I had very few problems with a plastic valve cover after drilling and tapping the same holes that everyone uses for the aluminium covers. If I had to replace mine, I would follow the tip on grabbing a metal one from a Gremlin. I wouldn't buy another plastic one or want to pay the prices for the aftermarket aluminium covers.

 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm in the middle of rebuilding my head on my 84 CJ - 258. Rather than deal with the down time of waiting for my friendly neighborhood machine shop to magnaflux, pressure test, etc. etc. etc... my head, I located another head to be rebuilt. The other head came off an early 80's AMC Eagle -- not sure of the exact year as my dad is the one who picked it up. The beauty of the deal is, my dad also bought the METAL valve cover that was on the head...FOR JUST 10 BUCKS!! After a good bead blasting and paint job, it is all ready to go.

Of course, this particular valve cover has a different bolt pattern then my old valve cover and will not fit on my existing head -- but it will work great on the new one.

If you're patient, you can probably find one for yourself. Just make sure the bolt patterns match... it seems like there is quite a bit of variety among the 258's.

Good Luck!

Go easy! You're talkin' to a greenhorn.
 

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My plastic valve cover had a hole in it from the firewall rubbing on it. The body was so rusty it dropped down causing it to rub.....Anyways, I couldn't afford an aluminum one so I bought a new pastic one from Jeep cheaper than the plastic ones available from the 4WD places. So far, I've had no problems in the year it's been on it.

Loose nut behind the wheel
Another right-wing conservative.....
Born and raised in Jeep-Town
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have NO trouble with mine....once I figured out how to seal it properly. Here is how I do it.

1. Clean everything...making sure to get all oil off.
2. Run a 1/4" bead of RTV gasket silicon around the mating surface of the valve cover.
3. Allow it to dry for about 1 hour, or until the surface is not taky but the silicon is still soft underneath.
4. Place on head and gently snug down. DO NOT Tighten bolts. You want it seated all the way around but not so much that silicon squirts out.
5. Let sit overnight. If you try to start it up before then...it will leak.
6. Next morning, tighten down the bolts.

This method works for me each time.

John......southern CA
84CJ7, 3"lift, 32"BFG, 4.10's, ARB Locker, Solid Axle's, Durabak
 
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