Spark plug tube seals in the valve covers. How do you replace 'em? - Club Lexus Forums


Spark plug tube seals in the valve covers. How do you replace 'em?

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Old 05-13-12, 03:07 PM   #1
kerno
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Default Spark plug tube seals in the valve covers. How do you replace 'em?

I did valve cover gaskets yesterday and the Fel-pro gasket kit came with the six seals that fit into the valve cover and are used to seal the top of the spark plug tubes. The problem is that the seals are under a steel baffle that was factory installed by peening over the bosses that mount the baffle. I see no way to remove the baffle in such a manner that you can replace it - but you can't replace the seals unless the baffle is removed. If they include the seals, there must be some way to replace them.

As a side note, the rear intake manifold brace is a real design gaff. That thing is tough to get the bolt out of so you can remove the intake..
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Old 05-13-12, 03:25 PM   #2
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I wish I could remember how I replaced the seals but it's been about 3 or 4 years ago now. I DID replace them (front cover) when I replaced the gasket but you definitely DON'T remove the baffle. I can't imagine anyone has ever removed the baffle to replace the seals. Wish i could help more but it can be and is done.
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Old 05-14-12, 03:27 PM   #3
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There are some good pics over on ToyotaNation. Each seal is retained by two small tabs at 180 degrees. These tabs are part of the baffle and fairly thin and easy to bend. The Repair Manual shows a tech using a drift and hammer to bend them back. I used an old flat blade screwdriver. Once the tabs are bent back, you can easily pop out the old seals with a screwdriver. Do not try driving in the new seals which so many do. Get yourself a bolt, washers and nut to make a little press - it works great. If you do drive them in, make sure you have the VC well supported with a small section of 2x4. Also, take note of the position of the old seals. If you drive the new seals in all the way home, you will have gone too far.

Last edited by artbuc; 05-14-12 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 05-22-14, 06:04 PM   #4
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where can I find these tube seal at? been running all over auto part store and no one carry's it.
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Old 05-22-14, 06:25 PM   #5
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You will find lot more information in the SC400 forum.

Also the tube and seals are not generic enough to be found in a autoparts store.

Salim
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Old 05-22-14, 06:37 PM   #6
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There are small 2 tabs each seal, use small flat screw drivers bent one tab up then you have room to take out old seal, put new seal needs lube a little bit engine oil around new seal and bent back a tab to lock a new seal .
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Old 05-22-14, 07:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itzmedeezy View Post
where can I find these tube seal at? been running all over auto part store and no one carry's it.
Advance Auto and Autozone can order them or Rock Auto, or ebay of course, Toyota & Lexus dealers will have them too. Didn't the valve cover gasket come with them?
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Old 05-23-14, 01:48 PM   #8
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Unfortunately it did not come with the seals. So I ended up driving to toyota and lexus dealers. Lexus wanted about $9 a seal and toyota wanted about $5 each...
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Old 05-26-14, 03:41 PM   #9
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Trust me on this, been there done that. With a lot of miles on the car those seals CAN NOT BE REMOVED. They get 'baked' into the baffle. I tried it on my 1999 RX with about 210K. I replaced the entire rear valve cover with the 'new' version, which took care of the spark plug seals, which are pre-installed in the new cover. I didn't change the front one, thinking that if they ever do leak, I will replace the entire cover, seals and all.

Kerno is absolutely right - major design snafu here; the rear most bolt, passenger side, that secures the valve cover to the head is an absolute bear to remove and reinstall.
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Old 05-26-14, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAB View Post
snip ,,,

Kerno is absolutely right - major design snafu here; the rear most bolt, passenger side, that secures the valve cover to the head is an absolute bear to remove and reinstall.
I recently re-torqued my valve cover bolts. I could not get my torque wrench on all, but managed to get to all of them .. some from the top and some from below.

Salim
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Old 06-08-16, 09:56 PM   #11
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Yes, I know this is an old thread. But someone will do a search in the future and find all this hapless advice that will discourage someone from fixing their truck. DIYs are not about throwing money at the project, but saving money by doing it for the cost of parts.


HOW TO:
The seals are not that hard to remove. But you must remember to support the valve cover from underneath with a block of wood. Aluminum does not like hammering.

Flip the cover over so the inside is facing up. You will see two very small tabs. Use a pair of pliers and use the rivet as an anchor point to squeeze the tab up carefully. The seal will be baked into the recess so you will need to break the bond between the seal and cover. Use a medium flat screwdriver and gently drive it with a hammer in between the cover and seal with a slight angle towards the hole. You want to bend the seal inwards and create a gap between the seal and the cover. Once it bends in far enough, you can then use the screwdriver to pry it up and out.

You will want to install the new seals straight in so it does not deform. Clean the socket with a solvent like brake cleaner. If you have a scrap piece of wood, use it to drive the seal in until it seats. Bend the tabs back down to lock it in place. It should take no more than 15 minutes to do all 6. If it does, you are over thinking it.


How do I know this? I just did it tonight on mine.









Last edited by Drcoffee; 06-09-16 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 06-10-16, 11:35 AM   #12
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Nice pics, doc
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Old 06-10-16, 03:22 PM   #13
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I would suggest instead of Photo #2 in post 11, flip the cover right side up and punch the seal down and out from top. You may have to angle your crew drive a bit, but it is safer. Each job has its own challenge so, you may have to resort to DrCoffee's approach. There are various seal extractor tools, some are good and some can mar the metal. Luckily we are not dealing with the crank-shaft or the engine block.

Salim
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Old 06-10-16, 05:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salimshah View Post
I would suggest instead of Photo #2 in post 11, flip the cover right side up and punch the seal down and out from top. You may have to angle your crew drive a bit, but it is safer. Each job has its own challenge so, you may have to resort to DrCoffee's approach. There are various seal extractor tools, some are good and some can mar the metal. Luckily we are not dealing with the crank-shaft or the engine block.

Salim
it doesnt work from the top, you only have the exposed brittle rubber of the seal and it just rips if you try to punch it out. The seals are held snug by the tight tolerance metal rings they are constructed with. If you go from the top, you minimally need to distort the ring as pictured in photo #2 before pushing the remainder out.

You don't even really need a pliers to bend the tab up either, just a flat head screwdriver to pry it up.
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Old 06-10-16, 05:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salimshah View Post
I would suggest instead of Photo #2 in post 11, flip the cover right side up and punch the seal down and out from top. You may have to angle your crew drive a bit, but it is safer. Each job has its own challenge so, you may have to resort to DrCoffee's approach. There are various seal extractor tools, some are good and some can mar the metal. Luckily we are not dealing with the crank-shaft or the engine block.

Salim
Im not sure I agree with you. In fact I dont agree with you. The cover is aluminum and hammering a screwdriver into the cavity wall risks cracking the cover. So lets discuss the concept of picture 2. When the old seal is bent inward, it reduces the diameter of the seal. This pulls the seal away from the cavity wall and makes for easier extraction.
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