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..
This ad is not displayed to registered members. Register your free account today and become a member on Club Lexus!
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.
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.
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 .
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.