05 September 2011

a real labor day weekend

Labor day weekend.
The last weekend before the kids school starts.
To most it means having fun -
go to the beach, get some sun, drink some beers,
change the valve covers on your family cruiser...

patient is ready

Yeah that sums up a good chunk of my weekend so far.
Oh well,
this is a chore that's been hanging over my head long enough.

So let's do a "how to" on changing valve cover gaskets on a 1990 lincoln town car.

I wanted this year cause its the last year of the ford 5.0 engine with the AOD tranny,
figuring it easier to work on.
The following years used the 4.6 liter with the electronic tranny.

hay wey
passenger side

That's one of the valve covers.
Nothings easy on these "newer" cars.
I did make it easier by cutting out the air conditioning a couple years ago.

driver's side

Ok, I admit this is the second time doing this.
That's why the cloud of dread helped me to procrastinate
til it was too obvious.
You can see the oil drip on the header on the back there.

The bummer was I could have probably pushed it a little bit longer
 if I had just looked inside.
The bolts were barely finger tight.


So instead of the half-ass fix and retightening them it all came off.
That was the first day anyway.
I started a little late,
and had gotten all the auto parts goodies beforehand,
I thought.
It only took maybe a couple hours to remove the intake and covers,
but by the time I realized I forgot the sealer it was beer thirty,
not going to drive to get the sealant.

Some people suggest no sealant or glues on these gaskets,
and I can see using a dry gasket on a tuner car,
something that is being raced and changed a bunch in short periods,
like a drag mustang or hot rod.
Not this thing.
I don't want to open the hood of this car,
just drive and drive.
Give me the glue.

gluing gaskets

So in the morning I went to the shop to search for this stuff I like,
it's called Permatex High-Tack, kinda like rubber cement.
It holds the gasket in place on the valve cover,
 making it alot easier to reassemble properly.

There's also a shellac based gasket coating called Indian Head,
but it seems to dry up over time and heat,
 losing the adhesion then the seal.

double stack

After I finished with the glue part,
found a nice place to store it for later.
And happened to find the other can.
Ohhhh yeah.
Used it to seal up that oil fill on the flathead a couple months back.
Well now one for the shop and one for the house.

gasket sealant #2

I am a big fan of RTV silicon.
Did you know that RTV means "room temperature vulcanizing" ?
Well it does.
The high-temp stuff works great for exhaust too, (no gasket).

It didn't work that good with the valve covers though.
Ok it lasted a couple years,
than it basically dislodged from the aluminum head,
as its not really an adhesive its more of a former -
It will form the shape and fill in the gaps as long as there's sufficient pressure.

Another sealant I use alot is the non-hardening permatex #2,
which I couldn't find but found the same stuff made by VersaChem.
This company is basically making everything Permatex made, same company?

Anyway I'm hoping this will keep its stickiness just in case the covers loosen up,
or the cork gaskets shrink.
Yeah I bought the cheap cork gaskets not the performance silicon ones.
If the first swap lasted 4 years,
than these should last at least the rest of our relationship with the old Lincoln!

Everything bolted back together relatively easy,
no extra parts, although I did find a missing ratchet and a wrench.
That is another weird thing about this car.
Part of it is metric and part is american standard.

Yep it ran and didn't leak so I'll cross my fingers until it gets some freeway time.

custom flare tool

Since I had some extra time I decided to finally make the last oil line to the oil filter in Chief.
This poor old flare tool is on its last legs.

oil line

Hard to see but its the pressure line going from the outlet to the can.
Usually you see those cans really high using gravity to help the flow.
All I can say is this one has been in the same location for 8 + years,
and the oil is just as black in the filter as it is in the oil pan,
so there's got to be some kinda flow and return.
I did make a good neoprene seal so the tank is pressurized.

With this all wrapped up I wanted to make sure it would work,
so started it up.
Ahh heck.

early ford starter
sheared spring bolt

To top off an otherwise mechanically satisfying evening,
the dang bolt sheered off that holds the bendix spring.
At least it was in the garage.

Time to get beat playing HALO with the kids.


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