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Valve Cover Gasket Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

5 hours5 hrs

Tab:

$130

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Torx driver set, extensions, u-joints, Threebond

Applicable Models:

Porsche 955 Cayenne (2004-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne GTS (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne S (2003-10)

Parts Required:

Valve cover gaskets

Hot Tip:

Work smartly and slowly

Performance Gain:

No more oil leaks

Complementary Modification:

Replace spark plugs.

Over time, heat and engine oil can cause the valve cover gaskets to crack and start to weep oil both out the sides of the valve cover and into the spark plug holes. In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with changing the gaskets.

This article focuses on the left valve cover, however the right valve cover is nearly identical and there are only a few minor differences. In some places, the right valve cover is actually easier to remove due to the clearance between the engine and the firewall.

It is important to have a quality set of Torx drivers, extensions and u-joints before trying to remove the valve covers. Removing the air pump brackets from the rear of the valve covers would be nearly impossible without them. Take the time to make sure that the driver is fully seated in the bolts that holds the valve cover on. It is easy to strip out the bolt due to the angles involved with removing them.

Removing the valve covers requires removing the engine covers and coil packs. Please see our articles on Engine Cover Removal and Spark Plug and Coil Pack Replacement for more information.

Press the two tabs (green arrows) on either side of the air hose connection going to the left side valve cover.
Figure 1

Press the two tabs (green arrows) on either side of the air hose connection going to the left side valve cover.

The procedure for replacing the gaskets is virtually the same for either side, however you'll also need to remove the two air hose connections (green arrows) on the right side of the engine.
Figure 2

The procedure for replacing the gaskets is virtually the same for either side, however you'll also need to remove the two air hose connections (green arrows) on the right side of the engine.

Pull the plastic cover off the front of the valve cover on both sides to gain access to the electrical connector underneath.
Figure 3

Pull the plastic cover off the front of the valve cover on both sides to gain access to the electrical connector underneath.

This is the electrical connection for the camshaft adjusters.
Figure 4

This is the electrical connection for the camshaft adjusters. Press the wire clip (green arrow) in and pull the connector off the camshaft adjuster.

Remove the lower wiring harness from the two metal clips on the lower side of the valve cover (green arrows).
Figure 5

Remove the lower wiring harness from the two metal clips on the lower side of the valve cover (green arrows).

Now move up to the air pump mounting brackets.
Figure 6

Now move up to the air pump mounting brackets. You'll need to remove these in order to access some of the bolts holding the valve cover on. The one on the right side of the engine is a little easier to access. However the left side as shown here is a bit more difficult. Begin by pulling open the tab (green arrow) on the plastic clamp holding the water and air lines.

You will need to do a bit of moving around with the water (blue arrow) and air (yellow arrow) lines in order to access the lower mounting bolt for the bracket (green arrow).
Figure 7

You will need to do a bit of moving around with the water (blue arrow) and air (yellow arrow) lines in order to access the lower mounting bolt for the bracket (green arrow). Pop the lines out of the bracket and carefully move them until you can slide an E10 Torx driver down inside and loosen the bolt.

The two upper E10 Torx bolts (green arrows) are a little easier to access.
Figure 8

The two upper E10 Torx bolts (green arrows) are a little easier to access. Use a combination of extensions and u-joints to access the bolts. Once loose enough, carefully work the water and air lines clear of the plastic clamp and remove the bracket from the car. Keep in mind that the bracket on the right valve cover is a little easier to remove.

Now you are able to access the two T30 Torx bolts at the top rear (green arrows) as well as the T30 Torx bolt back behind the valve cover (blue arrow).
Figure 9

Now you are able to access the two T30 Torx bolts at the top rear (green arrows) as well as the T30 Torx bolt back behind the valve cover (blue arrow).

Now remove the five T30 bolts (green arrows) at the front of the valve cover.
Figure 10

Now remove the five T30 bolts (green arrows) at the front of the valve cover.

Carefully pull the wiring harness holder out from the holes in the valve cover (green arrows).
Figure 11

Carefully pull the wiring harness holder out from the holes in the valve cover (green arrows).

Now remove the T30 Torx bolts along the top edge of the valve cover (green arrow).
Figure 12

Now remove the T30 Torx bolts along the top edge of the valve cover (green arrow). Carefully remove the metal bracket from under the wiring harness.

On the throttle body, press the tabs (green arrows) on the electrical connector and pull it off.
Figure 13

On the throttle body, press the tabs (green arrows) on the electrical connector and pull it off. Next pull the wiring harness from the clip (red arrow) and pull the wiring harness grommet from the bracket (blue arrow). Lastly, press the tab (yellow arrow) on the electrical connector going to the sensor and pull it off.

Now remove the remaining T30 bolts (green arrows).
Figure 14

Now remove the remaining T30 bolts (green arrows). (blue arrow points to bolt not visible). Keep in mind that two of the center bolts are also used to hold the upper strut arm bracket to the left valve cover, hence already removed. The right side of the engine will have these bolts in place.

Now the hardest part of the whole job.
Figure 15

Now the hardest part of the whole job. Getting the one last bolt at the very back lower area of the left valve cover. Access to this bolt is easier on the right side of the engine. Porsche recommends using a driver/ratchet combo with a height of no more than 50mm to access this bolt. I just could not get anything in there except a 1/4" drive T30 Torx socket on a u-joint as shown here.

You may find it helpful to use longer and thicker extensions until you are at an angle to apply some torque to the ratchet.
Figure 16

You may find it helpful to use longer and thicker extensions until you are at an angle to apply some torque to the ratchet. In this photo, you can see the combination needed to get the bolt (green arrow) loose. Once it breaks free, you have just enough room to spin it loose with your fingers.

Now you can lift the valve cover up and off the cylinder head.
Figure 17

Now you can lift the valve cover up and off the cylinder head. Take care when lifting the rear of the valve cover off. You want to clear the fingers on the trigger wheel (green arrow) for the reference sensor.

And here's the engine with the valve cover removed.
Figure 18

And here's the engine with the valve cover removed. Take the time to inspect the camshafts for wear as well as any foreign material or sludge that may have fallen inside the valve train.

Turn the valve cover over and use a pick to remove the old gasket.
Figure 19

Turn the valve cover over and use a pick to remove the old gasket.

Now remove the gaskets from the spark plug holes (green arrows).
Figure 20

Now remove the gaskets from the spark plug holes (green arrows). In our case, these gaskets crumbled when I pulled at them.

Fit the new valve cover gaskets in place.
Figure 21

Fit the new valve cover gaskets in place. Keep in mind that the left and right valve covers use two different gaskets. You'll want the gaskets to fit along the circular sections as shown here, with the tabs of the gasket (green arrow) sliding into the channels on the valve cover. Once these sections are located, take your time and fit the reminder of the gasket in the cover.

Now fit the center gaskets in place (green arrow).
Figure 22

Now fit the center gaskets in place (green arrow). Keep in mind that the gaskets can only fit in one way.

Clean the mating surface on the cylinder head.
Figure 23

Clean the mating surface on the cylinder head. Pay close attention to the parting lines (green arrows) between the cylinder head and the front cover. You'll need to put a bead of sealant over both.

Once clean, apply a thin bead of sealant or equivalent across the parting line at both the upper and lower sides of the head.
Figure 24

Once clean, apply a thin bead of sealant or equivalent across the parting line at both the upper and lower sides of the head. Porsche recommends using Dreibond (Threebond) or equivalent. You can also use a high-temp silicone adhesive. At this point, you're ready to fit the valve cover back on. Once all the screws are fitted, torque them in a crisscross pattern to 10Nm (7.5 ft/lbs.).

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Comments and Suggestions:
IrfanBK Comments: Hi, as I asked in my previous comment, the Grey connector connected to the orange connector behind SAI driver side, is crankshaft position Sensor. It can be seen in the attached picture.
February 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
IrfanBK Comments: Here is the picture of the grey plug behind the SAI mount on the driver side circled in red it is connected to another orange connector that clips on the wiring tray pointed by blue arrow. What sensor/actuator is back under with 3 wires?
February 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I can't make it out from the picture. I would need a better resolution image. Looks like a pressure or temp sensor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
IrfanBK Comments: Also on the driver side a wire passes over the valve cover near the front of the engine as asked by Jason, what is that connected to?
February 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think it runs to engine sensors on the crankcase. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
IrfanBK Comments: On the driver side there is a plastic rail for wiring fuel injectors, coils, battery wire and few others. There is an orange connector close to the firewall clipped on this rail which connects to another grey connector with white, black and blue wires, what are these wires going to?
February 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'd need to see a photo of the connector and what it does to take a guess. Can you share that info? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jason Comments: I have all but the last bottom bolt near the fire wall, even with a universal and extensions I cannot get the torx to stay in the bolt. suggestions? Secondly I have the drivers side completely free but cannot get it past the air filter box. Does this need to be removed? Also on the driver side a wire passes over the valve cover near the front of the engine and I cannot see where it does underneath. How do I free this up and get the valve covers past the air boxes?
January 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Start here:
Removing the valve covers requires removing the engine covers and coil packs. Please see our articles on Engine Cover Removal and Spark Plug and Coil Pack Replacement for more information.

Try the Torx bit with a wrench on the hex of the bit.

if the intake air housing is in the way, remove it.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
sloboy89 Comments: After an hour of trying unsuccessfully on the lower rear bolt with U-Joints and extensions, my inner redneck took over. I took a Harbor Freight 3/16-in allen wrench, heated it with a propane torch, and bent it like below. I was then able to remove the bolt with less difficulty.
January 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
IrfanBK Comments: It's 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo. I was able to adjust the timing, Bank 1 and 2 were 20 degree's apart. Also found a hi res picture of TDC lock position. So it's correct that it locks at about 195 degrees. Thanks.
August 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
IrfanBK Comments: Finally was able to get that last screw. It really was the hardest part. Trying to check the timing. What position is the crank pulley hole at when it is locked to adjust the cam timing? Mine locked at somewhere between 185 - 195 degrees CW. Is it correct?
June 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle do you have? - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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