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Pelican Technical Article:

Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$10 to $125

Talent:

**

Tools:

T30 Torx, pliers, screwdriver

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

New valve cover gasket

Hot Tip:

make sure the new gasket is properly seated

Performance Gain:

No oil leaks

Complementary Modification:

New air filter

Valve covers have a tendency to eventually leak oil making a mess of the engine. While it is not difficult to change the valve cover gasket on the GTI MkV you will need to remove a few things first including the coils. The engine has a coil-on-plug ignition system. All this means for the home mechanic is that the coil must be removed in order to access the spark plugs, rather than a cable running between the coil, or the distributor, and the spark plugs. Removing the coils is necessary but you do not need to remove the plugs.

It is a very good idea to perform this work when the engine is cold.

The valve cover for the GTI MkV is located on the top of the engine under the engine cover.

If you do not have an after market air induction system you will need to remove the engine cover.
Figure 1

If you do not have an after market air induction system you will need to remove the engine cover. Please see our article on engine cover removal for additional assistance. Make sure to cover the inlet to the turbo to protect from anything falling into it.

Disconnect the vacuum line from the manifold (red arrow) and the smaller line from the vacuum pump (yellow arrow) where they connect to the valve cover.
Figure 2

Disconnect the vacuum line from the manifold (red arrow) and the smaller line from the vacuum pump (yellow arrow) where they connect to the valve cover. The hose connections just squeeze in and then pull back.

With the manifold hose out of the way you can remove the vacuum hose from the crank where it connects to the cover (red arrow).
Figure 3

With the manifold hose out of the way you can remove the vacuum hose from the crank where it connects to the cover (red arrow).

You are going to need to remove the coils to remove the valve cover, but you do not need to remove the plugs.
Figure 4

You are going to need to remove the coils to remove the valve cover, but you do not need to remove the plugs. Please see our article on coil and plug replacement for additional help if needed. Label the coils (red arrows). It is best to keep them in order that way if you have to trouble shoot any problems you can tell which coil goes to which plug. Note that the inlet to the turbo is covered to prevent anything from falling in (yellow arrow).

Disconnect the wiring harness from the coils and set it back out of the way (red arrow).
Figure 5

Disconnect the wiring harness from the coils and set it back out of the way (red arrow).

Pull the coil straight up and out of the motor (red arrow).
Figure 6

Pull the coil straight up and out of the motor (red arrow). Please see our article on coil and plug removal if you need additional assistance.

Remove the clamps for the two hoses on the rear of the valve cover.
Figure 7

Remove the clamps for the two hoses on the rear of the valve cover. Depending on where you have original hardware you should have a regular hose clamp (yellow arrow) and a crimp clamp (red arrow).

On the crimp clamp you will probably have to pry up the clamp with a small screwdriver (red arrow).
Figure 8

On the crimp clamp you will probably have to pry up the clamp with a small screwdriver (red arrow). This will most likely destroy the clamp and necessitate replacement.

Remove the two T30 Torx screws on the top of the timing belt guard (red arrows).
Figure 9

Remove the two T30 Torx screws on the top of the timing belt guard (red arrows).

Loosen the fourteen T30 screws holding the valve cover in place (red arrows).
Figure 10

Loosen the fourteen T30 screws holding the valve cover in place (red arrows).

Wiggle and pull the valve cover (red arrow) until it separates from the head (yellow arrow).
Figure 11

Wiggle and pull the valve cover (red arrow) until it separates from the head (yellow arrow). Sometime these can really get stuck on and need a fair bit of wiggling and pulling to get loose. Do not insert a screwdriver between the head and cover to pry it off as you can mark, nick or destroy the flat surfaces and this will only cause future leaks.

The gasket can get stuck on the head or most likely the cover (red arrow).
Figure 12

The gasket can get stuck on the head or most likely the cover (red arrow). Remove the old gasket from the cover and clean the surface well.

Make sure to clean the surface of the head (red arrow) well including around the spark plug openings (yellow arrow).
Figure 13

Make sure to clean the surface of the head (red arrow) well including around the spark plug openings (yellow arrow).

The screws for the valve cover contain a rubber grommet along with two washers (red arrow).
Figure 14

The screws for the valve cover contain a rubber grommet along with two washers (red arrow). Most of the time these can be reused and unless the grommet is worn or torn they tend to last. Installation is the reverse of removal. Make sure the gasket seats with the head well upon installation and before torquing. There is no need to use any RTV sealant on the gasket or head. Tighten and torque the screws in a center out criss cross fashion.

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Comments and Suggestions:
saul Comments: how much pressure in pounds can I put in every bolt when I change the valve cover gasket.
June 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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