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Old 03-10-2004, 08:44 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 140
Valve cover gasket replacement 95 E320.

This was somewhat easy, as I was there two weeks ago when I had an indy mechanic do a prepurchase inspection on my car and we did a compression test. So getting to the plug wires for me, and understanding their routing was easy. OK my steps in the order I remember. Please do at your own risk - Pulled the plastic plenum that runs horizontally across the back of the valve cover. LH side (of engine compartment) long flathead screwdriver to loosen the clamp (screwdriver is accessible under the intake manifold) and on the RH side, same thing only disconnected with a snap (by hand, the clip no screwdriver). Two nuts hold the back of the plenum to the engine. Watch out they are easy to drop. Remove the two electrical connections (don't know what they are yet I'm a new MB guy the RH one twists off, the LH one pulls out of the plenum. Off comes the plenum plumbing. To get to the valve cover on the LH side of the engine, I had to remove the protective wiring cover (long, black plastic cover that protects the wiring harness that runs along the LH side of the head). A few ways to do this be careful that you don't break the clips on the LH side of this piece. There are two fasteners (front/back) that hold the wiring in place. It will make sense once you get the wiring cover off. Now you'll have full access to the valve cover. Next, I pulled the hex bolts that are in the center of the valve cover. And removed the cover. Under here are your spark plugs and wires. My suggestion is to take a digital camera and shoot a photo of the routing of these wires (also note the order is cast on the back on the plate you just took off). But it doesn't hurt to have the image. NEXT and I suggest you do this. Is with a sharpie/tape, number your plug wires 1-6 (front to back) and all connections as you will end up pulling them all out when replacing the valve cover gasket. And also, in the fourth cylinder, note the direction of the plug wire assembly is positioned 180 degrees from the others. Just take good notes here and mark them with a sharpie. Save yourself some time later. I then simply pulled the valve cover bolts which consists of the bolt, a 'guide' two different lengths, and a rubber grommet on the end of the guide. You might want to try to pull these guides out with the bolt, as you'll be turning over the valve cover later and dropping these guides on the ground. When all bolts where out, I used a rubber mallet to loosen the valve cover, and I think pried on the front edge - against the head (very carefully with a screwdriver) and she popped free. Note the bolts/guides (four?) in the center section are a bit shorter than the outer. Pretty uneventful. Once with the top of the head exposed, you can see how clean your engine is . Mine was very much so. The valve cover gasket I bought from also included the seals that go around the spark plug opening, in the center of the valve cover. All original seals/the gasket came off quite easily. You might want to check the straightness of your valve cover at this point I forgot to do this! I did clean the channels out (valve cover edge where gasket presses into) so I could daub sealant here and there so the gasket would stick in place during reinstallation. Also same goes for the spark plug oval seals. You don't want one of these to fall out when you put the valve cover back in place! Once I put the valve cover back down and threaded a couple bolts partially down, I checked to make sure all the center spark plug gaskets were in place and they were. You can see them or the positioning of them by looking with a light in the center of the valve cover. Also, a small extension mirror helps here, as you can look around the back/sides of the head, to make sure your valve cover sealed. BTW the valve cover bolts were very, very tight on my car. Basically, everything bolted back on just the same. One thing I noticed and I may have to pull my valve cover off again eventually is the bolts didn't really snug down, like most pans/valve covers I'm used to. Maybe it was the 'bolt sleeves' I mentioned earlier, but they all of a sudden just tighten up. No budging them nor would you want to try. It felt (total guess here, as I wasn't using a torque wrench on the valve cover), that I went from 8 ft lbs of resistance to 30 lbs in seconds. Of course, I was using a " drive ratchet. So I quickly adjusted my 'built in' torque wrench in my arm, and kept them all very uniform. Criss-cross pattern on reassembly. No oil leaks yet. We'll see. Very easy and doable for any of us. Total both jobs took only a few hours.

Hope this helps! Best regards, 71Rcode

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