valve cover gaskets

for the life of me i can not get the freaking drivers side valve cover gasket off. Im trying to replace my current gaskets and i've worked on just the driver side for bout almost 3 hours and for the life of me can not get it off. are there any tricks to getting this thing off. i really need to get it off now cause i already got the old gasket off and need to put the new one on but cant get the valve cover off. any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Founding Member
Jun 5, 2002
Tuscaloosa, AL
I'm confused by the description of your problem... is the valve cover stuck to the head? Is the cover free but the gasket is stuck to either the head or the cover? Is the cover loose but you're unable to extract it from the engine bay?

There shouldn't be any trick to getting the valve covers off unless someone glued the crap out of them with RTV previously - they should fall right off once you take the bolts out. Maybe a couple of nudges with a soft hammer if baked on oil is holding them in place but the gaskets should really only stick at the point where the timing cover meets the head and there's a dab of RTV. Getting the covers past the hydraboost throttle & clutch cables, A/C and heater lines and other under-hood obstacles can be tricky - manhandling is required.


15 Year Member
Oct 10, 2000
Chesterfield, MO

What about pulling off the fuel rail so you have a bit more room to rotate the cover and clear the brake/hydroboost stuff? Maybe a little too extreme, lol.

Clean all of the oil out the groove before you install the new gasket. The gasket will 'stick' better in the channel if there is no oil. Also, you can use a little (very little) dab of RTV in a few spots to hold the gasket in place, too. The old gasket can be partly stuck due to the RTV where the front cover meets the head(s). It's been a while since I did my cam swap so I don't remember the exact spots clearly. Use a flat razor blade (wallpaper scraper blade works, too) to free up the old gasket.