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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having misfires and occasional threats to stall out due to an aging ignition system, and I'd like to know if its normal to be finding oil in the plug well and on the coil boot.

Here's what it looks like:

boot: imgur: the simple image sharer

down the well: imgur: the simple image sharer

Is it normal to have? Should I clean it out? (if so tool/chemical/method for doing so?)

If it's not supposed to be there, how could it have gotten in? I did spill a bit around the oil tank cap a couple of month back, that's the only reason I can think of for it.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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Not a big deal wipe it out and check on it again in a week or so.

Valve cover has o ring seals that can cause this problem.
A full valve cover gasket set has the four orings included.
 

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Replace cover gasket set before installing coils and what not.. aged baked rubber gasket is hard as rock and not pliable any more.

Everything should be clean and dry.. dipping ignition parts in motor oil is not a std operating practice, leads to problems
 

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Very common problem on BMW M60/62 V8 engines. Leaking valve cover gasket drowning plugs 'n coils.
Clean it out (e.g. with brake cleaner and kitchen paper towels), install new gasket(s) and done for the next 10 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I found the source of the leak and it's indeed the gasket. Would I be able to get away putting a bit of RTV sealant around the leaking area instead of replacing the gasket? It's a but beyond my skill right now, mostly because I'll have to disconnect a bunch of hoses and lines buried inside the engine. When I pulled out the plug, the socket caught a bit of the frayed old gasket on it, and it looks like it was just RTV sealant to begin with.
 

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Probably not , pretty hard to get adhesion for new silicone.

When installing new valve gasket a few dabs or rtv are used at the plastic cam blanks by most mechanics.

It's not a hard fix if you have patience and realize valve cover is plastic and doesn't need to be torqued down tightly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess that's not the issue then, the leak was coming from between two steel parts. It was in the well itself, midway there is was grove packed with RTV sealant. It was intact on the other 3 cylinders, but leaking in the farthest one to the right.
 

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As already stated ; there is supposed to be an Oring there, someone must have done a Temporary fix with rtv, no one normally uses it there.

Unfortunetly I don't think it's possible to change just one Oring, or wedge it in there.
Everything is brittle and will crumble with handling.

Not really much pressure from the oil, it's the vibration and expansion contraction from heat that kills the gaskets eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I ended up going for the temp rtv fix, I'll see how it holds up. There doesn't look to be anything critical in that well, so in theory if it starts leaking again I can just put more RTV in there until such time as I can take the whole thing apart. To do so I will need to disconnect a bunch of hoses that don't have visible connectors that aren't buried under a bunch of parts, and it's possible I'll need to take the timing belt off as well. So I'll hold off on that until I need to change that, or at least until I can get a decent torque wrench. I have one, but it was the cheap $20 dollar one that has questionable calibration it already stripped one thread despite being set to the correct torque, fortunately it wasn't in a critical location.
 

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Sounds like a plan. Timing belt not touched for valve gasket change.
Accurate torque wrench good idea for the job, approx 10-12 ft/pds needed.
Best cleaner for aluminum is lacquer thinner, melts plastic though.
 

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Accurate torque wrench good idea for the job, approx 10-12 ft/pds needed.
Best cleaner for aluminum is lacquer thinner, melts plastic though.
BIG fan, here, for torqueing to specs. Hasn't failed me, yet. And, thanks, for that little tip on lacquer thinner cleaning aluminum.

I knew about its effects upon plastic, but maybe some members didn't. Nice add.
 

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The guys are right, it's the little o-ring gaskets that go in the grooves on the inside of the valve cover to seal up the plug well from the head. My Integra used to do it. Seriously, if it's a four cylinder, it's one of the easiest things to do. It's a little more complicated on the 2.7 because you have to remove your upper intake manifold in order to get access to the rear valve cover but even still, it's not that tough. If you need to, you can get on AutoZone's website and find the repair manual for your car. It should tell you how to replace your valve cover gaskets. They also sell the entire gasket set for the valve covers. Good luck man.
P.S. You DO NOT need to remove your timing belt to swap out the valve cover gaskets. You're thinking that you have to remove the entire head and that's not the case. Its just a cover on top of the engine that bolts to the head.
 

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All of the OHC/DOHC engines will suffer from the same issues, due to the engine geometry. Sure, they are better performing engines that the old school OHV, but they are a pain to maintain. Sometimes more than just a pain :)
 

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Chk't.
 

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Sorry about the above post guys, kids had my phone last night.
 
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