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Old 02-17-2011, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default Is this Valve Cover gasket leak? pics

I've had some significant 'wetness' on the passenger side of the engine block for a long time. I've also had this collection of oil on the valve cover flange (pics). Is this evidence of valve cover gasket leakage?

I was planning on tightening all bolts this weekend to see if that may solve the problem. Otherwise, was planning on a VC gasket replacement project in the near future.

Thanks all. (crap, just noticed I need to go properly seat that hose)

I have a 2001 Cherokee 4.0L

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Last edited by Faulk; 02-17-2011 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:40 PM   #2
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Usually leaks go down, but that is on top of the flange around that last bolt.

Have you check that bolt and the ones around it for tightness?

Might be time to change the gasket, but I would try snugging down that last bolt, clean it up and keep an eye on it.

Can't really see below the rocker arm cover, if there is oil below might need a new gasket.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:45 PM   #3
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Yes, oil down the entire side of the block too. I tried taking pics but the camera kept focusing on everything BUT the side of the block.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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Yes, clean it up good and 'snug' the bolts down a bit. DO NOT overtighten the bolts. Smashing the gasket might make it worse.


These engines are famous for these leaks, especially at the rear. It's a easy job so if you've never done it on the vehicle or you just got the vehicle, do it and get it over with. If you hear about folks using extra sealant on the gasket, DON'T. These are meant to be dry gaskets. Again, don't overtighten the bolts. Check the torque requirements (I don't have them handy at the moment)
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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Ok - I've got a torque wrench handy. Anyone know the specs?

Yes, I've read some posts about the dry gasket - will definitely go that route. Thanks
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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Haynes book shows two torque specs .....

With RTV ....................... 28 in-lbs.
With permanent gasket .... 55 in-lbs

I know the original valve covers came with a permanent gasket, but unless you are the original owner or you did the job in the past, tough to say what is in there.

Find someone who has the FSM for 2001.

Looking at the 1997 FSM it says .... Cylinder Head Cover .... 85 in-lbs


They may have used different gasket material depending on the year.

Last edited by KD3NE; 02-17-2011 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:27 PM   #7
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I married a Jeep Cherokee.

My wife, we, have been the only owners - so definitely permanent. Wow, 55 in-lbs is a lot. This reminds me to pick up a Haynes - thx
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #8
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I think i read somewhere that 55in lbs is to much
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #9
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:34 PM   #10
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So for a 1990 4.0L is it 55 or 85?
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:03 PM   #11
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Have you checked the heater hose inlet to the water pump? It can often leak and the fan will blow it across flange of the valve cover like that all the way back to the firewall.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:32 PM   #12
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The chilton manual for 1984-1998 Jeep Cherokee/Comanche/Grand Cherokee says to tighten the bolts to 85 inch lbs (10Nm) on the 4.0L engine. The instructions in the chilton manual are when using rtv sealant.

My 1996 Jeep Cherokee Chrysler Service Manual says to tighten to 115 inch lbs (13Nm) for the 4.0L. The Chrysler Service Manual instructions are when using permanent gasket.

I'd say 85 in lbs but best bet is find someone with your year Jeep Cherokee Chrysler Service Manual for exact specifications.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:35 PM   #13
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and just remember everyone is listing it in inch pounds. so dont get it confused with foot pounds.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:22 AM   #14
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Hey all - awaking this thread from the dead. I sold the Jeep. I had a cracked Head. The next owner was willing to fix it (I just didn't have the time. Of course, I regret ever getting rid of it).
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faulk View Post
Hey all - awaking this thread from the dead. I sold the Jeep. I had a cracked Head. The next owner was willing to fix it (I just didn't have the time. Of course, I regret ever getting rid of it).
Too bad about the jeep. Out of curiosity how did you know you had a cracked head? Did you take it to a shop?
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