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Date:         Wed, 12 Jul 2006 13:26:43 -0600
Reply-To:     David Johnson <davidj@ELPASOTEL.NET>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         David Johnson <davidj@ELPASOTEL.NET>
Subject:      Valve Cover Gasket Leak
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed

The saga so far . . . .

Bought an '80 Westy - love at first sight. About 2 weeks after I bought it, had major stall problem - took to an air-cooled qualified mechanic. Turned out to be a bad head (cracked). Expensive, but had some fiscal help and got her running. Loved it even more, running well. Then began to notice an oil leak under the car - turned out a seal on the one push rod tube was bad. Got it fixed by same mechanic. Cool, everything was still running great. Then noticed another oil leak, on a different push rod tube - took the car back to the same mechanic. They called last night and said the car was ready. Great. Rode in to town this morning with my wife, picked up the car, drove it up to where my daughter was having swim lessons. Got out, smelled burning oil, so checked under the car, and oil was almost gushing from the valve cover gasket where they had put the new head on. Car was towed back to mechanic at their expense, working on it now. Probably a lucky thing I went up to the swim lesson - I live 50 or so miles from the mechanic in the middle of the prairie. Had I driven it home, that would have turned into a need for a new engine, with the amount of oil I was losing (all over the heater box, of course). Of course, the mechanic said they drove it a few miles, and it leaked checked fine before they called me.

Now that you've listened to all that - here is what I am asking for feedback from the group on : Why would a valve cover gasket be such a pain in the butt? During the initial head repair they had to replace it twice because the first one didn't seal correctly, and then for both repairs of the faulty gaskets, they have had to do a new one, so this will be something like valve cover gasket number 5 for this car in the past month. Is this normal, asks the newbie? Is there something I should be checking for, or have them check for, to make the seal better?

Thanks again for help and input. Hoping to be driving again someday without an oil leak, David.

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