Wire-brushing the gasket surfaces is a normal part of resealing the valve cover. If your engine uses a reusable rubber gasket, that extra step in cleaning isn't necessary but it won't hurt. Most engines now use a silicone gasket sealer from a tube. Removing the old stuff requires a lot of elbow grease, but by far the most important thing to prevent leaks is to be sure there's absolutely no oil residue on either surface. Chrysler has two gasket sealers. The original black stuff will not bond and seal if there's a film of oil or transmission fluid. They have a gray product that will bond through that oil film, but you still want to clean the surfaces with brake parts cleaner or carburetor cleaner first. I'm sure Ford has similar products. The people at the parts counter, or any auto parts store will be able to supply the right kind of sealer.
There's no torque sequence for valve covers but the torque is not very high. With sealants from a tube, just snug the bolts down with a 1/4" hand ratchet. Very few engines still use fiber or cork gaskets, but if you have that, seven inch-pounds is a common torque value. You can reach that with just one finger turning the ratchet. Over-tightening can split those types of gaskets resulting in pretty bad leaks.
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 AT 1:03 PM