1998 Dodge Caravan Head Gaskets

  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 112,255 MILES
How do I replace the valve cover gaskets as a do-it-yourselfer?
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 5:48 PM

1 Reply

Properly relieve the fuel system pressure.
Disconnect the negative battery cable. Drain the cooling system.
Remove the accessory drive belts and the air conditioning compressor from its mount and support it aside. Remove the alternator and power steering pump from the brackets and move them aside.
Raise the vehicle and support safely. Remove the right front wheel and the right inner splash shield.
Remove the crankshaft pulleys and the torsional damper.
Lower the vehicle. Using a floor jack and a block of wood positioned under the oil pan, raise the engine slightly. Remove the engine mount bracket from the timing cover end of the engine.
Remove the timing belt covers.
Remove the timing belt
Hold the camshaft sprocket using a suitable tool and remove the camshaft sprocket retaining bolt. Remove the sprocket and the inner timing belt cover (left bank) and/or alternator bracket (right bank).
Label and disconnect the spark plug wires from the spark plugs.
If removing the left (front) cylinder head, remove the distributor cap and spark plug wires. Mark the position of the rotor and distributor in relation to the cylinder head and remove the distributor. Remove the distributor drive adapter.
Remove the valve cover.

To install:

Install the valve cover.
Install the inner timing belt cover (left bank) and/or alternator bracket (right bank).
Position the camshaft sprocket. Hold the sprocket using a suitable tool and install the camshaft sprocket bolt. Tighten the bolt to 70 ft. Lbs. (95 Nm).

Be sure the timing belt sprocket timing marks are aligned.

If removed, install the distributor, aligning the marks made during removal. Install the distributor cap and spark plug wires.
Install the timing belt.
Install the timing belt covers and the engine support bracket.
Install the torsional damper and tighten the bolt to 112 ft. Lbs. (151 Nm). Install the crankshaft pulleys.
Install the inner splash shield and the right front wheel. Tighten the wheel lug nuts to 95 ft. Lbs. (129 Nm). Lower the vehicle.
Install the alternator, power steering pump and air conditioning compressor.
Install the accessory drive belts and adjust to the proper tension.
Refill the cooling system. Since coolant can contaminate the engine oil when a cylinder head is removed, an oil and filter change is recommended.
Reconnect the negative battery cable.
Start the engine and check for leaks. Check the ignition timing.
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 5:53 PM

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