Oil and Water On Plug Wire Boots

Tiny
WSCREATE
  • MEMBER
  • SATURN
94 Saturn SC2
1.9 L DOCH
Auto Tranny
161,000 Miles

Pulled the boot off of the spark plugs and there was oil on one boot and water on another boot. Someone suggested a leaky valve cover gasket. Should I be concerned that there is something more to this?
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Friday, April 27th, 2007 AT 1:27 PM

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Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER
Hey Ws,

The oil is just a cam cover leak. Very common. The water hmm? Been thru any puddles? Any hoses leaking?

Let me know if want instructions to change the cam cover gasket.

Good luck and let me know. :)
peppermrj
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Friday, April 27th, 2007 AT 3:28 PM
Tiny
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I do have the occasional boil over coming from under the coolant reservoir lid which is fairly close to the valve covers.

Yes, peppermj, I would like the instructions. Thanks.

I am going to change the plugs and wires too while I'm at it. Do you happen to have the torque specs for the plugs? Also, if you could recommend plugs and wires, that will be great. I will probably be going to AutoZone for the plugs and wires. Will get the gasket from the dealer.
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Friday, April 27th, 2007 AT 7:14 PM
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
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Plug specs are 20 foot lbs on a COLD ENGINE I use AC Delcoes on my satty. You can't beat oem wires from the dealer. They are pricey but worth the money. The all aluminum valve cover seals best without a gasket. Just silcone sealer. I like the black myself. Instructions in the mail.

Good luck and let us know. :)
peppermrj
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Friday, April 27th, 2007 AT 9:21 PM
Tiny
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Okay, I've got my rtv sealant, my solvent, razor blades, torx wrenches and I have begun removing the valve covers. Once I got the vc off, I took a few minutes to survey everything. I noticed that there is a good amount of oil in the 2 and 4 spark plug area. Also a lesser amount in #1 and 3. Some water in #1 #2 and #4. I looked under the cams and dabbed my clean finger in there to check for water, but there does not seem to be any water in the cam/valve area. The water seems to be contained to the spark plug areas. Maybe the water got in through the top of the vc previously.

Anyway, I am looking at the valve covers and I can see the old bead of sealant around the edge of the valve covers as I expected. Considering the leak of oil into the spark plug wells, I would assume that there is supposed to be sealant around the spark plug holes. Is there supposed to be sealant around the holes where the spark plugs sit, because, there is no sealant residue around the holes now. (see pic below).


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/70282_vcinside_1.jpg

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Saturday, April 28th, 2007 AT 1:55 PM
Tiny
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Looks like, yes, they are supposed to be sealed around the spark plug holes. They were covered with a rubber gasket previously. They were so smooth, I thought they were part of the metal until I felt them.

I am going to test the cover to see if I can find any warpage.
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Saturday, April 28th, 2007 AT 2:25 PM
Tiny
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Okay, I've got the old valve cover gasket off of the cover and off of the engine. Now, I need to wash the whole cover with soap and water. It took me most of the day (working about an hour at a time off and on) to get the surfaces completely clean. What a job.

I have a question about the valve cover bolts. The three bolts in the center of the vc have a rubber grommet and a metal washer. Should I replace the rubber grommet, or should it be okay? Visually inspected, they seem fine... no cracks.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/70282_saturnbolts_1.jpg

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Saturday, April 28th, 2007 AT 9:39 PM
Tiny
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Just removed the old plugs. They came out smoothly... no problems. The condition is better than I had expected... looks like normal wear?!

Put a new set of AC Delcos in. I have finger tightened them and will be torquing them down momentarily. Anyway, here is a pic of the old plugs.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/70282_saturnplugs_1.jpg

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Sunday, April 29th, 2007 AT 12:04 PM
Tiny
WSCREATE
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Spark plugs are back in. Torqued to 240 in/lbs (20 ft/lbs). AC Delco plugs. Gapped 0.040. The old plugs were gapped anywhere from .055 - .060. Guess the electrodes eroded a bit over the years.

Got the valve cover all cleaned up. The gasket grooves are shiny clean. I pulled off as much gasket as I could with my fingers and then scrubbed the ruffage off with a razor blade and thin flat head screw driver. I then used steel wool to scrub down any remaining dirt and residue. Squeaky clean.

I used soap and water on the outside of the cover... used brake cleaner for the really dirty spots. Here it is drying on the porch.

After the valve cover dries in the hot Georgia sun for a few hours, I will put on the RTV in the gasket grooves and put 'em back on.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/70282_vc_clean_1.jpg

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Sunday, April 29th, 2007 AT 1:35 PM
Tiny
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The elbow that connects to the pcv valve crumbled when I tried to separate the two. I barely applied any pressure. Oh well. I also noticed that the elbow that connects to the vc and the air intake is cracked. The 2 parts stores near me don't carry the little elbow that fits these items. I'll get both of those tomorrow from the dealer. I went ahead and bought a new PCV valve. My educated guess is it has probably never been replaced.

Funny how little things can hold up a project. I guess it doesn't really matter, I won't be cranking this car until tomorrow anyway.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/70282_pcv_1.jpg

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Sunday, April 29th, 2007 AT 1:56 PM
Tiny
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Valve covers are back on. No real trouble putting it on. Let the gasket rtv set about 20 minutes and then gently and slowly placed the vc on the engine. Hand tightened the bolts in a star pattern until all are on. Will let the gasket set over night and will torque them down tomorrow.

Which brings me to this question. What is the proper torque for the valve cover bolts. I believe I saw somewhere that the proper torque is 89 in/lbs, but I am not sure.

Next up (tomorrow):
1. Torque the valve cover bolts
2. Replace pcv elbow sleeve and install new pcv
3. Install new ignition wires


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/70282_backon_1.jpg

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Sunday, April 29th, 2007 AT 4:40 PM
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER
Hey Ws,

Looking good. Reuse the gommets.

The leaks into the plug well are from the holes in the cam cover. Silicone is a must as you have already figured.

The exact torque spec is indeed 89 INCH POUNDS! 8 foot pounds is OK too. Don't overtighten.

If you replace the pcv valve I highly recommend getting one from Saturn. I have seen issues with aftermarket pcv's causing excess oil consumption.

I forgot to mention not to waste money on platinum plugs. With the type of DIS ignition used on these engines they do not function as well as the regular plugs do.

Nice pics. Thanxs for taking the time to post them!

Peppermrj
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Sunday, April 29th, 2007 AT 6:38 PM
Tiny
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Buggers. I just noticed that my torque wrench bottoms out at 120 in/lbs or 10 ft/lbs. Guess I'll have to get a loaner from AutoZone tomorrow.

Thanks for the tip. I'll take the one I bought back to AutoZone and get a factory one from Saturn.

Thanks for the heads up. I got regular 'ol AC Delcos without platinum tips. I think I remembered you mentioning that somewhere before.

No problem. Gave me something to do in between turning wrenches and cleaning gasket residue. :)
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Sunday, April 29th, 2007 AT 9:11 PM
Tiny
WSCREATE
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Alright... I torqued the vc bolts down to 89 in/lbs and installed the new ignition wires. Placed the OEM pcv valve and new elbows. It was now time to crank her up..... vrooooom! She started right up. I let it idle for a few minutes. Everything sounded good. I then took her for a test drive and... wow, what a difference. No more hesitation.... good acceleration.

I hope I have done a good job on the valve cover gasket. Only time will tell.

Now, it's on to the next projects....

1. New rear brake pads and rotors (Brake squeal)

2. New coolant cap and possibly a new reservoir (Coolant boil over from reservoir at 5/8 to 3/4 temp reading. Fix easy things first to see if this corrects problem)

3. Find location of grinding noise (water pump or belt tensioner is making a grinding sound while idling and driving)

4. New Passive Restraint Control Module (Code 26 and passive restraint system is acting up).

5. New wheel bearings (fairly noisy sound coming from front tires while driving. I can feel it in the accelerator pedal too. Tires have good tread, so I am guessing it is the bearings)

That's just an immediate list. Long term, there are many other things that need fixing such as the shocks, probably struts, new front-end components, etc. So much to do. I forgot how much work these old cars require. :?


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/70282_finito_1.jpg

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Monday, April 30th, 2007 AT 10:54 AM

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