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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1998 Honda Accord 4 cylinder FA234, 172,000 miles.

I just completed a valve adjustment as I am waiting on my gasket kit to arrive---it's been on back order but I did the valves beforehand to get that part done. Before they arrive, I had questions on the valve cover bolt and specifically, it's gasket. Of the few valve adjustments and valve cover gasket replacements I've done, would you believe I never had to replace the bolt seals? Spark plug seals, yes, but bolt seals, no.

Anyway, I was looking at my old bolts and trying to figure out how I will replace the new bolt seals. I had a few new ones laying around from other jobs (not sure if they would fit on mine so I'm waiting for my parts).

1. First, to remove, I had planned on using a box cutter to cut the inner diameter of the seal to enlarge the hole so it will come out after prying with a screwdriver. Is there a better way?

2. To install, the best I could come up with is to put the bolt head in a vice grip, grease with engine oil, and force the seal through the small nib at the threaded end of the bolt. My current seals are hard and brittle; I am guessing the new ones will be more pliable. Is there another way or a special tool made for this purpose rather than using my planned method of using elbow grease?

Sorry--I'm probably putting too much thought into this, but it just appears like that darn gasket hole is way too small force over the bolt nib. :dunno:
 

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I did mine a few months back when I did the valve cover gasket. I used snips and pliers to get the old ones off. I suppose whatever works best for you.

Getting it on was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I put some oil on the new seal and put the seal on the bolt, then opened my vice just wider than the flange at the end of the bolt and set the seal on the top of the vice and tapped the bolt through with a hammer. Easy enough and it worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ahh. I didn't think of using the vice to hold the seal and tapping the bolt head with a hammer. I will try that. Thanks!


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Correction on my engine: it's a F23A4. I must have been momentarily dyslexic.
 

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Ive not done this, but I heard you can use a washer and nut to press the new rubber seal over the flange. Im not sure what size threads are on the end of the bolt but of course the nut would need to be the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ive not done this, but I heard you can use a washer and nut to press the new rubber seal over the flange. Im not sure what size threads are on the end of the bolt but of course the nut would need to be the same.
That's a great idea, too. I don't know why I couldn't think of things like this. Sometimes I think I can put folks on the Moon but yet I need helping crossing the street. You're making me think: to further your idea I can probably put a small hard washer between that bolt and the seal so it won't damage the seal as the bolt pushes the seal in. This is great. Thanks for the tip!

Thanks again HegemonicHedge and Nehonda! I can't thank you enough for your ideas. I used both your suggestions with slight modifications and was able to change the valve cover head bolt seals. What a pain, though. My seals were extremely hard and caked in. It seemed to take more time to replace these seals than to do my valve adjustments! But, it's done, and I luckily none of my fingers and hands were damaged in the process of prying and coaxing them out. I still wonder how a pro shop does it just out of curiosity's sake.

Tools I used:

bench vice
hammer/mallet
flat head screwdrivers
1/4" chisel
box cutter
drill press
engine oil


Photos to follow...

I used the box cutter to cut out part of the gasket. After this the inside diameter was still the same, but the thickness of the seal was reduced so in theory it was easier to push out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
On a couple of stubborn ones, I resorted to using a chisel to make a radial cut. Even then the seal was so stubborn and caked into the metal that it took a while to pry out.

I used a mallet or hammer to bang it out. I was initially afraid to use the hammer for fear of damaging the bolt, but it was fine. Maybe next time I'll drill a small hole in a piece of hardwood, fit it onto the end of the bolt, and hit the wood instead. It's important to remember that the bolt shoulder/nib will prevent the seal from banging all the way out. But all you are trying to do is get the seal halfway at the shoulder, then it's just an easy thumb-push out. I used engine oil to grease, but I don't think it made any difference..the banging the end of the bolt worked fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I used my table drill press to push in the new seal. The first one I used engine oil to grease; the last four I pushed them dry. It made no difference to me. I adjusted the drill jaws just a bit wider than the bolt threads, and levered my quill down. It's important to remember not to lever the drill jaws all the way down. You don't want the jaws to strike the bolt shoulder/nib, just enough to get the seal started over the nib, then it's just a thumb-push away. Sorry my picture is a little out of focus, but after this ordeal so was my brain.

Close up of drill press jaws in action.
 

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Kaua‘i North Shore Boi.Aloha❤️🤙💪😊
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Omg.. I know this is 6 years old but, I agree with your overthinking comment! Dang!! I just oiled and forced them on. Good 2 go! To each their own.
Aloha❤
 
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