A New ALH valve cover GASKET ONLY>?

xjfish

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Location
Minnesota
TDI
01 Golf
BUMP! :D

Any advice for removing the old "non-replaceable" gasket from an ALH valve cover? I starter prying on it and felt like i was going to mar the crap out of the aluminum... Gasket is rock hard and leaks a lot. I picked up a new aftermarket valve cover gasket on fleabay. ($22 IIRC) The thing looks like it will work. Perhaps one could soak the valve cover bottom in diesel or something else? I started removing the plastic baffle to maybe slide a blade under part of the gasket but would need to destroy the rubber grommet for pcv/ccv valve so i stopped...
 

DCELL

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Location
Sheridan, IN
TDI
'01 GOLF 2DR, ‘15 Passat SEL TDI
old post.... but since you bumped it- here's my experience: I never did end up buying the gasket to try. I gouged my hand pretty bad while just trying to figure out if the old gasket would come loose. I had an old one on the shelf that thought I'd try, but after I hurt my hand I just tossed it and bought a new valve cover.
 

xjfish

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Location
Minnesota
TDI
01 Golf
Wow that URO cover is pretty affordable. I ended up soaking my OE cover in diesel, used engine oil, and ATF... Pretty sure this just made a mess. Cleaned it up a bit and gave it a smallish bead of black RTV and slapped it together as this project needed to be started and ran. O.K. for now! Suspect i will need to pull cover again to clean intake ports... I'll report back if i get the beeans to clean OE cover and install aftermarket gasket.
 

musky48

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Location
Ohio
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS (5 speed swap)
I used one of the fleabay gaskets and its working great so far. I have about 10,000 miles on it. Getting the old gasket off was the hardest part. I used a small flat screwdriver to get under some of the loose areas and was able to remove some of the areas that was no longer bonded to the valve cover. The areas that was still bonded well I cut as close as I could with a razor blade and then used a wire brush and a small flat screwdriver to clean out the little grooves. Also used a heat gun to loosed up the gasket a bit. Putting new gasket on is a bit tricky. I had trim the new gasket a little because in one spot the raised area that fits in the groove on the valve cover was to long. I applied a thin amount of silicone to the valve cover and used masking tape to hold it in place. Then I put it on the head and tightened the bolts just enough to put pressure on the gasket to hold it in place while the silicone set to bond the gasket to the cover. I then pulled it off the head removed all the tape and installed the plastic baffle. When I installed it permanently I put a thing layer of silicone around the rounded pieces and torqued down. It's really a pain to do and takes a little time, but it worked great.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
URO is pretty much cheap bottom barrel Chinese crap.
No clue about URO or their valve covers, but, really, it's just a valve cover. Either it seals or it does not. Of course, I don't like having to re-do a repair in which case I'd prefer to have a higher degree of confidence that a part will "take" the first try: a new OEM can be had for about $150; for $75 you get piece of mind and, perhaps, less oil loss (and time loss).

Key on valve covers is to not over-torque them (torque value is a mere 6.7 ft-lbs).
 

Jet 02

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Location
Californa
TDI
2002 Jetta, Vanagon AHU project
I bought an aftermarket cam cover, it was missing part of the molded gasket. Sent it back. The replacement the vendor (not the infamous vendor) sent was still missing a bit of the molded gasket, so I put a bit of silicon in that spot and installed it. After 5,000 miles it leaks around where the filler cap portion is glued / bonded to the main portion of the cover.
Bought a separate gasket. Used gasket remover to try to remove gasket from the original cover. Gasket remover did not attack the rubber much at all, so I washed it off with soap and water, Rinsed it with brake cleaner. Later when I tried to remove the rubber with a blade and a screw driver, the rubber was a bit brittle and I was able to get most off. Then used a soft wire wheel at low speed to finish.
Used permatex high tach to glue new gasket on. Had to stretch it a bit in one corner to fit. Held in place with masking tape and mounted to a spare head until cured. Looks like it should seal now. Have a timing belt change and a cylinder head change coming up and will install the re-gasket-ed cover then. Car now over 200k miles, had a seized cam when purchased with 90K miles.
 

jetta 97

Vendor
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Location
Dallas (McKinney) ,TX ,USA
TDI
2 X Jatta MK5 2006
Curious if anyone ever bought that $76 URO valve cover? results?
I am as well? Has anyone discovered any other good options?
It will start leaking in short time. They are not very good .
Had customer that got one of those and in 8 moths start leaking. Change with original one, after 3 years still not leaking.
 

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
Curious if anyone ever bought that $76 URO valve cover? results?
I am as well? Has anyone discovered any other good options?
Mine has been fine so far. Time will tell though.
If it doesn't work, it's easy enough to swap another gasket in there and see if it seals. If not, I'll bite the bullet and buy an OEM one. It was worth a shot though as my OEM one leaked really bad.
 

sangretdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Location
san jose ca
TDI
1999.5 golf tdi, 5 speed, 4 door -- using Propel fuels renewable diesel
Mine has been fine so far. Time will tell though.
If it doesn't work, it's easy enough to swap another gasket in there and see if it seals. If not, I'll bite the bullet and buy an OEM one. It was worth a shot though as my OEM one leaked really bad.


Is yours aftermarket valve cover still leak free? how many miles so far?
\thanks
Mike
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Slightly related question...

When installing a NEW valve cover does it get installed dry or does the seal need to be lubed?

I've reinstalled them and even installed new ones but this question popped into my head (cause I'm going to be replacing one) and I can't seem to pull out an answer (from my head)!
 

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
Is yours aftermarket valve cover still leak free? how many miles so far?
\thanks
Mike
Should have followed up on this...no it's not leak free by itself. I added a LIGHT bead of RTV to the bottom of the gasket, let it skin up, re-installed, has not leaked since. It will just be more work next time that I need to do it.
 

MOGolf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Location
underneath something
TDI
2001 Golf GLS TDI Reflex silver, rough road suspension and steel skid plate, 2004 Passat Variant, Candy White, rough road suspension and geared balanced shaft module, and much, much more. 2016 LR RR HSE TD6, 2019 Jaguar I-PACE
Slightly related question...

When installing a NEW valve cover does it get installed dry or does the seal need to be lubed?

I've reinstalled them and even installed new ones but this question popped into my head (cause I'm going to be replacing one) and I can't seem to pull out an answer (from my head)!
Install dry.
 

mk4mr

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Location
Mid Tenn.
TDI
1999 Jetta TDI
I bought a cheap Ebay gasket before I did the T-belt on my 99.5. I had never researched replacing the valve cover gasket on the ALH, so I had no idea what I was getting into. The back of this engine was/is covered with oil, and I'm sure it came from the valve cover. The gasket was rock hard, and every inch of it was absolutely bonded to the valve cover. Not even one tiny peace broke cleanly off of the valve cover. I cut away as much as I possibly could with different types of razor blades, and hook shaped picks. I then used different wire wheels on the end of my drill and dremmel to clean the rest off. I guess it took me nearly 2 hours to clean the valve cover. The new gasket I bought came 'wadded' up in an envelop, but it straightened up fairly well. I put a little black gasket maker around the entire valve cover and let it set up a little before putting the gasket on. It fit fairly well. I also put a little gasket maker on the head in the corners where the cam covers are. I've only put 500 miles or so on it since then, but I have been checking, and so far there are no noticable leaks. If I ever do it again, with a factory valve cover, I'll probably buy an entire valve cover/gasket assembly. Cleaning the valve cover really sucked.
 
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