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Valve cover gasket replacement....use Gasket Maker or no?

601 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  1Fastwgn
2005 Outback XT, 185K, EJ255.
I've read through numerous forums and watched numerous YouTube videos to see whether they use Gasket Maker in conjunction with the new gaskets. Some do, some don't. Some say use a little bit to keep the gasket in place while you reattach the valve cover. I even saw a few where they put a thin layer of RTV on the flat surface of the gasket where it mates with the cylinder head.
I am using all OEM parts and also replacing the 'halfmoon' seals, which does require gasket maker. I plan to use Permatex Black 'Right Stuff' 90-minute. Also replacing all bolts with new OEM.
I had the gaskets replaced by a dealership about 100K ago and it looks like they used some sort of RTV sealant. Just looking for something definitive since it needs to be done again and I've decided to tackle the job myself. Oil is starting to leak from the passenger side cover just above the up-pipe:
Water Automotive tire Fluid Plumbing Sink

Also, do you drain the oil before removing the valve covers, or after they've been reattached then drain and do an oil change?

Thanks in advance!
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Probably unnecessary, assuming clean and smooth mating surfaces, but if you decide to use a sealant, do so very sparingly. Thin as you can spread it.
The oil won't matter, 'cause with the engine off most of it goes to the oil pan, and the small amount retained in the valve cover is, well, retained in the valve cover.
But I would say leave the oil alone, run the engine a few minutes after you're done, to hopefully pick up and wash away any dirt/debris you might have introduced, and then drain, install a new filter, and refill.
Hope this helps
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