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DIY Valve Cover Gaskets, Plugs, and Plug Wires

 
Old 02-09-2009, 12:57 AM
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2004 E55 AMG
DIY Valve Cover Gaskets, Plugs, and Plug Wires

My car has about 80K miles on it and was starting to leak a little oil at the driver's side valve cover. I decided to replace both valve cover gaskets, as well as, the plugs, and a new set of Evosport wires.

Here's the supplies. Two valve cover gaskets, sixteen plugs, and a set of Evosport wires. I removed all the plugs and checked the gap (0.8mm) prior to installation. Some needed closing but most were preset correctly.


Remove the front cover and air filter housings. These pop right off.


Leak area. I actually had a few spots like this.


Disconnect plug wires from the ignition coils, unbolt them from the valve covers, and swing them up to rest them on top of the engine. No need to unplug the harness. Remove the plug wires after the coils are out of the way. An open end 17mm wrench will be your friend here. Use it as leverage to pry the spark plug boots off the plugs.


If you've installed an aftermarket oil catch can, now's a good time to drain it.


Remove the valve covers. They come off with very little effort. Looks pretty clean for 80K miles.


The bottom of the valve cover has a groove cast into it so the new gasket will seat in and hold. Your choice if you want to clean the valve cover but mine came out great with some elbow grease and a soft wire brush. I also resealed the vent chamber on top of the valve covers. Bolt the valve covers down to spec (72in-lbs.).


Before installing the plugs I put a little anti-seize compound on all the threads to make sure extracting them is easier in the future than the stock ones. Install new plugs and torque to spec. I torqued each one to 20ft-lbs. Bolt the ignition coils onto your freshly cleaned valve covers, and install the wires. All the coding you need in on the valve cover and coils to remind you which wire goes where. Be sure to pay attention.


Driver's side installed.


Done. Fire it up and take it for test drive.



I noticed an immediate improve in performance. The car started faster and idled smoother than it ever has so I'm very pleased. I can't say if the Evosport wires perfom better than stock or not because I replaced the plugs too, but they sure do look great.

Last edited by BrianS; 04-08-2015 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Post new links to pics
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:02 AM
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Not an AMG :(
Great write-up!
You weren't kidding - you polished those valve covers up like new!
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:22 AM
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My engine bay doesn't look that nice with <30k miles, and you have 80k? You are a true enthusiast. You could eat off of there.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:38 AM
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Another excellent DIY from BrianS. You make it look so easy.
I’ve linked them and ‘borrowed’ your pics on occasion - with credit of course.

Incidentally, your engine bay looks especially purposeful with those headers snaking about.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:45 AM
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Thanks Brian, you are one (if not the foremost) of the real contributors here and I have a great respect for you and your efforts to make MBWorld W211 AMG board a source of valuable information.
I nominate for stickie!
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:03 AM
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Thanks all. Much appreciated.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:14 AM
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Good write up.
What is the total cost involved.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:15 AM
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You're the man Brian. I love your writeups. Yet again you give me hope that I can buy this car and do the work myself. Keep those DIY posts coming. Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by shardul View Post
Good write up.
What is the total cost involved.
About $700.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:29 PM
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Another great DIY thread by BrianS. Thank you!

Mods, please add this one to the sticky.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:26 PM
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Brian... I am intending to do something similar to my car soon. I was curious if you were worried about tarnishing that may occur now that you have likely stripped off a top coating on the valve covers.

Thanks!

edit: could you also post a few pix of where you installed your catch can? TIA
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TruTaing View Post
Brian... I am intending to do something similar to my car soon. I was curious if you were worried about tarnishing that may occur now that you have likely stripped off a top coating on the valve covers.

Thanks!

edit: could you also post a few pix of where you installed your catch can? TIA
I'm not worried at all about tarnishing. I didn't use a hard steel brush which would have been much harsher on the covers. I think mine was bronze or something that basically buffed the surface. If for some reason they turn ugly then I'll send them off to be powdercoated.

The catch can is resting behind the driver's side valve cover. You can see it in the pic above just behind the steel braide fuel line.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:24 PM
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Added to the DIY sticky, thanks Brian for the great write up and Yachtmaster for the referral!!!!
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:36 AM
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Awesome writeup!
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:37 AM
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:27 AM
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You make it look so easy that I want to go out and do mine.
Oh wait, I've only got 8,000 miles.

Nice work as always Brian.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:15 PM
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:39 PM
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BrianS, did you have trouble sneaking the driver-side valve cover back under the fuel line?
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:43 PM
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holy crap that cylinder head looks like its never seen a drop of oil. That is out of control.

nice work and very clean.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:22 PM
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I changed my plugs and wires yesterday. I used a Snap On tool for pulling the plug boots. It is part number SBP3. Worked quite well. I ordered it online from Snap On. Pic attached.
Attached Thumbnails DIY Valve Cover Gaskets, Plugs, and Plug Wires-mbplugpuller.jpg  
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:59 AM
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New owner :this question has probably been asked before but do the air tubes after the filter housing just pull out of the s/c housing or are they held by a clamp system?

I take it that there is a special tool for the hose clamps and that being the case is it easier to replace them with conventional clamps?

I am preparing myself for a rocker cover /spark plug change and dont want any surprises when I get into the job.

thanks
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:16 PM
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nice work!
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:24 AM
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Thumbs up

Sorted
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:43 PM
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did my plugs last night.. very straight forward......thanks BrianS.....next up brakes
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:11 PM
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How to reseal the vent chamber?

I'm trying to do replace the valve cover gaskets. How do we reseal the vent chamber?. Is there a gasket?. -- I've called the dealer parts dept and they do not see any gasket for the vent chamber.

Thanks,
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