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All in all it went well and Im so glad to have my 2000 D2 A8 running like a champ again. The transmission was in superb condition just as foreseen -- EH
Tech Article

Audi D2 A8 4.2 V8 Valve Cover Replacement

Last Updated: 06/02/2019
Parts Group: Valve cover
I’ve just done the driver side valve cover gasket on my pre-2000 Audi D2 A8 with engine code ABZ Basically, I opened the hood, then ...

- Removed the passenger side suspension strut dome cover
- Loosened the large ducting hose clamp to detach the ducting from the air filter box to the throttle body, with an upstream flexible connector and plastic white elbow still attached, and laid it on top of the shock tower area
- Removed the engine covers, center and both sides
- Removed the clamps and detached the PCV hose that connects the fronts of the two valve covers
- Detached the two 10mm bolts that attach the wiring harness to the cylinder head, and pushed them aside.
- Removed the ignition coil packs
- Removed the passenger side valve cover

I opened the package with the valve cover gasket set. Each side consists of ...

- The perimeter gasket
- The seals around the spark plug holes
- A half-moon-shaped gasket to block the port for servicing the camshaft

The Bentley manual specifies that both sides of each gasket should be treated with silicon lubricant; Katie disagreed and explained that the rubbers are similar to the ring on an engine oil filter; to be moistened with oil just before installation, and then it’ll expand somewhat as it gets saturated with oil, which is what we want. I went with her premise.

It was important to note that the seals around the spark plug holes can be installed the wrong way round, in two dimensions; only one of the four possible combinations of position is correct. The old seals can be a guideline but this assumes they were installed correctly. A close inspection of the underside of the valve cover shows that the ridge (between the center two spark plug holes) is offset to one side, and that’s a hint as to how to position the seals. The four seals are joined with a strip; keep the strip intact.

Clean the old gaskets and seals from the valve cover and get rid of any debris. It might be tempting to clean the valve cover; resist the temptation. The surface is coated … painted, essentially. Brake cleaner can damage that surface finish. Soap or degreaser might not be fully washed off and any residue can dissolve the oil coating on which we depend for a solid seal. At most, use paper towels pushed hard against the metal surface.

Clean the engine surface using paper towels pushed hard against the metal surface. It’s okay to embed a flat screwdriver or a pick inside thickly wadded paper, to exert pressure yet avoid a metal tool scratching the metal mating surface. Four 3 mm-circumference dots of sealant go onto the flat surface, one each where the metal rises from the flat surface, so that’s where stubborn residue is likely to be found. It must be removed.

With a clean glove dipped in clean engine oil, coat the metal surface of the valve cover where the gaskets and seals will go. Coat every side of the half-moon-shaped gasket except the large outside surface. Push the seals around the spark plug holes into position. Push the perimeter gasket into position, paying special attention to the back, for the passenger side gasket.

The Bentley manual specifies a sealant whose part number that was too obscure for me, so we chose Ultra Black silicon rubber sealant based on a recommendation whose source we trusted at the time and by now can’t identify any more. It’s important to keep the dispensing snout of the tube long, because on the lower rear passenger side, it’s difficult to place a dot of sealant precisely; the longer the snout is, the easier it is. Four 3 mm-circumference dots of sealant go onto the flat surface, one each where the metal rises from the flat surface such as to enable the engine-related mechanisms, hence two front and two back. The sealant sets within 10 minutes so it’s important to work fast once the sealant has been applied to the engine.

Tilt the valve cover slightly to enable it to slide in under the vacuum hoses attached to each fuel injector, then place it in position. Hand-thread then hand-tighten each bolt (the two long, 5 mm Allen head bolts, as well as the 10 mm hex head bolts) in a star pattern, and then apply a torque wrench to snug the fasteners up to 89 inch-pounds. I made the mistake of using a 3/8” torque wrench set for foot-pounds, so I almost stripped out the threads in the head by torqueing the Allen head bolts to 89 foot-pounds. To avoid the temptation it’s better to use a ¼” drive torque wrench using a 5 mm Allen head socket that fits thereon, with or without an adapter.
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