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Rover SD1, Rocker Cover Gaskets

Today was far too productive, what, with me pulling the loom out, and now also finally doing the rocker cover gaskets.

I have known the gaskets were in bad shape for a while, it’s been leaking oil down the back of the heads, and when I did the oil change it leaked my fresh oil straight out the front of the cover, and down the engine.

With the plenum top off for the EFI loom removal, it makes it far easier to do the cover gaskets, as it limits access to the LH cover due to the throttle body with it fitted.

The covers are very easy to remove, just four screws each. Two long screws on the outside, and two shorter ones inside. I purchased all new screws and washers from Rimmers with the new, updated, rubber gaskets.

With the cover off I could, for the first time, see what state the top end was in. Thankfully, it’s in good shape, with only minor oil staining, but no sludge or anything bad.

It was obvious straight away why the LH rocker cover was leaking…. 😑

The gasket doesn’t even remotely fit, it was completely open at the front of the engine (LH side of pic)

And there was a crack in the gasket at the rear

You could see from the state of it that the gasket had been letting oil past, even in places it wasn’t damaged. The cork was hard as a rock and very brittle.

In contrast the new rubber gaskets are very soft, and actually have a recess in them that the cover sits into, to help locate and seal it better.

This also gives a quick visual indication if rubber gaskets are fitted or not

The RH side wasn’t much better. Both ends of the gasket had shrunk, leaving huge gaps for oil to pour out of. It was also cracked at the rear. There was a lot of “fresh”, wet oil at the rear of the cover, hopefully this is the source of my leak down on to the exhaust.

I figure this will probably help a couple of issues, like my idle speed, as the whole breather system wasn’t sealed with the old gaskets.

It was a quick and pretty easy job to do. If you still have cork gaskets I would recommend checking, and likely replacing them.

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