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Dodge Repair/oil leak fron valve cover: '04 Dakota 3.7


QUESTION: Hi, I have an oil leak coming from the pass. side of the engine, it appears to be leaking on my exhaust because I get a smell of burning oil when I come to a stop and I can see smoke coming through the right side of the hood. I jacked it up and oil was all over the block from he valve covers down, is this a common problem for a 2004 Dodge Dakota 3.7 ? It appears changing the valve cover gasket is a pain, any advice would be helpful..... thanks

ANSWER: Hi Mike,
Is this the 3.9 or the 4.7L engine? On the 3.9 the valve cover gasket is supposed to be heavy duty and re-useable. You could start by torqueing the bolts to 8 foot pounds and see if any of those are so loose as to cause the leak. If not then changing out the gasket does require removal of some associated crankcase ventilation and evaporative emission parts. I can copy some pages from the manual if it is not clear as to how to remove those.
If you want the pages sent to you as an email tell me your address but don't use the @ symbol, instead us "at", or the address will be erased.
Again, which engine is it?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi, again..... I replaced the valve cover gasket yesterday (Dakota 3.7) and it leaked again  , I did not replace the rubber grommets though, should have I ? Also what do these grommets do ?

Hi Mike,
On both the 3.7 ('03 manual) and the 3.9 ('04 manual, this manual doesn't show the 3.7L) there are no grommets mentioned or shown. The bolts are supposed to be torqued to 105 inch-pounds and 95 inch-pounds respectively, and the gaskets can be re-used after inspection. I don't have further information about the cylinder head covers for either V-6 engine. And similarly the '05 and'06 manuals are identical as regards the 3.7 valve cover gaskets. So maybe you need to go to a dealer parts counter to see what they show/say about those grommets. Nothing I found describes the grommets or their purpose. Sorry to disappoint you.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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