Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Valve Covers: Back to an OEM Look

Decided to go back to more of a factory look with the valve covers since I did not really care for how the Edelbrock Elite II's looked under the hood with every other component being period correct.

And so I first tried to reuse the original valve covers, which—my plan was—to paint the factory-correct Chevy Orange. However, after having them bead blasted and hot tanked, I realized they were beyond being salvageable so I decided to look for used ones.

When I first got the Vette, it had more than a few oil leaks, and while I suspected the valve cover gaskets being the culprit, it never occurred to me that the valve covers themselves could've been the ones doing the leaking.

Anyway, at the time I just took the OEM covers off and installed a set of aftermarket covers that sort of emulated the L-82 units. Unfortunately, those things leaked from every corner, regardless of thickness, quality or brand of gaskets used.

So, after a while I decided to go ahead and order a set of Edelbrock Elite II cast aluminum valve covers which looked beautiful. Not to mention the excellent quality of Edelbrock products.

Since I already had the Edelbrock Performer intake manifold in place, plus the Edelbrock 1406 carburetor and air cleaner, the whole setup looked great, but I had issues with hood clearance and, eventually decided to have the original Rochester QuadraJet rebuilt and had the factory air cleaner assembly powder coated.

So the Edelbrock valve covers looked a bit out of place, in my opinion.

I searched online for a decent set of used OEM valve covers, but decided that spending time and money refurbishing them would be wasteful, so I looked for other alternatives. That's how I found out about the Trans Dapt valve covers.

The ones I bought are made out of steel and are powder coated the right shade of Chevy Orange, and even though I decided to keep the intake manifold in its natural aluminum finish, the engine bay and motor finally look right.

I also used the original oil filler "S" rivet cap, which I polished so it would match the distributor shield, and I also bought new bolts and washers from the hardware store. The original valve cover tabs looked horrible with a combination of rust and chipped orange paint, but a good sanding and polish brought them back to life beautifully.

So here's the finished product after I installed the Trans Dapt valve covers.

I bought 7/32" cork Fel Pro gaskets (Part Number: VS12869AC) from the local auto parts store, and used black 3M weatherstripping adhesive to glue them to the valve covers.

I am very pleased with the end result and authentic look. There's something about that Chevy Orange that just looks right and good under the hood, so I am very glad I went back to basics.

Thanks for reading my blog.

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