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Discussion Starter #1
Finally was able to get her into a shop, with the issues that I can't fix. Apparently my valve covers are warped, not sure how old they are. Was recommended I go with cast aluminum covers instead of the stock chrome ones. I wanted to stay as stock as possible, but don't want to have the same oil leaking issue and have to replace them again later on. OK with just going with the cast aluminum with the pontiac brand on them?
 

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Do whatever you like, it's your car :D

If you like the stock covers, you can probably straighten them yourself with patience, a body hammer, and a block of wood to work on. Lots of times the stamped steel covers will leak because they've been over-tightened enough to 'dimple' the metal around the bolt holes. That creates a path right around the edges of the dimples that's easy for oil to get through. Work the bolt holes with a hammer and block of wood to make sure they're flat, use good quality thick cork or rubberized gaskets and don't over tighten them. I only use sealer on one of the gasket surfaces, and that just to stick the gasket to the valve cover so that it stays on the valve cover when I remove it. The gasket to head surface I leave dry. I don't have any leaks with my factory covers and they're the ones that came on the car when it was new.

If in doubt, install one (after you've straightened it) then take it right back off and look at the bolt holes --- if you dimpled it, you tightened it too much.

Bear
 

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New chrome stamped steel covers are not that expensive, I think mine were just over 100.00 for my 65. Not sure if still available but I bought chrome spreader bars that went under the valve cover bolts that spread the clamping pressure. Never had any leaks.
 

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Have you looked closely at the screw holes in the covers? Also they each have a lip on one edge only, not that that would cause a leak but it does reference postioning on the motor. Over tightening can cause a reverse like dimple which would prevent proper tightening and gasket contact. There's no shortage of stock replacements if you do some searching. Tom L
 

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What these gents said.....Valve covers never really wear out, they just get deformed by abusive tightening. 10 minutes with a ball peen hammer will have them in good order. That said, I've run both aluminum and stock sheet metal valve covers, and the aluminum ones are less leakage prone due to their rigid construction. I am running stock, original covers on both of my old GTO's with no issues. They have been straightened several times over the past several decades!
 

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Although not stock for the GTO, the "bar spreader" used stock on the Corvair, is probably the best one to use, if you can find them. I think you would have to drill the hole bigger, as the Corvair uses 1/4-20 bolts and the Pontiac used 5/16-18
 

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Chuck, that is an excellent suggestion. I used to use aftermarket bar spreaders on Olds V8's with the 5 bolt covers. I think Lisle made them? They would also fit a Poncho. The small block Chevy ones are only about an inch long, but they will work as well. I'd forgotten all about those.....been awhile!
 

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Yeah... for all kinds of reason, I'm still a Corvair guy at heart... Ive used those spreaders numerous times with real good success. I might even still be able to dig up a few of those if I can get to my dad's old stash...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just went with the cast iron ones, I do like the look better and if I even decide to go as stock as I can get it they are reletively cheap.
 

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Cast Iron valve covers??? Man, those puppies must be HEAVY!!! Chuck, back in the '60's, my next door neighbor bought a brand new '65 Monza ragtop: red with a black interior and a four speed. It was the hot one, and I remember that white shift knob and new car smell like yesterday. He had a '62 XKE as well, and that car was also a treat. I was 4 years old, but he used to take me for rides to the store all the time, etc. I remember how disappointing it was to look at our own Galaxie, which had a plane jane automatic on the column. For some reason, cool cars HAD to have a 4 speed.
 

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We must be right about the same age (pushing 51). My dad was THE Corvair guy at a dealer in Peoria IL, when I was born. We moved to NorCal when I was four and had Corvairs the whole time I was growing up. While not my first car, I've had three and would have another one in a heart beat. For all the issues they supposedly had, once you understood the cars, they were great and alot of fun to drive!
 
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