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Old 06-17-2008, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face Valve Cover Gasket issue

Hello All,

I'm new to the board as I just recently purchased a VERY used 2004 Forenza with 110k miles. I got it pretty cheap because it idled rough, had a bad shake at highway speeds, and the brakes didn't work very well.

In all honesty...the guy didn't know anything about cars and he was in the military so the car would sit for months at a time off an on over the last 2 years.

I immediately took it to the shop and had it gone through completely and here's what I had done:

-Replaced engine oil & filter
-Replaced power steering fluid
-Replaced transmission fluid
-Replaced serpentine belt
-Replaced engine coolant
-Replaced brake fluid
-Replaced all four sets of brake pads
-Turned all four brake rotors
-Replaced all four tires
-Complete four wheel alignment
-Replaced hub caps (shiney )
-Replaced air filter (there was a nest of some type in there)
-Replaced cabin air filter (black and moldy)
-Replaced the spark plugs
-Replaced plug wires
-Replaced the gas cap (throwing a code)
-Added remote start and keyless entry

In all...I spent about $1750 on repairs/mods and now the car runs and drives like a top...darn near perfect.

The only issue I have now is that the valve cover leaks oil, which I've read is very common (if not 100% of the time).

The leaking is bad enough that when I went to replace the plugs, I found a significant amount of oil in the holes before I pulled each plug. I used long strips of toilet paper (only thing I could find thin and absorbant yet strong enough for extraction) to soak up the oil in the hole before I pulled each plug.

I have no doubt this contributed to the poor running condition of the car when I bought it (along with the nest in the air filter box). The old plugs did not look fouled...but were definitely coated with toasted oil on the outside. It didn't appear oil was getting past the plugs and into the chamber...I don't know what effect it was having on the connection between the plug and the wires.

I ordered a replacement valve cover gasket and am preparing to do the repair myself. It looks pretty straight forward (except for the funky star shaped bolt heads) but I thought I better ask if anyone has done this and if there are things I should watch out for, look for, or consider doing while I have the cover off.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I may take pictures as I go and post them here as a step by step guide if others think it would be helpfull.

Terry
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Valve cover leaking common? Realy? almost 100%?
Its not common at all.
Some of the guys that have turbo, may of but as far as I know, its standard. Find an old deawoo in a pick a part and practice on that. Yes, same engine

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Old 06-18-2008, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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my valve cover leaks and iv heard of a few others on the forum but not as bad as yours. hopfully its not a bigger problem. if youve done one before you shouldnt have a problem. good luck
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmmm....I've read on a couple other forums that this is very common on 2004's and even consumer reports indicated that it was a problem area for that model year. Suzuki had to redesign the valve cover gaskets to resolve the problem.

I've done valvecover gaskets before...but on much older cars. From my experience it should be very straight foreward...a 30 minute job at most...probably closer to 15. But I didn't want to be too surprised when I pull off the cover. Engine makers on these modern cars seem to like to complicate things....you neve know what you're going to find when you attempt something like this.

I'm going tomorrow to try and source the socket I need to remove the star shaped valve cover bolts. I've not run across them before so I hope they can be found at Autozone or NAPA.
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Old 06-18-2008, 02:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've attached the Technical Bulletin related to the valve cover gasket. Doesn't say much but might be usefull to others.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Forenze_Technical Bulletin.pdf (68.0 KB, 2119 views)
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, mines good :P
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah easy to change and basically get it as clean as you can and replace it and put a nice smear of oil safe RTV on the gasket mating surface and all should be well. Seen 04, 05, even an 06 have the issue. Not too bad to do even for a do it yourself project. Pretty dang easy.

Only thing you missed as far as I can see is have it checked for recalls (have your local Zuk shop run the vin) and get those done and have the Timing belt done. It is a 60K replacement.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeh, I'm going to have the recalls checked...as far as the timing belt...the shop looked at it when they replaced the serpentine belt and said it looked good....was most likely replaced after 60k miles since it showed little wear....so I'll have it replaced at 120k...in a couple months.

Is the timing belt a do-it-yourself activity? I did it on my old chevette 4 cyl back when I was 17 (oh God....that was 18 years ago... ...man I'm getting old). It was very easy on on that car...but it was rear whell drive with the engine mounted in there straight instead of sideways. Had plenty of room to work up front.

I'd feel a lot more comfortable if I could find a Haynes or Chiltons manual that showed exactly what to do.

I downloaded the one that's online...but I haven't had time to sift through it and find things. It's not very user friendly and doesn't specifically cover the 2.0L.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Good news....I've figured out how to use the online manual and it does cover our 2.0L motors. All instructions for the 1.8L are valid as the 2.0L is identical except for a few minor differences. All those differences are denoted with a (*) indicating 2.0L only....so it actually includes the 2.0L details as well....but as exceptions to the 1.8L.

Additionally, I'm looking for a way to host this manual for everyone to use instead of requiring each person to download, extract, and setup the whole thing.

I'll let you know how it goes and where to access it if I'm able to do so.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here's a link to the manual in .ZIP format. It's split into 3 .ZIP files 35MB each instead of 51 .RAR files 2MB each. Save all three to a folder on your harddrive and then extract the one with .ZIP as the extention. I believe it will extract all three files into one folder. From there...double click on the "GMDE TIS START.html" file within the top level folder and you'll be off and running.

Service Manual - 2004 Daewoo Lacetti (Suzuki Forenza) ZIP Files

Here are the original .RAR files...you'll need winRAR to extract these...but it works the same way as winZIP....extract the first one and the reset will automatically be extracted. I've included the winRAR.exe file in this folder as well which will download winRAR from the publishers website:

Service Manual - 2004 Daewoo Lacetti (Suzuki Forenza) RAR Files

I tried to create a self-extracting file for winZIP but it was 106MB and my account will not let me stor files larger than 50MB..which is why I had to parse the winZIP file into 3 pieces.

Please let me know if these links don't work....I'm new at this and not sure what's going to happen. They work fine for me...but isn't that always the case.

Last edited by Terry720; 06-19-2008 at 01:02 PM.
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