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Good day folks.

I have an oil leak coming from the area near the firewall above the right/passenger exhaust manifold. It is dripping directly onto my starter's solenoid and killed my last starter which I just replaced. The valve cover above that exhaust manifold was a little loose so I tightened it thinking that would solve the issue, knowing that the exhaust manifold doesn't hold oil. I also cleaned the entire engine, top and bottom. I can't locate the leak. The front 3/4th's of the valve cover have no oil on them after I turn on the engine, completely clean. The front 3/4th's of the exhaust manifold and it's shield also have no oil. However, right at the back of the valve cover, literally surrounding the screw that is nearest the firewall on the valve cover, oil appears and then leaks onto the outside of the exhaust manifold and then drips onto the shield and then drips from the edge of the shield onto my starter's solenoid. The area between the back of the valve cover, which I tightened well but not over-tightened, and the firewall is so full of dark housing and wiring that I can't spot the oil leak. Since the valve cover is secure now, I could use some ideas about where this oil leak could be coming from so that I can stop it. We only have this one vehicle and I need to be able to go to work. Most of us know how that feels I figure, so any help is appreciated.

Also, the solenoid's battery cable comes with a rubber shield that is supposed to fit over the two solenoid bolts to protect them, I am guessing from things like this, but I found mine cut right up the middle about half way. Can anyone suggest a way to reseal this rubber protector?
 

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You can repair the solenoid rubber boot protector with a product called Aquaseal SR which comes in a squeeze tube.

The best way I found to install valve cover gaskets is to first spray them on both sides with a copper based sealant called "Permatex Copper Spray-A-Gasket Hi-Temp Adhesive Sealant #80697"; wait about 30 seconds or more between coats to allow surface to become tacky; two coats should be enough. First make sure the valve cover sealing surfaces are not damaged and are straight; use a straight edge tool laid on the cover to insure this. Using a criss-cross pattern, torque the bolts to 1 - 3 Nm (9 - 26 In-lbs).
 
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