- 1 First check to see if the bolts holding the cover are still snug. Most after market repair manuals will give you torque specs if you want to get that particular. If the bolts are tight and you still need to change the cover gasket, and you are not to familiar with components, just mark every hose and its matching connection with masking tape and a number system. Careful with the vacuum hoses, over time they become brittle. Dont worry, if you crack one, new hose can be purchase by the foot from any auto parts store.
Once you have marked and removed lines, remove cover and clean both surfaces thoroughly.Place a clean shop rag over and around the valves to stop debris from falling into the valve area, as well as controlling oil mess.
You may use either a replacement gasket or an automotive silicone. Follow directions of gasket material manufacturer. Before you do either wipe the mating surface with acetone or Laquer thinners. This will allow a clean bond of new materials.
Torque bolts to spec when reinstalling, recheck them in near future.
- 2 It is often necessary to remove one or two radiator hoses to remove the valve cover. These will spill some coolant when you remove them if your radiator is at normal levels. In order to avoid this, you may choose to flush the radiator in conjunction with your valve cover gasket replacement. Also, while there are aftermarket gasket replacements for the Cherokee available (usually made from cork), the chorokee did come from the factory installed only with a silicone sealent for a gasket. Some people decide to simply replace that sealent. Be sure to remove and clean off the former gasket residue thoroughly while not scratching the metal surfaces to be mated (spray brake cleaner on a rag to wipe down the area as a last step). If you decide to use RTV silicone, be sure to apply an even, continuous bead, and follow directions on the packaging. When torquing bolts, only tighten until you can see the silicone seal begin to flatten out. The bolts do not necessarily need to be tight! If you cleaned the valve cover surfaces properly, the silicone will hold the valve cover on for a decade or more.