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Old 05-25-2020, 05:17 AM   #1
96318ticali
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Question M44 Lower Timing Chain Gasket

Is it possible to only replace the lower timing chain cover gasket? About 2 yrs. ago I replaced the cylinder head which required replacing the upper chain cover gasket. The lower wasn't leaking so I left it alone. Now the lower is leaking and I would like to keep its gasket replacement as simple as possible. Also, is it possible to remove the lower cover without removing the water pump? The last time I removed a water pump on a ti the bolt hole ears broke so I don't want to risk that if possible. Any info is appreciated!
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:02 PM   #2
paul somlo
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I'm not sure that you'll be able to buy the lower gasket without the upper one integral with it - you may have to do some cutting, which may leave gaps. I recently chased some oil leaks that I'd been plagued with for over a decade - I decided to delete the upper and lower cover gaskets, as well as the gasket for thermostat and water pump, used Permatex Ultra Grey instead.

I've seen pictures of the lower cover off with the water pump still installed, but I couldn't remove my cover with the water pump in place.
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:57 PM   #3
96318ticali
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Thanks for your reply. I have also seen a picture with the water pump installed and the lower cover removed. I will probably do both top and bottom covers and be done with it.
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:54 PM   #4
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The area that's the most leak prone is where the two rubber profile gaskets butt up against each other - use lots of RTV in that area. And that's regardless of whether you use the factory metal gaskets or delete them. The other area, of course, is the very bottom of the timing case, where oil pools. One of my failed attempts included the factory gaskets and blue Hylomar. I've read about people using the factory gaskets in conjunction with RTV, also. It seems that the tensioner side is more leak prone than the other side - when I had mine open, the driver's side of the case was fairly dry, just the way the oil distributes itself, I suppose.

If you do the top cover, you'll probably need to loosen or remove the valve cover, for reassembly. You probably already know this, but you can use two of the bolts that fasten the water pump to extract it, via the threaded holes in the case. 1/4 - 1/2 turn at a time for each bolt should get the pump out without breakage, go slow. I've heard of people breaking pumps, but I've been lucky, they always come out easy.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:44 PM   #5
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Years ago I replaced both covers on my son's ti and I broke the water pump. I was just hoping to reduce the amount of work required by only doing the bottom. I appreciate your insights and suggestions. Thanks!
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