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Anybody had this problem? I don't know if they're worn out and stretched, or if I'm supposed to do something with the extra slack, but there is about 3 inches of slack on both the timing cover gaskets. They don't fit snugly around the timing belt covers. Is this normal? What do I do with the extra?

Also--I managed to yank a wire loose that was connected to the top of the engine, no idea what it does, but it looks rather important. I hooked it back up. But if anyone knows what the heck this does, I would love to have some insight before I hit the start button, so I know what to look/listen/feel for if I didn't do a good job with the connection. Thanks everybody.
 

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That looks like your oil pressure sensor.
 

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Ok--So if that's what it is, then does that mean something horrible will happen to the oil pressure if it's not hooked up properly? Or will it just give a warning light or something?
 

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For sure you want to know what your oil pressure is, but it's not a fatal thing for start up. It's just a sensor.
 

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The manuals are invaluable to me.... with them and the great members on this forum, you can work thru anything....believe me I know from experience.
 

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1984GL1200TX wrote:
Anybody had this problem? I don't know if they're worn out and stretched, or if I'm supposed to do something with the extra slack, but there is about 3 inches of slack on both the timing cover gaskets. They don't fit snugly around the timing belt covers. Is this normal? What do I do with the extra?.....
Maybe you already have your answer, but my question would be what did you clean them with? Many hydorcarbon solvents and especially the chlorinated cleaners (like brake cleaner in the aerosol can) are absorbed into the rubber and that can cause it toswell enormously! However, the good news is if you wait a few days, it all evaporates and the parts come back to size with no apparent permanent damage (at least visually)..
 

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And therein lies the problem. I didn't clean them with anything. It's like the slack was stored inside the covers somehow. Great to know about the solvents, though. I appreciate your help very much.
 

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Just fyi, if you turn on the key & you get an oil light glowing, which turns off after you start the engine, you got the wire all connected up :)
 

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The reason for swollen gaskets is oil. If one (or more) of the camshaft oil seals are leaking, it affects the rubber gaskets, causing them to swell and stretch. The only good solution is to get rid of the oil leak (replace seals) and the gaskets as well. The loose wire is eiter for the oil warning light or the temp gauge, probably oil warning.
 

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One thing you can do is to clean up the timing covers and the rubber seals and using a thin line of super glue on the aluminum edge stick the seals onto the cover. Be sure to make a notch where the seals pass by the thickened bosses inside the cover. Start at one end and glue them on a bit at a time until you have them all stuck down, then cut off the extra. I use super glue all the time to stick the rubber seals of the timing covers and rocker covers onto their respective covers. The glue grips quickly, forms a bond strong enough to hold the rubber on the covers so that they stay in position while installing the covers but don't hold to strong too remove the seals either. On older rocker seals you can sometimes glue a bit down and push the next couple inches toward the glued part to compress it a bit before gluing that part down. That can help old somewhat expanded seals fit better. If the seals are hardened it's best just to replace them because they'll leak. The rocker covers are the most prone to leaking, the timing covers are basically dust covers so they don't cause leaks if they aren't perfect though you don't want water and dirt on those timing belts.
 
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