Valve cover - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2020, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
Bicycle Rider
 
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Valve cover

Hi guys, I recently replaced my valve cover gaskets and rented a torque wrench from my local auto zone to torque the bolts down properly. Unfortunately, their tool didn’t work right so I over tightened the center bolt closest to the oil fill cap and it cracked the plastic valve cover.
I was wondering if anyone knows if other years or model valve covers will fit my car?
I drive a 2010 Mazda 3 sport 2.5L btw.
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 07:42 AM
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WoW dude!...Why did you use a Torque Wrench on a Plastic VC in the first place??....LoL...Guess you live & Learn!

Since its Plastic VC you only have to hand tightened it...Not much force is needed.

Contact the Mazda Dealership for a Part #


My 1st Mazda! - 2009 Hatchback - Golden Sand Metallic


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I’m dumb lol. I followed guides saying it should be about 80 inch pounds and that if it’s not torqued right, it’ll leak. I didn’t know that their tool was broken...

I was trying to see if the first gen 2.3L one will fit since it looks the same and I believe uses the same gaskets. I wanted to try the junkyard route but they only have 04-07 3’s...
Unless it’s a bad idea since it’s plastic?

The only information I found was that the valve cover for the first gen speed was different from the second gen speed. But mines not a speed...
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 11:02 AM
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Here's an Ebay link which indicates that you have a number of donor vehicles to choose from (including mine, but you can't have that one). And with the prices they're getting for this thing, I'd agree with trying to pull one from a yard.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Valve-Cover...cAAOSwjhldQAcz

I don't think it's dumb at all to use a torque wrench for gaskets like this, particularly for someone who doesn't do much of this stuff. 'Feel' is something that's acquired over time - no one is born having it. I suspect that far more mistakes have been made by people working by feel, than by those using mis-calibrated/broken torque wrenches, or not understanding their operation.

IMO your only mistake was not doing a 'reality check' on the torque wrench before actually using it on the job. I do this before starting any sensitive job - just a quick test on something like a wheel lug, just to make sure the tool is in the right ballpark. So for 80" lbs, the tool should 'click' with almost no force applied (or move easily on the dial if a beam type). Good luck finding a new VC, without needing to take out a second mortgage.

2011 3i 2.0 A/T 130K miles (daughter's ride which I maintain)
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Yea, I tested it out after when I should've did it before... now I'm paying for it, literally...


As for seeing if the 04-09 Mazda 3 valve cover would work for the 10-13, I'm guessing it's a no. But there are other vehicles such as the 09+ Mazda 5, 6 and some Fords that may work.



Does anyone know what other models use the L series engine??
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 03:02 PM
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Don't feel bad. Every one who has ever wrenched has went through something like this. In my early years of shade tree wrenching I broke many a bolt/stud etc. Shouldn't be too hard to source one. Go to car-part.com. If you can't find the part they can do a search for you. With a 2.5 you should have plenty of options. Good luck! Hand torque is the best method with the plastic valve covers.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 07:47 PM
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Just a follow-up, but be certain to use Locktite on the threads for the valve cover. If you don't, the one's on the driver's side will loosen as the miles go by.

2006 Mazda 3 2.3L Hatchback 5-speed Automatic - 180K miles
I never purchase Harbor Freight tools.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. I think I might just go to the junkyard and see if the 2006 Mazda 3 s hatchback cover will work.
Websites say it doesn’t fit but I’ve been told that all L series engine should have the same head. And it looks like the first gen 3’s are an L3-VE motor. I could be completely wrong though...
But it snowed and my block is all iced up so gotta wait for that to clear first.
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-18-2020, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Thanks for the info guys. I think I might just go to the junkyard and see if the 2006 Mazda 3 s hatchback cover will work.
Websites say it doesnít fit but Iíve been told that all L series engine should have the same head. And it looks like the first gen 3ís are an L3-VE motor. I could be completely wrong though...
But it snowed and my block is all iced up so gotta wait for that to clear first.
Yes, it should be the same. Please keep us posted on your progress.

2006 Mazda 3 2.3L Hatchback 5-speed Automatic - 180K miles
I never purchase Harbor Freight tools.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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I finally got around to going to the junk yard. I checked out some older 2.3L hatchbacks. I think 2004-2006 but they looked a little bit different. I ended up pulling a valve cover from a 2007 Mazda 3 i 2.0L. They looked pretty similar and it fits so I’ll see if I have any trouble with it. I did notice that my rpm dips a little every once in awhile. It usually happens when I have my ac on and puts the extra load on my motor but it happens all the time now even with regular heat to the floor. I’ll have to take my coil packs out and maybe clean them a bit as well as the tops of my spark plugs Incase oil got on them. Thanks for the help guys. I’ll try to post some pics of the valve covers. The top one is the new/old one and the bottom one with the blue gaskets is the old one.
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