Cam cover nut torque

Is there a torque figure for tightening down the cam covers?
And have you any tips for ensuring it is oil tight and leak free? (am I searching for some unachievable utopia?)
I am fairly confident that the gasket won’t leak - both head and cam cover surfaces look in good condition. But what about the ends? Nothing seems to hold the gaskets up against the rubber seals, and a leak at the back of the engine will be difficult to see.



I use Blue Hylomar , Think I read cam cover nuts do up about 8-10 lb , they don’t need a lot , cam covers are not the strongest , lot about that are cracked !

Thanks Ian,
I am a little wary of using Hylomar as I have seen lots of it inside engines which can’t do the oil ways any good. I will give it a go, but sparingly.

I don’t have a torque wrench that measures that low, so I will just nip them up and return to them after driving a few miles and recheck.


Just as in the case of RTV, if you have found Hylomar inside an engine, it was misused.

Yes, it is very easy to put a nice big bead along a gasket to make sure there is enough.

Excuse my ignorance, what is RTV?

I know RTA and RTFM, could guess RTFI in relation to a tube of Hylomar, but have no idea what RTV is.


Just looked it up Room Temperature Vulcanising.


For what it’s worth, I annealed my copper washers so they were nice and soft and then turned them tight, hand one inch from the socket as in leverage and then as tight as you get. You can’t un-crack them, but you can always turn them down a little if you have to - mine didn’t leak.

Get them hot with a torch until they just glow and then let them cool down. I do it to new ones as well.


A set of Cometic gaskets will bring you a long way towards leak free. They can only make up for so much sin though. It’s a good idea to put the covers on and lightly snug down with no gasket (hardly any torque at all). Then run around the periphery with feeler gauges looking for big gaps. If you find them bigger than a few thou, then some hand filing can reduce that significantly.

Mine have .002 max gap and require no more than Cometics, 6 ftlbs, and a small pea sized dab of RTV on both ends of the rear.

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The only permanent leak repair is Permtex Right Stuff
Use instead of gaskets we in the trade use only this product

The XJ factory service manual gives cam cover nut torque as 8.3 ft lbs or 1.15 kgf-m or 11.25 Nm.

I noticed my shop is using a sealing type washer on the cam covers (and probably other locations). I had never seen these before. They look like a normal flat washer but with a small rubber ring on the inside diameter of the hole. I thought I’d throw this out but may be covering old ground here.

Lok-o-seal/stat-o-seal as used in the aircraft industry and work really well. I put the copper washer on top to keep “the looks”.

Stat-o-Seals: McMaster-Carr has them, and they are fabulous.

I guess if the oil return from the cam’s is blocked , and the cam covers fill with oil , your need them :rofl:
I have never had oil coming out the bolt holes !

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I’ve always just smeared a small dab of sealant, like the black Permatex stuff, on the bottom side of the copper washer, tightened the nut properly and used a paper towel to wipe upf any excess sealant that might have squished out from under the washer. Never a leak and looks original because it is.

I have had oily spots form around the dome nut holes on the camshaft covers of my Jaguars with XK engines. I believe that it is from hot crankcase fumes seeping past the copper sealing washers. I never reuse the washers and always torque them to spec, but I have still had to wipe the oily spots down and/or replace the copper washers from time to time on our XK engines.


when I removed the cam covers, oil was pooling in the head in each cam bearing section with more to the back of the engine, i.e. the engine is tilted down at the back - front higher the rear. Is this normal?
The car was on level ground and as far as I know the suspension is set at the correct heights front and back.

Absolutely normal…

I would say yes , oil return from heads is not at it’s lowest point , so some will pool in the V bit