Originally Posted by ajg617
Put a straight edge across the bottom outside of the bolts and it was fine with the naked eye except for a slight gap on the outside rear lower corner (not leaking there now though that is where the original leak was). Bought a used cover just in case and put a straight edge on that and it had the same gap - could slide a piece of paper in on both on the outside but not from the inside.
If this doesn't work, I'll try a new cover though they are scarce. Audi says they have two - one in Santa Monica and the other in Ft. Worth - not exactly driving distance.
Check the price at ECS tuning…$224 IIRC. Ships in two days.
OK..it sounds like your fasteners are loosing clamping force, either by the gasket failing (unlikely with new gasket in such a short time) or inadequate clamping force to begin with.
One thing I've found with all valve covers, even the old SBC (and especially BBC) tin valve covers is to use blue loctite when installed and if you're a belt and suspenders type even paint a stripe across the nut/bolt or bolt head/cover so you can tell if the nut or bolt turns. With the loctite, it's not likely anyway.
As for the torque you choose to use to fasten the cam cover, I'd stick to the factory values unless there is a specific leak in one spot that the fastener can eliminate by increasing the clamping force in that one spot….excessive torque can unevenly clamp the gasket and result in leaks.
Lastly, are there any aftermarket gaskets available, like from FelPro or a good supplier that may be improved over the OEM gasket? ECS for example has two sources, one OEM and the other Elring.
Amazing that an aluminum 2.7T cover costs $168 while the plastic 3.0 is $224. Yet another reason to damn the 3.0.