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Is it necessary to remove the valve cover to replace the plastic breather hose nipple that attaches to the cover?
 

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Is it necessary to remove the valve cover to replace the plastic breather hose nipple that attaches to the cover?
No .
The Nipple is inserted into a grommet in the valve cover , wobble it side to side and pull up as you do , it will come out , leaving the grommet behind .
 

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BE CAUTIOUS when doing this, use only your hands and not a tool like pliers, etc. Those nipples can get brittle and may shatter, leaving plastic bits to potentially fall into the engine.
 

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If you look at the nipple when out, you will see the shape of the inserted part, which is irregular. Seeing this will allow you to understand how to pull the next one out!
 
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