I have a 89 with the 2.9 and have had the gaskets re-done a couple of times in the last 20,000 miles. Last time I took into my mechanic he said these valve covers were prone to warping and just putiing a new gasket on would probably leak too. Is this a common problem with the 2.9's? is there any resonable aftermarket valve covers for the 2.9's?
Leaky valve covers are very common but can be fixed. Clean all surfaces very good, makes sure the covers are flat without any bends, use the expensive blue Fel-Pro gaskets I think the part number ends in T, put the load spreaders back in the correct locations, don't over tighten the bolts, they only need to be tighten enough to squeeze the gasket a little. Over tightening is one of the biggest things that cuase them to leak. I did the covers on my 1989 Ranger using the black rubber gaskets and they were still OK 2 years later when I traded it in for the 2002.
Almost forgot that there is one spot to put some slicon, were the head and intake manifold meet, otherwise follow the instructios that come with the gaskets.
I used a nice ruberized gasket, Felpro I think from Autozone, and that fixed it good. I have not heard of anyone complaining of warped VC's. Easy enough to check after removal though. If your mechanic used cork gaskets, that is your problem. Bring him a six pack and some good gaskets and try again. Sorry I cant give you a VC source. Good luck.
I did the same as B2 Tim.. Put in a rubber gasket from Felpro. So far so good. I did clean up the area reall good before installing the new and I let the permatex become nice and tacky before installing the cover back on the engine.
I see you like keeping your Fords; nice. One more little point. The VC hold downs are specific to their locations. You will see that they have a odd shaped load washer on them. Some are for the corners of the VC and some are for the straight runs. Keep em arranged as you take them off as best you can.