Officially they are called cam covers. But to answer your question, tradition.
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"12609291 - GASKET KI
GM PART # 12609291
CATEGORY: Engine Camshaft and Valve Cover Gasket
PACK QTY: 1
CORE CHARGE: $0.00
List Price: $30.96
You Save: $12.97 (42%)
DESCRIPTION: GASKET KI"
From My Local GM Service Department:
"Oil leak at back side of engine.
Verified Concern. Performed leak check and found Valve Cover Gasket is
leaking down. Recommended replacement.
R and R Valve Cover Gasket and De-greased. No other leaks found."
Sure seems like GM calls it a Valve Cover. Or at least they call the gasket that.
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When I 1st got my solstice,the tech was saying that you may hear a noise under the Valve Cover . I told him these are Overhaed Cams .I ask Why do you call it a V/C . He told me Thats what it has always been called . I needed a Camshaft Gasket for mine and that is what I ask for at the Parts Dept. That guy wrote it up that way. Some are use to Standard early V8 Engines .
Why did they call the Old Buick Engine a " Nail head " It didn't have any Nails in it . The Ford Flat-Heads Valves were in the Block.
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When I 1st got my solstice,the tech was saying that you may hear a noise under the Valve Cover . I told him these are Overhaed Cams .I ask Why do you call it a V/C . He told me Thats what it has always been called .
Yeah, I think that's it - used to OHV engines and unwilling to change. Oddly though, in Britain they also had a long tradition of OHV engines, yet they used cam cover terminology quickly and consistently when they produced OHC engines, to set them apart as something different. They'd look at you like you didn't know what you were talking about if you asked for a valve cover gasket for a straight 6 Jag engine.
And yes, there are a number of different names used in Britain for various parts (bonnet, gudgeon pin etc.) but that's irrelevant to this question.
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1958 MGA Twin Cam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1965 Jensen CV8
1969 MGC roadster
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1971 Jensen Interceptor
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
If I went to the parts store I would ask for a valve cover gasket because thats a name for the part that is very easily recognized. It may not be the "correct" term, but at least I know I'll get the right part. If I asked for a cam cover gasket I may very well get a timing cover gasket or some nonsense ...this is also why I tend to look up the part I need online and just give the parts store the part number that I need.
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