I use the hammer trick for my fan. It's a sledge hammer though. You need some weight to hit that wrench with.
I also use the pulley tool sometimes, but the sledge always at least knocks it loose enough to get that going.
There are key areas where the valve cover meets the engine that may require gasket sealant. If you didn't do that I can see how you could have some oil leaks in those places around the valve cover.
I plan to replace my VANOS soon and if I do I won't reuse the old gaskets. They're less than 10,000 miles old, but they're also not expensive to replace and ensure a good seal.
"...Gasket sealant is not supposed to be required, but everyone says to use it on the half-moon areas..." - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=403023
2000 BMW 328Ci, Titanium Metalic Silver
Last edited by Xeek; 03-28-2012 at 02:58 PM.