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Gaskets, we all have'em

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  • Gaskets, we all have'em

    Since I mentioned this in a rant on another thread, it dawned on me that this would be a good "Tech Tip" from the past.

    Lets say you are assembling your motor and anticipate needing to do some fine tuning in the future. Now, everyone knows that you will need a whole new set of gaskets, or at least the ones you will be removing to do your fine tuning. So, I propose a simple way to avoid the buying of a full set or even the one you will be needing.

    Here is my solution. Place your favorite sealer on that flimsy paper gasket so that it sticks to the part you are removing, say, the valve cover. Place the gasket on the cover sealer side against the valve cover, let set a bit to insure you have enough stick'um on it to hold, now, use your favorite grease, not oil as that will just be soaked up by the paper, I use a Moly grease, the same stuff I use on front wheel bearings, and only use a thin coat. Now, place the gasket and cover in place, screw on as needed.

    Now, here is the best part of this, when you go to remove that valve cover and do the final valve adjustment, the gasket comes off with the cover and to reuse it all you need do is apply a bit more grease!! Also, IF you really want to change the gasket 'cause you are "one of those kind", the gasket is stuck to the valve cover and easier removed while laying on the bench and not stuck to the engine where you HAVE to lean over the fender with the chance for a scratch in that shiny paint!

    This works with all the gaskets, be they paper or cork. I use grease on both sides of the head gasket, and wipe any squirtage off the edges after the final torquing.

    Alas, the only drawback is it won't work with exhaust manifold gaskets as they can only be compressed once and the heat will remove the grease and whatever else you placed on the gasket.
    Last edited by DaWizard; 06-12-2017, 08:55 PM.
    You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

  • #2
    Grease does work well good tip.


    • #3
      The secret to all gaskets is to use quality gaskets.
      For me this means old Victor or Fel-Pro sets primarily.
      The number of low quality gaskets produced over the years up to now is mind boggling.
      Cheap gaskets are not made from suitable gasket materials, are often the wrong thickness or material, and they typically shrink wrinkle, tear, and leak.

      I like Victor best, and always soak them in motor oil and install. I sometimes use grease.
      I never use a sealer or cement and especially never use RTV on anything anywhere on a Model A.

      I also have a fetish for head gaskets and NOS gaskets in particular, and buy all that I can find.
      This often includes open and partial vintage gasket sets.

      I separate the broken gasket sets and put all the Victor valve covers, for example, together in one ziplock.
      Damaged or suspect gaskets go immediately in the trash.
      I have about 150 NOS head gaskets and complete sets right now, and a lifetime supply of quality strays from opened/broken sets.

      Off brand gaskets go in a box of NORS strays I sell for a few dollars (for the entire box of gaskets) at a swap meet.
      I collect head gaskets obsessively. Other people collect Hummel figurines! Go figure!

      Here is another tip. I like to buy old metal Sawzall tool boxes at swap meets and take the dividers out.
      They are perfect for storing head gaskets in.
      I have eight or ten sawzall boxes full of NORS individual head gaskets, in addition to many unopened Victor, McCord, and Fel-Pro complete engine sets.

      Contact me if you have a need for any particular A or B gaskets.


      • #4
        I am going to add my 2 cents in here regarding reusing gaskets. Once they are compressed i toss them and install a new one period. They are usually cheap enough that it will not break the bank as i hate doing things twice if it's avoidable
        3~ Tudor's & 1~ Coupe
        Henry Ford said,
        "It's all nuts and bolts"
        "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

        Mitch's Auto Service ctr


        • #5
          I buy gasket sets, without the head gasket, for SPARES. When I order small gaskets, I get 3 or 4 of them.
          Bill Hoarder


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