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10 most common gasket maker mistakes

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 06:00
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Gasket makers and flange sealants are great time savers to have on hand in the shop. And, when compared to a traditional gasket, the material costs for gasket makers are much less. Plus, if you have gasket makers on hand, you don’t lose time waiting for a part delivery.

Gasket makers and flange sealants are extremely reliable. They can eliminate leak paths that traditional gaskets can’t, and they’re super-resistant to vibration, fluids, and temperature cycles. That said, there are a few gasket application mistakes that even experienced pros sometimes make that can compromise a repair. Steer clear of these mistakes and your gasket making and sealing work should be 100% reliable:

Never replace a head gasket using a gasket maker.
  1. Using a gasket maker to replace a head gasket. While today’s gasket makers and flange sealants can replace most conventional, formed, or multi-material gaskets, they should never be used to replace a head gasket. For cylinder heads, stick to the OE-style gasket.
  1. Using the wrong type of gasket maker for your application. Gasket makers and flange sealants are specially formulated for specific applications. These formulations are available for a variety of requirements: high temperatures, resistance to synthetic oil, O2 sensor compatibility, water-glycol resistance, and more. Trying to use one gasket maker or flange sealant for every application may not result in a reliable repair. Make sure the gasket maker or flange sealant you use is formulated to meet the requirements of your application. For example, it is not recommended to use RTV silicone when the application calls for an anaerobic gasket maker or flange sealant.
  1. Applying too much gasket maker or flange sealant. When it comes to gasketing, more is not necessarily better. Knowing the right amount to apply takes some experience, but a bead thickness of around 1/8” is a good place to start. The bead of gasket maker or flange sealant that you apply will spread out to a very thin layer when you tighten up your assembly, so you don’t need to apply a lot of product to get the ideal seal. Applying too much product can cause excess sealant to squeeze out and migrate into areas where it might cause trouble - such as clogging the screen of the oil pickup. Try to apply the gasket maker or flange sealant in one continuous and even bead to one surface. Ensure all bolt holes are circled.
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