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10 most common gasket maker mistakes

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 06:00
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  1. Using an RTV or anaerobic gasket maker on an application that is exposed to gasoline. Only solvent-based gasket makers have the ability to stand up to repeated direct contact to gasoline. Powersports vehicles, antique cars, gas-powered tools, and equipment all tend to have their gaskets exposed to gasoline. Gas weakens RTV and anaerobic flange sealants. If your assembly will have direct exposure to gasoline, you should use a solvent-based gasket maker.
Only apply a very thin bead of gasket maker. A thin bead will spread out and cover the assembly properly. Excess gasket maker can cause it to squeeze out. Never use an RTV gasket maker on an application that will be exposed to gasoline, such as a outdoor power equipment
  1. Not allowing the full cure time before returning to service. All gasket makers and flange sealants need some time to cure before the assembly can be put back into service. Failure to wait the correct amount of time can compromise the integrity of your seal. Typically, RTVs require a minimum of two hours to set up and 24-hours to achieve the full cure that’s needed before adding fluids or returning the vehicle to service.

    Anaerobic flange sealants and gasket makers need about an hour to cure. Solvent-based flange sealants need to air-dry before they can be reassembled, and then they need another 10 minutes to dry before re-checking torque.

    However there is one elastomeric RTV gasket maker that can be put back into service immediately, and that’s Permatex The Right Stuff®. This formula allows you to simply ‘torque and go.’
  1. Trying to fill a large gap with an anaerobic gasket maker. Anaerobic gasket makers and flange sealants are designed for sealing assemblies where two close fitting machined metal surfaces come together. They’re generally recommended for gaps of up to 15 to 20 thousandths of an inch only. If you’ve got larger gaps - such as sealing a stamped steel oil pan, you should be using an RTV gasket maker.
  1. Waiting for the gasket maker to partially dry before reassembling. Many mechanics like to wait for the gasket material to ‘skin over’ before reassembling. But in most cases, gasket makers work best when assembled immediately, while the material is still wet (solvent-based gasket makers / sealants are an exception to this rule). Anaerobic gasket makers and sealants simply won’t begin to cure until you put the assembly together – anaerobic means that the sealant cures in the absence of air and the presence of active metal.
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