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Oil pan gasket

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  • Oil pan gasket

    I replaced the oil pan gasket with a cheap cork one on my 56.
    Did same on my 60 with no concern.
    Here I tightened to 120 in/lb (specs asks for 140-180) and cork is squeezing out a lot.
    I used a very thin layer of gasket compound on each side thinking it would improve the gasket...
    Should I get rid of it and replace with another grey/paper like gasket some sell?
    A friend says he uses only gasket compound and no gasket here...

  • #2
    First things first. Did you make sure the gasket surface area of the pan was as flat and true as possible?


    • #3
      You can just use ultra grey or red RTV silicone. Clean off old gasket and sealer then run a bead of the RTV around 1/4" to 3/16" thick along the pan mating surface and let it stand for about 10 minutes then install pan. Tighten bolts down snug, don't have to torque them. They will be well sealed with RTV.


      • #4
        Yes, gasket surfaces were thoroughly cleaned. Now I don't have a leak problem, I have a gasket trying to escape. Maybe surfaces are too smooth lol.
        I would like to avoid the no gasket/compound only option...


        • #5
          I use cork gaskets with gasket compound all the time on oil pans and don't have a problem with the gasket moving. Did you glue the gasket to the pan and let it dry? If so it should not move when you install the bolts. If you just put the compound on and installed it right away that's not the correct way to do it.

          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223


          • #6
            Eric, I use cork gaskets on my Y-block rocker covers with no problem. There is nothing wrong with cork gaskets IF they are installed correctly. Notice that everyone has his own method. I'm no exception. Two problems prevail, the gasket cannot be overtightened or it will break up AND the bolts need to be tightened enough so they don't fall out. Ok, so here's what I do with sheet metal to casting gaskets...

            First, all surfaces must be flat. If your pan's sheet metal holes are dimpled, pound them flat with a small hammer.
            All metal surfaces must be 'lacquer thinner clean'. <--This is important. Any oil will prohibit sealer from sticking.
            I use Permatex Ultra Black. Permatex 'the right stuff' works too. They are oil resistant RTV sealers made for setting engine gaskets.
            I spread a THIN coat on the cast iron surface, a THIN coat on the sheet metal surface and a THIN coat on both sides of the cork gasket. Let it 'skin over', about ten minutes or so.
            Degrease your bolts in lacquer thinner as well and let them dry on a rag.
            Time to install the gaskets. Use LocTite 'blue' on your bolt threads. LIGHTLY tighten the bolts evenly until the gasket is flat. Don't pay attention to torque spec's. Simply tighten the bolts another half-turn or so, and that's it. The bolts may feel like they aren't tight enough but they are. The Loctite will 'set' and the bolts will stay in the holes until you take them out again. The Permatex Black will do two things, it will fill any small voids in the gasket and it will strengthen the cork's surface while keeping oil out.

            Any time you crush a cork gasket, that's the end of it and it will leak. Most oil pan bolts are 1/4"-20. One half turn sends them .025" deeper, which is quite a lot.

            Many FE engine restorers have problems setting intake manifolds. I've had 100% success using Permatex Black around the coolant ports and I leave the front and rear block gaskets out. All they do is prohibit the intake manifold from descending into place. I do the same cleaning procedure as above. After the manifold is down, I fill the front and rear gaps with more Permatex Black. Too much is bad. Simply smooth it out and paint the engine. - Dave
            My latest project:
            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca

            From: Royal Oak, Michigan


            • #7
              I will give this method a try. It was jut the 2nd I did and I lacked again some pre-thinking about my procedure and I realised that while I was holding all the parts ready to get in place. Too late. Learning the trade.
              When I started tightening it and saw it going out, I thought I may have well waited for the compound to dry a bit as John also advised. Too late again...


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