Whether you’re changing a cylinder gasket, carburetor gasket, or a crankcase gasket, when it’s all said and done, nobody ever wants a leaking gasket. Today’s tech tip will discuss how to install a leak free gasket every time.
For how simple it is to install a gasket, there are so many people that seem to mess up on this. The key to a perfect gasket install is surface and gasket prep. Oven cleaner or brake cleaner can be used to help remove old gasket material. Be extra careful when removing the old gasket as to not scratch the metal surface. Don’t use a screwdriver to remove it as aluminum surfaces are easily gouged. Even a gasket scraper can ruin the mating surfaces, so use care when scraping off the old one. Before installing the new gasket make sure the surface is completely clean and smooth. You can run your finger along the surface to check for unevenness or gouges.
Never reuse paper gaskets. You may be able to get away with reusing steel gaskets, but it’s always safer to replace the gasket every time it’s removed. When installing the gasket, use a good quality gasket sealer, but only put a very light coating as most of it will squeeze out anyways when you torque the parts back together. Follow the directions on the gasket sealer and make sure it’s has the correct specs for the part you are putting it on (heat rating, oil resistance, etc). If you are putting on steel gaskets, a spray sealer can be used on the gasket such as Permatex Spray-A-Gasket or copper-coat.
When you install the parts back together. Double check that all bolt holes are aligned correctly and the gasket fits properly. Torque down bolts to proper specification and in an even star pattern for even pressure on gasket. That’s it! Once gasket sealer/maker has cured, fire your machine up and go for a ride, checking periodically for leaks.
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