Engine Gasket Set
Engine gaskets fill the space between components to contain air and fluid pressure, work as a buffer between mating surfaces, and prevent leakage. Though these mechanical seals are built to last, they may wear out prematurely because of the harsh chemicals, combustion gases, and extreme temperatures they're exposed to. When the engine frequently overheats, the gaskets can be compromised. They can also get ruined when the engine components that they're supposed to seal are not installed properly. Whenever you pop the hood for routine engine check or maintenance, take time to inspect these seals. Look for cracks, rough spots, leaks, or any sign of wear. If gaskets on the cylinder head, oil pan, valve cover, intake, timing cover, or other parts are already shot, consider getting a new engine gasket set. This can be more practical than getting individual seals. Replace the broken mechanical seals as soon as possible to avoid having to deal with engine problems.
Tips when shopping for an engine gasket set
Engine gaskets are typically made of composite materials or silicone. Composite gaskets are manufactured from different materials such as rubber, felt, cork, and paper. These gaskets, used with sealant or adhesive, make great seals. Another great thing about these is that they're pre-cut. They're designed to fit the specs of the engine component.
Silicone gaskets are known to be highly resistant to acid, water, solvent, oil, and other chemicals. They're also non-toxic. Manufactured using mixed silicone compound, these gaskets are applied onto engine components directly. When installing them, they should be cured for about an hour.
When shopping for an engine gasket set, make sure that these seals are specially manufactured and designed for your vehicle, considering its engine type, vehicle year, make, and model. Check if the set contains all the needed gaskets, such as for the cylinder head, oil pan, valve cover, intake, timing cover, or any other engine part.
Installing new engine gaskets
Tools and materials needed:
- Torque wrench
- Chemical gasket remover
- Brake cleaner spray
- Putty knife
Note: If the bolts and engine parts have surfaces that are already warped, cracked, or dented, consider replacing them. Get new ones together with your new engine gasket set. Otherwise, even newly installed gaskets may not work.
Step 1: Disengage any connection (line, bolt, or hose) to the engine gaskets. Once these are removed, you can now pull out the gaskets.
Step 2: Use a chemical gasket remover on the engine surface that will come in contact with the gasket. Remove oil using brake cleaner and putty knife.
Step 3: Add some sealant on the underside of the new engine gaskets. Once sealant has been applied, fit in the new gaskets. For silicone gaskets, 1/8th of the material must be taken and applied to the engine surface, along with the bolt holes.
Step 4: Reinstall all the connections and engine components that were disengaged and taken out. This must be done as fast as possible when using silicone gaskets. For composite gaskets, you must add a layer of sealant to the gaskets' top side before you fit them into the mating surface.
Step 5: Reinstall the engine parts to the engine block. Tighten the bolts, making sure that they're done in an X pattern. A composite engine gasket set would benefit from using Loctite or thread locker to the bolts. These bolts should be tightened according to torque specifications. For silicone gaskets, they have to be vulcanized for about an hour. The bolts should also be tightened based on specified torque.