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· Registered
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am about to reinstall a lot of stuff in my 1.9 but i'm not sure which gaskets need a certain type of sealant (brand, specific type), if any...

i figure a list of gaskets and type of sealant would be helpful to a lot of people besides me... can anyone knowledgable help ?

here are the gaskets being replaced:

valve cover
intake/exhaust manifold to head
exhaust manifold to downpipe
carb to intake
weber carb to air cleaner
thermostat housing (upper)
thermostat housing to head

add more if you want

· boomerang opeler
5,667 Posts
best if you can not to use any sealing compounds
if you soak the paper gaskets in some water for a few min to restor them you should get a good seal , the bottom of the carb is an area that is a no no as it can cause a lot of problems if the stuff gets on the wrong bits
if you have any worrys about the flatness om the carb put a sheet of 800 grit wet/dry paper on a bit of grade a 1/2" ply or a bit of glass and work the base over it a little to get a good smooth finnish

· Registered
2,731 Posts
Nowadays I use only a few sealers for gaskets, in fact I use one instead of gaskets a lot. This would be "Right Stuff", like silicone but far superior.
On a paper gasket like the front cover or the water pump or the thermostat housing, I use "High Tack", a Permatex spray can. The trick here is to have the gasket and the parts virtually sterile by wiping them lightly and repeatedly with laquer thinner. I grasp the gasket with hemostats and spray it both sides with three quick coats of High Tack, then hang to dry a bit. Then stick it to the part carefully touching it as little as possible, put the parts together and make sure your bolt threads are spotless, no dirt being shoved in. How you tighten the bolts is important too, don't crank down on them one at a time!
For oilpans I don't use gaskets, "Right Stuff" is awesome here! Doing this can be tedious, but let me tell you there is not ONE drop of oil under my race car EVER! The trick here is clean parts, a nice even bead of "stuff" and then put the pan on but don't tighten the bolts until it's cured. Give it a week, then remove one bolt at a time, put "stuff" on the threads and just snug the bolt in. Done right, you've created a nice big thick rubber gasket that bonds the parts together.
Rear end cover: same thing, "Right Stuff" in a 1/8" bead all around it, circle the bolt holes, and set it aside for a week. Then bolt it to the housing, put the bolts in just snug but not real tight. Mine does not leak at all, and I can take the cover off any time and put it right back on with no further gasket fuss. It's been off four times this year, every third race the rearend deserves a quickie gear inspection and new lube...
Some of your gaskets need no sealer. I do the intake and exhaust manifold gaskets dry. My Valve cover gasket is cork, I use 3M Trim Adhesive aka "gorilla snot" to super glue the cork to the valve cover, here again clean is good for adhesion. This allows easy removal of the valve cover to check valve lash often (before every race in my case) and I just wipe the surfaces (unglued side of cork and head surface) clean and slam it back together. Yes this will "seep" a tiny bit of oil, not a leak at all but a visible dust collector that wipes down with a rag... had I some hydraulic lifters and didn't want to peek into the head now and then I'd "High Tack" both sides of the cork and put it together forever.
This could go on forever, basics are use good sealer, just enough but not too much, clean all parts and bolts, use your head, take your time. I hate oil leaks. Especially where they will get you in big trouble, like a delivery truck making a mess out of somebody's driveway, my pickup sitting in my own driveway more than not, or a race car on a track where five dozen other cars are counting on having good traction tonight....

· Registered
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
really ?

so pretty much no sealer is ok... wet the gaskets a littel before sticking them on??

what about the rubber valve cover gasket ?

so just make sure everything is clean and smooth for a good seal and you're good to go

· Über Moderator
6,780 Posts
I use sealer for most of my gaskets, except the intake, exhaust and carb base. Not a lot, but a little, and of whatever kind seems best suited. I have used the Permatex spray-on copper, and I like that for fuel system gaskets and for the head gasket. I like the red silicon for cooling system gaskets. And the black silicon (sometimes it comes in blue) for oil system gaskets. There are some sealants specifically made for aluminum parts. And others (as Jeff points out) that actually REPLACE the gasket, specifically for valve covers and oil pans. But I like using the rubber valve cover gasket in my Opels, and I personally use studs instead of bolts, and glue the gasket to the head, versus the block. Then the gasket can be left in place while repeatedly removing and reinstalling the valve cover. For the exhaust flange and intake to exhaust manifold gaskets, I think it is best to just make sure that the faces are flat and mate well. I have used "exhaust sealer" in an attempt to get a poorly fitting flange to seal, but I think it tends to get brittle and actually CREATE a leak after a while.

But whatever I use, I make sure the gasket is flexible and doesn't have any cracks or wrinkles. I haven't tried wetting them, but I had heard of that. Seems reasonable, but don't let the gasket get soggy. And make sure that the faces to be joined are flat, scratch-free, and all the old gasket material is removed.


2,111 Posts
i've found that most of the time you dont have to use sealer on most things. for the oil pan, i like to glue the cork to the block, to keep it in place so the bolts start easy when you go to put the pan on and you dont have to fight the gasket to get the bolts through and started. where the rubber fits into the rear main cap, and the front of the timing chain cover, i like to use just a little silicone where they join to the cork, its a common place to leak on alot of engines, silicone helps to fill that gap there.

we all know the timing chain cover goes on first, then the head........sometimes the gasket for the timing chain cover sticks above the head mating surface, CAREFULLY use a razor to cut them flush, and use just a little silicone there, not much at all, just enough to fill the little crevice there.

built a 2.0 and regasketed a stocker with many many miles this way, neither leaked......altho both did end up blowing, lol.

· opel Ed's repair
11 Posts

gaskets are made to seal w/o sealant, providing the surfaces are CLEAN and DRY. However I us copper coat on headgaskets and grease all paper gaskets so they can move a bit and find a good seal...
The hardest place to maintain a seal on 1.9 style motors I would say is the corner where the front cover, head, and block meet..

· Old Opeler
5,564 Posts

One sealer to stay away from is Silicone "Kwickgasket" or other silicone based gasket replacement goop. A dab in the corners of the sump gasket and where the front cover/block/head join is about as far as you want to go with this type of sealer. Getting congealed lumps of it into the oil system has killed a lot more than one motor....so don't take the risk.
That being said: the silicone based, copper coloured, exhaust sealant that is advertised as being "safe" with oxygen sensors is great for sealing exhaust flanges.
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