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gr8fulabe
03-01-2011, 03:17 PM
Hey Guys,
I'm trying to remove an ancient, baked on cork side cover gasket from my late 74 F.5 engine. It is really baked on & I am having trouble. Any tips for the easiest & fastest way to remove it? Would a heat gun help to soften it up?

Also, just how clean does the surface have to be before I put the new one on? Does it really need to be clean & shiney like a mirror?
Thanks,
Abe

Air Randy
03-01-2011, 03:38 PM
Maybe not like a mirror but it needs to be really clean unless you don't mind oil leaks. Do you have access to an air compressor? I bought one of the small cut off tool devices and installed a small wire wheel on it. It will clean off a cork side cover gasket in about 5 mintues. You can do it with a wire wheel chucked up in a drill too but they're usually larger and hard to get into the tight spots.

rover67
03-01-2011, 03:49 PM
Yeah those gaskets can turn to glued on cement after a while!

I have a paint scraper that I use for gaskets.. it's a thick narrow one that I have sharpened to almost a razor edge at the end. Once the big stuff is off you can use a razor blade, but be careful! One thing you can do with the razor blade is take a pair of vise grips and clamp the blade in the jaws so it is pointed away from the pliers. then you can whack on it pretty good to peel the gasket off.

Some folks like using wire wheels, but I like to stay away from those on motors since it is hard to tell if you loose a piece of wire in the motor. Also they can sling stuff everywhere. Doing the gasket with a scraper allows you to make sure that you are not loosing any pieces in the motor.

The surface should just be bare metal when you are done... not necessarily shiny just clean of any gasket material.

Before placing the new gasket on, make sure the surface is oil free using brake or carb spray cleaner. Careful with the carb cleaner because it has acetone and will remove paint.

I like to cover the side of the gasket that hits the block with the yellow 3M weatherstrip adhesive. use an even thin coat. also put a coat on the block surface that the gasket will be hitting. Let both dry for a bit per the instructions and stick it into place. I like to use the little side cover bolts to make sure it is lined up to the holes properly. TAKE NOTE OF THE PROPER GASKET ORIENTATION, on my 2F at least the gasket was not symmetrical and would only line up with all the holes one way. If you stick it on wrong, the adhesive will make it a bear to get off again.

Once the gasket is stuck on there and lined up nicely, just slap the side cover on and be sure not to over torque the nuts. Just go by the factory specs and don't be tempted to over do it.

Edit:

Randy says use the wire wheel method, just be careful that you don't loose any pieces of wire. Start with a good new wire wheel.

DaveInDenver
03-01-2011, 03:52 PM
Permatex 80646 and a gasket scraper has always worked well for me to remove organic gaskets, although I haven't seen the stuff lately. It's a pretty aggressive solvent, so probably had some now illegal chemicals... Spray it on, let it bubble for about 15 minutes and then scrape the gasket goo off. It leaves bare metal that just needs a wipe with acetone or alcohol to prep for sealing.

Edit to add:
Yup, Permatex no longer lists it. The replacement is 80645, a low VOC version.

http://www.permatex.com/products/Automotive/automotive_gasketing/gasket_removers/auto_Permatex_Low_VOC_Gasket_Remover.htm

rover67
03-01-2011, 03:56 PM
Permatex 80646 and a gasket scraper has always worked well for me to remove organic gaskets, although I haven't seen the stuff lately. It's a pretty aggressive solvent, so probably had some now illegal chemicals... Spray it on, let it bubble for about 15 minutes and then scrape the gasket goo off. It leaves bare metal that just needs a wipe with acetone or alcohol to prep for sealing.

Edit to add:
Yup, Permatex no longer lists it. The replacement is 80645, a low VOC version.

http://www.permatex.com/products/Automotive/automotive_gasketing/gasket_removers/auto_Permatex_Low_VOC_Gasket_Remover.htm

I have also hear of folks using oven cleaner...

but that S*** is nasty..

DaveInDenver
03-01-2011, 04:04 PM
I have also hear of folks using oven cleaner...

but that S*** is nasty..
I could see that working like crazy, oven cleaner is primarily lye (http://www.purdue.edu/envirosoft/housewaste/house/ovencl.htm). But man, I wouldn't want to be trying to spray that stuff laying on my back trying to re-seal an oil pan or something. Holy facial burns Batman! The Permatex stuff (http://www.permatex.com/documents/msds/01_USA-English/80645.pdf) is a variant similar to Dow's EstasolTM (http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDOWCOM/dh_014e/0901b8038014e1cd.pdf?filepath=custproc/pdfs/noreg/114-00061.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc)

theboomboom
03-01-2011, 04:26 PM
I had good success using Randy's wire wheel on my old oil pan gasket. My trick is to use the paint scraper method to remove as much material as possible and then take the wire wheel to whatever is left. Its much more efficient to remove the old stuff with a scraper in chunks, but at some point you'll just scraping small shavings anyways, and the wire wheel will do that quicker.

Air Randy
03-01-2011, 04:54 PM
I had good success using Randy's wire wheel on my old oil pan gasket. My trick is to use the paint scraper method to remove as much material as possible and then take the wire wheel to whatever is left. Its much more efficient to remove the old stuff with a scraper in chunks, but at some point you'll just scraping small shavings anyways, and the wire wheel will do that quicker.

Exactly, then just make sure you clean everything up really good. I've used the wire wheel method for years without a problem. Clean everything then run a magnet over the surface if you're really worried.

RicardoJM
03-01-2011, 05:06 PM
I would concur with the scrape off the big chunks first and follow-up with the wire wheel approach, followed by brake cleaner. It works very well. :D

SteveH
03-01-2011, 05:26 PM
All the advice so far is great. To reinforce the 'gasket scraper' comment:

I bought a thick putty knife/gasket scraper years ago, and I carefully sharpen it on a bastard file so that it has a very true, sharp edge. Sharpen it on this file before each use. It ends up working like a beefy razor blade and really works well on cast iron, which doesn't gouge easily. You have to use more care on aluminum.

O'Reillys (Checker Auto) had some nice scrapers the other day, including an offset one. They were $6.99 or so and were quite thick and beefy. You don't want a flexible putty knife - at least not for the truly nasty stuck-on gasket material.

gr8fulabe
03-01-2011, 05:54 PM
Thanks Guys! I don't have an air compressor, so I just used a scraper I got at sears to get the big stuff off, followed by a razor blade as suggested, and then a scotch brite pad with first brake cleaner, then acetone. It seems like it is pretty clean now (hopefully).
Any suggestions for re-installing, as far as not using any of the gasket sealer stuff (don't have any & its a little way to town). Also, my manual is at a friends house, so does anyone happen to know if there is a specific bolt order for these, and what the torque spec might be?
One last question, where do the little holes between the push-rods go to? Are they justa direct line into the oil pan for drainage of oil as it circulates, or something else?
thanks,
Abe

rover67
03-01-2011, 06:00 PM
The little holes are for oil drainage.

You could probably use rubber cement for the gasket if you have some of that to bond it.

As far as the torque goes, maybe a search on mud would turn it up. Otherwise i could look when I get home in a few hours.

gr8fulabe
03-01-2011, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the answers Marco. I went ahead and drove down to Napa & picked up some, "high tack gasket sealant" from them. My next question is, if (and you guys might not know) if I was to put the tack on the gasket & new side cover tonight, do I have to turn around & get it on the engine side & put it all toghether tonight, or can I do part of it, and finish tomorrow? No garage, and now its dark & getting colder, etc... so I don't know how much longer I will be able to work on it.
Thanks,
Abe

nuclearlemon
03-01-2011, 08:34 PM
you can respray the gasket later and brakeclean will remove the high tack from the block and you can respray it later also. it will only remain tacky for a small time. i use high tack on almost everything i assemble.

rover67
03-01-2011, 09:11 PM
53-69 in-lbs is what I found for the front timing gear cover (looking at the little bolts) which has a similar gasket and bolt sizes on it. I couldn't find specs for the lifter cover bolts but I assume they are similar. Just bolt it down till the gasket squishes a bit, but not so much that it poops the gasket out. that's bad. It'll be less torque than you think.

I don't think i'd leave the adhesive on both surfaces overnight... seems like that is too long. It is supposed to sit on there until it tacks up a bit, but not for hours and hours. Maybe 5-30 minutes? That's more of a guess though

edit:

quick search on mud turned up 35 in-lbs and 61 in-lbs. Basically tighten it snug so the gasket squishes a bit but doesn't start to poop out like i said above.

Air Randy
03-01-2011, 09:32 PM
53-69 in-lbs is what I found for the front timing gear cover (looking at the little bolts) which has a similar gasket and bolt sizes on it. I couldn't find specs for the lifter cover bolts but I assume they are similar. Just bolt it down till the gasket squishes a bit, but not so much that it poops the gasket out. that's bad. It'll be less torque than you think.

I don't think i'd leave the adhesive on both surfaces overnight... seems like that is too long. It is supposed to sit on there until it tacks up a bit, but not for hours and hours. Maybe 5-30 minutes? That's more of a guess though

edit:

quick search on mud turned up 35 in-lbs and 61 in-lbs. Basically tighten it snug so the gasket squishes a bit but doesn't start to poop out like i said above.

Which is about 3-5 foot lbs. Be careful using a torque wrench though as they get pretty inaccurate when you're working that low on the scale. As Marco says, you basically tighten them until you start to feel resistance from the gasket, then go maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 turn further. Thats going to get you real close to 3-5 ft lbs. You can always snug them up a bit more later if you get a little seepage.

Rzeppa
03-02-2011, 12:23 AM
Maybe not like a mirror but it needs to be really clean unless you don't mind oil leaks. Do you have access to an air compressor? I bought one of the small cut off tool devices and installed a small wire wheel on it. It will clean off a cork side cover gasket in about 5 mintues. You can do it with a wire wheel chucked up in a drill too but they're usually larger and hard to get into the tight spots.

Yep, wire wheel chucked up to an air grinder is my bestest friend for getting old chunky decades-old cork gasket off. Obviously scrape as much off with a putty knife or similar beforehand as you can. I stuff rags into place where I don't want the pieces to go. When you're done it will look like a mirror so no worries

Smear a thin coating of RTV sealant (I like the blue permatex) onto the surface of the new gasket and then stick it onto the side cover, timing gear cover, oil pan or whatever. That serves 2 purposes. One it allows the gasket to peel right off if you are the unlucky sod who has to R&R it at some point in the future, and two, it helps hold the gasket in place for assembly. In fact, it is almost a requirement for side covers, timing gear covers and oil pans just to hold the gasket in place while putting things back together. I like to put a couple of the bolts through the holes to help hold things in place and let the sealant skim over a bit for a half hour or so prior to reassembly. Good time to have a beverage and contemplate what might go wrong so as to avoid it.

gr8fulabe
03-02-2011, 02:42 PM
Thanks for all the tips guys! My new, dented side cover is now in place & hopefully all secured properly & ready to go. This brings me to part two of this project, the new distributor. It is an 87, big cap electronic one, so will hopefully be a big upgrade.

When I broke the old distributor a while back, you guys all gave me some tips for finding Top Dead Center, but they pretty much required two people for me to do them. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get to TDC with only one person working on the truck? I had two days off between my old job & my new job that starts tomorrow, so I figured I would take advantage of the great weather!
Thanks,
Abe

RicardoJM
03-02-2011, 03:15 PM
When I broke the old distributor a while back, you guys all gave me some tips for finding Top Dead Center, but they pretty much required two people for me to do them. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get to TDC with only one person working on the truck? I had two days off between my old job & my new job that starts tomorrow, so I figured I would take advantage of the great weather!
Thanks,
Abe

Remove all the spark plugs and stuff a Kleenex tissue into the cylinder #1 spark plug hole. Turn the engine over and when the Kleenex pops out, start watching the flywheel carefully because when the BB gets to the pointer you will be at 7 degress BTDC, which is an ideal spot to stab the distributor. :thumb:

This method uses the air pressure that builds as the piston is coming up to "pop" out the tissue; signaling that you are on the compression stroke.

I have one of the hand crank bars that I use to turn the engine. With the spark plugs out you can put the truck in 4th gear and rock it forward to turn the engine over. Some are able to grab the fan belt and use it to rotate the engine. Others use a remote starter.