Theories of Gasket Application


Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
So, from the book of 10 ways to skin a cat, what is your choice? I'm sure there are all sorts of variables, but this has worked well for me.

I was taken back to my high school shop class this weekend while getting the oil pan ready to go back on to the block after 'desludgeing', cleaning, wire brushing & painting. Taking it down was a mild battle with all of the goop the previous person that did the job (tried to do) had spread all over both sides of the gasket. Along with a healthy dose of silicone chaser to try to correct their mistake.

Mr. Haney always said "Machined parts of the block are machined for a reason. Flat surfaces seal easily, so don't muck it up by applying all sorts of crap to that surface - AND it will be a pain later trying to clean up for the next guy that has to go back in there. Apply sealants to uneven, removable surfaces only and grease to machined surfaces. That way the block surface is easy to clean and the other side can be removed to be cleaned much easier."

The other kicker from the job below was discovering why the trunnion had the self lube feature installed. When I pulled the pan there was zero protrusion (actually short) of the pan end gaskets. The previous mechanic(?) thought the seal needed to be trimmed since it comes with 1/2" too much material. When it gets placed into position it doesn't look like it will work. In reality it squishes down all the way around creating a better seal. It only needs a thin strip of Ultra Black where the two meet.

After that run in all of the bolts finger tight plus one full turn and leave it alone for a day so the RTV can set up on the pan. Then finish the 'tightening' the next day. Never had an issue with this method.

What is your preferred application style?


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GOLD Site Supporter
Doesn't matter if it's a roof, a engine or a RV. I think more problems have been caused by RTV Silicone seal than cured by it. It certainly has it's place, but it gets way over applied, used and used in the wrong spots.

Snowtrac Nome

member formerly known as dds
GOLD Site Supporter
silicone where cork and rubber meet and if you really don't want it to leak cover both sides with cat green gasket sealer, and hopefully you never have to take it apart again. That said here are some ideas borrowed from the aviation industry, if you want to keep oil in do not use lubricants on cork or rubber gaskets this includes silicone as its a lubricant to it will allow the gasket to slide and distort. on water ports I fing a light coating of rtv is a good idea and on axles and diff covers and machined gm duramax grey silicone, caution its like cat green do it right it bonds like super glue but it will never leak.


New member
I learned a trick from an old friend. I keep a piece of plastic hay bale string around. Cut off an eight in piece an pull a few strings off tie the gasket of with a quick one twist knot. Like tying your shoe. Install bolts loosely and then pull on the tail of the string and it will pull right out.
I also have some telephone wire with about a dozen different color pair wires. When disassembling I can twist on matching colors that stay in place.


Bronze Member
SUPER Site Supporter
I have solved many troublesome leakers with a dolly and a body work hammer,

by the time Its my turn to care for some of this distressed iron the bolts have been over tightened so many times the sheet metal (nonmachined) element cant provide proper sqwishstation on the gasket. beat the oil pan straight and use any and all of the tricks above and yet to come.

Don makes a good point about the new line of adhesives. ford uses a sweet grey matter to glue the intake on the 7.3L stuffs amazing and handles boost well.

for the record Sqwishstation is made up word


Active member
………….… all very good / valid points …. of plans of attack. cork gaskets are probably the biggest headache, when sealing components. the newer style gaskets with Teflon impregnated into them work much better, if avail. correct, … the excess on the oil pan ''half-moon'' rubber seals are for the compression & ''pre-load'' when the pan is torqued in place. a ''little dab will do yahh'',... works best. on components that can be removed more easily, I like to install dry. sealing areas cleanliness , where gaskets mate up, is a crucial key. that way , if for some reason , you have to go back & remove , you can then add some sealer & reuse the gasket, if not compromised. but, for those items that dont come off, without a lot of disassembly; such as the oil pan , flywheel housing , etc.... that require removing the engine...then by all means,... glue the hell out of it. because, if you have to go back there again, its a total redo any ways,.... good luck Dave,....