View Full Version : Valve cover gasket - sealant needed?

09-15-2008, 08:43 AM
Sorry - I should know this. What do you guys use for sealant when installing a new valve cover gasket?

09-15-2008, 08:44 AM
nothing at all!

Mickey Richaud
09-15-2008, 09:03 AM

Just be sure both surfaces are clean, straight, and not pitted. If you use any sealant, it'll be a bear to clean next time.


09-15-2008, 01:38 PM
Thanks guys

Mickey Richaud
09-15-2008, 01:46 PM
Oh yeah - as with oil filters, run a thin coat of oil on it.

Don Elliott
09-15-2008, 02:47 PM
On my 1958 TR3A, I use a dark brown goop (Aviation #3 - I think it's called) that I apply to one face of the cork seal and a thin layer along the inner edges or lip of the valve cover. Then I put the seal into the lip around the valve cover and leave it overnight on a clean flat surface (like a table-top) and the day after, I set the cork a bit better and put the valve cover onto the head and tighten it down a bit. The next day, I tighten it down all the way.

For the next few days of running, I check it and if I see a bit of oil leaking, I tighten it down a bit more and wipe up the bit of oil. At this point, it's usually sealed. If I find a few days later that there is still a bit of a leak, I remove the valve cover and re-adjust the cork gasket. It is rare if you have to go through all this.

My original cork gasket was sealed this way when I removed it the first time at about 40,000 miles from new. During that time, I would guess that I had removed the valve cover and reinstalled it using the original cork gasket about 8 or 10 times by then when I would check and re-gap the valve clearances.

After this, it never leaks. I can take off the valve cover easily, many times over, because the cork is bonded only to the inside lip of the valve cover and not to the head. I can remove the valve cover when I seal the cork gasket this way for about 35,000 miles or more.

BTW, this past May 23rd, we celebrated my 50 years of ownership of "TRusty".

09-15-2008, 04:16 PM
I've had many TR's over the years, and I do it the same way Don does. The only thing I do different, is after the cork gasket is "glued" onto the valve cover, I coat the bottom of the cork that mates onto the head with a thin layer of heavy grease. I've always been able to remove the valve cover many times without having to replace the gasket.

And Don, congrats on a half a century of owning the same TR3 from new. Great looking car. :cheers:

09-15-2008, 09:40 PM
I use a method similar to Don's. I use blue RTV to bond the gasket to the cover and allow the RTV to cure while the cover is held (dry) against the head with minimal pressure. I let the RTV cure over night and apply a non-hardening sealant to the bottom of the cork the next day. I use Aviation-Form-A-Gasket as it is truly non-hardening yet makes a very nice seal that is easily separated later for maintenance.