View Full Version : Valve Cover Gasket - Too Thin?

12-01-2008, 03:21 PM
https://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/angelfj/Valve_Cover_DSC01832.jpg <span style="font-size: 12pt">Has anyone installed a FM (Payen) valve cover gasket lately. This one which was part of a gasket kit for the 3A is very thin and only extends a few thousanths beyond the valve cover. The over-all thickness is only 0.100. - hardly enough to compress. I remember these being maybe twice this thickness. Any suggestions?</span>

Andrew Mace
12-01-2008, 03:30 PM
Unless you're using an aftermarket alloy valve cover, I wouldn't consider anything else other than one of Justin Wagner's silicone gaskets (https://www.jmwagnersales.com/T4SiliconeGasket.htm).

NFI, just someone who's heard lots of good things about these!

12-01-2008, 03:48 PM
Soak it in a pan in cool water for a few hours and see if it expands? We used to do that years ago when working with old stock gaskets.

12-01-2008, 05:24 PM
Soak it in a pan in cool water for a few hours and see if it expands? We used to do that years ago when working with old stock gaskets.

That was some years ago!! :yesnod:

12-01-2008, 06:30 PM
Sure you weren't soaking it in wine?? Cork, wine, cor....oh, never mind.

12-01-2008, 08:23 PM
I installed one of Wagner's gaskets 10 years &amp; 20K miles ago.
I have no idea how many times I've had the cover off, but the gasket looks &amp; acts like the day I installed it. I tried to talk him into making a pan gasket, but he's not going for it.!!

Don Elliott
12-01-2008, 08:25 PM
Frank - I put on a Payen gasket into my valve cover in June 2007 just before VTR in Valley Forge and it was thick enough. But doesn't the chromed flange hang "over-board" the edges of the head casting ?

I remember that mine was thicker because I used gasket goo Aviation #3A on one side, fitted the gasket into the valve cover and laid it flat on my worktable for a couple of days for it to set. You would have a problem doing this with a thin gasket.

12-01-2008, 08:50 PM

You are right. I was in the 60's.


You're not too far off either..........it probably would have worked better than the water.

12-02-2008, 11:06 AM
Thanks gents. yes, I have one of Jason's gaskets on the 250. For the 3A, I am trying to be as original as possible, so I want to use cork. I called TRF and Dave has agreed to measure a few. I'll follow up when I hear something.



12-02-2008, 11:07 AM
Don: do you recall where you bought the gasket?

12-02-2008, 03:09 PM
OK. Here's an update. TRF Dave checked 2 Payen and 2 - brand X valve cover gaskets. The Payens measured 0.095 and 0.098 while the others were 0.198 ans 0.208. I knew I wasn't completely crazy! The Payens were sourced from a supplier in the NW USA and were from engine gasket kits but the brand X were individual gaskets from a U.K. supplier. QED

Don Elliott
12-02-2008, 08:23 PM
Frank - I remember that I bought my full set of Payen gaskets here in Montreal from one of our British Car stockists. He had them in stock and he gets his directly from England. I bought all the gasket sets because I re-built my engine completely in the spring of 2007. My valve cover gasket has not leaked oil and I have very few drops of oil under my car compared to before I re-built it.

But when I tightened down the valve cover, the compression squeezed out a bit of the Aviation #3 dark brown gasket goo onto the top surface of the head. I wiped it off and cleaned it with solvent. Then I tighened it down a bit more. Then a week later, I had to clean, wipe and tighten it again. Since then, it's been fine.

12-03-2008, 01:00 PM
Don: is this "goo' the non-hardening (like never) type?

12-03-2008, 01:24 PM
Permatex calls it "non-hardening"; but in fact it sets up like the rock of gibraltar over time. I've literally taken a hammer and chisel to the stuff, to chip it away.
https://www.permatex.com/products/Automot...3_Sealant_a.htm (https://www.permatex.com/products/Automotive/automotive_gasketing/gasket_sealants/auto_Permatex_Aviation_Form-A-Gasket_No_3_Sealant_a.htm)

Since you should be having the rocker cover off fairly often to run the valves (and check oil flow); my suggestion is to use Aviation #3 (or similar) only between the gasket and cover. Then something soft and truly non-hardening, like Hylomar, between the gasket and head.

12-03-2008, 03:15 PM
I've always just glued the gasket onto the valve cover with anything that will keep it in place including stuff like the monkey snot used to glue on rubber weather stripping. Then I just smear some heavy grease onto the side of the gasket that mates with the head. No leaks, and the gasket can be used over again many times. I just re-smear with the grease.

Don Elliott
12-03-2008, 05:30 PM
I glue the gasket on one side into the valve cover and then let it sit flat on my work table for a day or two. In mid-winter, I have lots of time. Then I "adjust" the gasket a bit where needed so it sits evenly all around and I let it sit for a few more days. When I lift it off the table to install it, I take solvent and clean any excess goo off the face of the gasket that will mate with the head.

This is as Randall describes. But I don't use any sealant or grease on the mating face. This way, the gasket is good for 10 years or more, even with periodic checks for valve clearances, etc.