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Engine gasket sealing


Well-Known Member
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6:30 AM
Dec 17, 2018
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I've done the obligatory forum search for something showing the nuances of sealing a 383 or 440 engine. I am getting ready to button mine back up. Fresh rebuild on 383 to a 496 stroke. I despise leaks. Is there an article that shows all the little nuances to sealing a B or RB engine? Thanks in advance.
Everyone has different likes, so expect a bunch of replies.
I don't use many sealers, to much scraping and cleaning for engines that will be torn apart every few years, and usually don't need extra sealer anyway.
In general, for gaskets, I put them on clean and dry. Clean the surfaces first with acytone, then install gasket.
Because many of the gaskets that are likely to have issues are valve cover and oil pan. I use blue Loctite on the fasteners and torque to spec. The torque spec is not very tight, so the Loctite keeps the fastner from backing out. Over tightening will cause leaks.
For the main seal, I use the pricy orange one installed slightly offset between block and cap. Use the side seals with a small amount of rtv from seal to block side, and a bit in the corner.
Intake bolts, and bolts that are not blind and have oil or water behind them get some liquid Teflon paste on the threads.
Corners of the block to valley tray get a dab of RTV.
I have been using the combination windage tray / oil pan gasket from jegs. It seals with no sealer. In fact sealer will mess up the seal already molded into the tray/pan.
I use Indian Head gasket shellac on the core plugs, and oil pickup tube to block. also on the outer shell of front crank seal.
Head, main, rod bolts get ARP Ultra-lube.
Been using Royal Purple assembly lube because it is easy to find. Bought some Redline stuff, but haven't used it yet.
The screw-in plugs like heater hose tubes, oil galley plugs, etc.. I just use the liquid Teflon paste on the threads.

I'm likely forgetting some?
Time and experience are the best teachers. That's the only advice I can give
I use gaskets from Superformance, follow his instructions and clean, clean, clean...and when you are sure the surfaces are clean, clean the cleaner off...
451Mopar, thank you. This engine is built to not turn past 5,200 rpm with roller cam and fuel injection. Not going to be torn apart for 20 yrs unless there are leaks. Thanks for the tips.
Some people use Hi-Tack gasket sealer to hold the gaskets in place. I used to, but found I normally don't need it. Once in awhile I will use it to hold a gasket, or the side seals of the rear seal cap in place. Normally for aligning the gaskets, I put the bolts through the part, and hang the gasket on the bolts. I screw in the bolts finger tight, sometimes even backing off a bit to make sure everything is aligned before tightening the bolts. Then I re-check torque after all the bolts have been torqued because the first torque often compresses the gasket and the first few bots will be loose / below torque spec.
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