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Oil pan gasket - dry or RTV ?

My tranny rebuilder guy still uses dry cork gaskets on his rebuilds. In the 10 to 12 units of his I have installed, and still have some, I have had no pan leaks from his work. He states both metal surfaces need to be clean, dry and not over tighten .

I love coppercoat on cork and paper gaskets
I use those cork Felpro gaskets with the blue logo printed all over it, the same for the valve covers and never had one leak.
Main thing is to be very aware that over tightening is done very easy, just make em snug and check the next bolt has not come loose.
A few rounds like that and that's all.
I glue the first gasket to the pan. Glue the windage tray to the gasket. Glue the second gasket to the top of windage tray. NO GLUE to the block. Permatex High Tack or equivalent.
Henry Ford could tell you the problem with cork gaskets, because he used them 100+ years ago.....
Post #16 goes to the top of the class....
Cork hardens/cracks/shrinks with heat & age & that's the problem: it then weeps/leaks, even when you use the best gasket sealer there is with it.
When sealing surfaces that have large gaps like oil pans, silicon is the only practical sealer for the large gaps involved. I have been using it on it's own for decades & never have leaks. The surfaces need to be clean & rust free.
If you have a warped oil pan then there is no issues with the gaskets or sealant or whatever you use, you need to straighten that pan out first.
Those cork gaskets i've been using for years, also on other engines and as long as you do not squeeze the sh*t out of them they will not leak for years to come.
Just tighten them lightly and keep checking all for a few rounds to see if one came a little loose after nipping up its neighbour. (and check again when engine has been driven and warm)
The oil pan gasket actually only needs a dab of rtv (or any other preferred) sealant where the timing cover and crank seal cover meet the block as there is a little gap, the gasket is there to do the sealing job alone.
You may use a light coat all over to hold the gasket in place if you like but it is not there to do the sealing work.
Those rubber (some with metal core) gaskets claim to be reusable, which you can use if you prefer, but i always keep some spare gaskets around in case i need to remove something and just put a new one on when installing it back.
How tight did you torque them? should be about 15 ft/lbs (max) I tend to agree with going lower torque with double gaskets.
If you recall I used this except for areas with crevices like where the timing chain cover intersects there I used some RTV black.
And in that spot I do let it set up before tightening.
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I've used this material on BOTH SIDES OF THE INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET (valley pan steel crush or shim gasket) with good results.....allow it to setup slightly b4 torquing bolts......good stuff.....
I use the Fel Pro 1808 black gaskets along with Ultra Grey RTV. The only reason the gasket is used is for ease of disasembly. Using Ultra Grey by itself the pan is very dificult to remove. All bolts are snuged with a 1/4" drive ratchet. In fact once its dry Ill bet you could remove the bolts and it would stay in place. My motors don't leak a drop.
My sprint car engine builder uses Valco Aluminum Silicone on everything. There are no gaskets on a sprint car engine,(except head gaskets) its all assembled with Valco. Recently redid my big block oil pan with it.
Thanks for all the replies ! Some great information here on this subject ! Once the temps rise a little (thanks Bomb Cyclone) I will get back to getting the job done !
Mancini has a really good gasket that is rubber with metal in between like the new car gaskets.

I used it with no sealant and no leaks so far it’s been over 2 years
Mancini has a really good gasket that is rubber with metal in between like the new car gaskets.

I used it with no sealant and no leaks so far it’s been over 2 years
yes same one as summit and jegs like i said in post #14. mine never leaked a drip and is reusable i did cut some extra slots to make sure the oil drains down faster. why would you want to mess with 2 gaskets and sealant ? plus with the 2 gaskets the pick up is a little farther from the bottom of the pan don't know if that matters much or not.
Well I hope I don't jinx it, but three weekends of driving and no oil leaks (at the oil pan that is).




BTW I spent lots of time cleaning the oil pan mating surface and making certain it was flat.

I used FelPro 1834 steel core gaskets with windage tray on my 66. Installed dry with studs/ nuts except dab of RTV at usual junctions - they are a bit thick. Torqued lightly and retorqued probably half a dozen times over the next couple of weeks until they stabilized to avoid wrinkling the pan rails. No leaks and next time it needs to come off I won’t have to cut and pry it off and spend a couple of hours scraping things clean. If I were to do anything different maybe a light coat of Permatex gasket sealer but so far no need.