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Valve cover gasket - any tips for better sealing /w AL head?

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Valve cover gasket - any tips for better sealing /w AL head?

Post #1 by 62Ranchero200 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:00 pm

Greetings Ford Six Fans,

My 250 with the aluminum CI head has been running for about eight months now, and I've had the valve cover off several times to tighten the valve lash (hydraulic cam with adjustable rocker arms). Have a stamped steel "Power by Ford" valve cover and have always used cork Fel-Pro gaskets and torqued to stock specs. I do have studs (1/4" SAE), rather than bolts, to hold the valve cover down. Use Perma-tex red high temperature sealant.

Each time, I clean the valve cover mating surface on the head and the mating surface of the valve cover itself thoroughly, removing any visible gasket residue and also wiping it down until there's no oil residue. However, there is always some oil seepage between the gasket and the valve cover and/or the head - the gasket eventually looks as though its been soaked in oil. I should add, however, that no significant amount of oil leaks out ... the oil level on the dipstick (Joe Gibbs HR-1 oil) never changes appreciably.

Am about to pull the valve cover off to tighten the valve lash yet again, and also to repaint the valve cover (coolant was splashed on it from a radiator hose leak slung up by the fan, and the dark Ford blue paint has been discolored somewhat in spots). Have decided to try a rubber valve cover gasket this time - any other tips on achieving a better valve cover gasket seal?

Thank you,
62 Ranchero, 252 cid, 300 rods, RaceTek pstns, ARP mains bolts & studs, balanced & blueprinted, CI AL head, 1.6 adj rckrs, Smith Bros, 274/274/108 cam, CI int, Holley 500, DSII, CI SS hdrs, PowerMaster strtr and 1wire alt, Optima, V8 rad, T-5z, 10" organic clutch, 5 lug 8" w/3.80 Trac Loc, rear drums, front 5 lug discs, Centerlines. Next: ?.

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Re: Valve cover gasket - any tips for better sealing /w AL h

Post #2 by 80broncoman » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:47 pm

I attach gaskets to Valve covers with good quality RTV. (ultra-grey, ultra-black,....)
of course with steel covers you always need to make sure they are flat and srtraight.
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Re: Valve cover gasket - any tips for better sealing /w AL h

Post #3 by redxm » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:17 am

64 XM 4 door Deluxe
221 2V, 63666 Crow cam, ARP studs and bolts, EFI, Romac balancer, and lots of shiny bits.

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Re: Valve cover gasket - any tips for better sealing /w AL h

Post #4 by wcol » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:43 pm

I have the same problem at first, now after 4 years of driving 9000 miles on alum head, it is leaking more where it is running down the back of block and leaving a very small puddle. I mean small. Like a rear main seal leaking. But oil is leaking down from back of valve cover. The back of head to block is wet with oil. But only in back of valve cover. I want to go to alum. valve cover soon. I don't know if these steel valve covers are warped to begin with. Then after these heads heat up, the steel flanges warp from alum head disapating so much heat..

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