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1956 Belair Sedan, Resto-Mod, Many Upgrades
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Like many of you...I have battled this issue longer than I care to remember. BUT...I did remember what a guy told me years ago when I worked at a Engine Rebuilder and Crankshaft Works in Miami Fla. after going through every new type gasket (rubber, Rubber with metal, Cork with rubber, no seal all RTV)! The plain ole cork works best!

1. The valve cover sealing area must be clean and flat.
2. Wipe the sealing area down with lacquer thinner and dried.
3. Use 1/4 bolts to keep the gasket in place while high tack dries.
4. Apply high tack to both the cover and the gasket...allow to hold fast.
5. Apply #2 Non-hardening sealer under the edge of the cork gasket where there is a gap between the valve cover and the cork. Allow to get tacky dry.
6. Lastly...apply some wheel bearing grease to the cork to head mating area only, then install your cover. It will allow the valve cover to "find" its fit by sliding around on the head without messing up the cork gasket.
7. All you Armstrong guys...you do NOT need to crank down on the bolts or wing nuts!..just snug them down in crisscross fashion.

Product Food Ingredient


Material property Hand Finger


Product Material property Lubricant Paint Metal


Sink Kitchen sink Bread pan Metal


Tray Metal


Mine have stopped that leaking...hope it helps all youse guys and gals with these Old Cars!

Rods56
 

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Good tips, thanks.
The Permatex no. 2 is great stuff, I use it a lot.
 

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I like to run solid lifter cams, so the covers are off quite a bit more than guys with hydraulics. Plus sometimes I just pull them to check stuff as a matter of maintenance. Obviously gluing or greasing the cover on won't work.

I do however glue the gasket to the cover, and I like the Permatex Red. I also use a rubber gasket with the metal rail inside. Hardly ever (if ever) have leak probs, and Big Blocks like mine have even more gasket area than Small Blocks.

I also cut short pieces of 1/4 threaded rod and use rod couplers to hold the covers down with. That helps a ton with valve cover spacers. And if you think it through there's actually TWO gaskets under each cover then without leaking.

Like stated, clean and clean everything before even starting!
 

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I do things kind of like that but with some differences.

The valve cover must be flat. A lot of them get out of shape around the bolt holes. Put a socket or a piece of round bar on the top side and hammer the gasket side back to flat if necessary.

I use a rubber/cork gasket and bond it to the valve cover with the yellow 3M weatherstrip adhesive. I don't use any adhesive or sealer between the gasket and head. Use of a factory washer or a Moroso "spreader" under the bolt head helps. The gaskets will live through many R&R cycles without replacing them.

The late model factory valve covers with the center bolts have a channel for the gasket. Using the soft factory type silicone gasket works well for those. No adhesive/sealant needed. No need to replace the gaskets if you remove the valve covers unless the gaskets are really old.
 

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1955 210 SERIES, 406 DUAL QUAD ENGINE WITH MUNCIE 4 SPEED
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4,485 Posts
I have found that aftermarket aluminum valve covers are not flat. They also need to be modified to clear intake runners on intake manifold. Lastly extra thick gaskets are available with bolt hole spacers to prevent over tightening. I always thought that SBC engines were designed to leak oil LOL
 

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1956 Belair Sedan, Resto-Mod, Many Upgrades
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722 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cured with new GM Valve Covers and high dollar gaskets with the spacers...no leaks! Thanks for the info...

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
 

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Cured with new GM Valve Covers and high dollar gaskets with the spacers...no leaks! Thanks for the info...

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
:cool0012:Rod I'm glad you solved your valve cover problem. I solved my chevy sb leaking valve cover s 3 years ago and they are still good. I used the felpro # 1604 double cork with the metal core. I put some Gasgacinch on valve cover side only.Well worth the money! Frank
 
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