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Old 05-19-2011, 04:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Should I use RTV or not on Fel Pro molded rubber silicone oil pan gasket?

I'm about to install a Fel Pro Perma Dry (blue molded rubber silicone) oil pan gasket on my 5.0 L. Fel Pro says that the gasket must be installed dry without any chemical adhesive.
What is your experience using this gasket? Will this work without any adhesive or are there some adhesives that will improve the seal? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A little bit

Put a LITTLE dab of high temp RTV or silicone in each corner on the pan and engine side. Just enough to take up any small gaps that the rubber might not sqeeze into. None on the pan or block except in those areas. If you use a stock pan use the stock reinforcement strips under the bolt heads. If you use an aftermarket pan make sure that the bolts are not too long if you don't use the reinforcement strips.

Make sure that you clean out the little square holes in the front and the back where the gasket tabs fit. Use a sharp pick to get the old gasket out.

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Old 05-19-2011, 03:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I always use Black Max on any gasket on the engine. I put a light film over both sides of the gasket to be installed and then I wait 24 hours before adding any fluids and starting the engine. On the oil pan I did the same procedure with the Felpro gasket I installed. I have never have had a leak installing gaskets this way. But you have to wait 24 hours to let the rtv set up.

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Old 05-19-2011, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I always use Black Max on any gasket on the engine. I put a light film over both sides of the gasket to be installed and then I wait 24 hours before adding any fluids and starting the engine. On the oil pan I did the same procedure with the Felpro gasket I installed. I have never have had a leak installing gaskets this way. But you have to wait 24 hours to let the rtv set up.

ewh123
Sorry to dispute this, but gasket 101 in my years of automotive experience has been that silicone is a great gasket by itself but it is not to be used in conjuntion with another gasket. 4 dabs in the corner is the best route basically ti fill areas wheren you have mating surfaces as timing cover or rear bearing cap. That is the procedure Ford uses.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You may luck out and not get a leak by lightly coating the entire gasket, but it is a crap shoot. As Lew says, just a little in each corner where the gasket meets the caps. Also, it is very important to remove ALL old sealer, particularly where the tabs seat.
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I hope you are installing this on an engine stand w/ the engine upside down.I gave up after trying a felpro and a ford silicone one piece gasket w/ the engine in the car.
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Do you recommend the steel cored gasket or the floppy non steel cored gasket?
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lewpoberezny View Post
Sorry to dispute this, but gasket 101 in my years of automotive experience has been that silicone is a great gasket by itself but it is not to be used in conjuntion with another gasket. 4 dabs in the corner is the best route basically ti fill areas wheren you have mating surfaces as timing cover or rear bearing cap. That is the procedure Ford uses.
Its ok to dispute, but if you want a leak free seal use the rtv on the gasket. Why take a chance, especially with the oil pan, and have a leak if no rtv is used? I've been working on cars and bikes since I was 16 and am 51 now and this method has never failed me. I have known people who have assembled engines and never used any kind of sealant on the gaskets. Sometimes they dont have leaks, but more often they do. I myself dont want to go back to fix a leak which could have been prevented in the first place. But to each his own...

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Old 05-20-2011, 05:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My 2 cents worth

For years, I used 3M gasket cement, 3M trim adhesive, or RTV and silicone to glue the gasket to the block or head or whatever on one side to hold it in place and help seal it, The other side I always left glue free but put a coat of oil on it. This works great for cork and paper gaskets. It allows the gasket to slide when the engine block and other components heat up and cool down at different rates.
With silcone gaskets that is not necessary or needed. The gasket needs to flow into imperfections to be effective and if you use RTV on the gasket you are just adding RTV which is a type of silicone on top of an already silicone gasket, but the gasket can't flow anymore. Besides you can't easily take them apart either. The factories wouldn't spend the extra money on silicone gaskets put on DRY if they could use cheaper paper or cork gaskets. One of the most amazing things I find about modern engines with silicone gaskets is how dry they are.

One place I don't like silicone gaskets is if only one surface is machined and the other is stamped sheet metal, like thin valve covers. The heavy thick oil pan flanges work great for silicone gaskets though. One thing that screws a lot of people up is if they switch between stock pans with the reinforcement strips under the bolt head to like a Canton style race pan. If you use the stock bolts and don't use the reinforcement strip the bolts will be too long and it may look they are tight but they are bottoming in the holes and the pan is not being compressed on the gaskets. Howard, I like the steel cored ones. Less chance of squeeze out and over tightening of bolts.

I do believe that on oil pans, intake manifolds, etc., where there is a transition corner and little gaps that a dab of RTV should go where the silicone gasket can't flow. Don't use too much or the gob inside may squeeze in and get loose and end up in your oil system. I have built a lot of race engines that stay dry with the above methods because who wants to clean the bottom of your car and the garage floor all the time.

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Old 05-20-2011, 03:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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With a stock pan we use it dry with the corners dabbed. With any fabricated pan we use a coating of silicone.

Here is my logic, the gasket is one use as far as I am concerned, if it leaked once dry it is trash. The gasket is cheap compared to the time and mess it takes to change it. We have found a small smear of 'Right Stuff' is awesome for this job.

JMHO, Richard.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've only built my short block 3 times but for what it's worth, I first tried the Ford Racing 1 pc. gasket and not knowing 'exactly' what to do, I smeared RTV on both sidess. Never leaked.

On build two, I tried the Milodan 1pc. gasket and applied dry and dabbed all 4 corners. Never leaked.

On build three, I ordered the Milodan 1pc. gasket again and the guy asked: ribbed or not ribbed pan. I thought this was odd; nobody had asked me that before. The canton has ribbing on the mating surface. Installed it this winter. After 1200 miles, still no leaks.
Anyone care to share why 'ribbing' makes a difference? (KEEP IT CLEAN GUYS).

I think the real issue in some of the problems that crop up on the forum, is more to do with technique in installing them. In the little experience that I've been allowed, I think a few things should be done in all pan installs:

1) READ the RTV instructions. The biggest problem I had that allowed my water pump to leak at the block, was not allowing the RTV to "skin" over. Also, pay attention to the bead. 1/8" bead is more than enough for any surface -once you start squeezing the mating sufaces together, it will easily double in surface coverage.

Not only did I have a leak, I found globules of RTV during the draining of the coolant. ON build #3, I did exactly as the instructions said (allowed 5-10 minutes to skin, keep the bead about 1/8" ) and then assembled. I got a Tefba coolant filter and to date, I got only 5 tiny pieces of "stuff"; not all was RTV and so far, no leaks from the water pump (@1200+ miles.)

2) Never over torque the pan bolts. It's tempting and sounds logical but it's wrong. Over-tigtening the bolts will likely deform the pan at that point unless it's a cast aluminum pan. The nice thing about the Milodan gasket and the Ford Racing unit, is there is a solid piece of steel at each hole. So when you torque down the bolts, you will feel resistance, which tells you you're right there at the limit. With cork, you'll torque it all down, and then go back to the first bolt and it won't feel right so you do them all again; if you keep it up, it'll either get puckered between bolts, and/or deform the pan. That's why I don't use cork at all. Good silicone gasket with metal at the bolt holes is worth the price.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Since I have a new pan on order (Armondo's) this is all great information.
Are ARP bolts for the oil pan worth it / needed?
Thanks,
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I concur with the "dab in the corners". Steel-core gaskets are great, but if a rubber/silicon one is offered use it. New bolts are personal thing, very little torque on the pan so no need for fancy high grade bolts. They are more for show than function. ARP makes a fine product, but the pan is one place that cheap grade 5's are just as good.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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2 more cents

Some pans have a really ridged flange surface that was originally meant to hold the cork gaskets in place vs the stock pan flange which is smooth. It might make sense to use RTV on that type of pan to make sure that all the grooves get filled. I didn't do it on my Canton pan for my 302 which has the ridges, but if it leaks when I fire it up I'll let you all know. I used Canton pans with the ridges on my Chevy motors, one piece silicone gaskets, and just the little dab in the corners, and never had a leak

I go to my local fastener store and get long set screws to replace the bolts. This is all the ARP fasteners are anyway, but the fastener stores sell these for .10-.20 cents apiece. The set screws have a recessed Allen head end to install them and then I use flange head nuts. Just bottom the set screws in the block with a little LocTite blue. Depending on the thickness of the pan and gasket you can get the set screws in any length. Flange nuts have a little skirt that spreads the load more and little serrations that hold the nut. For the 302 block you need some 1/4-20 and 5/16 set screws about 1-1/4 inch or 1-1/2 inch long and flange nuts to match.

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Old 05-20-2011, 06:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Craig, I wish I were installing this on an engine stand w/ the engine upside down. The engine is in my Mustang so I'm doing the creeper shuffle to get the pan out.
Thanks for all the input guys. I'm going to go with the dab in the corners. I'm out of town next week, so it will be a couple of weeks before I can get back to finishing the job.
I'll post the results.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Are ARP bolts for the oil pan worth it / needed?
Thanks,
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Nope. They just look fancy, and of course they are highly visible when you are under the car! Just keep it shiny side up, and you should be golden!
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Arch, one thing to watch with the new pan is bolt length. I had a cast pan on mine and the Aviad pan which is similar to Aramando's was struck. The ribs in the flange need to be filled with silicon, but also the flange was not as thick as on the original pan.

Of course I was under the car with everything in place starting to tighten mine down when I realized what was going on.

_Scott

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Nope. They just look fancy, and of course they are highly visible when you are under the car! Just keep it shiny side up, and you should be golden!
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Getting ready to replace my pan soon, so this is good timing. One question, when nyou guys say put a dab in the corners, do you put the RTV on the gasket itself or up in the corners of the block? I have installed one pan gasket in my life and it leaks.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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With a stock pan we use it dry with the corners dabbed. With any fabricated pan we use a coating of silicone.
Richard, when you say "fabricated pan", do you mean something like a Canton pan? Can't you use only Right Stuff? I've used a one-piece Fel-Pro gasket twice while in the car, still seeps. Any recommendations?
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Get the pan and block surfaces surgically clean. Dab of Right Stuff in the corners. Don't overtorque the bolts.

The way I looked at it is Fel-Pro probably knows more about how to get a good seal than I do, so I followed their instructions. Plus, if it leaks (mine doesn't and yours shouldn't) you won't have to clean all that silicone off to re-do it. If you smear silicone all over it and it still leaks, you have another huge cleaning job to fix it.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:09 AM   #21 (permalink)
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i just went through this exact thing on my 302.

i used a small amount of RTV on the top, just to glue it to the engine as in install the pan.

i had absolute profuse leaking out the front and rear U channels. lost 1.5 quarts of oil over a 20 mile drive.

i re-did the whole thing with RTV top and bottom. no profuse leaks, but some how, some way, the rear two BOLTS (screws) have oil on each. i used canton studs & nuts for all points except the rear two, the bigger ones.

that's all i have to report.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:46 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I just replaced my oil pan with an O'Reilly $80 special (due to drain plug leak). Used the $20 Fel-Pro blue gasket. No RTV. No leaks.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:21 AM   #23 (permalink)
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If your pan is flat with no ribs on sealing surface then all you need is a small bed in corners of timing cover and rear where round and flat meet? If you have a canton with ribs I filled ans smoothed with a putty knife and let drive overnight. No leaks and I installed mine on the car but I have a hoist. Was a little P.I.T.A but not the worst
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:57 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Its ok to dispute, but if you want a leak free seal use the rtv on the gasket. Why take a chance, especially with the oil pan, and have a leak if no rtv is used? I've been working on cars and bikes since I was 16 and am 51 now and this method has never failed me. I have known people who have assembled engines and never used any kind of sealant on the gaskets. Sometimes they dont have leaks, but more often they do. I myself dont want to go back to fix a leak which could have been prevented in the first place. But to each his own...

ewh123
This is absolutely incorrect. I don't care if you've been doing it for 100 years. I am an L1, C1, X1 ASE cerified master mechanic with 20 years auto experience. When you add silicone to a rubber gasket that is designed to do the exact same thing as the Silicone you have added another layer for which oil can leak through. I have tried it both ways so I know from experience this will cause issues. If the block deck mating surface is uneven and you are using an MLS style or a "cardboard or cork" type gasket then adding a small amount of silicone is ok. But adding it just as "insurance" is asking for problems. I have done this and it has leaked. This was in my younger days before i knew any better. This method was accepted many years ago when machining specs and block deck surfaces were uneven and gasket material had not been engineered to accommodate this. One other thing adding silicone that can be separated from the gasket and be squeezed into the block can block oil ports or the pump screen if enough is used. You can guess what's going to happen if you block any of the oil passages in the motor. I have seen this on locked up engines before where shadetree guys tried exactly what this guy is trying and some silicone dried up hardened blocked an oil port and locked seized a bearing. The proper way to do the is the 4 corners method on the block side of the gasket. these are vulnerable spots since 3 mating surfaces are coming to a junction. It is not needed on the gasket side because the oil pan is one piece and the gasket can seal it easily. This is the correct answer not only according to me but also according to any knowledgeable mechanic, instructor, or engineer that has ever written a book on auto repair or instruction.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:32 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Question, I have a Canton pan with the ribs on the flange. Could I/should I fill in the ribs with something a bit more permanent like JB Weld? I'm pulling my engine this weekend and properly sealing my oil pan is high on my list of things to do. I've ordered the Fel-Pro one-piece gasket.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:53 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I have a Levy (champ) pan that has been on and off more times than I care to remember, and on 3 different engines. It has a ribbed flange. Using the felpro 1-piece silicone gasket dry with this combo resulted in leaks, every time, no question(yes, the flange is straight). I started putting a light coating of RTV on both surfaces, and while that resulted in a leak-free installation, it made removal nearly impossible.

My current favorite method (leak-free and easy removal)
- Permatex Ultra-Black RTV
- a dab on the block in each corner where the main cap meets the block (there's a little pocket where the gasket tab fits...in there)
- a very light coating of RTV on the pan side rails
- extend the RTV coating on the pan just over the corners where the side rail meets the end loops (don't coat the whole end loop)
- if there's any unevenness where the timing cover and block, I put a very thin smear of RTV there too

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Old 03-23-2012, 12:12 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sdalton19 View Post
This is absolutely incorrect. I don't care if you've been doing it for 100 years. I am an L1, C1, X1 ASE cerified master mechanic with 20 years auto experience. When you add silicone to a rubber gasket that is designed to do the exact same thing as the Silicone you have added another layer for which oil can leak through.
What kind of oil pan?
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Last edited by Joe; 03-25-2012 at 06:33 AM.. Reason: More Detail Added
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:52 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Wade, I trust your experience implicitly, after all, you're the one who got me started with FFR in the first place.

To clarify, you only put RTV on the pan, except in the corners where the main caps meet the block? Is the goal to fill up the little ribs with RTV? No RTV on the side rails of the block, right? Do you still use the one piece Fel-Pro silicone gasket? I hope so, I have one coming.

On a similar note; what process do you use to seal the timing cover to the block and the water pump to the timing cover. I was contemplating using the Right Stuff gasket maker instead of paper gaskets. Opinions?
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:09 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bill_VA View Post
Wade, I trust your experience implicitly, after all, you're the one who got me started with FFR in the first place.

To clarify, you only put RTV on the pan, except in the corners where the main caps meet the block? Is the goal to fill up the little ribs with RTV? No RTV on the side rails of the block, right? Do you still use the one piece Fel-Pro silicone gasket? I hope so, I have one coming.

On a similar note; what process do you use to seal the timing cover to the block and the water pump to the timing cover. I was contemplating using the Right Stuff gasket maker instead of paper gaskets. Opinions?
Yes to everything you said abou the pan gasket, and yes to the fel-pro silicone one piece. On the timing cover, I use the felpro paper one with Permatex Ultra-Grey on both sides...VERY light coat. I have used "right stuff" on diff covers and such and I've NEVER had a leak with it....ever. The only trouble I've had is removing it at some point down the road...holy crap! I darn near ruined my diff cover trying to separate it from the rear!
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:38 PM   #30 (permalink)
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UUUGGGG... It's leaking on the saddle next to the transmission and running down the backing plate.. Dry as a bone everywhere else... Off it comes again....
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