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Gaskets are made.  to take up the clearance for imperfections between mating parts. I just like to use a little grease to hold the gaskets in place during reassembly. Back in the day when  VW bugs were made the amount of gaskets in an engine could be put in a small envelope. There were no head gaskets, or no gaskets between the block halves, and cylinder gaskets were only .008 thick. 

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i use permatex high tack gasket sealer for over 40 years already, and thats the only thing. on sleeve o rings, dish soap,or brake fluid. no oil !

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On 3/11/2021 at 8:44 PM, Young mechanic said:

What do people like to use on gaskets on the whole motor? Just seeing what people prefer. And also do many people use vegetable oil on o rings for sleeves or what's that preference?

Welcome to the Forum, tremendous amount of FREE knowledge here. 

In my time (30) years of doing farm tractor repairs, I only use additional sealers as recommended by manufacture. Other than 515 Loc-Tite flange sealant used by most manufactures today for transmission covers an etc.... I bet I haven't used 10 tubes of any other type sealer. Far to many times I have found silicone on oil suctions screens, engine and transmission, from using way to much during application. If used it only takes a little bit. 

To me the key is good clean and true gasket surfaces. My go to is a razor blade scraper then finish with a carbide Super Scraper (look them up) NO little 3M sur-loc discs as they remove material.  I also tend to pay attention during disassembly whether OEM used any additional sealer.

For liner o-rings I use Deere's cylinder soap, just wish they sold it in smaller containers. 

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12 minutes ago, CIHTECH said:

Welcome to the Forum, tremendous amount of FREE knowledge here. 

In my time (30) years of doing farm tractor repairs, I only use additional sealers as recommended by manufacture. Other than 515 Loc-Tite flange sealant used by most manufactures today for transmission covers an etc.... I bet I haven't used 10 tubes of any other type sealer. Far to many times I have found silicone on oil suctions screens, engine and transmission, from using way to much during application. If used it only takes a little bit. 

To me the key is good clean and true gasket surfaces. My go to is a razor blade scraper then finish with a carbide Super Scraper (look them up) NO little 3M sur-loc discs as they remove material.  I also tend to pay attention during disassembly whether OEM used any additional sealer.

For liner o-rings I use Deere's cylinder soap, just wish they sold it in smaller containers. 

Welcome.  X2- All of the above is excellent advice. LOL on the John Deere cylinder soap.  You have to put a lot of sleeves in to use up a container of that.  I also second a little grease on a gasket that needs stay put.  I worked with a guy who liked to use weatherstrip adhesive and spray adhesive.  Stay away from that it is a nightmare to get off.  I try to have a manual for pretty much all motor and transmission work and just follow the directions.  If they want something special done it will say.  

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I'm with @CIHTECH.  Well, mostly, but I'll get to that in a minute.  Nothing.  Use nothing.  Gaskets are designed to seal without any additional help.  If you need to add anything to the gasket, the manual or the gasket instructions will say.  

I also agree 100% that a good clean mating surface is the key to a good seal.  Almost never do you get a leak when you put a gasket between two newly surfaced parts.  When you do, it is typically an installation error, or a defective component.

I do disagree with only using a scraper to clean surfaces with.  No matter how much you scrape, it can't get all the material.  Even if you can, it take an enormous amount of time.  I agree that the fiber or "sanding" roloc discs remove metal and I do not use them.  Instead I use 3M roloc bristle discs with are a hard rubber/plastic compound.  They do not leave behind abrasive materials,  and they aren't hard enough to remove steel.  You do have to use softer discs (they make different grades) for aluminum, and it is possible to remove metal, but only if you get really super aggressive, and then metal removal is minor if even measurable.  I don't know if I would suggest them to a newbie, but I do highly recommend them.  I've been using them for 20 years now with nothing but good results.  You still need to scrape off the main material, but they leave a polished surface that seals far better.  

As far as using grease to hold a gasket in place: I strongly advise against that.  I will use a dab of silicone before using grease.  Once the grease is pressed in during torque, it is absorbed into the gasket material softening it.  This makes a future failure possibility more likely.  Dry means dry.  No oils, no grease, no adhesives.  If you really need to adhere a gasket, hi-tach or silicone in moderation.

I use Dawn soap for sleeve o-ring installation. 

On one other note, more and more gaskets are being substituted with high grade silicone compounds.  I think about the only gasket on a Dramax is the head gasket now.  Lots of liquid gasket used on that motor.  I too substitute a lot of gaskets in favor of a silicone gasket, mostly due to availability.  But I agree, you don't have to use large amounts.  A thin layer will spread out when those two surfaces are bolted down.  "A little dab will do ya."

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I usually put a thin film of silicone on a gasket. I just squeeze a dab on my finger and put just enough to cover it thin and evenly, usually none will squeeze out when I tighten everything.

as for surface prep, I use a heavy putty knife and a small wood chisel and a little common sense to scrape off the old gasket material. When I replaced my first head gasket I asked an engine builder what he recommended for surface prep. He said absolutely do not use one of those 3m buffing wheels. He said he's rebuilt more engines because someone changed a head gasket and either got too aggressive and made the surfaces uneven so the head gasket wouldn't seal or they got the abrasive material into the engine and it ruined it. He recommended the tools I listed above. I have used the rubber bristle wheel that j-mech mentioned and they work well.

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On 3/11/2021 at 7:44 PM, Young mechanic said:

What do people like to use on gaskets on the whole motor? Just seeing what people prefer. And also do many people use vegetable oil on o rings for sleeves or what's that preference?

I use JD O- ring soap get it from the parts dept comes in a to big a bottle that would last 10 years I but great for sleeve Orings  as for sealers there's many things some will put them on dry if there's a good clean flat surface that's what I do . I always seal water port gaskets no matter what I use indian head brush on sealer on water gaskets nothing will leak pass that other engine gaskets on oil covers depends what kind of gasket material it is also many different sealers its personnel choice 

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26 minutes ago, ksfarmdude said:

I use indian head brush on sealer

That stuff ought to be outlawed.  I hate it passionately.  Just as well use superglue. Might not leak, but it's very unnecessary to stick things together that well unless you plan to never take it apart again. 

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1 minute ago, J-Mech said:

That stuff ought to be outlawed.  I hate it passionately.  Just as well use superglue. Might not leak, but it's very unnecessary to stick things together that well unless you plan to never take it apart again. 

Once you get the gasket  off you use lacquer thinner and wipe it off doesn't matter how old  it is it dissolves and softens it and enough comes right off I even use it to reseal old hoses alittle swipe inside the hoses no leaks no worries

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56 minutes ago, ksfarmdude said:

Once you get the gasket  off you use lacquer thinner and wipe it off doesn't matter how old  it is it dissolves and softens it and enough comes right off I even use it to reseal old hoses alittle swipe inside the hoses no leaks no worries

+1............I have that in a sure shot can, works good.  I use indian head on most things(non head or exhaust gaskets)..............Ag and Construction seems to work stuff loose over time, then you have seeps,  and I never knew how bad Seeps could be until I started working on stuff for a small excavation company that ended up on well pads,  they went all anal on oil leaks, especially on any heavy equipment that sat there over the winter in the snow.  I don't know if all the companys are like that, but the one they were contracted to must have been real nut busters.  

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I'm with J-Mech and CIHTECH as far as cleaning goes.

I use the Roloc Bristle discs and the Super Scraper along with a good old putty knife and razor blade scraper to clean.

Indian head/Wolf's head gasket shellac for some gaskets.

Aviation form-a-gasket for some other gaskets.

Grey RTV in some places where a gasket isn't used at all.

Copper Coat for some head gaskets, Silver paint for some other head gaskets. Nothing at all for some other gaskets.

Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening in a can for cylinder sleeve o-rings, and pretty much any other o-ring. Trust me on this one....

Experience will tell you when, where, and how much to use.

Travis

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Little petroleum jelly on sleeve o rings for me. Just enough to make the o rings slick and shiny. Head gaskets, I use a razor blade to clean, red scotch bright pads SOAKED with 3M BRAKE CLEAN AND 3M ONLY!! I have used lots of other types and the 3M is about the only that doesn't leave a film. Make sure all are good and flat, and make sure valve cover and oil pan bolt holes are flat to mating surfaces. I like to out a little silicone where the block and front/rear covers meet up. Like others say, shouldn't need any silicone on gaskets as long as your surfaces are mostly flat and clean. For holding gaskets in place, I have used a dab of silicone, bolts with the heads cut off to make an alignment pin, and dental floss tied through the holes, nip the floss, pull it out, easy peasy. 

Absolutely do not put silicone on any type of rubber gasket, 1. It will make the gasket slick, and 2. Some types will react with each other. 

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I like Deere's Soap for sleeve o-rings...........a bottle does last a long time, numbers worn off my old one so I had to hunt up the number to order new.  I used dawn, crisco, and some others over the years, like Deere's the best of all.  Nobody else must use it though, new bottle I got this summer still had the old jumping deere on it:rolleyes:

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11 hours ago, MinnesotaFarmall said:

Little petroleum jelly on sleeve o rings for me.

Says right on the o-ring package of every sleeve o-ring that I have ever seen not to use petroleum products to lubricate the o-rings.  

11 hours ago, MinnesotaFarmall said:

Absolutely do not put silicone on any type of rubber gasket

Why would you need any sealant on a rubber gasket anyways? 

I don't see the need to buy special green soap for o-rings when a bottle of your favorite dish soap works the same and can be used for a lot of other things.  I do like the green guys corn head grease though.  Use it in all the gear boxes on my Cub Cadet equipment. 

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J-Mech never had any issues with it, haven't been at it my whole life, but I've never seen any warning labels myself... Maybe I should look a little harder. 

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Anaerobic sealer is one of the best gifts bestowed on us, not sure why anyone would want to use RTV any longer unless its specifically called for.  

No worries about RTV dingleberries squishing out, excellent leak resistance, and best of all you can keep an open tube indefinately.  

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25 minutes ago, MinnesotaFarmall said:

J-Mech never had any issues with it, haven't been at it my whole life, but I've never seen any warning labels myself... Maybe I should look a little harder. 

If it isn't on the sleeve instructions it is usually in the service manual. You may not have had issues, but you should use soap.  Personally I always thought it odd as well because surely crankcase oils get up to the bottom side of that seal.  I mean, when they fail coolant leaks past the o ring and liner into the crankcase.  I suppose the argument is that oil isn't directly sprayed or pumped near them and gravity should keep it away.  But for some reason it is specified not to use petroleum products on that o-ring. 

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4 minutes ago, Cdfarabaugh said:

Anaerobic sealer is one of the best gifts bestowed on us, not sure why anyone would want to use RTV any longer unless its specifically called for.  

No worries about RTV dingleberries squishing out, excellent leak resistance, and best of all you can keep an open tube indefinately.  

For tight tolerances anaerobic sealer is best.  But for filling gaps it will not set up.  It has to be absent air as the name implies.  I made this mistake in my younger years, only to have to tear things back apart to reseal them.  Silicone sealers or RTV's are not a "cheap man's gasket" anymore.  That is how several things are sealed.  Transfer case halves, transmission pans, oil pans, timing and other engine covers.... lots of applications now use only high grade RTV sealers only.  Anaerobic sealers have their place, but so do RTV sealants. 

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16 minutes ago, J-Mech said:

For tight tolerances anaerobic sealer is best.  But for filling gaps it will not set up.  It has to be absent air as the name implies.  I made this mistake in my younger years, only to have to tear things back apart to reseal them.  Silicone sealers or RTV's are not a "cheap man's gasket" anymore.  That is how several things are sealed.  Transfer case halves, transmission pans, oil pans, timing and other engine covers.... lots of applications now use only high grade RTV sealers only.  Anaerobic sealers have their place, but so do RTV sealants. 

515 will do gaps up to .010 and 38657 high flex form in place sealant (what Deere specs) will do a .020 gap.  Would take a pretty lousy fit up to not work.  Most heavier machined parts are fine.  "Tinny" flexible components are where I wouldnt recommend since it's unlikely they draw up even, and usually that stuff recommends RTV(if it is speced)  

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2 minutes ago, Cdfarabaugh said:

515 will do gaps up to .010 and 38657 high flex form in place sealant (what Deere specs) will do a .020 gap.  Would take a pretty lousy fit up to not work.  Most heavier machined parts are fine.  "Tinny" flexible components are where I wouldnt recommend since it's unlikely they draw up even, and usually that stuff recommends RTV(if it is speced)  

I'm familiar with 515, but not the Deere one.  I'm good with using whatever sealant where it is specified for use, and within any an all manufacturer specs.  But a lot of people (especially newbs) don't read the directions, or books, and follow them. 

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International/Navistar has a gray rubber silicone they call "whacker". Now that's some tuff stuff! I don't know if the make it, it got their name on it. I mean Deere makes everything with their name on it, right? Probably some stuff they don't even know about yet. Anyway, this "whacker" is some gap filling stuff....and it needs to be. This is what Navistar used on the 7.3 and 6.0 engine oil pans, or as they called them T444E and VT365. If you've ever held a clean oil pan up to a clean engine block, wow there can be some big gaps to fill. Especially on the 444E. And getting the pan off can be a chore also, about gotta use a utility knife to cut through at the mating surface and then be careful you don't distort the flanges on the pan too bad. Oh yeah, then to get the stuff cleaned off. 

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Basically anything, like grease, silicon, gasket cement, or most products, on a gasket makes it slippery.

When you tighten it down, the gasket then oozes out the sides due to the clamping force.

So I wipe down both surfaces with Brakleen, Carb Cleaner, etc and make sure it is dry.

Then when the gasket is installed and tightened, it is captured by both the dry surfaces and will not ooze out unless you over tighten.

The new style head gaskets I wipe down head and block with Brakleen and let dry.

I will not touch the gasket surfaces as you may have greasy hands and your hands also have natural oils on them.

You want the gasket to be dry, stay where it belongs and not shift in any way.

If I have to hold a gasket in place, I do use 3M Weatherstrip Adhesive. (Yellow Peril)

This is basically contact cement.

That stuff will seal up a leaking Detroit Diesel but it is nasty to remove.

I have removed RTV sickles from oil pickup screens and this was enough to effect oil pressure.

Use RTV sparingly, if you do.

To each their own but this is the way I do it and why.

PS: I like the Crisco idea Sparky suggested on sleeve O rings. I have used Dawn in the past. Never to old to learn.

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1 hour ago, TB5288 said:

International/Navistar has a gray rubber silicone they call "whacker". Now that's some tuff stuff! I don't know if the make it, it got their name on it. I mean Deere makes everything with their name on it, right? Probably some stuff they don't even know about yet. Anyway, this "whacker" is some gap filling stuff....and it needs to be. This is what Navistar used on the 7.3 and 6.0 engine oil pans, or as they called them T444E and VT365. If you've ever held a clean oil pan up to a clean engine block, wow there can be some big gaps to fill. Especially on the 444E. And getting the pan off can be a chore also, about gotta use a utility knife to cut through at the mating surface and then be careful you don't distort the flanges on the pan too bad. Oh yeah, then to get the stuff cleaned off. 

You can take a sledgehammer to those pans and they wont hardly come loose with that stuff lol

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If I can get away with not using a pre-made gasket I use permatex, The Right stuff.  It works great
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/permatex-the-right-stuff-black-instant-gasket-maker-147-ml-0382505p.html
 

if I need a little help with keeping a gasket in place I use permatex high tack for years.   Sleeve O-rings, dawn dish soap.  Head gaskets I give a coat of permatex copper spray 

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