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Tech question: What paper gaskets should I not use?

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  • Tech question: What paper gaskets should I not use?

    Sorry if this is the wrong subforum. I wanted to post it here, since this subforum has the most traffic.

    I am putting my engine together and I have read up on paper gaskets vs. sealers. After reading all the reviews and expert opinions, I am leaning towards using sealers instead of gaskets. I plan to use oem valve cover and oil pan gaskets. I am pretty old school and have always used oem gaskets on anything I build. But the S14 is a different animal. My main concern is what other gasket should be replaced by sealers? I understand timing cover is one that many don't user the paper gaskets on.

    What about the oil filter housing gasket? Water pump?

    I have read about many different sealers people use but haven't decided on which I will use. When I do make my decision (Toyota black FIPG, Hylomar, Loctite 518, or Anaerobic Gasket Maker) do I use sealer as oil gaskets AND coolant gaskets? Or will I need separate sealer for each oil and coolant?

    Are all the torque specs the same if I use a sealer instead of paper gaskets?

    Thanks everyone.

  • #2
    It is up to you of course. I wouldn't really say the S14 is a "different animal"....it has a lot in common with most other engines. But I will say that a lot of OEM BMW gaskets for the S14 are crap, and if you use them alone I can pretty much guarantee leaks sooner or later...probably sooner.

    The only places I use traditional gaskets are the head (obviously) and the valve cover. That's it. Everywhere else I use Permatex/Loctite 518. I have never had a leak anywhere I have omitted the traditional gasket, and I started doing it this way around 2006. The stuff works equally well for coolant or oil passages.

    When I assembled my first engine in 2003, I used all the OEM BMW gaskets. I no sooner had the engine together and running than I had a fairly major leak from the timing chain cover gasket. This was pretty heartbreaking....because the only real way to fix it would be to dismantle the engine again.

    If you want a leak free engine, use an anaerobic sealer (like 518) everywhere except the head and valve cover. On the head gasket, smear a thin coat of the sealer (both sides) on the portion that "bridges" around the top of the timing chain cover....nearly every S14 leaks here eventually if this step is omitted. All the torque values stay the same.

    As long as you properly clean/degrease parts before applying the anaerobic sealer, the stuff is pretty foolproof. All you need is a tiny bead...most people use too much. I put it inside a small hypodermic syringe (no needle) so I can get a thin even bead.

    The only real downside I have found, is that down the road when/if the engine comes apart again...cleaning off all the sealer for reassembly is a bit more hassle than pulling off traditional gaskets. But only a bit....

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    • #3
      Honda Bond works well too. One of the best sealers I have ever used.

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      • #4
        I ended up going with Permatex Anaerobic Gasket Maker #51813. Mainly because this is all I could find after searching all my local autoparts stores. Now on the directions on the back it states I should use Permatex Surface prep? Do you guys use surface prep? One side or 2?

        It also says it can be used as gasket dressing, not just make-a-gasket. Has anyone used this with gaskets or should I should I simply just use this on its own?

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        • #5
          Listen to Ironhead...spot on regarding 518. To back that up, my mechanic converted to 518 years ago for any aluminum mating surfaces. It was part of his latest BOSCH certification. They essentially told the group of mechanics that there is zero downside to the product and it is a superior gasket. They work on all European cars and use this stuff on EVERYTHING. Now...you just need to be sure the surface doesnít need special clearance...no issue on the S14. Obviously head gasket and valve cover gasket (due to more frequent services) you want standard basketry. I prefer Elring gaskets.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Broken88 View Post
            I ended up going with Permatex Anaerobic Gasket Maker #51813. Mainly because this is all I could find after searching all my local autoparts stores. Now on the directions on the back it states I should use Permatex Surface prep? Do you guys use surface prep? One side or 2?

            It also says it can be used as gasket dressing, not just make-a-gasket. Has anyone used this with gaskets or should I should I simply just use this on its own?
            You donít need prep for that and itís essentially the exact same thing as loctite 518. It is the commercially sold product available in your NAPAís and Autozone. Just make sure surface is clean...I think the surface prep is more of a catalyst in that it speeds up cure though the car can pretty much see service immediately with anaerobic sealer.

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            • #7
              I have never used the surface prep either. I just clean the mating surfaces with brake cleaner prior to putting on the sealer.

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              • #8
                Me being so nervous about moving away from gaskets, I decided to go with Surface Prep. Unfortunately, everything online says its impossible to find in stores and def not at autozone, advanced, etc. So I found a NAPA a couple towns over with it in stock. Went and picked it up and of course they had Locktite 518. Even the loctite recommended using their own surface prep, which the NAPA did not carry. Anyways, gonna stick with Permatex 51813 and use the Surface prep anyways. Almost all the parts its going on are either new or have been professionally cleaned, but I have always been one to follow the exact directions on the back of products. haha.

                For now I will try it on the oil filter housing gasket and see how I like it. Then go from there.

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                • #9
                  Definitely not needed but it wonít hurt. I, like Ironhead, simply use brake cleaner on a lint free sontara wipe and clean the surface. With you having clean, re-conditioned or new parts...you are golden.

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                  • #10
                    Screw that other stuff. Try the Hondabond ! Think about it ....how often do you hear of a Honda leaking oil ? When I worked for a dealer that serviced VWs and Hondas we would use the Hondabond to repair POS VWs. . It was a joke but serious fix in the shop.

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                    • #11
                      Hey now. I love all 4 of my current POS VWs haha.

                      I am assuming I need to go to a dealer for Hondabond?

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                      • #12
                        Sorry ! Lol. Yes sir you have to get it from the dealer. I used to work for Ourisman. I wrote service for Honda and VW. All of the VW techs had this stuff on hand. No service prep needed other than cleaning it. I used the Hondabond on some of my other cars and it is awesome.

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                        • #13
                          It's all good. I know years ago, I had a couple buddies who had modified Hondas that swore by Hondabond. Like I said, I have always been a oem gasket guy, so I never considered using gasket makers before. Doesn't look to expensive. Maybe I will run by the local Honda dealer and pick up a tube on Monday.

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                          • #14
                            Hondabond is a high temp RTV silicone sealer, similar if not identical to Permatex Ultra Grey, Ultra Black, etc. Yamabond, made for motorcycles, falls into the same category. These are just rebranded chemicals. There is a lot of marketing and label switching going on here that creates a great deal of confusion. I can assure you though that Hondabond is not made by Honda...nor is Yamabond made by Yamaha. I would bet a large sum that these products are all functionally identical, if not chemically identical. Same with Permatex 51813 and Loctite 518....same shit.

                            These will seal just as well as the anaerobic sealers. The difference, is that any of the RTVs that squeeze out of the joint will still "vulcanize" and become solid. The anaerobic sealers will not...they can only cure where they are clamped inside the joint.

                            The concern here is the possibility of a bead of cured RTV that squeezes out of a joint and breaks off inside the engine...floating around...possibly blocking an oil passage or something. Any extra anaerobic sealer that squeezes out will remain liquid, be diluted by the oil, and should not cause a problem.

                            As to whether this is a "real" concern or a merely theoretical one, I don't really have an opinion. I have heard over the years many accounts by big name BMW mechanics of engines that were killed by excessive use of silicone sealers, where a bead broke loose and clogged something vital. But you know how it is with third hand anecdotal accounts....particularly on the internet.

                            I know many OEM manufacturers now use the silicone type sealers, like Hondabond. But they also apply them by machine, under perfect conditions, using the perfect amount, etc. So I am not sure how much that applies to idiots like us squeezing them on in their garage.

                            So I will leave it to you. Isn't it funny sometimes how you can ask about something, and the opinions you get only leave you more confused?
                            Last edited by Ironhead; 02-11-2018, 03:54 AM.

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                            • #15
                              I always use victor reinz gasket kits top and bottom. Never had an issue. Most people don't prep mating surfaces well enough which explains why they may not have success?

                              I do use permatex "right stuff" in some situations like gaps in the mating surface (timing cover to block etc.)

                              I also use the crap out of silglyde on o-rings or any other rubber items.

                              Never had issues with the above. Get a proper torque wrench in inch/lbs also. Digital torque wrenches tend to let you over torque vs the clicker type of high quality, that's my experience anyway.

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