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Old 12-13-2007, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

A few weeks ago I went through 4 days of hell trying to get the TC cover on my 93 5.0L HO motor to seal up properly. I ran into all kinds of problem while trying to switch the engine over to a standard rotation water pump.
I've had the pump off 4 times and the TC cover off twice, now the damn thing is leaking again. I have a feeling the problem this time was just from either my excitment of finding the actual cause of the leak, and my impatience to fix it, or I just screwed up when I sandwiched the gasket.
What is the best way to insure the gasket stays aligned properly? Should I use a Hi-tack type of material to glue it to the TC cover, and then use silicone between the gasket and engine block? Should I use silicone at all?
I'm gettign tired of buying a whole front end kit for a 302 everytime I have to reseal this stupid thing, but I guess I don't have a choice.
Any ideas?
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

i usually put sealant on both sides of the gasket...then put it on the cover...then put the cover on. but what do i know right?
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

That's basically what I did. Now, as many times as I worked on that thing that week you'd think I'd have gotten it down pat, but it's still leaking.
The coolant is puddling in the drivers side of the TC cover and then running down the block. I figured I'd drain the coolant and then pressure check the system to see if I can find the actual leak point. Maybe the coolant will bubble where it leaks and I'll know for sure.
The last time I put it together I put a thin amount of black silicone on the TC cover, layed the gasket on, put another thin layer on the gasket and carefully put it together. It's not the easiest to do when you're trying to align the crank and the oil pan seal, as well as the TC cover gasket.
Maybe I just didn't get enough sealant on it, I don't know.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

Is this a new TC cover????? is there a chance it might be defective and have an imperfection in the seal area around the water passages or in the casting itself allowing the water/coolant to seep? there have been cases of factory aluminum rims "seeping" air through the aluminum itself. Is it possibly not the TC cover at all and is the thermostat housing or a pinhole in the upper or bypass hose that leaks and sprays a thin stream when pressure builds up?...

Is there any water going into the oil? .... My suggestion is to fire it up and get it HOT so that the pressure builds up.... then pop the hood and watch for the leak. It should present itself when under 16-18 lbs of pressure. If you have a pressure tester then fill the system and pump it up and see what happens.


Just some rambling thoughts

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Old 12-13-2007, 03:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

did you check the deck on the cover with a straightedge ? after youve determined all mating surfaces are good. apply a thin bead of sealant to both mating surfaces. apply the gasget to the block, allow it to sit for a minute while you admire your handiwork. now reassemble everything, and go slow tightening. now this part may sound silly, and in fact it is, but it works nonetheless. get your self some cheap spray on deoderant. you know the kind that turns white. after running the motor lightly spray some around the area in question, it will immediately let you know where moisture is. ive done this for years, and its cheap and effective. and it washes right off, no harm.


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Old 12-13-2007, 04:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

Sounds like your T stat housing is leaking onto your TC.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

It's definitely not the thermostat housing, I checked it with an inspection mirror. It's leaking from the driver side top of the TC cover and running down the block.
I think I'm just going to have to pull it apart again, buy another gasket and maybe be more careful during reassembly. That's why I asked about the sealant, it sure would be easier if that gasket would stay in one place while I reassemble, like if I glued it to the cover.
I don't think I want to glue it to the block, if I was to ever have to pull it back apart it would really be fun cleaning it off the block face rather than cover.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

You should only need sealant around the water ports on both sides of the gasket.

I know what a pain in the rear it is tearing it down and puting it back together, draining fluid etc.

Hopefully you solve this quickly.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

i didnt actually mean "glue ' it to the block, rather your going to have a bead of sealant on both sides of the gasket, and it would hold, and be better to see alignment on the block, rather than the cover. yea, and the sealant around the water holes only as well, doh" forgot to mention that, thanks rice.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

You are using the alignment dowels right? A 'thin' coating on both side of the gasket with rtv should do the trick. Always take a straight file and run it over the cover. Make SURE all old gasket is removed and that mean all of it. Make sure they are giving you the right gaskets.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbic1 View Post
You are using the alignment dowels right? A 'thin' coating on both side of the gasket with rtv should do the trick. Always take a straight file and run it over the cover. Make SURE all old gasket is removed and that mean all of it. Make sure they are giving you the right gaskets.
Not to change the subject, but I left a 2 inch piece of gasket on the pump of my C4 SOMEHOW.

And needless to say, it leaked.

I had to pull it grrrr
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

Yes they're a pain in the butt..especially if it's in the car! I wonder, though, if it's possible that the coolant may be leaking between the bolt threads? I've seen this a time or two. The holes in the block are supposed to be "blind" holes (they should not go into water) but sometimes when someone changes the water pump, they use a bolt that is too long and it will push the back out of the hole....and in that case, they'll leak unless you seal the threads up. Believe me, I'm plenty guilty of doing this!! No, the block isn't ruined if that's what's happening. Best thing to do is to take a good look at all the holes in teh block and make sure they're all blind. If you have one or more that goes all the way back into the water jackets, get a tube of 3M weatherstrip glue and when you're assembling it, put a little "monkey snot" on the bolt, then slide it in. This stuff works great for sealing those pesky little leaks like that, as well as head studs and intake manifold bolts.

And yes, I usually use a little glue of some sorts to glue the gasket to the block. It usually sticks to the block but big deal. They'll scrape off pretty easily....especially if you use Edelbrock's gaska-cinch I think it's called.

One other thing that makes things easier is to REALLY watch the bottom of the cover gaskets where they meet the oil pan gasket 'ends'. That's a good place for a leak if you aren't real careful. I usually put the 'ends' on the pan first, then trim the cover gasket to fit on top of the pan gasket, and then use a little bit of RTV right where the cover gasket meets the pan gasket, and also where the pan gasket 'ends' meet the pan end seal at the timing cover. When I say a little RTV, I mean a LITTLE RTV. Too much is worse than none at all.

On top of that, just make sure everything is clean, no old gasket material, no oil residue and no coolant on the surfaces. If it ain't clean, the RTV will never stick to it therefore you just wasted your time.

Oh and do all the 5.0's have dowel pins in the cover? I can't ever remember seeing them on any of the ones I've had, but I don't remember looking that close either. I do know that they are a pain in the butt because you have to push the cover straight onto the block, which usually upsets the pan gaskets. I've only used pins a couple times...and if I ever had to take the cover off for a cam swap, etc, I threw them as far as I could!

Oh and this one's for riceharvester. I feel your pain! I did that same exact thing on a powerglide not 2 months ago. Blew the engine, bent the input shaft a little, so I pulled the trans apart to check it all out good (no other problems thankfully) and when I put the pump back in the case, I apparently left a small piece of the old pump gasket on the case...and yeah it leaked big time. But only when it was not running. It's still like that...haven't had the motivation to go out to the shop & pull it back out to fix the leak. I guess I need to get back to it. My motivation will be the thought of it finally leaking while running and me getting into my own trans oil at 130+. Not a nice thought.
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Last edited by mavman; 12-13-2007 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

Does it always leak from the same spot? if it does then there is something wrong with something besides your assembly. Mating surfaces not flat, bolt going through, ect. If it doesnt then it may just be your assembly.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

porter mfg makes the original gasgacinch. ive been using it for 20 years, and its the best gasket gum around. built about 200 harleys and countless motors/ other things with it. other than that for the best gasket/gasketless sealer i use threebond. stuffs magic.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: This is getting old, timing chain cover sealant.

Mavman mentioned 3M weatherstrip adhesive. We use that stuff all the time with excellent results. Much better than RTV. It is more difficult to clean up but it's worth it. My cleveland timing cover has some pretty badly pitted areas around the coolant passages and it sealed up no prob.

Make sure the coolant is drained below the passages in the block. The new gasket will soak up that coolant and cause your adhesive to fail. Make sure that everything is squeaky-clean.

Take your time and do it once, hurry and do it repeatedly until you take your time.

Run a bead around one side of the gasket, stick the gasket to the block. Then run a bead around the other side of the gasket and carefully install the cover. Bolt it up right away so the sealer doesn't harden before it's assembled or it will leak. Same for the water pump.

They call the stuff "gorilla snot" for a reason. It is really sticky and stringy so keep that in mind when using it or you'll have a mess. You only get one shot so make sure it's lined up properly before you put it together.

Brake parts cleaner or gasoline will dissolve the stuff if you make a mess.

Good luck.
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Last edited by Blulakr; 12-13-2007 at 08:22 PM.
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