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Discussion Starter #1
I've got these Victor Reinz Nitroseal graphite impregnated intake gaskets for my 347. So, the question is, do I install these things dry or what? There are no specific installation instructions with it, and all the intake manifold install guides I can find are using regular old style Fel-Pro gaskets without any kind of graphite material on them, and they all say to use RTV around the coolant ports. Are graphite gaskets meant to be installed completely free of any sealer? I feel like the graphite would be rendered useless if I covered it with RTV. Gut instinct tells me they're designed to be used dry.
 

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If the manifold and heads are in good surface condition - dry. Use proper torque and sequence. You can use the supplied end seals with a dab of RTV in the corners, or RTV for the whole end seals. To use RTV instead of the end seals, I mock-up and measure the end seal gap. Lift the manifold off and clean the mating surfaces thoroughly. Then make the RTV end beads double the gap thickness in height and half the rib width. Install with guide studs and torque first step only. Let cure overnight and finish the torquing sequence steps.

The partial torque and cure allows the RTV to not only stick, but seal with a little compression when final torque is applied. They never blow out, suck in, or leak on me when done this way. If you don't have the time for it, the seal is usually successful anyway, but it's insurance to me. My 2 cents.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great, now I've got more problems... I've run through the torque sequence about three times now, each time torquing these bolts to 22 ft lbs, and then when I go back to recheck the first one it's sitting there at about 10 ft lbs. It's like a damn cork gasket, where they keep compressing until they're totally squished. Except there shouldn't be any measurable amount of that going on here, or at least if there is it's not visible.

And I know it's not my hardware stretching, because I've got 4 grade-8 studs going through there, and they're loosening up too. This is the third time I've gone around and tightened them up, and I'm afraid I'm screwing something up. This is with aluminum heads and intake.

What gives?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ugggh, so after spending $20 on some intake manifold hardware from the parts store, I think the culprit is actually the washers. They appear to be bending under the force of 22 ft lbs. They're only grade 5, but that should have been more than enough for this application. Guess I'll go buy the $30 ARP intake hardware set from Summit, LOL.

All in all I'll probably have over $100 into this intake with ruined gaskets and hardware alone.
 

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Use aluminum washers. They form to the casting imperfections, use a lubricant like Teflon thread sealer under the bolt head to assist in smothe torque application.

You're NOT having issues, it will take a WHILE for that Graphite gasket to compress all the way, just keep going to the specs until you have all the bolts tightened in order to the predetermined torque value given to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright, then, but the washers I'm using now are pretty clearly warping beneath the minimal stress being applied to them. So I'll need to replace those anyway. I'd think aluminum washers would bend even easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They're warping because, 1. it's a cheap Chinese Summit intake manifold, and the surface around the holes is not machined perfectly flat, and 2. the washers are actually being forced down into the bolt hole, so they're sorta becoming concave if you look at them from the top... bulging around the edges. Also, the washers themselves are pretty cheesy, I don't think this would be happening at all if they were stronger. I'm not even sure the washers themselves are grade 5, I just know the bolts are.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Okay, gotcha. ;)

The holes aren't THAT huge, I'm not even sure they're any bigger than stock. The warping I'm describing is not visible unless you look really close. I think it might also be a result of the underside of the bolt head not being completely flush. These aren't nice flanged automotive hardware, they're just regular old hex head bolts. There's plenty of surface contact to where the bolt head isn't actually sinking into the hole, LOL!
 

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aluminum head on a 302 block.. you may need a good set of washers along with a set of step washers...those heads may have the bolt hole sized for the 351 1/2 inch head bolt......
 
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