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Discussion Starter #1
this may be a dumb question. do i have buy a new gasket for my valve cover when i want to take them off to polish? Second gasket question. I noticed that the spark plugs show signs of exhaust leak. I was going to take them off and touch them up with paint and reinstall. I would assume I need to buy a new gasket to reinstall. Are there any tricks so that I can ensure I get a good seal? I don't know if I need to use some sort of liquid gasket stuff along with the regular gasket.
 

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Personaly, I would install new gaskets, with abead of Mr. gasket on the valve cover. Thats just me.. That's not a dumb question. You want know unless you ask..WE are always learning, the day we quit learning is the day we die..
 

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Some gaskets fit some some valve covers perfectly. I had some rubber ones and the ears on them fit right in the holes in the VCs and were held nice and tight so I didn't need any glue at all.

My current set is cork and I had to get the razor blade out and trim the ears to fit. So I did what Cool67 did, put a bead of permatex on the valve cover side of the gasket to hold it on during the install. Just put a coat of grease on the other side. That way you can reuse them. I prefer cork because you can gently tighten the bolts and quit when you see when the cork getting squeezed out just a little.

Two other things, if PO tightened the bolts too much they will be dimpled, get a piece of wood and a hammer and flaten them out. 2nd, where the intake manifold meets the head lots of times there is a mismatch and oil leaks through. Clean the area and with some black RTV or similar smoothen out that mismatch. Let it set up overnight, then install the VCs.
 

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Second gasket question. I noticed that the spark plugs show signs of exhaust leak. I was going to take them off and touch them up with paint and reinstall. I would assume I need to buy a new gasket to reinstall. Are there any tricks so that I can ensure I get a good seal? I don't know if I need to use some sort of liquid gasket stuff along with the regular gasket.
Spark plug leaks can lead to bad things, like stripped threads, poor running, plug cracking and other nasties.
First - what heads do you have? Exactly?
Next - what plugs are you currently using?
Last - how do the plugs look after typical driving?

Never use anything on spark plugs except anti-seize, and use a spark plug thread chaser and fresh plugs if you have had signs of leakage. You may have the wrong plug type, so the answers to the questions should get you what you need.

David

PS: If I recall right, you had some RHS heads. RHS used tapered seat plugs, then a combo of tapered and gasket that didn't work so well for some. If you have the later aluminum heads, then check to see if they have both a tapered seat section and a flat area for a gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The headers are the shorties from Sanderson headers that cross reference to a Falcon. They didn't have a cross reference for 67 Galaxie with RHS heads on a 351W. they seem to fit nicely around plugs and everything else. I only have about 500 miles total on the engine so the leak has not been long term but I knew it wasn't something I wanted to leave imperfect. Just pull one out and it reads autolite 26 The over all appearance of the plugs just show a little black smudge like soot that can easily be rubbed off. The plugs are no problem to pull out (normal torque to loosed). Plug is tapered above the threads. not sure want the heads are. They look flat. Other observations... The plug has the black ring all the way around the plug up to the ribs (or half way up the porcelin tip.) I don't really see the black "soot" on the heads at all. Having second thoughts about it being exhaust leak now. Won't it only be on one side of the plug (top part) if it was an exhaust leak. Plugs are a little wet (need to lean it back a bit). I did notice on the driver's side that there is a small amount of black blowing up toward the VC and you see gasket discolored. Yes I still have RHS heads. PSIG... you kinda lost me on the taper and flat and gasket. I hope this helps to explain what i have going on.
I would love to hear what I can do to fix this.

Thanks
 

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So, you have IRON heads, right? Maybe the 180cc type? Help me out here. IF they are IRON then yes, they use a tapered-seat .460" reach plug like your Autolite 26. But, holy cow, that's a hot plug. If they are fouling and even wet, you are risking scoring the cylinder walls with that much fuel. I would normally run a colder 25 or 24 on the street, and perhaps a 24 or 23 on the strip. Problem is, you are using a hot plug and it's fouling, so I would not suggest going colder until you get it tuned better, or they will foul right out. I see much better fuel consumption in your future... ;)

If your heads are aluminum, your plugs are all wrong.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I believe they are aluminum heads because I have scratched the paint off and they have not rusted. I was looking at the RHS web and it says the spark plug is "angled" under specs. Below is the specs for recommended spark plugs


CHAMPION SPARK PLUGS
82216 Projected Tip - Nickel Shell, Copper Core #C57YC 14mm, .750" Reach, 5/8" Hex Flat
82212 Cut Back Ground - Nickel Shell, Copper Core #V57C 14mm, .460" Reach, 5/8" Hex Tapered
ZEX SPARK PLUGS
82003 Hyperformance - Nickel Shell, Copper Core 14mm, .750" Reach, 5/8" Hex Flat

I notice that there are 2 flat and one tapered. I don't know exactly which series number the heads are but RHS only has 2 series pro action and pro elite. I believe these are the Pro Action. below are head specs

Series: Pro Action™
Description: 20° Small Block Ford Cylinder Heads; Aluminum; Bare Or Fully Assembled; Flat Tappet & Hydraulic Roller Assemblies Available
Application: 289-421c.i. Recommended Street Performance/Drag Racing/Circle Track Racing
Valve Guides: Premium Bronze Material
Spark Plugs: Aluminum: 14mm Thread, .750" Reach, Gasketed - Cast Iron: 14mm Thread, .460" Reach, Tapered

So what spark plug should I use? Yeah i need to take it to someone and have the get everything smoothed out. do you think the black is from the plug hole or do you think it is an exhaust leak?

Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #9
follow up observation... the spark part of the spark plug is not wet. It is nice and clean. just a little on the threads of plug. Don't know that makes a difference. I still need to get someone to max out the adjustments.
 

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Grab a magnet and verify if they are iron or aluminum first. If aluminum, use a gasketed plug with .750" reach. The plugs they show are quite cold for racing. I would start with a typical performance street plug (that's what you're doing, right?) such as a 3924.
CAUTION - if this is the case, you have been using a short plug in a long-thread hole, and carbon will be in the threads. You MUST chase the threads to clean out the crud before installing longer plugs, or thread damage may occur.

Your engine tuner will make the final plug selection.

David

PS: if you "baby" the engine, you may need a hotter plug such as a 3925 or 3926. You have been using the equivalent of the hot 3926 until now, and you may want to use that heat range until you get it tuned. You can find these at stores for $1 to $1.50 each, so it's not a biggie to change them as much as necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I always over think a problem. Of course stick a magnet on it to see if it is iron. duh huh. I don't think some times. they are iron. Model # 35301 is stamped on the side. I assume the same spark plugs would apply as below. Yeah i baby it a lot. I only get on it to show off a bit or to show up someone at a light. So it is now obvious that I need a professional tuning job soon. I never really got a good solution behind the exhaust leak. Do you or anyone else have a best practice to ensure you get a good seal on them?

thanks
 

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Of course stick a magnet on it to see if it is iron. duh huh. I don't think some times. they are iron. thanks

Sometimes I don't think, either. Best not to think about it :(
 

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instead of using permatex to "glue the gaskets" in place, use gasket tack.

Far too often i see guys put too much permatex with their gaskets and end up with the permatex doing more harm than good and not getting a good seal OR providing nice soft spots for the "gasket" to blow out and start leaking.

Just about every auto parts store has gasket tack.

I'd also recommend using safety wire of bolt locks on the header bolts to prevent walk out.
 

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OK then the iron heads use what you have. Clean the seating area really well on both plugs and the heads, use a tiny dab of anti-seize on the threads (don't get any on or near the electrodes - just the threads) and torque to spec's. Check after running a few miles for any leaks. If so, verify if from the seat area, higher on the plug, or from the header. Go from there.
 
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