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How To: Make your own gaskets.

BrooklynBay

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Many times it's necessary to either buy a gasket or reuse an old one when a new one isn't available (if it's a reusable design). Sometimes the replacement gaskets aren't good quality, and fail after a short time. This might be the case with certain paper gaskets that are very thin. Paper becomes brittle after a while when it ages or comes into constant contact with heat, and moisture. This is the case with water pump gaskets or thermostat housing gaskets. Plumbing stores, and industrial supply houses sell high temperature gasket material by the sheet such as this roll in the picture below:
Roll_of_heavy_duty_gasket_material_.jpg


This thread will show you one way of making your own high quality gaskets when one isn't available or if you just want to have a reliable, leak proof gasket. There are many ways of doing this such as using a router, drill press or other methods, but we will keep it simple for people that don't have access to elaborate tools.

This 15 piece gasket punch set was purchased from Harbor Freight in 2000 for $15:
Harbor_Freight_06770_15_piece_gasket_punch_set_.jpg

There are other manufacturers of gasket punch sets if this one isn't available. The next thing that you will need is a hobby knife set to trim all of the curves that an ordinary scissor will have difficulty doing. This one was purchased in a dollar store:
Hobby_knife_set_.jpg

Hobby_knife_set_and_a_cutting_board_.jpg


The piece in the background is a high quality cutting board that was the biggest one that I was able to find on Amazon. It was $20. An ordinary piece of wood will work if you don't have a cutting board, but the cutting board is much more durable, and will last a lot longer.

To get started, I have an A4LD transmission air test plate that needs a gasket. The test plate is placed onto the gasket material, and is marked with a pen. The other edges are traced as well as the holes. The holes are two different sizes on this test plate.
Air_test_plate_on_top_of_gasket_material_.jpg

You could see the trace marks on the gasket from the air test plate:
A_larger_view_of_the_gasket_being_cut_.jpg

This is a close up view:
Small_Skil_saw_cutting_gasket_.jpg

The hobby knife is cutting the sides of the gasket to get all of the crevices that a basic cutting tool can't reach:
Hobby_knife_cutting_gasket_.jpg
 


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BrooklynBay

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The gasket punch is popping out holes in the gasket:
Punching_a_hole_in_a_gasket_.jpg

Since there are two different sizes of holes, I will start with one size, then finish with the other size. Here are 2 holes that were just made:
Two_holes_punched_in_a_gasket_.jpg

Most of the holes were made in this picture:
A_hammer_punching_a_hole_in_a_gasket_.jpg

Here is the finished product compared to the template that was used to trace everything:
The_finished_gasket_with_the_air_test_plate_.jpg
 




pardiville

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Very Nice, How much did the gasket material sheet run you? Thanks
 




Runnin'OnEmpty

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Excellent writeup and a lot of good tips here.
I've made gaskets for years, although mine
aren't as precise as yours, Brooklyn. Gotta get
one of those gasket punch sets.

Another way to make the gasket template is
to spread oil on the part to be sealed, then press
the part onto the gasket material. This leaves an
oil outline for cutting out the gasket.
Any material that would transfer to the gasket
material could also be used, such as ink or chalk.....
 




trollkepr

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There is the old ball peen hammer method. Get a couple of different size hammers. You may have to tap one with the other. You hold the material to the piece needing the gasket. Starting around the edges, tap the material with the ball side, and tap out your gasket. Once the outside is done, you should tape the new gasket to the part to keep it from moving.

Remember, especially with transmission gaskets, some holes on the parts are not on their gaskets. I am not sure if you add them to the new gaskets if anything bad will happen. It has been a very long time since I have seen this. I let others work on my vehicles now. I am too worn out. :(
 




jseabolt

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I might add, Gore-Tex is the best gasket material I have ever used. Yes the same stuff they put in shoes except they make sheets of this stuff for industrial use.

17613.jpg


I made every gasket on one of my Fiat engine by using scraps I found laying around the maintence shop. Except for the intake/exhaust which use the same gaskets since this stuff is only good for 450F to 600F. Otherwise it works great on everything else. It seems to be resistant to gasoline, motor oil and antifreeze.

It's easy to cut and is reusable. Doesn't come apart if you need to pull something off. Such as you can replace the thermostat over and over and reuse the same gasket.

It also works great if you have an uneven or badly pitted surface that won't seal like an oilpan or thermostat housing.

The thermostat/intake manifold was badly pitted on my 68 Fairlane, a regular paper gasket and sealant wouldn't seal. And because the thermostat can fall out while trying to install the housing, RTV made a mess. This stuff was the trick.

They also make what's called UHF tape.

inertex-uhf-gasket-tape.jpg


This is pretty much the same stuff only in tape form with a sticky backing used on flanges. I once used this stuff to make a differential gasket on my '96 Explorer. Ford used what I think was RTV and started leaking after 15 years.

You start at the top and work your way around the bolt holes then overlap the two ends at the top.

Only thing is if your car is a show car, it's probably not the best stuff to use. Gasoline and oil will discolor it (although won't hurt it) and you can tell it's homemade. But it works great!
 




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