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Rocker Cover Gasket

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MacGyver View Drop Down
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    Posted: Sep/20/2018 at 9:16pm
Anyone ever used the Felpro VS50244R rocker cover gasket??

I have an '82 258 that originally had the plastic rocker cover...
Years ago, I got an aftermarket aluminum cover and installed it with the extra thick cork gasket that came with it..

If I recall, I used The Right Stuff sealant on recommendations from others that have been there, done that!

Worked great for about 2 years! Then it started to seep...
After about 4 years, it's much more than a seep!! Hah!!

After some research, I found people raving about the Felpro VS50244R "sponge-lam" gasket, so I just picked one up!!

Pretty impressed with this gasket!! It actually has a slight curve on the bottom that should match the curve of the head's gasket surface!!

But!! It's also much stiffer that I expected from a "sponge" gasket!!
Felpro's instructions say to install it dry with no sealers...
I'm not sure that the 28 inch lbs spec'd would compress this thing enough to actually seal!!

Wondering if anyone else has used this particular gasket, and what torque specs you used, and any type of sealant or not.

I'm really tired of having to park over a piece of plywood to catch all the oil drips!!

Any tips/advice??

Mac.
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RTTComanche17 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RTTComanche17 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2018 at 11:35am
I have never used that gasket, but I think I can still supply some insight.

Felpro is a quality company and I would trust what they say. Torquing a 1/4-20 bolt to 28 in-lbs will generate approximately 550 lbs of clamping force on the low end of the estimates. There are many online tables/calculators that will confirm this ballpark (mainly it depends on a friction factor that needs to be estimated). And this is for each bolt. If you have 7 bolts, there is nearly 2 tons of force (at least) compressing the gasket (assuming a rigid valve cover and head).

Now, I'm not saying you can't torque it more, but I would seriously not recommend it.
I don't know what grade bolts you have, but a grade two bolt (hardware store bin) will fail at approximately 3-4 ft-lbs (36-48 inch pounds).
If you were to get a grade 8 bolt, the bolt could handle ~10 ft-lbs (120 in-lbs) and would provide 2500 lbs of clamping load, each. Now you get into issues like: Would the gasket hold this? I doubt it, it would probably split. Would the 35 year old threads in the head hold? Maybe. Would the valve cover crack? Plastic, yes. Aluminum, maybe.

I would just install as recommended. If you find a leak down the road, you could take the valve cover off, probably clean and reuse the gasket (since it's rubber) and maybe call felpro, give them more details about your situation, and maybe they'd say it's safe to go a couple more inch pounds (there is always a safety factor built into things). But I think the driving factor for the quoted torque rating is going to be what the gasket can handle before it starts to split or crack, not what the bolts or head or valve cover can take.

Just my $0.02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1982AMCConcord Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2018 at 1:12pm
I have not used this gasket but I can say from experience that its all about cleaning and prepping the head.. then letting it sit and cure for like 2 days without driving the car. Then I was younger I did several valve cover swaps.. none of them held very long. I was a kid and I had to drive the car... after all... I had to go to work.. etc. I couldn't let it sit for more than a day. Anyway... I finally just said screw it and took it to a local Chrysler dealership. They told me to bring it on a early on Friday and they would do it right away in the morning... and then I could pick it up on Monday at 5PM. They said they wanted to let it sit for all that time for the seal to totally cure. Well guys.. I had the MOPAR manufactured stock valve cover put back on in like 1999... and it stayed sealed until 2014 when I replaced the intake/exhaust manifold gaskets. I knew once that seal was disturbed it would start leaking again... and sure enough... it started leaking. Anyway.... I hope you get it sealed good and tight but if you end up using a sealant... I would let it sit and sit and sit once you get the right gasket.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MacGyver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2018 at 9:44pm
Thanks for the replies, guys!!

RTT: Your math certainly makes me think differently about inch pounds!! Wow!! (I never was really good at math! LOL!)

The nice thing about this gasket, is that that has a metal core to keep it from deforming, so a couple extra inch pounds probably won't be an issue... I guess I'll start with the spec and go from there!

The one thing that worries me is that the instructions for the aluminum cover say to NOT use a rubber gasket or the cover will crack!!
But... This gasket is way stiffer than a cork gasket!
So I think it should be okay...

82: Yeah, I know where you're coming from!! This car is my daily driver, so I can't have it down for more than a weekend!!
If the gasket can be installed dry, there shouldn't be any "cure" time at all!!
I'll make sure every sealing surface is surgically clean!!!

I'm surprised that nobody here has tried this gasket before!
I checked out a few Jeep forums and people sure seem to be happy with it!!

A lot of the Jeep forums reference this post:

http://www.militaryjeepers.com/community/showthread.php?15110-CJ-258-valve-cover

Thanks guys!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2018 at 10:51pm
problem areas like that i don't ever follow directions. tighten it with a nutdriver, just barely snug, and if it leaks, go around and tighten them all slightly more, and repeat. just tight enough to not leak.

spec'd torques are fine on parts with tight tolerances like engine internals, but valve covers? side covers? oil pans? doesn't seem right to me. maybe when they were new at the factory. assembling new never used parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MacGyver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/24/2018 at 7:15pm
That sounds like some darn good advice, Tom!!

I think that's exactly what I'll do!!
Clean all surfaces up, and just snug enough to not leak!!

It's definitely not a job I'm looking forward to!!
When I first installed the aluminum cover, the engine was sitting on a stand and it was super easy!!

Removing the cover, cleaning up all the old Right Stuff, and reinstalling the cover, makes my back hurt just thinking about it!! LOL!

Thinking of using lock washers this time to keep the bolts from backing off over time...
That would probably throw off the torque values anyway, so "Snug" is my torque setting!!

I'm thinking of using lock washers to keep the bolts from backing off over time...

Mac.
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