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Old 02-19-2009, 05:43 AM   #1
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Grrr@ Fel-Pro (non-Focus) screwed up gaskets

Well that's my lesson relearned. For those of you who've never delved into rebuilding or internal engine repairs- well there's a golden rule. Never be in a rush, and COMPARE YOUR GASKET SETS!!!! Of course, I failed on both accounts, and it cost me more time and pain than a little shopping would've. I should've had Mike rush mail me a set- probably would've been cheaper as well.

Here goes some pics and a little more explanation. I'm going to write Fel-Pro too, maybe get a free head gasket set from them. I doubt it. I'm sure other people have gone this route before, and truthfully the worst that could happen is extra crud built up in the area of this oil drain.

A comparison of the intake gaskets. Notice the difference around the oil drain between the coolant passage and the first intake port.





The Fel-Pro gasket didn't even seal up the top part so that oil would be forced to drain through the drain passage. The Motorcraft part seals the top from the bottom, and allows for full draining through the passage. I modified the Fel-Pro gasket for unhindered draining.



Just in case you were wondering if it would ever seal up again where it should around the intake and cooling ports- I made sure to use some of this stuff which I call "OMG I wish I hadn't put that on there". That's what I'll be saying later, but it works extremely well. Since the pic doesn't show, it's Indian Head gasket shellac from Permatex.




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Old 02-19-2009, 09:36 AM   #2
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you are very right, comparing gaskets before you leave the parts store is the number one rule...

you have no idea how many gaskets I sell that are slightly different than OEM. Idk if it is just a year to year difference or what but some are WAY wrong and other just plain don't exist!

and that indian stuff is amazing.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:16 AM   #3
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Felpro isn't always correct. on their website, they had teh svt HG advertised as the zetec HG set.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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i try to always use OEM gaskets, just as a precaution...

good luck fixing it man
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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i try to always use OEM gaskets, just as a precaution...

good luck fixing it man
Yeah, I should know better. I do know better, but I was in a hurry which is something else I know I should not do when working on engines. The good thing is that it runs better than before (no surprise), and the throttle response is much better since I port matched the heads, lower, and upper intakes. I have no idea about the fuel economy just yet. It's a MAP system, so probably not much better than the 18 we were getting before. Of course I could put a new air intake on it without a hitch-LOL no.

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and that indian stuff is amazing.
Yep, amazingly difficult to remove later, but that's what wire brushes and drills were made for. The best head gasket crap remover I've ever used was a belt sander. I was afraid it was going to be too aggressive, but my friend assured me it worked great. If memory serves correctly, we used 250 grit, and it was like less than a 2 minute job for all 4 surfaces. That was cast iron, I'd definitely be scared to do that on aluminum. I'd probably even have to forget about wire brushes too. The only aluminum rebuild job I've done was the one where it had 2 gallons of water in the oil and we drove it 3 miles like that to another location. All the gaskets just fell off, and the inside of the engine was squeaky clean. Yay steam cleaning. I used that same technique a few years later on a Chevy V8- worked like a charm again. I just don't always have running installed engines to rebuild.

It's been like 4 years (the Focus did that, no maintenance) since I did a head gasket job, so it's no surprise I had to forgo all the simple stuff I should've thought of. Maybe another few beers would've helped me slow down.
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:05 PM   #6
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Yep, amazingly difficult to remove later, but that's what wire brushes and drills were made for. The best head gasket crap remover I've ever used was a belt sander. I was afraid it was going to be too aggressive, but my friend assured me it worked great. If memory serves correctly, we used 250 grit, and it was like less than a 2 minute job for all 4 surfaces. That was cast iron, I'd definitely be scared to do that on aluminum. I'd probably even have to forget about wire brushes too. The only aluminum rebuild job I've done was the one where it had 2 gallons of water in the oil and we drove it 3 miles like that to another location. All the gaskets just fell off, and the inside of the engine was squeaky clean. Yay steam cleaning. I used that same technique a few years later on a Chevy V8- worked like a charm again. I just don't always have running installed engines to rebuild.

It's been like 4 years (the Focus did that, no maintenance) since I did a head gasket job, so it's no surprise I had to forgo all the simple stuff I should've thought of. Maybe another few beers would've helped me slow down.

yeah dont use a wire brush on aluminum, some of the ones I have used to clean SS industrial parts will put a groove right into aluminum. Yeah the water trick works, actually water is a really good lubricant, and as long as your going to rebuild the engine it wont have enough time to oxidize anything.
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