The best gasket in the world won’t seal worth a hoot if your mating surfaces aren’t properly cleaned and prepared beforehand.
But, while a lot of how-tos out there include “surface prep” as a critical step, they rarely go into much detail on the actual cleaning and surface-prep process.
That’s why we liked this video from the gasket gurus at Fel-Pro.
It goes in-depth on to how to make sure your cylinder head and engine block surfaces are clean and ready for a gasket install.
More importantly, it address how to create a good seal when working with many types of gasketing material, e.g. cork, rubber, multi-layer steel, copper, etc.
At the end of the video, you’ll even see a few tools that you should NEVER use to clean a surface for a gasket install.
Though the video features cylinder heads and headers, the key to surface prep has a lot to do with the the surface material, for instance, iron, steel, or aluminum—so you can take these principles and apply them to whatever component you’re prepping, including water pumps, oil pans, differential covers, intake manifolds, etc.
The video focuses on what is perhaps the most important facet of a good, leak-free gasket install: surface prep.
Note: Once your surface is clean, you’ll want to check it for flatness, too—watch this video from Fel-Pro to learn how to do that.
If you’ve got a project coming up which involves removing/replacing gaskets, give it a watch and ensure your job goes smoothly.