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Old 09-19-2012, 10:11 PM
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Default How to: Make your own gaskets



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Taken from one of my posts elsewhere:

So, I didnt see a thread on this and I didnt even know you could do it 'till recently. I'm sure someone will be as happy about this as I am. Back story is I've had a leak (and I hate those) from the rear output shaft housing on my transfer case. A gasket kit is anywhere from ~$3o to $6o. Far to high for a single gasket.

What to do? Plain ol' black gasket maker let me down. Time to make one. I'm sure there is more than one way to skin a cat and all that but this is what I did:

Here's what you'll need:



That's a $3 roll of fiber gasket material from PepBoys. You can also get rubber and cork, but this is what they had. File folders also work, but...who wants to see that in a write up?

The part, all cleaned up:

It's real easy...Take the round end of your friendly ball peen hammer and lightly tap around the outline of the part. Cuts nice and clean.

It should look something like this:

Almost there. The rough outline is punched out:


Same idea for bolt holes and the inside diameter:


Gasket is done. You can save the little inside piece if you think you can make something fun with it.


A little blue gasket maker and voila, a gasket that took all of 10 minutes to make, three bucks to build and is, so far, keeping the oil inside of my transfer case:


The stuff cuts pretty easy and this method is WAY easier than trying to trace something or use an ink pad.

It worked even easier when I made a gasket for the oil pump, as it's a nice hard bit of steel.

Hope it saves someone a few bucks.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:38 PM
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good idea using the hammer to get the shape like that. I keep planning on getting a roll of the stuff to keep around just incase but never get around to going and buying it.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:19 PM
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Thats a good tip. An older friend of mine told me back in the day they were to poor to buy all the gaskets they needed, so they would buy exhaust gaskets and make intake gaskets out of the cardboard packaging from the exhaust gaskets. They used the same method to cut the cardboard, a ballpeen hammer. Did they have different thicknesses of the material, or did that depend on the material. -Jon
Old 09-21-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yonco View Post
...or did that depend on the material. -Jon
I know that there are different thicknesses you can get in the rolls, as well as the type of material. I'm sure any decent place would order what you need if they dont stock it.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:50 PM
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For my last car, I was given the wrong gasket for the thermostat housing and by the time I realised it, the shop had closed for the weekend.

I just made one out of cereal packet cardboard. It was working fine when I sold the car a year later.

Not saying to use that in all situations, but you'd be surprised where you can get away with using cardboard gaskets.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:13 PM
julio julio is offline
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When I was a young airman my supervisor showed me that same trick and also that you can use file folders for gasket material. Works great.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamboRoberts View Post
...but you'd be surprised where you can get away with using cardboard gaskets.
Capt'n Crunch supported my carb for a very long time...
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:22 PM
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Newbees doing this need to take care - it is easy to peen a ridge on a Housing, or even worse, Break It! Go Slow, and use a smaller hammer - tippity tappity, easy does it!

Been doing this for at least fifty years. Chart Paper from the Wheelhouse is Great for Thin Gaskets, Manila FOlders are great for Thicker ones, and Shirt Cardboard (The thick cardboard that New Shirts are folded over) is the best for Thicker gaskets, when you can't get the real Gasket material.

Grainger has sheets of Gasket material if ya wanna be prepared. Not too expensive.
Sometimes you can get sheet gasket material from an Auto Supply House.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:29 PM
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Red silicone glue on any transmission and oil resivour gasket area, works with out paper, often reusable as well if you don't break it on future dissassembly.
clean ,apply glue ,finger tight fastners evenly ,let set , finish tightening to torque.
Note best cleaner I found is made by 3M "paint prep". I order it through NAPA
Old 09-21-2012, 11:21 PM
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Old Dodge 360s are notorious for blowing exhaust manifold gaskets. I had one. The guy at the parts house said to use a silicone from a tube that is made as a gasket material. I was scheptical, but I did it and it worked.
Old 09-22-2012, 10:05 AM
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Some of my better lasting gaskets have come from ice cream cartons...Over the last 15 years or so I have been converted from high priced parts store silicone to clear 25 year (the best is rated for food processing equipment) silicone in a caulking gun tube from the lumber yard.

Use a thin coat, allow it to skin over (or give the opposing surface a quick spritz of mold release) and attach with light pressure, torque to spec after a couple of hours and fill.

CAUTION; avoid silicone based products on carburetors and around the ports of intake and exhaust manifolds; it can poison oxygen sensors. In the presence of gasoline even hardened silicone turns to snot.

Enjoy!
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:24 AM
ILuvToTent ILuvToTent is offline
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Thank you all for the Info. I have been wanting to do this for sometime now.
Old 09-27-2012, 11:08 PM
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A tube of Permatex copper seal hi temp silicone is my gasket of choice on the hot side of the motor. Turbo flanges, exhaust flanges, ect. If it works on race cars it WILL work on your BOV.

The big thing is to keep the tube nozzle clean. Ive wasted more silicone due to the nozzle curing and the tube becoming unusable then Id like to admit.

For a BOVs BOB (vehicles need to survive too) , an array of Permatex products can fix quite a few things and not just on the car.

If it works on the cooling system, it will work for water systems in general.

If it works on exhaust parts it will work on a heater system in general.

I like to believe that cars are the non-potable versions of the machines that make our modern lives possible. If you look at it like that you can find many crossovers between the two.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:24 AM
Rifleman55 Rifleman55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandLoad View Post
Newbees doing this need to take care - it is easy to peen a ridge on a Housing, or even worse, Break It! Go Slow, and use a smaller hammer - tippity tappity, easy does it!

Been doing this for at least fifty years. Chart Paper from the Wheelhouse is Great for Thin Gaskets, Manila FOlders are great for Thicker ones, and Shirt Cardboard (The thick cardboard that New Shirts are folded over) is the best for Thicker gaskets, when you can't get the real Gasket material.

Grainger has sheets of Gasket material if ya wanna be prepared. Not too expensive.
Sometimes you can get sheet gasket material from an Auto Supply House.
When you buy gasket material, keep it in a sealed container so that it won't dry out. If all you got is some that is dried out sprinkle some water on it and let it sit for a while.
I have made many gaskets over the last 40 plus years of being a professional mechanic. Now days most gaskets come in a tube.
As the op found out that does not always work.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:06 PM
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I've seen gaskets made from multiple layers of newspaper when in a bind.
It was my uncle in a bind...in 1959.
Old 10-01-2012, 01:42 PM
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I use different caliber empty cartridge casings and the end grain of a block of wood to punch the holes in home made gaskets.
Old 10-01-2012, 06:05 PM
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I actually have a gasket hole punch set from Matco Tools for making my own gaskets. Great post BTW
Old 10-01-2012, 06:35 PM
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I have to laugh as I read through this thread. Many years ago my first car was a 1973 Monte Carlo. The water pump went out f it. I called up my boyfriend at the time (no my hubby) and of course he said he would replace it on the weekend for me. Me being an impatient person decided to do it myself. Well the guy sold my the gasket kit, water pump and a spray can of permatex. Well I had that stuff everywhere the gasket was stuck to my arm, the car, everywhere but the water pump. Well needless to say the gasket was torn into pieces. So I went into my grandmothers house and got her Poligrip.... I spread that all over that water pump and put my car back together. My boyfriend thought I was crazy.... Well I drove that car for 2- more years before I sold it and that darn thing never leaked a bit.....
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:51 PM
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Been doing the same thing for years. Heck I've even used empty beer box material a few occasions.
Old 10-04-2012, 03:15 PM
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You can do the same thing with brown paper bags (like the ones us old timers used to get our groceries in).
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