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How to remove Gasket Sealant?

Discussion in '308/328' started by M.James, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. M.James

    M.James F1 Rookie

    Jun 6, 2003
    2,721
    Worcester, MA
    Full Name:
    Michael.C.James
    I am in the middle of a 30K Major, with my valve covers and cam seals 'off' the car. During the removal, I found epic amounts of Cooked-On RTV and some other dense beige sealant material used around the circular Cam Seals and the Cam Cover Gaskets. Portions of OEM gasket material around the Cam Covers are cemented to/with this material, and a plastic scraper isn't removing it. My fingernail isn't removing it. This stuff is cooked-on pretty good. What are some useful techniques to clean-off these areas without gouging the Aluminum and creating more leaks? Can anyone indicate a vendor of some SHARP scrapers made of plastic or other materials that won't marr aluminum?
     
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  3. Pizzaman Chris

    Pizzaman Chris F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 13, 2005
    3,905
    New Hampshire
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    Pizzaman Chris
    #2 Pizzaman Chris, Aug 12, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
    I was talking to David (fastradio) and he said Popsicle sticks will be safe to use. Just get yourself a nice box of those baby's and after you are done put a little angle on them and get busy scraping. :)
     
  4. AZDoug

    AZDoug Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2009
    1,439
    Along the Verde , AZ
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    Doug
    This won't help your immediate problem, but having dealt with this before, i was thinking that some sort of gurney gizmo that you can lay down flat on,and roll it up over the rear of the car, would make things infinitely easier to do something like this, especially on the front head. You could relax there at your leisure, taking your time scraping this stuff off and not killing your back.

    Probably impractical for a one car operation, but a shop taht deals with this all the time, now that may be the ticket for carb work, valve shims, etc.

    Doug
     
  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,168
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    Those are comercially available.
     
  6. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,168
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    There are aerosol gasket sealant removers available. They are messy to use. All they really are is paint remover, you could use some of that with a small brush. Silicone is broken down by conventional solvent or mineral spirits pretty well but takes a little time.
     
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  8. mustardfj40

    mustardfj40 Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2004
    1,135
    Northen California
    Full Name:
    Ken
    I used a Craftman gasket scrapper blade, I just take time and avoid hurrying....That's thing with Ferrari, it's really fragile. On my Toyota trucks, I used a brass wire wheel and battery power drill. Just make sure the RTV craps don't get into your engine heads.
     
  9. f308jack

    f308jack F1 Rookie

    Jun 7, 2007
    4,267
    Cape Town, South Afr
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    Jack Verschuur
    Try some thinners or acetone. They won't harm the aluminium and may soften the old sealant enough to scrape it off easier.
     
  10. rivee

    rivee F1 Rookie

    Jan 20, 2002
    3,726
    Nowhere important, USA
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    John
    A shovel works pretty good for me.





    The small plastic kids kind like they use at the beach. That's what I used last time.
     
  11. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant Owner

    Dec 29, 2006
    17,754
    Twin Cities
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    Tim Keseluk
    Aerosol cans of carb cleaner, an assortment of stainless steel or brass bristled "toothbrushes" and a small scraper with a single-edge razor blade. A few dental picks are handy as well.

    Anything attached to a drill or die grinder should be avoided like the plague. The objective is to get the surfaces clean, not recarve Mount Rushmore.

    This is all about attention to detail. It takes time to get it right.
     
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  13. ace_pilot

    ace_pilot Formula Junior

    Sep 6, 2007
    897
    Long Island, NY
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    George
    Rifledriver, do you guys routinely put RTV that stuff on the valve covers, in addition to a new gasket, when you do a major? I have that stuff all on the edge of the valve covers after my major. I didn't think it was necessary when it's professionally done.

    end of threadjack.

    Ace
     
  14. fastradio

    fastradio F1 Rookie
    Professional Ferrari Technician BANNED

    Apr 26, 2006
    3,652
    New England
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    David Feinberg
    These, coupled with patience, acetone...or carb cleaner in a can seem to do the trick, as least for the last 25 years or so.
     
  15. FF8929

    FF8929 Formula Junior

    Apr 12, 2008
    799
    Livonia, Michigan
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    Fred Flynn
    I've sucessfully used Permatex Gasket Remover, Item # 80646. It may take several applications, but it's the safest way to go about it. (I feel, anyway)
     
  16. Frari

    Frari Formula 3

    Nov 5, 2003
    1,186
    brisbane australia
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    tony
    #13 Frari, Aug 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  17. f308jack

    f308jack F1 Rookie

    Jun 7, 2007
    4,267
    Cape Town, South Afr
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    Jack Verschuur
    Those 'toothbrushes' would be great if they didn't come apart when using them. The bristles fall out of the plastic. You don't want to bolt it all up with anything like that floating around in your engine.
    I find the trapezium-shaped blades in a plastic holder (used for glas usually) do a great job scraping things off, but like anything hard you use, you need to use it with some feeling. The risk of damaging things if you use this correctly is minimal.
     
  18. lostbowl

    lostbowl Formula 3

    Apr 30, 2009
    1,246
    Michigan
    Full Name:
    Tom
    I found some 3M scotchbrite discs that fir into a 1/4 die grinder nicely. Just be sure to get the ones that are designed for AL. These little gems are designed for removing gaskets and are very effective. When it comes time to remove wrinkle paint from the FERRARI imprint and ribs ,on the cam covers, the job will be completed in minutes with these discs. still lost
     
  19. M.James

    M.James F1 Rookie

    Jun 6, 2003
    2,721
    Worcester, MA
    Full Name:
    Michael.C.James
    They're called 'Topside Creepers' - have one handy, works great! A rolling, diving-board platform. One word of caution, the support structure is made of metal and needs to be foam-covered HEAVILY before using anywhere near the engine bay of the Ferrari. Already had one user create a stone-chip sized gouge in my rear quarter-panel using it without adequate fender-covers and foam padding.....
     
  20. RichardAguinsky

    RichardAguinsky Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2007
    477
    Palo Alto, Californi
    Full Name:
    Richard Aguinsky
    My Mondial had a very thin layer of light yellowish RTV with was also cooked on the valve covers. I used a painter's spatula to remove the glued on gasket material. used brake cleaner with Scotch pad and paper towels to clean the RTV. I used electrical contact cleaner for parts close to electrical wires or connectors, as I did not want to risk cracking plastic connectors wit the brake cleaner. Lots of elbow grease. I then applied a very thin coat of Toyota RTV to all the gaskets. You need to put some extra RTV where the valve cover gaskets meet the large O'Rings I also applied a thing coat of RTV around the exterior of all the seals before inserting them as a double precaution, especially on the metal distributor seals.
     

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