Saturday, February 21, 2009

Engine Gasket Kits

Beware of Engine Gasket Kits

When you rebuild your Thunderbird engine you will most likely replace all the gaskets. The gaskets needed for an engine rebuilding are often sold in a complete set by the gasket manufacturers. They include head gaskets, oil pump gaskets, water pump gaskets, exhaust manifold gaskets, etc. The manufacturers include every possible gasket needed for your type of engine. For the Thunderbird engine, there is one gasket provided which should "never" be used on your Thunderbird engine. In almost every kit for the 292 or 312 engine, the gasket manufacturers have included a distributor gasket. This gasket is meant to fit under your distributor shaft at the point it is connected to your engine. DO NOT use this gasket on your Thunderbird. It is not needed and if you use this gasket you will put excessive force on the gear that drives your oil pump. If you install the gasket, you will most likely lose all oil pressure within a few hundred miles of operation. If you recently had your engine rebuilt and this problem has occurred, check to see if the distributor gasket was installed on your engine. After all, most mechanics not familiar with theThunderbird 292 or 312 engine will simply assume that if a gasket was provided, it must be needed.

In addition to the above problem with the distributor gasket, a common mistake made on engine rebuilds of the past was to install the headgaskets backwards. To the untrained eye there appears to be no difference as to which way the head gasket should be installed. Upon placing the gaskets on the engine, either direction would appear to be correct. All the bolt holes will line up whichever way you put the gasket on. The truth is that the gasket is not symmetrical and there is an important difference as to how you install the head gaskets. An incorrect installation will restrict the flow of your car's cooling fluid and can result in a hot running engine. The newer gasket replacement kits have arrows directing which way to install the headgaskets. If you have an older set, the rule of thumb is that the square corner is installed on the top of the head facing the radiator.

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