Why can’t you get a good head gasket seal on a small block Chevy? This and other questions were addressed at the Production Engine Rebuilders Association’s Marketing and Technical Seminars in Toronto.
A focused group of engine rebuilders heard speakers offer marketing approaches for their businesses as well as tackle technical issues, like why the aforementioned bow-tie power plant continues to be a hard-to-seal engine despite half a century of development and clamp loads that should turn graphite gaskets to diamonds.
“These engines have 170,000 lbs. of clamp force. That’s the same as a block of steel seven feet wide, seven feet high and seven feet long,” said Lee Palmquist, Federal-Mogul Sealing Systems. Marty Novil, Corteco, offered some advice for most sealing problems: Give attention to details like surface finish, use fasteners in good condition so you get the clamp load you think you’re getting, and advise installers to use good gasket spray to compensate for small surface finish irregularities.