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Old 03-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #1
JohnHupp is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 136
Default Head gasket removal technology

In past projects, I have used a number of methods to remove gasket material. I'm having a fresh look at the question as I ease back into an engine repair that I started several months ago. I also want to get this right on the first try -- I replaced a valve cover last year with RTV, not long after that went on a long trip, and it started leaking (perhaps not enough cure time). I ended up redoing the job with an OEM pre-formed gasket, but only after a mighty struggle trying to free the cover. The RTV was holding on for dear life in every spot except where the leak was. So as I prepare this block for reinstalling the head, I don't want something like that scenario again.

The FSM says:
Using a gasket scraper, Scotch Brite Pads and Disk (3M Clean 'N Strip 2 in. D x 1/2 in. W x 1/4 in. center hole) remove all the gasket material from the cylinder block, oil pan, rear seal carrier, and front cover surfaces.

But I'm having a hard time pinning down a match for that at 3M. Following is the portal for all the candidates. Of the four categories, I'm confident that I'm not looking for a wheel, but probably something under that first choice for Scotch-Brite Discs:

But clicking on that still leads to a bunch of choices. I'm guessing the FSM may be indicating one of the "surface conditioning" products, and probably not something with a Roloc attachment since it says "1/4 in. center hole."

But apart from what the FSM says, I saw another post here where someone liked the Roloc bristle brushes for this job (with white, green or yellow pad). So I'm interested in what you think about the alternatives.

That brings me to another question which the FSM manual doesn't even raise -- what "grade" or "grit" to select in any of these given pads.

Obviously there will be more than one way to get this done, but if I'm going to buy something, I want to get something that will do a nice job without scratching the mating surfaces.
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