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#2627120 - 05/15/12 02:26 AM Paper gasket,RTV or both?
SkyGod Offline


Registered: 10/12/10
Posts: 134
Loc: Ohio
I usually use RTV on the cover side to keep gasket in place during install.
Some guys prefer gasket only with no sealer.
Some guys prefer RTV only.
Anyone know the correct way?:)
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#2627122 - 05/15/12 03:13 AM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
Scott_Tucker Offline


Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 898
Loc: Santa Cruz, Ca.
I don't use rtv on paper gaskets I use the appropriate sealer such as gaskacinch. You can use rtv alone too with good results. It all depends on who is doing the work. It doesn't matter as long as the installer knows what he is doing. The most important thing is that the sealing surfaces be clean and dry.
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#2627140 - 05/15/12 05:13 AM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: Scott_Tucker]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 24742
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Scott_Tucker
I don't use rtv on paper gaskets I use the appropriate sealer such as gaskacinch. You can use rtv alone too with good results. It all depends on who is doing the work. It doesn't matter as long as the installer knows what he is doing. The most important thing is that the sealing surfaces be clean and dry.


+1 Use one or the other but not both. At least that is what worked best for me over the years.
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#2627157 - 05/15/12 06:35 AM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 29044
Loc: ME
It depends. If it's something like a thermostat gooseneck and someone nicked or scratched the mating surface... getting the old paper gasket off... RTV and the paper gasket will fill that in nicely. I like having the thickness and compressability of a paper gasket. Got one for a hyundai that was a nice thick neoprene type. OT I'm glad after all these years to see o-rings finally used for thermostats a lot more.

Only downside to RTV, IMO, besides dry time is if you get too much down a blind bolt hole it can hydrolock the bolt and keep it from bottoming out properly.

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#2627161 - 05/15/12 06:42 AM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 13578
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
I use Indian Head on Paper gaskets. Its old school but so are the gaskets, they work well together.
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#2627226 - 05/15/12 08:57 AM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
beast3300 Offline


Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 3121
Loc: Ohio
I like gorilla snot*** for paper gaskets but just to hold in place.

****Gorilla snot aka 3M weatherstrip adhesive.
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#2627305 - 05/15/12 10:28 AM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
dnewton3 Offline



Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 6367
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
I've used paper, RTV, and the combination.

When properly prepared, all three work equally well.

When poorly done, leaks are eminent.

'Nuff said.
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#2627485 - 05/15/12 02:42 PM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
INDYMAC Offline


Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2338
Loc: Magnolia, TX
I have found RTV to be very difficult to clean off before re-applying. Absolutely nothing wrong with its sealing capability though.
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#2627506 - 05/15/12 03:06 PM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
Scott_Tucker Offline


Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 898
Loc: Santa Cruz, Ca.
I have had an absolute ton of cars come in leaking coolant because RTV was used to seal something like coolant under pressure so be very careful. The best seal comes from a paper gasket with proper cement or an o-ring. It can be done with RTV, just be very careful. Let it dry before adding coolant and starting the engine.
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#2627784 - 05/15/12 09:22 PM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
umungus1122 Offline


Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 587
Loc: PA
I've always preferred a gasket with the gasket adhesive.
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#2627832 - 05/15/12 10:43 PM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 16932
Loc: Iowegia - USA
For differential covers, defintately Gasket plus the Black RTV.

Coat the gasket with a thin layer of RTV, wait a few minutes, and then apply while slightly tacky.

Above all, make sure the surface has been wiped clean with a solvent to remove the oil film.

And wait at least 1/2 hour before filling.


Edited by MolaKule (05/15/12 10:45 PM)
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#2627838 - 05/15/12 11:03 PM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
Knox Offline


Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 263
Loc: Kansas, USA
If the gasket is silicone (neoprene), i use just the gasket.

If it's a paper gasket, i just use a little RTV to hold it. (assuming both surfaces are even and in good shape)

If the manufacture calls for RTV, then i lay a 1/4" bead all the way around and on both sides of the bolt holes. Place the cover on and hand tighten, wait "at least" a hour and then tighten to spec.

If it's a cork gasket, i throw it away and just use RTV. Unless it requires a gasket for clearance. Then Use a thin layer of RTV on both sides and apply while tacky.
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#2627909 - 05/16/12 04:41 AM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 24742
Loc: NY
If I use a paper gasket I spray it with Permatex Red. That stuff is great, the gasket sticks in place and I've never had it leak. RTV works well in certain instances. For example if a valve cover gasket lip is distorted from someone trying to pry it off and bends it. Or your favorite parts store doesn't have a gasket you need and you're in a bind to get a job done. The trick is to be patient and allow the product to dry before running the engine.
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#2627911 - 05/16/12 04:43 AM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: SkyGod]
Jim Allen Offline


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 4477
Loc: NW Ohio
Overall, I prefer paper and RTV BUT it depends on the cover. Some covers were designed for RTV ONLY and some were designed for paper. The ones designed for paper don't do as well with RTV only, while the ones for RTV do fine with just RTV of course but OK with paper added (assuming a gasket is available). Neoprene/silicon gaskets are great if they are available for the application.
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#2628291 - 05/16/12 01:59 PM Re: Paper gasket,RTV or both? [Re: dnewton3]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
Originally Posted By: dnewton3
I've used paper, RTV, and the combination.

When properly prepared, all three work equally well.

When poorly done, leaks are eminent.

'Nuff said.


This is right.
And you can get RTV off later - it can be very tough with other sealants.
If it leaks, it was not clean, or you did not let it set up before refilling and running it.

And TV is the EASIST to clean of, no

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