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Problems with flimsy gaskets

Sometimes I run into a little setback when doing diy’er auto repairs where a gasket is configured with narrow strips, and when it’s time to put the two pieces together and sandwich the gasket in between those strips tend to wiggle their way away from the narrow surfaces they are supposed to be gasket-ing. What’s a good way to hold this type of flimsy gasket in place, say affix it to one side of the metal parts you are bolting together first, so it won’t squirm free as you tighten the bolts holding the parts together later? I’ve tried GE Silicone II (designed for use on houses) and Permatex Gasket-Former (for use on engines), but neither worked very well. The GE Silicone II product tended to form into bits that fell off, and the Permatex Gasket-Former, none of the bits fell off, but it wasn’t sticky enough to hold the gasket. Is there a sort of “rapid set craft glue” for engines with flimsy gaskets?


how about that red or orange “spray tack” stuff in the can . . . ?

the orange stuff in the upper right also works well

Works for me

This is my favorite


3M Super Weatherstrip Adhesive yellow.

db4690: I have successfully used the Permatex high tack red spray many times to hold gaskets in place.

with flimsy gasket this product works well for me

Thanks, to all. The dab-on type I think would be the easiest for me to use, so I’ll give that 80062 product that @“Rod Knox” and @Yosemite suggested a try.


That’s why I mentioned it, because it works :smiley:


If you use the dab-on stuff, be careful

It’s very easy to brush it on too thick

It happens quicker than you might think

I personally HIGHLY prefer the spray on type, which I mentioned earlier

@db4690 says

prefer the spray on type

So how do you apply that type? Put the gasket on a sheet of newspaper and spray it on? It seems like you’d be wasting a lot going on the newspaper rather than on the gasket.

@db4690 . Years ago a friend brought a car to me. He had replaced the oil pan and the engine seized up shortly after that. I dropped the oil pan and found “Form a Gasket” had run down the inside of the pan so bad that it had plugged the pickup tube screen.

When I asked the friend how much he used, he said he only used a half a tub!!!

A little overkill you think???


lol … I guess the spray method has that major advantage, easier to get a thin and uniform application.



Who cares if the newspaper is literally yesterday’s news?

A spray can of that stuff is only a few bucks

And it’s a lot easier to apply than the brush on type

I have never used the spray type but it looks like something to consider.

I usually give a very thin coating of ultra black RTV. I mean just a TINY bit to uniformly coat the gasket on both sides and no more. The gasket will stick nicely and never leak after this coating. The only issue I have had is removing the part in question. Black RTV is tough stuff and not suggested on parts you might have to remove in the future.

ok i just found this site and joined today so i am looking around. For some reason this topic reminds me of something that i haven’t thought of in forever, but now i remember it, makes me chuckle:
One day in the 70’s or 80’s my dad was putting one of the heads back on the 1970-ish volvo powered boat he just bought. As usual, he had consumed a couple beers during the process. I seem to recall it required a sealant as well as a gasket but he didn’t have any at home so he decided to use what he had on hand. mastic window glazing. Oh Yes. I must have said “please don’t do it” a hundred times, “the auto parts store is 3 minute drive from here. I’ll go get a proper sealant and be back in under 15 minutes.” He used it anyway of course. On the first in-water run the next day, guess what blew. lol. He was actually surprised… which surprised the hell out of me! In his defense, this was one of the rare times he actually futted up. Beer. Love it or hate it.

@andyfla writes …

*mastic window glazing.* for sealing a head gasket

lol … well, he’s got a scientific mind. I understand completely. He has this theory. And trial by fire – or water in this case – is an excellent way to test any scientific theory. Due to your dad’s diligent use of the scientific method, now we know not to use window glazing for sealing head gaskets … lol .

Welcome to Car Talk! Good story!